≡ Menu

American Eskimo Dog Temperament – What Everybody Ought To Know About It And How to Own One

The American Eskimo Dog temperament makes her a joy to own as a pet. She's friendly, smart, and easy to train, but tight hugs from younger children may not go over well. This breeds protective temperament has remained with her over generations of Eskies which makes her a good guard dog.

Photo of an American Eskimo Dog

Her name suits her, since her coat is of the purest white, like snow.

American Eskimo Dog Temperament and Personality

There are some must-know traits of the American Eskimo Dog temperament that will help you make a decision as to whether this is the right dog for you. Keep reading to find out if the Eskie is your ideal companion:

She’s Protective

Because of her protective nature and a long history of being a guard dog, she may jump at the chance to protect you if she senses an imminent threat.

She will seldom progress to full-fledged aggression, though. This is a breed that is definitely more bark than bite.

The best way to help her manage this personality trait is to train and socialize her as early as possible. Bring her to dog parks, on frequent walks, and to the homes of friends of yours who may have dogs.

It’s good to be careful around strangers, but you want to help her manage this, so her caution doesn’t turn into suspicion. You don’t want her to become overly protective as an adult to the point where she doesn’t trust anyone at all.

She’s Friendly

Just because the Eskie is quick to bark does not make her any less companionable. This breed is friendly at heart, and she’s quite the playful one. She has certain joie de vivre that’s positively infectious.

Photo of American Eskimo Dog With Woman Min

She’s Intelligent

The Eskie is a smart dog, which makes her easier to train. The problem with smart dogs, though, is that they also become easily bored.

Make sure you keep your Eskie busy and entertained, else you risk her finding her own ways of occupying herself – which sounds about as frightening as leaving a toddler to do the same!

Another downside of an intelligent breed is that they tend to think they are smarter than you and can rule the roost. Be persistent and consistent with your training, and eventually, she will learn that you are the leader around here – not her.

She’s Good at Letting You Know What She Wants

The Eskie is also a skilled communicator. She uses her eyes to show you what she wants. For example, she'll look at her toy, then look at you, signaling that she wants to play.

She Can Be a Barker

Her protectiveness makes her a bit of a barker. But her intelligence makes it easy to train her on what are the right and wrong times to bark.

The Eskie and Children

The American Spitz is a friendly dog, but she may become irritated with young children who are not as gentle as you.

Supervise young children around the Eskie and teach them that tight hugs might not seem as friendly to the dog as they might think.

The American Eskimo Dog with Cats (and other animals)

The Eskie is similar to many other breeds in that they are better with other dogs and cats if you raise them together.

However, there are certain animals that you simply cannot have around a Nordic breed like the American Eskimo Dog.

These pets include birds, reptiles, and rodents, like hamsters or gerbils.

American Eskimo Dogs Loves the Water and to Swim

One thing the Eskie absolutely loves is to swim. And can become good at it because their double coat allows them to resist water, so they can swim without getting bogged down.

So, if you’re a swimmer, don’t think twice about bringing your Eskie along for a swim – she’d love to come along!

Being a great swimmer, however, is not always something that comes naturally to the Eskie.

Eskie, the Circus Dog!

In the late 19th century, the Eskie enjoyed a circus career! With her bright white coat being spotlight-friendly and her agility for performing stunts, she was a natural.

In fact, the Eskie is the first dog known to have ever walked a tightrope! Today, Eskies can still perform a good deal of tricks with ease.

What Does an American Eskimo Dog Look Like?

Eskies come in two colors: the more common white and “biscuit cream.” The latter is a mostly white coat with “biscuit”-colored fringe.

Photo of an American Eskimo Dog

Variations of the American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo Dog comes in three different sizes, like a poodle. That's right – in addition to the Standard American Eskimo Dog, there is also a Toy American Eskimo Dog and a Mini American Eskimo Dog!

Full-grown Standard American Eskimo Dogs have a height of between 15 and 19 inches and weigh about 30 lbs.

