American Eskimo Dog
The American Eskimo is a small to medium-size Nordic-type dog. The breed is a well-balanced model of the working type Spitz dog, ranging in size from 11 to 19 inches from foot to wither. Two sizes are recognized by the UKC: Miniature & Standard, with the miniature versions usually weighing between 13-20lbs and the standard versions normally weighing between 21-38lbs.The body is very well proportioned. The length of body from point of shoulder to the point of buttocks is the same as the height from withers to ground, presenting an overall stout appearance. The head is fox-like with erect triangular ears, and readily distinguished black or deep brown points (nose, lips, and eye rims). The American Eskimo has a thick, white or cream double coat. The chest, neck, and forepart of the shoulders are covered with a lion-like mane, which is more prominent in males than females. The backs of the forelegs are nicely feathered. The rump and hind legs down to the hock are covered with thick hair that forms the characteristic ï¿½trousers.ï¿½ History The American Eskimo Dog ("Eskie") "is a modern variation of a very ancient family of dogs." Spitz type dogs developed in Arctic and northern areas of the world, with the larger types being used as sled dogs. American Eskimo Dogs are used to climates either in the negatives and can withstand the heat but rather the snow. These dogs resemble wolves and absolutely adore rain, snow or shine. They will do well in any climate area but not recommended for warmer climates all year round. But the Eskie was specifically bred to guard people and property and, therefore, is territorial by nature and an excellent watch dog. He is very loyal to his family and is known for being gentle and playful with children. He is energetic and alert. In Northern Europe, smaller Spitz were kept primarily as pets and watchdogs, and eventually were 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." Although white was not always a recognized color in the various German Spitz breeds, it was generally the preferred color in the US. 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. This name change was similar to the use in the United States of the term Freedom fries rather than French fries to refer to a popular potato dish during disputes between France and the United States before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
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 Brothersï¿½ 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. Due to the popularity of the circus dogs, many of today's American Eskimo Dogs can trace their lineage back to these circus dogs.
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. The breed was first officially recognized as the "American Eskimo" as early as 1919 by the American United Kennel Club (UKC), and the first written record and history of the breed was printed in 1958 by the UKC. At that time there was no official breed club and no breed standard, and dogs were accepted for registration as single dogs, based on appearance. In 1970 the National American Eskimo Dog Association (NAEDA) was founded, and single dog registrations ceased. In 1985 the American Eskimo Dog Club of America (AEDCA) was formed by fanciers who wished to register the breed with the American Kennel Club (AKC). Following the AKC's requirements for breed recognition, the AEDCA collected the pedigree information from 1,750 dogs that now form the basis of the AKC recognized breed, which is called the American Eskimo Dog. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995. The stud book was opened from 2000 to 2003 in an attempt to register more of the original UKC registered lines, and today many American Eskimo Dogs are dual-registered with both American kennel clubs. The breed is also recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club as of 2006, but is not recognized elsewhere in the world.
The American Eskimo Dog is not an internationally recognized breed, and since neither of the American kennel clubs are affiliated with the Fï¿½dï¿½ration Cynologique Internationale, fanciers wishing to participate in international dog shows will register their American Eskimo Dogs as the very similar German Spitz. This is done only by individuals wishing to participate in dog sports in international shows, and does not mean that the American Eskimo Dog and the German Spitz are the same. The breeds may have the same general origins, but have developed differently over the past 100 years.