Not only are American Eskimo dogs highly intelligent, good watchdogs and loving companions, they're available in toy, miniature and standard sizes. However, if you bring an Eskie into your life, wearing basic black is out, as are dark rugs and upholstery. That's because these beautiful white canines are quite the shedders, especially during those twice yearly events when they blow their coats. If you have an American Eskimo, a quality vacuum cleaner is your next-best friend.
American Eskimo dogs -- who have no connection to the Inuit -- are related to northern breeds. These include the Samoyed, which resembles a large Eskie, although they are different breeds. Originally known as the spitz, the American Eskimo is recognized by the American Kennel Club but not by international dog registries. That's because it's virtually the same breed as the German spitz, although that dog comes in multiple hues rather than just white. The American Eskimo gained fame in the late 19th and early 20th century as a circus performer, as he's typically smart and easily trained.
American Eskimos sport a double coat, consisting of a dense undercoat, with a longer outercoat. Their hair is straight, without curling or waving. The plumed tail boasts plenty of hair, and the legs have plenty of feathering. From the back, they look like they're wearing plus fours, those classic sports trousers of the pre-World War II era. They have a considerable ruff around the neck. Their alert, upright ears are covered with short hair, with longer hairs in front of the ears. If you show your Eskimo, you can't trim the whiskers, feathering or body coat, according to the breed standard.
Your American Eskimo requires a least twice-weekly grooming sessions to keep his coat in reasonable shape. His hair texture tends to mat, so diligent brushing and combing is important. Naturally clean dogs, Eskies don't need frequent bathing. The breed is prone to tear stains, so ask your vet to recommend a good commercial tear-stain remover. One plus: American Eskimos don't generally have doggy odor.
Roughly twice a year, in spring and fall, American Eskimos "blow" their coats, with both the undercoat and top coat falling out. If you're lucky, yours might blow his coat annually. For these few weeks, you and your household are awash in white dog hair. Brush your dog thoroughly every day. You might want to invest in a shedding blade, available at pet stores, to remove all that hair more efficiently. It's advisable to use throws or blankets over furniture during shedding season.