Mating dogs for the sake of curiosity or experimentation is never done by those with a true respect for the American Eskimo breed. The knowledge and skill required to produce a healthy litter can take years of experience to fully grasp. While there is a vast amount of literature on the subject, reading a number of books no more prepares one to breed Eskies than reading books prepares one to fly jumbo jets. Breeding requires recognizing blood types, bloodlines, and not to mention extensive record keeping. Luckily, the American Eskimo has not been the unfortunate victim of less than scrupulous breeding practices.
When a breeder finds the right male and female pair for mating, the female is likely to be at least on her second to third heat cycle. This ensures that the female Eskie is over one year of age. Mating any female dog before this time means mating a dog that is not much more than a puppy herself. This can lead to a host of problems for both the mother and the litter. It also gives owners a chance to recognize and plan for their Eskie's heat cycle that comes approximately once every six to seven months. She can then be taken to a vet and examined to ensure that she is indeed fit for mating.
The American Eskimo is a smaller dog but once impregnated will birth up to 5 puppies. She will be expecting for roughly sixty days but will need a check up after thirty to ensure all is going well. The owner can discuss with the vet what, if any, dietary and supplemental changes should begin and when. Pregnant Eskie dogs should remain active and get a reasonable amount of exercise up until the last three weeks of gestation. At this point, isolation from other dogs is necessary as this decreases the chance of contracting a canine herpes infection from other dogs. This type of infection can cause the pregnancy to abort or result in dead puppies.
A special area that can be easily cleaned should be prepared for the birthing of the Eskie pups. If the birth takes place elsewhere, move the pups to the designated area so the new mother can nurse them. If this is the owner's first experience with a pregnant dog, it is his or her responsibility to discuss with the vet the warning signs of labor. In general, a female Eskie in pre labor will have no appetite. She may insist on becoming inseparable to her owner or may distance herself and refuse contact. It is important to also ask the vet for signs of a difficult birth that may call for immediate medical attention. More often than not, nature takes over and the event takes place without incident.