The American Eskimo dog's origin has nothing to do with Eskimos-- or even America. During the 1800s Germans begun migrating to America's new frontier. Settlers were pushing westward and there was plenty of opportunity to be found in the farmland of what is today referred to as the Midwest. With the Germans came their German Spitz dogs; the Spitz is a certain type of dog that has a double coat, pointy muzzle and ears, and a curled tail. Many Spitz were employed as farm dogs, herder, property watchdogs and even sled pullers.
During the late 1800s the breed began being utilized in circuses and other performing acts. They are very agile, super intelligent and ever so eager to please so this was truly a match for the personality of this northern Spitz-- not to mention the snow white coat is very beautiful and eye catching! They danced, did tricks and wowed the crowd with their keen intelligence. The most famous Eskie was named Pierre. Pierre was the first dog to walk a tightrope as part of Barnum and Bailey's circus around 1930.
The German Spitz underwent a name change during Americas involvement in the World Wars. Due to anti German sentiment the new name became the American Eskimo Dog after the American Eskimo Kennel ran by F.M Hall and family. The American Eskimo Dog Club of America (AEDCA) was formed in 1985 with AKC recognition of the breed following 10 years later in 1995. It's important to note the breed in still known and registered as the German Spitz by most other Kennel Clubs around the world.