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American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo Dog
Alternative names
American Eskimo spitz
Country of origin
United States
Breed standards (external links)
AKC (http://www.akc.org/breeds/recbreeds/amesk.cfm)

The American Eskimo Dog is still often called the American Eskimo spitz, although that name has been discouraged since the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1994. The spitz is one of the prototypical dogs, from which the other Nordic (or "Northern", meaning near the Arctic Circle) breeds derived, and archeological evidence shows spitzes were living with humans by the New Stone Age. "Spitz" comes from the German word for "point" and is usually taken to refer to their pointy muzzles, although some scholars think it originally referred to their upright triangular ears.

"Eskies", as they are called for short, are long-haired white (or light cream) dogs, similar in appearance to the Samoyed dog and Pomeranian, to both of which they are related, but smaller than the Samoyed and larger than the Pomeranian. Smaller now than when they were popular in the 1920s, Eskies come in both miniature and toy varieties and weigh between about 10 and 25 pounds. Temperamentally, they are more excitable, territorial, and protective than some other breeds -- what dog people call "high strung" now but traits that made their distant ancestors good reindeer herders. Consequently, they tend to yap and not take to strangers, but they are very loving to their "own" people and expect to be treated like the humans in the family.

Thomas Gainsborough painted a spitz with the couple in A Morning Walk. A spitz was the "bad guy" in Jack London's The Call of the Wild, which was about a dog named "Buck".

External link to A.K.C. Eskie page (http://www.akc.org/breeds/recbreeds/amesk.cfm)

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