The American Eskimo Dog (AED) has been registered in North
America for about 80 years now. Prior to this time period the dog was registered
in various counties using a number of different names depending on the country
of registration and the use the dog was being used for. German Spitz, Fox Dog,
Wolf-Dog, Wolfspitz are just a few of the names that the AED has been registered
as. It is this “difference” in names that has made the tracking of the AED
history such a challenge for the fanciers but with careful research the dog’s
lineage has been fairly accounted for.
Before one begins the search for the AED history it is
important to understand that it is neither an “American” breed nor an “Eskimo”
breed. The description of American Eskimo Dog was placed on the breed when the
UKC recognized the breed for the purposes of registrations.
A clear distinction should be made between the “American
Eskimo” and the “Eskimo. The latter was a true sled dog, born and bred in the
Artic and once recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). They were in all
likely hood developed for their task of sledding and draft work in Eastern
Siberia and worked their way across the frozen north as their owners moved in
search of food and shelter. It is not uncommon to find the “Eskimo” type in many
northern breeds. Unfortunately as the Eskimo moved from place to place and as
they began to “mix” their breeding of dogs the true “Eskimo” dog became less
popular and was eventually dropped from the AKC registration rolls. If you are
to take a close look at the “original” Eskimo dog you will see some of the
present day AED traits therein. Clearly this bred had it’s impact on the
development of the AED as it did with many “Northern” breeds.
Many writers of canine history have written that the AED
is a direct descendant of the Samoyed. While it is easy to see why such an
observation would be made as both breeds have beautiful long white coats, black
pigmentation around the eyes and mouth and nose and both are members of the
“Spitz” family of dogs. However one very clear distinction you will find with
the “Eskie” and Samoyed is their very different temperaments. The eskie’s “true”
ancestors have, from the earliest times, served as valued watchdogs. With this,
has come an extreme alertness and a tendency to bark. The Samoyed, by contrast,
is not a barker and is often classed as an “indifferent” watchdog.
In order to truly follow the history of the American
Eskimo Dog’s development through history would require much more space then is
allowed here. Suffice to say the American Eskimo dog is without a doubt a member
of the “Spitz” family of breeds. These breeds were used throughout Europe during
the middle ages and indeed there are ancient artifacts which depict breeds of
dogs with the characteristic “curled” tail over the dogs back as far back as
The breed of dog we recognize today as the AED can be found
in it’s present day form depicted in art work as far back as the mid 1700’s. The
breed in the paintings are identified as a “German Spitz” and we know that for
sometime this was the name that was applied to today’s American Eskimo Dog.
Through selective breeding the breed was developed in three different sizes
which we know today as the Toy, Mini and the Standard American Eskimo Dog. No
matter what the “size” or “Variety” that appeals to you the American Eskimo has
earned it’s place in the hearts of their supporters.
AKC Standard for the
American Eskimo Dog
The American Eskimo Dog, a loving companion dog presents a picture of strength
and agility, alertness and beauty.
It is small to medium-size
Nordic type dog, always white or white with biscuit cream.
The American Eskimo Dog is
compactly built and well balanced, with good substance, and an alert, smooth
The face is Nordic type with
erect triangular shaped ears, and distinctive black points (lips, nose and eye
The white double coat consists
of short, dense undercoat with a longer guard hair growing through it forming
the outer coat, which is straight with no curl or wave.
The coat is thicker and
longer around the neck and chest forming a lion-like ruff, which is more
noticeable on dogs than on bitches.
The rump and hind legs down to
the hocks are also covered with thicker, longer hair forming the characteristic
The richly plumed tail is
carried loosely on the back.
Size, Proportion, Substance
There are three separate size divisions of the American Eskimo Dog (all
measurements are heights at withers): Toy 9 inches to and including 12 inches;
Miniatures, over 12 inches to and including 15 inches;
Standard, over 15
inches to and including 19 inches.
There is no preference for size within each
9 inches or over 19 inches.
Length of back from point of shoulder to point of buttocks is slightly greater
than height at 1.1 to 1 ratio.
The American Eskimo Dog is strong and compactly built with adequate bone.
Is keen, intelligent, and alert.
