The American Eskimo Dog -- nicknamed the "Eskie" -- is a breed of companion dog originating in Germany. The American Eskimo is a member of the Spitz family. Despite its name and appearance, the American Eskimo dog is not from Alaska; the dog's heritage is traced back to Northern Europe. The breed's progenitors were German Spitz, but due to anti-German prejudice during the First World War, it was renamed "American Eskimo Dog". . . a reference to Germany was considered anathema (detestable) in the Allied Nations. Although modern American Eskimos have been exported as German Spitz Gross (or Mittel, depending on the dog's height), the breed standards are actually significantly different. Different types of spitz dogs came to the US with German immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but the actual development of the American Eskimo as a white spitz breed is lost because there was no breed club to keep written records until 1969. However, there is no doubt that the breed came from Germany, and is not a "miniature Samoyed" as some people claim. In addition to serving as a watchdog and companion, the dog was bred as an all-purpose farm dog . . . and also achieved a high degree of popularity in the 1930s and 1940s United States as a circus performer.
The American Eskimo Dog is registered with the United Kennel Club and on July 1st, 1995 was accepted into the non-sporting group of the American Kennel Club becoming the AKC's 138th breed. There are two national clubs for the breed, the National American Eskimo Dog Association and the American Eskimo Dogs of America. The standards for the breed differ in words but not in description of the breed. The major difference is that UKC recognizes only the standard and miniature sizes and the AKC will add the toy size.
There are three size varieties of the American Eskimo breed, the toy, miniature and the standard. They share a common resemblance with Japanese Spitz and Samoyed dog.
Miniature American Eskimos, with their high intelligence and inquisitive nature, will love to "investigate". If they find something very interesting they will often want their owner, or handler, to investigate as well, and will at times, not let the "matter" go until the person complies. You will often find this behavior when it comes to children, for instance, if a baby or child is crying, the American Eskimo will want you to see what the problem is and will not stop "worrying" until you do. The American Eskimo being so "tuned in" is one of the characteristics that makes them a desirable breed around children.
The American Eskimo Dog, a loving companion dog, presents a picture of strength and agility, alertness and beauty. It is a 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 such an absolute transitional fluidity from stationary posture to soaring through the air up onto a chair, it demands a total magnitude of respect with a reverential degree of awe and unsurpassed incredulity, unlike that of probably most any other dog breeds -- with good substance, and an alert, smooth gait. The face is Nordic type with erect triangular shaped ears, and distinctive black points (lips, nose, and eye rims). The white double coat consists of a 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 male dogs than on bitches. The rump and hind legs down to the hocks are also covered with thicker, longer hair forming the characteristic breeches. The richly plumed tail is carried loosely on the back.
The American Eskimo Dog was originally bred to guard people and property and, therefore, is territorial by nature and a valiant watchdog. They are not considered an aggressive breed. But, due to the breed's watchdog history, American Eskimos are generally quite vocal, barking at any stranger who comes in proximity to their owners' territory.