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About The American Eskimo Dog Breed


The American Eskimo dog breed has its origins in the Spitz family of dogs traced back some 6,000 years to the Peatbog dog. The Spitz family of dogs, known as the northern or Nordic breeds, include the Pomeranian, the Samoyed, the Keeshond and Artic sled dogs. The family has wolf-like characteristics with erect pointed ears and double coats.

The American Eskimo dog descended from the Spitz breed that evolved around lakes in Switzerland some 700 years ago. These dogs became known as German Spitz and first arrived to America in the early 1900's.  The German Spitz comes in two different sizes. The larger Grossspitz is around 16 inches at the shoulder and is the breed that became known in America as the American Eskimo dog. The Kleinspitz is a small German Spitz with an eleven inch maximum shoulder height.

The United Kennel Club or UKC first registered an American Eskimo Spitz in 1913. In 1923, the UKC renamed the breed to American Eskimo. The first UKC Grand Show Championship won by an American Eskimo was in 1978. The Champion was named PR Richardson's Keta Shelton. (The PR is an acronym for Purple Ribbon.)  In 1981, the first American Eskimo to win both the UKC Grand Show Championship and the UKC top award for obedience was named PR Tank Iglu Sweet Love.

In the 1920's through 1950's when the circus was a very popular form of entertainment, American Eskimo dogs were used as circus performers.  Performances included dancing to music, performing with clowns, ponies, wire walking and weaving in and out of moving wagon wheels.

This history helps to explain why your American Eskimo can be such an agile rock climber and easily learns and performs tricks for its master.  In fact Eskies are known to teach each other tricks and to invent tricks on their own just to please their master.

The Breed Standard

For a detailed description of the American Eskimo Dog breed standard, we refer you to the definition of the breed standard  provided by the American Kennel Club (AKC) including General Appearance, Size, Proportion and Substance, the Head, Neck, Topline, Body, Forequarters, Hindquarters, Coat, Color, Gait, Temperament and Disqualifications.

Effective March 1, 2006, the Canadian Kennel Club, (CKC), recognizes the American Eskimo dog as a breed.  Its cousin, the red-haired Finnish Spitz is recognized by the CKC as well as the Japanese Spitz which is also white in color and looks very similar to the American Eskimo.

Three Breed Sizes

The American Eskimo dog is bred in three (3) sizes.  The largest is the standard breed size which measures over 15 inches up to and including 19 inches at the withers.  The Miniature size measures over 12 inches up to and including 15 inches and the Toy measures 9 inches up to and including 12 inches at the withers.

A male American Eskimo Toy size
A male American Eskimo Standard size.

Staring from the left, a Standard American Eskimo then mini and toy Eskie on the right

Atka, the amazing Eskie featured on Animal Planet
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