American Eskimo Dog Care

The American Eskimo Dog (also called the "Eskie") is an extremely intelligent, friendly, and athletic Spitz breed known for its thick white or cream coat. The breed has three size variants: Toy (10 pounds), Miniature (18 pounds), and Standard (25 pounds). These dogs are curious, sensitive, and task-oriented, and they'll be happiest living in colder climates. Overall American Eskimo Dog care and maintenance will take a moderate amount of work, and will need to consist of regular daily exercise and plenty of TLC.

Below you'll find details on caring for an American Eskimo Dog: puppy care and development, exercise needs, diet and nutrition, and more are all covered here. For answers to all your questions about raising this smart, well-balanced breed, keep reading!

American Eskimo Dog Exercise Needs

Because of its small size, the Eskie isn't the most powerful breed of dog of the Spitz type--but that doesn't mean it won't still need lots of exercise. These dogs are intelligent, athletic, and task-oriented, which means they'll need a variety of activities that condition them physically (walking, jogging, fetch) and stimulate them mentally (games, canine sports).

The typical adult Eskie, depending on its age and overall activity level, will need about 60 minutes of proper exercise per day--which you can accomplish with a couple of good walks or jogs and a moderate period of play. You can start exercising your Eskie puppy at 10-11 weeks of age by taking it on short (5-minute) walks, then you can increase the walks' length and frequency as the puppy grows. But Eskies can be quite willful, even as puppies--so these early walks are a good opportunity to start teaching the dog obedience through leash training: have the pup walk beside or behind you on the leash instead of being allowed to lead or "tug" on it. This, in the puppy's mind, establishes you as the leader, and should make training easier as the puppy matures.

A few things to consider when exercising your American Eskimo Dog: first, puppies younger than eight months old shouldn't participate in activities that include a lot of jumping, running on hard surfaces, or navigating of stairs, as doing so can injure their still-developing joints and bones. And regardless of age, all Eskies will need to be leashed when in public. These dogs are intelligent, curious, and possess fairly high prey drives, so they may try to run off after small animals and other interesting sights/sounds if not controlled by a leash. And finally: Eskies suffer separation anxiety if left along for extended periods, so they'll need to exercise with one or more of their people.

Precautions aside, it's important to exercise your Eskie every single day. These dogs are very smart, they need attention, and they bore pretty easily--so without frequent activity they'll become restless, destructive, and thoroughly unhappy in general. Consistent exercise will be good for your Eskie's peace of mind--and for your own sanity as well! A few exercise ideas:

  • Walking/Jogging: Two 20-minute walks (or 15-minute jogs) per day is a good target
  • Fetch/Frisbee: These dogs will chase a ball, stick, or Frisbee for hours
  • Hide-and-Seek: Good indoor, rainy-day activity; give the dog a treat when it finds you
  • Canine Sports: Eskies can excel at obedience and agility trials, flyball, and other events
  • Dog Park: If properly socialized, Eskies enjoy the company of other dogs
  • Hiking: Excellent bonding activity; bonus if you can find a remote area where the dog can be off-leash

When indoors, it's a good idea to give your Eskie access to one or more balls or chew-toys that will allow the dog to burn excess energy. It's also recommended that you establish a regular exercise schedule for the dog, such as walks or jogs after breakfast and dinner and a play period in the afternoon.

American Eskimo Dog Maintenance

In terms of shedding and drooling, these dogs need moderate to frequent care. American Eskimo Dog shedding is pretty heavy--but drooling isn't an issue.

As a Spitz, shedding is normal (and fairly profuse) for this breed. Eskies have thick, double-layered coats that shed quite a bit, so owners will need to brush them 4-5 times per week to reduce the amount of shed hairs (and to prevent mats and tangles too). Hair cleanup--vacuuming the floors and lint rollers on clothes and furniture--will be a pretty regular chore for owners of these dogs.

The good news is that Eskies almost never drool. If your American Eskimo Dog is drooling excessively, it might be a sign of a medical issue, in which case a veterinarian's care is needed.

American Eskimo Dog Diet

Like that of all breeds, Spitz food will need to include plenty of animal proteins and carbohydrates for energy, vitamins and minerals for digestive and immune health, and omega fatty acids for coat and skin wellness. This means the best American Eskimo Dog food choice is premium dry kibble, as it contains balanced portions of the above-listed nutrients your Eskie will need to remain healthy.

Depending on its size variation, the typical adult Eskie will need 1½ cups at the most of premium dry food per day, divided into two meals. Puppies will need a little less: again depending on age, about one cup per day, divided into three meals (not two) until six months of age.

For more info on Spitz dog food portions from puppyhood through maturity, refer to this feeding chart. (NOTE: The chart is for a 20-pound dog. Your Eskie will need a bit less or more depending on its adult size.)

American Eskimo Dog Feeding Chart
Dog AgeDog WeightFood TypeAmountFrequency7-8 Weeks3 lbsDry (Puppy formula)6-8 pieces3x/day3 Months6 lbsDry0.2 cups3x/day6 Months12 lbsDry0.33 cups3x/day8 Months16 lbsDry* (Puppy/Adult)0.6 cups2x/day10 Months+20 lbsDry (Adult formula)0.75 cups2x/day

*--Around this time, transition to adult food by first mixing in a bit of adult formula with the puppy formula. Over the course of a week, with each meal add a bit more adult food to the mixture, until the dog is eating it entirely.

If possible, try and stick to the above-listed portions (or corresponding ones if your Eskie is smaller or larger). If constantly overfed and under-exercised, these dogs will quickly become overweight--and a fat Eskie will have joint, breathing, and digestive problems, not to mention a potentially shortened lifespan. You can help control your Eskie's weight by establishing consistent feeding and exercise schedules, by not feeding the dog table scraps, and by not leaving food in the dog's bowl all the time, thereby allowing to eat whenever it wants. It's better to put your Eskie's bowl down only at mealtimes, then pick it up a few minutes after the dog begins eating.

If you're worried your Eskie is overweight, give the dog this simple test: run a hand along its side, and if you can't feel any ribs, it's diet time. Reduce the dog's daily food consumption by one-fourth, and add an extra walk, jog, or play period to its daily exercise schedule.

Living Environment

Overall, Eskies are inside dogs. They're fairly sensitive and needy, and will be much happier living indoors with their people--but they'll also need a good bit of outdoor exercise each day. And for the American Eskimo Dog, apartment living is fine, as long as they get plenty of physical activity.

In regards to climate: as a Spitz breed, Eskies do best in cold climates. They might be uncomfortable in very hot weather because of their thick coats, so people in warmer climates will probably need to choose another breed.

American Eskimo Dog Grooming

Read the grooming requirements for American Eskimo Dogs including coat care and other maintenance.

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About this Article

Authored by:Dog-Learn
Updated:January 13, 2019