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.