Is an Eskie a Sled Dog?
It might sound like Eskies are Eskimo sled dogs, but this is not true! Eskies are called "companion" dogs because they like to keep you company. As they mature, they do a pretty good imitation of a "couch potato" and prefer to sit on the sofa and watch Animal Planet than pull an arctic sled! Some people say they are "Velcro" dogs because they will follow you everywhere and stick to you like Velcro!
Where are Eskies From?
Their ancestors came from Europe and were called "Spitz" dogs. If you have seen a Pomeranian dog or a Keeshond, then you've seen two of their many ancestors.
How Did Eskies Get to the U.S.?
In the 1800s German immigrants brought some eskies with them to America. At that time, they were called German Spitz Dogs; after World War II they were referred to as American Spitz Dogs. They were a favorite breed of dog for the circus and we would prance around and dance on top of horses and entertain audiences all over the United States. It wasn't until they were officially recognized by the UKC that their name changed to "American Eskimo Dogs" after a breeder's kennel name.
What Do Eskies Look Like?
Eskies are pure white or white with biscuit color (very light brown) markings. Markings can be small spots or an entire body part, like an ear. Their ears are alert and should stick straight up (except when they are puppies -- then they flop over). They have beautifully curled tails; the shape is called a plume, like a feather. Their coat is called a double-coat with soft, thick hair underneath and long hair on top. Eskies do shed a lot and they shed their undercoat once or twice a year so they are cooler in the summer. This is called blowing their coat! Their hind legs look like they are wearing "pantaloons" with a puff of hair on the top half. Male eskies have a "ruff" that is a mane of hair like a lion's mane. It grows bigger as the males get older.
Eskies are small dogs of three sizes:
Is an Eskie the Right Dog for You?
Eskies are very loyal and protective of their family. Many eskies are wary of strangers. If they don't have a chance to meet and be with lots of different people when we are young, we can be quite suspicious of strangers -- so when you bring a new friend to the house, I might need some time to warm up to them.
They are often called a "dominant" type of dog -- that means they need training! If they aren't told that you are the boss, then they will try to take over the household. So if you decide to add an Eskie to your family, you must be prepared for puppy classes and dog obedience classes. An untrained Eskie will lead to all sorts of mischief and trouble.
Where Can You Get an Eskie?
From Eskie Rescuers United, of course! You can also find Eskies who are looking for homes at shelters, humane societies, and other rescue groups. These are groups that look for homes for orphaned eskies and can be found on online services like 1-800-SaveAPet, Pets911 and Petfinder, and other online services.
If your heart is set on a puppy and you are unable to find one in rescue, please choose a good, reputable Eskie breeder who will match the right puppy to you. A reputable Eskie breeder is deeply committed to the American Eskimo breed and will only place healthy, well-socialized dogs with qualified families and owners.
Please do not purchase an Eskie from a pet store. These poor dogs are the product of puppy mills -- their parents are kept in filthy pens their entire lives and bred over and over without any concern for producing healthy, well-socialized offspring.
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