Breed Spotlight: American Eskimo

4 min read
Jun 11, 2022

American Eskimo Quick Stats


13 – 15 years


25 – 35 lbs. (standard)


15 – 19 inches (standard)




Loving companion, energetic, highly trainable

Common Health Problems: 

Dental disease, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, progressive retinal atrophy

American Eskimo Dog: How Do I Look?

Affectionately known as “the Eskie,” the American Eskimo is recognized by the American Kennel Club in three different sizes: toy, miniature and standard. All Eskies are known for their fluffy white coats and curled tails.

Coat Type and Colors

According to the American Kennel Club’s official breed standards, all Eskies have a medium-length double coat.3 White is the only standard coat color, but those with biscuit-colored markings are accepted by the club.

Ears and Tails

American Eskimos have upright, triangular ears and a feathered tail that’s carried on their back.

Shedding and Grooming

The Eskie is a heavy shedder. If not brushed properly, you may find large amounts of fur throughout your home. Due to its undercoat, the Eskie requires thorough brushing at least three times per week to avoid matting and maintain a healthy coat and skin.

Drooling Level

Eskies are not likely to drool.

Eskie: Personality Traits

What My Adoption Bio Would Say:

Just like my circus-performing ancestors, I’ll jump through hoops for your love! I’m smart, spunky, and ready for fun. Pick me to be your next family member!


The American Eskimo dog is known for their spunky, clever personality. This dog is very affectionate and social and becomes very attached to their family. American Eskimos need strong bonds with their owners. Eskies are often suspicious of strangers at first but eventually open up, wanting to be everyone’s friend. Because of their need for attention and mental stimulation, many American Eskimos can develop behavior issues, like separation anxiety, if neglected or undertrained.

Exercise Needs

The American Eskimo dog is extremely energetic and always ready for a new adventure. With a large amount of energy, they must have regular and frequent opportunities for exercise to prevent destructive behavior. Vigorous exercise several times a day and frequent mental challenges are highly recommended. The Eskie’s energy level does calm down once they reach middle age.

Good With Other Pets?

Just like children, the American Eskimo is affectionate with all other family pets and should get along well with unfamiliar dogs after perceiving no threat.


Among one of the most trainable breeds, the American Eskimo is highly adaptable and easy to train. They are very strong-willed, however, and require a relatively firm approach for successful training. The Eskie is also intelligent enough to learn commands by watching other dogs.

Good with Kids?

The Eskie is an excellent family dog and absolutely adores children. Remember that all dogs should be supervised around young kids and kids who don’t interact with dogs often.

Barking Level

Barking may become a problem with this breed, especially when left alone for too long. The Eskie is known for being vocal, so teaching your dog when and when not to bark can be an effective tool to curb excessive barking.

American Eskimo History/Fun Facts

The American Eskimo is a Nordic breed and member of the Spitz family of breeds.4 They were originally bred as German farm dogs and were brought to America by German immigrants, along with the Eskie’s relative, the German Spitz.

American Eskimos make excellent companions in cold weather, but now that their farm dog days are past them, they are most comfortable indoors.

Fun fact, the American Eskimo was a mainstay in trained-dog acts among traveling circuses and vaudeville troupes.5 Some believe the Eskie is the first and only dog to walk a tight-rope.

Common American Eskimo Mixes

Some popular mixes of the American Eskimo include:

9 American Eskimo Health Problems

The American Eskimo may experience a variety of health issues, including:

  • Allergies
  • Cataracts
  • Dental disease
  • Ear infections
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
  • Progressive retinal atrophy: a group of degenerative diseases that results in gradual blindness
  • Pyoderma

Protect your Pets

Even the healthiest of pups can come with unexpected vet costs. Pet insurance can help keep your dog and your bank account happy.

How Pet Insurance Can Help American Eskimos

Although generally healthy, American Eskimos can experience a number of costly conditions. With a MetLife1 dog insurance policy, you may get help covering the costs associated with the diagnosis and treatment of some of these conditions. 2

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCP)

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCP) is a joint condition. In LCP, the blood supply in the head of the femur is decreased, leading the bone cells to die and the femur to break.6 LCP can lead to stiffness and pain. X-rays are required to diagnose this disease. Treatment for severe cases can include hip replacement.


Pyoderma is a bacterial skin infection, sometimes referred to as impetigo in puppies.7 This infection includes lesions on the skin that can lead to dryness, hair loss, and itching. Diagnosis typically requires a physical exam and cultures. Treatment can include antibiotics, topical sprays, and medicated shampoos.

Signing up for a pet insurance policy early can help ensure your dog has coverage before an issue becomes a pre-existing condition.2 If you’re considering dog insurance for your Eskie, check out our guide on how pet insurance works.

Protect your American Eskimo with Pet Insurance

Enroll in 3 Easy Steps

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions. 

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC. 

3 “Official Standard of the American Eskimo Dog General Appearance,” American Kennel Club

4 “American Eskimo Dog Dog Breed Information,” American Kennel Club

5 “6 Facts You Didn't Know About the American Eskimo Dog,” American Kennel Club

6 “Legg-Calve-Perthes,” Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

7 “Pyoderma in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospital

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