American Eskimo Dog
- 1 OVERVIEW OF THE AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG
- 2 AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG FOOD AND HEALTH
- 3 LEASHES AND COLLARS FOR YOUR AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG
- 4 BEST CRATES, BEDS, AND DOG HOUSES FOR AMERICAN ESKIMO DOGS
- 5 BEST TOYS FOR AN AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG
- 6 GROOMING INSIGHTS FOR AMERICAN ESKIMO OWNERS
- 7 BEST AMERICAN ESKIMO ACCESSORIES
OVERVIEW OF THE AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG
A member of the Spitz dog family, this Nordic breed is known for its good looks and extremely high intelligence. The American Eskimo Dog has a big-dog attitude despite its small size. With a height of 15 to 19 inches, their fox-like faces are friendly, and fluffy white double coats are straight and soft. They do well in cold climates and can happily play in the snow for hours.
Despite their high energy levels these companion dogs are highly affectionate and take the duty of protecting their human family very seriously. Although not aggressive, they are initially suspicious of strangers.
They are independent thinkers and exceptionally smart. They were popular circus entertainers in the 19th century with an incredible ability to perform tricks and excel in agility and other dog sports. These pups should start with obedience training early on otherwise they will outsmart their owners.
American Eskimo Dogs do well in busy homes and require lots of activity. Having said that, they can adapt well to apartment living if given plenty of opportunities to go out for walks, hikes, and play. They are big chewers and talkers, so make sure you are ready for a pup who can be pretty vocal. The Eskie hates being separated from their human family and will act out if they experience separation anxiety.
If you are welcoming an Eskie to your family, you can expect to have a loving, devoted companion who is always ready to hang out with you. Here’s what you need to know to give your gorgeous furry pet pal the best care possible.
AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG FOOD AND HEALTH
Getting a puppy from a reputable breeder will eliminate the likelihood of your Eskie developing certain genetic diseases. An Eskie breeder should be able to show you clearance certificates from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals for hip and elbow dysplasia. You should also see clearances for hypothyroidism, von Willebrand’s disease, and thrombophilia.
Since Eskies are prone to develop genetic eye conditions such as juvenile cataracts and Progressive Retinal Atrophy, it is also advised that the breeder show you a certificate from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation to certify that the pup’s eyes are normal. Health clearances can be verified on the offa.org website.
Although not all dogs will develop these conditions, it is important to be aware of the most common health conditions that may be experienced in the breed.
Legg-Perthes Disease affects their hind leg joints and already appears at 6 to 9 months old. Your pup can undergo surgery early on to correct this and live a happy pain-free life with the right rehabilitation. Some dogs can wear a specially designed leg brace, however, it is best to consult your vet for the best solution.
Similar to Legg-Perthes Disease, hip dysplasia will result in lameness in one of the rear legs. The condition is hereditary and happens when the hip joint and bone don’t fit snuggly. It can also be triggered by hard impact jumping or falling as well as rapid growth from excessive calorie consumption. Although you may not notice discomfort early on it can lead to arthritis as your dog ages.
Eskies do well in homes with yards and apartments, but they are prone to gain weight quickly if they don’t get plenty of exercise and their diets are not kept in check. Depending on your dog’s activity level, they require anything from 0.5 to 1.5 cups of good quality dry food daily. Divide this into two meals and keep a consistent feeding schedule. Avoid giving your pet pal table scraps. This can very quickly add to their daily calorie intake and cause health problems.
High-quality food will ensure your Eskie gets the right nutrients for a healthy coat, bones, joints, and muscles. Make sure to only feed young dogs puppy formula and never to give them adult food formulas. The packaging will indicate how much to feed your puppy for healthy development according to its weight.
Be careful to ensure any human food you give your pet is dog-safe. Onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, chocolate, xylitol, grapes, and raisins are all poisonous to dogs.
LEASHES AND COLLARS FOR YOUR AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG
American Eskimo Dogs learn quickly and excel at obedience and agility training. Start training your Eskie at an early age. These dogs are smart and have wonderful problem-solving abilities. Be a good leader, but always make training positive with reinforcement, encouragement, and rewards.
When going out for walks in public places, keep your pup on a leash. Even a well-trained Eskie can get excited and give in to their instincts when spotting small animals such as mice or birds. We highly recommend using a harness and not a collar for walking.
A collar can place harmful pressure on your puppy’s neck, throat and trachea when there is sudden pulling. This can cause long-term damage. A back-clip, V-neck harness will allow you to guide with control without exerting pressure on the dog’s neck.
A collar is, however, a good idea for an identity tag. Choose something lightweight that won’t cause their fur to matt. You should always be able to fit two of your fingers underneath the collar to ensure it is not too tight around your pet’s neck. Continue to monitor this daily as they grow and upsize or loosen the collar when necessary to avoid choking.