Toy American Eskimo Dog

The Toy American Eskimo originated in the U.S. in the early 1900s. Her initial purpose was as a mini sled dog.

Her weight is between a mere 6 and 10 lbs., and her height falls, on average, between 9 and 12 inches tall.

Miniature American Eskimo Dog

The Miniature American Eskimo Dog has an identical early history to that of the Toy American Eskimo Dog. Her height is between 12 and 15 inches tall, and her weight falls between 10 and 20 lbs.

A Brief History of the American Eskimo Dog Breed

The American Eskimo Dog, (a.k.a. American Spitz or “Eskie”), was initially a guard dog and herder in her home country of Germany.

She is a descendant of the German Spitz. Because of her watchdog background, she has no problem barking at anyone or anything that crosses her path.

She is not aggressive, though. She is a sweet dog who just wants to keep her master safe.

Spitz breeds, including the Eskie, came to the U.S. by European immigrants in the early 1900s.

How Do You Train an American Eskimo Dog?

You can train an American Eskimo Dog as early as eight weeks old. An Eskie is like a sponge; she'll absorb more of what you teach her the earlier you start.

Photo of American Eskimo Dog Playing In Park

She's so smart that she can often learn what to do by merely watching other dogs.

An Eskie is also eager to please her master, which makes training her more manageable.

Don't forget; the Eskie used to be a circus dog. She can learn many tricks and do them well, provided she has a dedicated teacher.

Socialize her with other people and animals as early as possible to prevent potential behavioral problems later on.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

For help with training your dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.

How Do You Groom an American Eskimo Dog?

You might think that with a coat like that, grooming an American Eskimo Dog is a chore and a half.

In fact, for such a fluffy coat, it's surprisingly easy to keep clean.

Do American Eskimo Dogs Shed?

Something to remember is that for the American Eskimo Dog, shedding is continuous. For this reason, the American Eskimo Dog is not “hypoallergenic,” meaning you should skip this breed if you tend to have an allergic reaction to dogs.

Brush her two to three times a week to prevent matting and to clean off the hair she has lost. Collecting it in a brush is far better than trying to clean it off the floors and furniture.

You only need to bathe an Eskie every few months, though. Any more than that, and her skin can become dry and irritated.


Exercise is essential for an American Spitz because of her high level of intelligence.

If she's inactive and unchallenged, the American Eskimo Dog temperament will force her to find ways to entertain herself.

This entertainment may include chewing on things she shouldn’t, like your shoes or furniture.

Photo of American Eskimo Dog Running In Park

Despite having a thicker coat to keep her warm, you may want to exercise her inside when possible, even in colder regions.

The Eskie prefers to be with her people, rather than left to her own devices in the yard.

Staying Healthy: American Eskimo Dog Issues

There is no guarantee that when you purchase or adopt an American Eskimo Dog puppy that she won't get sick.

That's why it's important to know the kinds of diseases that can affect this particular breed. Here are a few:

  • Hip Dysplasia– This is a common condition among all dog breeds. Hip dysplasia is genetic, and it happens when the thighbone doesn't properly fit into the hip joint. This can lead to arthritis later.
  • Juvenile Cataracts– This eye condition typically affects Eskies younger than six years old. Experts believe it is hereditary.
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease– Another hip condition, symptoms usually show up in puppies aged four to six months old. Surgery can correct it.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)– This is an eye condition wherein the retina gradually deteriorates. Some dogs develop night-blindness, while others go completely blind. Most dogs, however, adjust well to their limited vision or blindness.

Helpful Dog Health Resource:

Note: Our Health is #1 Priority. It should be no different for your dog. But you need to help him. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is the answer. This handy guide will help you recognize the symptoms of the health problems above. Get the knowledge to stay ahead of these terrible issues that can rob your lovely dog from vigor and life. Help your friend make it to 14 yrs+ without pain and suffering.

American Eskimo Dog Lifespan

Despite the above health problems, the American Spitz is a relatively healthy breed. Their life expectancy averages between 13 and 15 years, which is pretty long for a dog.

What Do American Eskimo Dogs Eat?

