American Eskimo Dog: Characteristics, Varieties & Breed Information

The American Eskimo dog is a breed of companion dog, and is a member of the Spitz family. There are 3 size varieties of this breed, the toy, the miniature and the standard. The breed is also known by some other names such as Cloud Spitz, American Spitz, German Spitz. And common nicknames are Cloud and Eskie.

The American Eskimo dogs were originated from Germany. Their progenitors were German Spitz, but due to anti-German sentiment during the First World War it was renamed “American Eskimo Dog”.

Although, the modern AAmerican Eskimo dogs have been exported as German Spitz Gross (or Mittel, depending on the dog’s height), the breeds have diverged and the standards are significantly different.

The American Eskimo Dog also achieved a high degree of popularity in the United States in the 1930s and 1940s as a circus performer, in addition to serving as a watchdog and companion.

The American Eskimo Dog was originally bred to guard people and property and, therefore, is territorial by nature and a valiant watchdog. It is not considered an aggressive breed but, due to its watchdog history, American Eskimo dogs are generally quite vocal, barking at any stranger who comes in proximity to their owners’ territory.

In Northern Europe, smaller Spitz were eventually developed into the various German Spitz breeds. European immigrants brought their Spitz pets with them to the United States, especially New York, in the early 1900s, “all of them descended from the larger German Spitz, the Keeshond, the white Pomeranian, and the Italian Spitz, the Volpino Italiano.”

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Although white was not always a recognized color in the various German Spitz breeds, it was generally the preferred color in the United States. In a display of patriotism in the era around World War I, dog owners began referring to their pets as American Spitz rather than German Spitz.

After World War I, the small Spitz dogs came to the attention of the American public when the dogs became popular entertainers in the American circus. In 1917, the Cooper Brothers’ Railroad Circus featured the dogs. A dog named Stout’s Pal Pierre was famous for walking a tightrope with the Barnum and Bailey Circus in the 1930s, and also contributing to their popularity, they sold puppies after the show.

Due to the popularity of the circus dogs, many of today’s American Eskimo dogs can trace their lineage back to these circus dogs. And after World War II, the dogs continued to be popular pets. Postwar contact with Japan led to importation into the United States of the Japanese Spitz, which may have been crossed into the breed at this time.

Today, there are three size varieties of the American Eskimo dog breed, the toy, the miniature and the standard. They share a common resemblance with Japanese Spitz, Danish Spitz, Volpino Italiano, German Spitz and Samoyed.[1]

American Eskimo Dog Characteristics

The American Eskimo dogs are very beautiful animals. They are completely white in coloration, and fluffy. These dogs have a double coat with a dense undercoat and a longer outer coat. The hair is straight with no curl or wave. They have a pronounced ruff around the neck. Their front and rear legs are well feathered, and the fur on the tail is profuse.

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There are three size varieties of the American Eskimo dog breed. These three size varieties are the toy, the miniature and the standard.

Toy: The toy variety is 9 to 12 inches tall at the withers, with average body weight between 2.27 and 4.5 kg.

Miniature: The miniature variety is 12 to 15 inches tall at the withers, with average body weight between 4.5 and 9 kg.

Standard: The standard variety is 15 to 20 inches tall at the withers, with average body weight between 6.8 and 18 kg.

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Temperament

The American Eskimo is an affectionate and loving dog. These animals are easy to train, and they are excellent with children because of the dog’s high intelligence and their willingness to please.

The American Eskimo dogs often rank among the top scorers in obedience trials. They generally like to work. Naturally wary of strangers, once properly introduced, they become friends. They are highly intelligent, inquisitive and love to investigate.

Without enough mental and physical exercise, they can become hyperactive and high-strung, spinning in circles. They are not recommended for first-time dog owners. But they can be a great pet with some advice from a trainer.

Lifespan

Average lifespan of the American Eskimo dog is between 12 and 15 years.

Feeding

How much a mature dog eats depends on it’s size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food. Generally 1/2 to 1.5 cups of high quality dry food is recommended daily. Although, you can consult with your vet for better recommendation.

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Caring

Taking good care of the animals is very important for raising American Eskimo dogs. They generally do well in a variety of homes, from apartments to large house with yards. But they are not suited for life in the backyard. They will be very happy when they are with their family.

The American Eskimo dogs require a lot of exercise. They can become destructive if they don’t get regular exercise. They do well in busy households because their energy helps them keep up with everyone.

Health

The American Eskimo dogs are generally healthy. But like all other dog breeds, they are also prone to certain health conditions. Their common health problems include hip dysplasia, legg-calve-perthes disease, progressive retinal atrophy and juvenile cataracts. Always try to keep good contact with a vet in your area.

Breed Name American Eskimo
Other Names Cloud Spitz, American Spitz, German Spitz. And common nicknames are Cloud and Eskie.
Breed Size Small
Height Depends on variety
Weight Depends on variety
Good as pets Yes
Climate Tolerance All climates
Color White
Lifespan Between 12 and 15 years
Good for children Yes
Rarity Common
Country of Origin Germany, United States