Eyes: are not fully round, but slightly oval. They
should be set well apart, and not slanted, prominent or bulging. Tear stain,
unless severe, is not to be faulted. Presence of tear stain should not outweigh
consideration of type, structure, or temperament. Dark to medium brown is the
preferred eye color. Eye rims are black to dark brown. Eyelashes are white.
Should conform to the head size and be triangular, slightly blunt-tipped, held
erect, set on high yet well apart and blend softly with the head.
Skull: Is slightly crowned and softly wedge-shaped,
with widest breadth between the ears. The stop is well defined, although not
abrupt. The muzzle is broad, and length not exceeding the length of the skull,
although it may be slightly shorter.
Pigment is black to dark brown.
Are think and tight, black to dark brown in colour.
Faults: Pink nose
pigment or pink lip pigment.
Should be strong with a full complement of close fitting teeth. The bite is
scissors or pincer.
Neck, Topline, Body: The neck is carried proudly erect,
well set on, medium in length and in a strong, graceful arch. The topline is
level. The body of the American Eskimo Dog is strong and compact, but not cobby.
The chest is deep and broad with well-sprung ribs. Depth of chest extends
approximately to the point of elbows. Slight tuck-up of belly just behind the
ribs. The back is straight, broad, level and muscular. The loin is strong and
well muscled. The American Eskimo Dog is neither too long nor too short
coupled. The tail is set moderately high and reaches approximately to
the point of hock when down. It is carried loosely on the back, although it may
be dropped when at rest.
Are well angulated. The shoulder is firmly set and has adequate muscle but is
not overdeveloped. The shoulder blades are well laid back and slant 45 degrees
with the horizontal. At the point of shoulder the shoulder blade forms an
approximate right angle with the upper arm. The legs are parallel and straight
to the pasterns. The pasterns are long and flexible with a slant of about 20
degrees. Length of leg in proportion to the body. Dewclaws on the front legs
may be removed at the owner’s discretion: if present, they are not to be
Are oval, compact, tightly knit and well padded with hair. Toes are well
arched. Pads are black to dark brown, tough and deeply cushioned. Toenails are
Are well angulated. The lay of the pelvis is approximately 30 degrees to the
horizontal. The upper thighs are well developed. Stifles are well bent. Hock
joints are well let down and firm. The rear pasterns are straight. Legs are
parallel from the rear and turn neither in nor out. Feet are as described for
the front legs. Dewclaws are not present on the hind legs.
Coat: The American Eskimo Dog has a stand-off double
coat consisting of dense undercoat and a longer coat of guard hair growing
through it to form the outer coat. It is straight with no wave or curl. There
is a pronounced ruff around the neck which is more noticeable on dogs than
bitches. Outer part of the ear should be well covered with short, smooth hair,
with longer tuffs of hair growing in front of ear openings. Hair on muzzle
should be short and smooth. The backs of the front legs should be well
feathered, as are the rear legs down to the hock. The tail is covered profusely
with long hair. THERE IS TO BE NO TRIMMING OF THE WHISKERS OR BODY COAT AND
SUCH TRIMMING WILL BE SEVERELY PENALIZED. The only permissible trimming is to
be to neaten the feet and the backs of the rear pasterns.
Pure white is the preferred colour, although white with biscuit cream should not
outweigh consideration of type, structure, or temperament. The skin of the
American Eskimo Dog is pink or gray.
colour other than white or biscuit cream.
The American Eskimo Dog shall trot, not pace. The gait is agile, bold, well
balanced, and frictionless, with good forequarter reach and good hindquarter
drive. As speed increases, the American Eskimo Dog will single track with the
legs converging toward the center line of gravity while the back remains firm,
strong, and level.
Temperament: The American Eskimo Dog is intelligent, alert,
and friendly, although slightly conservative. It is never overly shy or
aggressive, and such dogs are to be severely penalized in the show ring. At
home it is an excellent watch dog, sounding a warning bark to announce the
arrival of any stranger. It is protective of its home and family, although it
does not threaten to bite or attack people. The American Eskimo Dog learns new
tasks quickly and is eager to please.
colour other than white or biscuit cream. Blue eyes.