American Eskimo dogs eat the same kind of food, and volume of it, that other small to mid-size breeds eat.

While they’re still puppies, most breeders recommend you feed a combination of both dry and wet food to your American Eskimo dog.

Something you should know is American Eskimos can be allergic to some foods, such as salmon or rawhide chews.

Refrain from giving this breed those things in particular, and just check with your vet if you want to introduce something new.

While some Eskies are okay with a wide variety of foods, others may be more sensitive and could develop a negative reaction.

American Eskimo Dog Puppies for Sale

If you're looking into American Eskimo Dogs for sale, you are probably interested in knowing an exact American Eskimo Dog price.

Photo of American Eskimo Dog On Leash Sitting Outdoor

On average, you should expect to spend between $600 to $1,200 for an American Eskimo Dog for sale.

The price range for a Toy American Eskimo Dog is slightly less, averaging $600 to $800 per puppy.

American Eskimo Dog Breeders

When considering purchasing an Eskie from a breeder, your first choice should always be American Kennel Club (AKC) Puppyfinder. This is because you can usually trust a breeder that the AKC promotes.

These breeders are more likely to follow the rules. They are certified, and they refrain from breeding animals with genetic issues.

However, if you choose not to use AKC's Puppyfinder, make sure you do your research to ensure you're doing business with a reputable Eskie breeder.

You can also use the American Eskimo Dog Club of America’s website for more information about reputable Eskie breeders and rescue organizations.

Checkout our Complete Guide to Breeders:

We wrote the definitive guide on finding, selecting, and dealing with dog breeders. This will give you the smarts and confidence to save you money, time and heartache. Read On…

American Eskimo Rescue and Adoption

If you want to support an American Eskimo Dog rescue, you may want to look into Eskie Rescuers United. Here, you can buy something from their store to support the organization – including wine!

Photo of American Eskimo Dog Sad Lying Down

Most importantly there are available American Eskimo Dogs for adoption listed.

You can read about some of the dogs on the site to get background information. You will find valuable information, like:

  • Their name
  • What they look like
  • How old they are
  • How they came to the organization

This type of information is not always available for rescue/adopted dogs. So, it's especially helpful when you can get it.

American Eskimo Dog Mixed Breeds

If you love a mixed breed dog, then you are in luck with the American Eskimo. This is a breed whom breeders have combined with a host of other breeds to make some downright adorable mixed breed dogs.

Here are some of the possible American Eskimo Dog mixes you can find out there:

American Eskimo Dog vs Samoyed

While these two fluffballs may look the same, the differences between the American Eskimo Dog and the Samoyed may help you make up your mind when choosing one of these breeds.

This is especially true of their temperaments. For one thing, the Samoyed is an incredibly affectionate dog.

Samoyed Dog

Samoyeds are happiest when they are around their people. However, their lifespans are a couple of years shorter than the American Eskimo, so you don’t get quite as many years with them.

Samoyed dogs also go through heavy shedding seasons about twice a year.

Not only that, but they continue to shed all year round, so you have to clean up after a Samoyed more than you do an American Eskimo Dog.

American Eskimo Dog vs Japanese Spitz

A Standard-sized American Eskimo Dog, or American Spitz, is larger than her cousin, the Japanese Spitz.

Not only that, but the Japanese Spitz is actually more intelligent than the Eskie.

The Japanese Spitz is a proud and companionable dog.

While not as active and energetic as the American Eskimo Dog, the Japanese Spitz makes up for it in love and loyalty.

The Japanese Spitz is still quite playful, though. It’s just that the American Eskimo has more energy overall.

A Final Word about the American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo Dog temperament makes her an excellent watchdog, but she's not aggressive.

She’s quick to bark, but don’t let that fool you into thinking she doesn’t like you. If she’s in protector mode, then she’s just guarding her human. Else, she’s just saying hi!

The Eskie is a healthy breed, but she is still prone to eye and hip issues.

For this reason, be sure to thoroughly research your breeder before spending any money on an Eskie puppy.