Originating in Germany, the American Eskimo Dog, or "Eskie," was bred to be a circus performer and companion where they then traveled to the United States in the early 1900s. The Eskie descended from various Nordic breeds over 700 years ago and also shares the same ancestry with other German Spitz varieties such as the Pomeranian and Keeshond. They were formerly considered a variety of the German Spitz and it is believed that the breed was separated based on color then had its name changed to American Spitz during World War I to avoid claims of anti-patriotism. The breed name was eventually changed to American Eskimo after 1917, even though there is no known connection to Eskimo culture, but these dogs are still referred to as German Spitzes in Germany and other parts of Europe.
Radiating beauty, Eskies are a small-to-medium sized spitz-type breed that generally comes in three different sizes: toy, miniature, and standard. Their well-balanced and compactly built body gives them great agility and strength. They have a white double coat that consists of a dense undercoat with a longer coat of guard hair that grows through it to become the topcoat. Their hair is straight, not curly or wavy, and is thicker and longer around the neck and chest, giving them a "lion-like" appearance. They have slightly oval-shaped eyes ranging from being dark to medium brown. Similar to other Nordic-type breeds, the American Eskimo has triangular ears that stand erect and distinctive black points (eye rims, lips, and nose). Their feathery tail is usually swooped upward onto the dog's back or could be dropped when at rest.
American Eskimos may not be the first breed that comes to your mind when you think of a watchdog, but that does not stop them from trying. Always alert, they tend to bark whenever a stranger approaches. However, these loving dogs are not known for actually attacking or threatening others, although some adult dogs may become reserved around strangers. Eskies are good listeners, learn new tasks quickly, and tend to be friendly towards others who are friends with their families. They absolutely love human companionship and can develop separation anxiety if continuously left alone for long periods of time. Happy and energetic, American Eskimos are tightly packed with strength and energy, therefore, the standard sizes are not generally recommended for apartments unless they have an active owner who can take them on daily walks to stay in a healthy condition, but the toy and miniature sizes can do well. Eskies are friendly, loving, and play very well with children, making them a great addition to any family. With their feisty personality, they should be supervised when around other pets until you are sure of how your dog responds in different situations. Lively and devoted, the American Eskimo Dog is adaptable to most households and their endearing personality easily makes them one of the most popular Spitz breeds.