The American Eskimo is neither American nor Eskimo! The breed is named after the kennel name of the people who applied for membership of this jaunty breed to the UKC in 1915.
The “Eskie” traces its heritage back to the European Spitzes, which included the white German Spitz, the white Keeshond, the white Pomeranian and the white Italian Spitz.
During the 19th century in America, the breed performed regularly in trick-dog acts in traveling circuses throughout America, prized for their beautiful appearance, intelligence and agility. In 1917, the Cooper Brothers’ Railroad Circus featured the dogs. Ione American Eskimo dog named Stout’s Pal Pierre was well-known for walking a tightrope with the Barnum and Bailey Circus in the 1930s. Puppies were sold after the shows leading to their great popularity. Mnay an American child came home from the show with a circus dog! Many of today’s American Eskimo Dogs lineage goes back to these circus dogs.
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Animal Planet describes them as such: The American Eskimo is bright, eager to please, lively and fun-loving — in short, an enjoyable and generally obedient companion. True to its spitz heritage, it is independent and tenacious and loves to run, especially in cold weather. But it is among the most biddable of spitz breeds, and it is calm and well-mannered inside. It is good with children, other dogs, and pets and is generally outgoing to everyone.
Here is the standard from the AKC to which American Eskimo Dogs are judged.
The American Eskimo Dog, a loving companion dog, presents a picture of strength and agility, alertness and beauty. It is a small to medium-size Nordic type dog, always white, or white with biscuit cream. The American Eskimo Dog is compactly built and well balanced, with good substance, and an alert, smooth gait. The face is Nordic type with erect triangular shaped ears, and distinctive black points (lips, nose, and eye rims). The white double coat consists of a short, dense undercoat, with a longer guard hair growing through it forming the outer coat, which is straight with no curl or wave. The coat is thicker and longer around the neck and chest forming a lion-like ruff, which is more noticeable on dogs than on bitches. The rump and hind legs down to the hocks are also covered with thicker, longer hair forming the characteristic breeches. The richly plumed tail is carried loosely on the back.
Size, Proportion, Substance
Size There are three separate size divisions of the American Eskimo Dog (all measurements are heights at withers): Toy, 9 inches to and including 12 inches; Miniature, over 12 inches to and including 15 inches; and Standard, over 15 inches to and including 19 inches. There is no preference for size within each division. Disqualification: Under 9 inches or over 19 inches. Proportion. Length of back from point of shoulder to point of buttocks is slightly greater than height at withers, an approximate 1.1 to 1 ratio. Substance. The American Eskimo Dog is strong and compactly built with adequate bone.
Expression is keen, intelligent, and alert. Eyes are not fully round, but slightly oval. They should be set well apart, and not slanted, prominent or bulging. Tear stain, unless severe, is not to be faulted. Presence of tear stain should not outweigh consideration of type, structure, or temperament. Dark to medium brown is the preferred eye color. Eye rims are black to dark brown. Eyelashes are white. Faults: amber eye color or pink eye rims. Disqualification: blue eyes. Ears should conform to head size and be triangular, slightly blunt-tipped, held erect, set on high yet well apart, and blend softly with the head. Skull is slightly crowned and softly wedge-shaped, with widest breadth between the ears. The stop is well defined, although not abrupt. The muzzle is broad, with length not exceeding the length of the skull, although it may be slightly shorter. Nose pigment is black to dark brown. Lips are thin and tight, black to dark brown in color. Faults: pink nose pigment or pink lip pigment. The jaw should be strong with a full complement of close fitting teeth. The bite is scissors, or pincer.
Neck, Topline, Body
The neck is carried proudly erect, well set on, medium in length, and in a strong, graceful arch. The topline is level. The body of the American Eskimo Dog is strong and compact, but not cobby. The chest is deep and broad with well-sprung ribs. Depth of chest extends approximately to point of elbows. Slight tuck-up of belly just behind the ribs. The back is straight, broad, level, and muscular. The loin is strong and well-muscled. The American Eskimo Dog is neither too long nor too short coupled. The tail is set moderately high and reaches approximately to the point of hock when down. It is carried loosely on the back, although it may be dropped when at rest.
Forequarters are well angulated. The shoulder is firmly set and has adequate muscle but is not overdeveloped. The shoulder blades are well laid back and slant 45° with the horizontal. At the point of shoulder the shoulder blade forms an approximate right angle with the upper arm. The legs are parallel and straight to the pasterns. The pasterns are strong and flexible with a slant of about 20°. Length of leg in proportion to the body. Dewclaws on the front legs may be removed at the owner’s discretion; if present, they are not to be faulted. Feet are oval, compact, tightly knit and well padded with hair. Toes are well arched. Pads are black to dark brown, tough and deeply cushioned. Toenails are white.
Hindquarters are well angulated. The lay of the pelvis is approximately 30° to the horizontal. The upper thighs are well developed. Stifles are well bent. Hock joints are well let down and firm. The rear pasterns are straight. Legs are parallel from the rear and turn neither in nor out. Feet are as described for the front legs. Dewclaws are not present on the hind legs.
The American Eskimo Dog has a stand-off, double coat consisting of a dense undercoat and a longer coat of guard hair growing through it to form the outer coat. It is straight with no curl or wave. There is a pronounced ruff around the neck which is more noticeable on dogs than bitches. Outer part of the ear should be well covered with short, smooth hair, with longer tufts of hair growing in front of ear openings. Hair on muzzle should be short and smooth. The backs of the front legs should be well feathered, as are the rear legs down to the hock. The tail is covered profusely with long hair. THERE IS TO BE NO TRIMMING OF THE WHISKERS OR BODY COAT AND SUCH TRIMMING WILL BE SEVERELY PENALIZED. The only permissible trimming is to neaten the feet and the backs of the rear pasterns.
Pure white is the preferred color, although white with biscuit cream is permissible. Presence of biscuit cream should not outweigh consideration of type, structure, or temperament. The skin of the American Eskimo Dog is pink or gray. Disqualification: any color other than white or biscuit cream.
The American Eskimo Dog shall trot, not pace. The gait is agile, bold, well balanced, and frictionless, with good forequarter reach and good hindquarter drive. As speed increases, the American Eskimo Dog will single track with the legs converging toward the center line of gravity while the back remains firm, strong, and level.
The American Eskimo Dog is intelligent, alert, and friendly, although slightly conservative. It is never overly shy nor aggressive, and such dogs are to be severely penalized in the show ring. At home it is an excellent watchdog, sounding a warning bark to announce the arrival of any stranger. It is protective of its home and family, although it does not threaten to bite or attack people. The American Eskimo Dog learns new tasks quickly and is eager to please.
Any color other than white or biscuit cream
Height: under 9″ or over 19″
Approved: October 11, 1994
Effective: November 30, 1994
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