BEST CRATES, BEDS, AND DOG HOUSES FOR AMERICAN ESKIMO DOGS
Although Eskies love the outdoors and need lots of play, they are not backyard dogs and want to be part of your family. That means you’ll need to house train them early and get them a comfortable bed to sleep indoors.
American Eskimo Dogs may resort to chewing when they get lonely or bored. Even as adults they are chewers, so we don’t recommend soft crates that can easily be pulled apart. You can, however, get a soft crate cover with a flap door to make the crate a cozy haven for your pup.
When choosing a crate, remember that your puppy will still grow. If you choose to get an adult-size crate to avoid having to up-size at a later stage, you can always section the interior while they are still small.
If your Eskie is adult size, ensure the crate is big enough by measuring its full height and length before making your purchase. Measure from the tip of their nose to the end of their tail and add four inches. Do the same for their height, measuring from their tallest point to the ground. Take into account that you will be placing a mattress or dog bed in the crate which will take up additional space. Once all the accessories are inside, they need to be able to turn around comfortably and stretch out while lying down.
Your Eskie’s crate should be a small haven where they can retreat. It should never be used as punishment, even though it will be used for training. Your pet pal should perceive it as a comforting huddle for themselves.
Whether your pup sleeps in the crate or somewhere else in the house, they need a comfortable bed or mattress that will not only offer warmth but also joint support. Older dogs will do well with a memory foam mattress or an orthopedic bed. Donut-shaped beds are less supportive for their joints but they are cozy and come in a wide range of fabrics and fun patterns.
BEST TOYS FOR AN AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG
If you love buying dog toys, your Eskie is the ultimate pup to stock up on toys for. They’re smart and love problem solving, they love chewing and they also love playing with their pet parents. This means that almost any toy will be an appropriate one for your furry friend.
Chew toys are a must-have for puppies and adults. Keep a good stock to save your shoes and pretty much any household items they can get hold of. For puppies, consider teething toys specifically. These come in different flavors, some can be frozen to soothe aching gums, and some have raised nodules that help massage itchy gums. If you get stuffed toys, make sure they are durable and that your pup doesn’t attempt to eat any spilled toy-inners.
To engage these clever problem-solvers, get them some puzzle toys with varying difficulty levels. These often require your pet pal to solve a puzzle to get to a hidden treat.
Balls, Kongs, and erratic balls are all great toys for playing fetch. An erratic ball and Kong both bounce unpredictably which keeps your pup engaged and makes playing fetch loads of fun. Some Kongs also allows you to place a treat inside so that your Eskie gets a reward for retrieving the toy.
GROOMING INSIGHTS FOR AMERICAN ESKIMO OWNERS
Eskies have double coats and shed a lot. That means they need to be brushed two to three times weekly to prevent matting and hair from getting all over your furniture. The great thing is, however, that if you brush them regularly, they don’t need to be washed often. Their fur contains natural oils which prevent dirt from sticking to their white coats. Dirt will often brush out easily if their fur is dry.
Although it will depend on your pup’s activities, we recommend only bathing them around every two months. Getting washed too often can cause their skin to become dry and irritated. It also strips their self-cleaning hair of its natural oils. These dogs rarely develop dog odor, unless they are very dirty.
Besides brushing, other weekly grooming includes checking their ears for redness, odor, or dirt. Clean their ears with a gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner dotted onto a cotton ball. Brush their teeth daily if possible to avoid bad breath, tartar buildup, and gum disease.
Start getting your pet pal used to being groomed from a young age and always make it a positive experience. This will make it easier to keep them healthy and will make vet check-ups less dramatic. While doing their grooming, routinely check their paws, eyes, and skin to catch any sores or infections before they become problematic.
If their nails make a clicking sound while they are walking on floors, it’s time to trim their nails too. Their nails contain blood vessels which can make them a sensitive area to groom. You may prefer getting a professional groomer to do this for you.
BEST AMERICAN ESKIMO ACCESSORIES
When welcoming an Eskie to your family, one of the first accessories you should get is a proper brush for grooming. A slicker brush or pin brush is the best option since it allows you to brush down to the bottom coat to remove dead hairs and prevent matting. If your dog tends to have a lot of knots, you can also use a dog-friendly detangling spray.
Another grooming essential is a good quality hair dryer for after baths or even swimming. Besides drying your pup’s hair quickly it also blows out dead or loose hairs and makes brushing easy.
Since Eskies love adventures and outdoor activities, get your pet pal their own hiking gear. A foldable dog bowl allows you to feed your pup if you’re camping without having to carry around a bulky bowl. You can also get them their own inflatable dog mattress that stores compactly in a backpack.
If you’re already carrying a lot of your own gear, get your pup their very own dog backpack. These fit like a harness and have a clip for a leash. They have zipper pockets on either side and are generally weather-resistant. The harness-style backpack fits comfortably, allowing your furry hiking buddy to move freely without any obstructions.
To learn more about breeds like American Eskimo Dogs, check out our breed hub page.