By: Andrew Munford
The American Eskimo, commonly known to the meme world as a cloud floof (not to be confused with the Shoob), got its name from one of the most contentious times in American history.
German immigrants in the 1930s came to the United States seeking a new life. Many of them were farmers that brought over their German Spitz dogs that are widely known as all-around great farm pups.
This breed was instantly popular among the show community, which led to them being featured in many trained dog acts across the country. There was even a famed tightrope walking pup named Pierre that performed for Barnum & Bailey in the 1930s.
After the United States entered World War I, there was a lot of controversy and anger pointed towards anything German. This led to the renaming of the breed as the American Eskimo Dog, although this gorgeous floof has no history with the Inuit people commonly referred to as Eskimo.
Many families have sought these dogs as companions for their high energy and loyalty. They are virtually perfect to be around a growing family as they are whip-smart and highly affectionate. The added benefit of their intelligence is that they’re easily trained for any situation and can even be taught to perform many service dog jobs.
They always have a white or cream-colored coat and are bred in three sizes (toy, miniature, and standard). The toy size has been increasingly popular but the standard has been the most common for decades due to their great history in shows and effectiveness on farms.
The American Kennel Club took nearly a century to register its first American Eskimo in 1995, but its history predates many of the most popular breeds in the country.
Height: Ranges from 9 inches as a toy to 19 inches as a standard.
Weight: Anywhere from a few pounds to over 35 pounds.
They have two coats of thin white fur that sheds constantly. While their fur tends to be easily combed, it can be a bit of a chore if they like to roll around in the dirt outside. Luckily they have a naturally oily fur that makes brushing off dirt an easy task.
You should comb them 2-3 times a week to keep their fur from matting. They do not need baths very often, typically only once every few months unless absolutely necessary. However, if their skin dries out it can cause skin irritation that can lead to more trouble down the road.
EXERCISE AND TRAINING
The main thing that makes the American Eskimo such a great show dog is the ease of training. Many first-time Eskie companions are surprised at how easy it is to teach them basic commands. And they excel in environments where they can perform much more energy-consuming tasks.
As with many farm dogs, the Eskie needs an abundance of space to work out. They have adapted very well to warmer climates so even when it’s 80-plus degrees outside your Eskie will still be begging to run around long after you’re winded. It’s advised that you find an open space to let them run as much as they want.
Many large breeds tend to have issues with hip dysplasia and the Eskie is no exception. They also have a history of progressive retinal atrophy.
Talk with your vet and schedule regular testing to make sure you get out ahead of any potential problems with your Eskie. Also, make sure you’re doing all of your due diligence when searching through breeders.
The American Kennel Club refers to the American Eskimo Dog Club of America for anyone looking to rescue or find one of these gorgeous and affectionate companions.
Texas Dog Magazine encourages readers to send in pictures and stories from all dog rescues. If you have an Eskie of your own or just a great story to share with us, send it on over to our social media page.