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The Misnomer of the American Eskimo

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0.5 of 5 Paws Rating
Tags: American Eskimo, Origin, Behavior

Excellent Health History


Gap, PA


The American Eskimo is anything but American. The European breed was originally known as the Standard German Spitz and is notably related to the Pomeranian and Keeshond breeds. Also known as the Deutscher Spitz, this lively breed was used as a companion and general guard dog. As a spitz, the American Eskimo has a curly tail and both ears and a muzzle that is pointed. They were quite popular with many Americans in the early 1900's, but World War I had created an anti German sentiment for many Americans. The dog found itself renamed the American Eskimo due to its white appearance and lion like ruff that somewhat resembles Alaskan sporting dogs. The breed, however, has never had anything to do with Eskimos or Alaska.

Even without the relation, the Eskie's thick double coat makes them perfect for cold weather climates. The toy size of the breed found itself at the height of popularity in the 1920's and 30's. The Eskie, as it became known, was not only a popular household pet but a staple of performing circuses. The Husky, and all other dogs that fit into the category, are typically sled dogs. Their various characteristics, from a thick waterproof coat to wide paw shape has made them perfect for subzero snow covered terrains. The Eskie is recognized by the AKC, CKC, and UKC, while the Husky category itself is not recognized at all.
The Eskie is an engaging breed, happy to be included as one of the family. They do well both indoors and out and, unless chained or isolated, can keep themselves entertained without difficulty. Most, but not all Husky dogs can be rather reserved and do not make good indoor pets at all. Derived from wolf breeds, Alaskan Huskies, Siberians, and other like breeds need plenty of space and can easily revert to their innate characteristics, chasing small animals or vocalizing with yips and long woeful howls. The white coat of the Eskie is commonly confused with that of the Samoyed.

Dogs in the Husky category are commonly found with blue eyes. An Eskie with blue eyes is said to be of poor quality, denoting inbreeding and a likelihood of other health problems. The characteristic that gives some breeds of Husky their most distinctive look can mean cataracts and deafness for the American Eskimo. The Eskie can be disqualified from the showring for not only blue eyes but for having any other spots of color on its pure white coat. Most Husky breeds are known for their highly distinctive markings on their face or body. In the showring, the Eskie must never be under 9 inches or more than 19 inches in height. Most Huskies average a height of 25 inches.

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The Misnomer of the American Eskimo
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