American Eskimo Dogs: the most honest dog breed review you'll ever find about American Eskimo Dog temperament, personality, and behavior.

DOG BOOKS by Michele Welton

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American Eskimo Dog breed

American Eskimo Dog Temperament: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

American Eskimo Dog Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


The American Eskimo Dog is happy and high-spirited, an active dog who enjoys vigorous exercise, especially in the snow.

American Eskimo Dogs, affectionately known as Eskies, are very people-oriented and crave a lot of companionship. Without enough activity (physical and mental), this creative thinker becomes bored and mischievous . . . which means destructive and noisy.

Most American Eskimo Dogs are conservative with strangers, keen of eye and acute of hearing, and serious about their watchdog responsibilities, though not usually progressing to the point of aggression. However, early and frequent socialization is required to ensure that their watchfulness does not become suspicion or sharpness.

Most American Eskimo Dogs are fine with other dogs, but can be jealous when other animals get attention.

This breed is smart, learns quickly, and excels at performing tricks, but he is also independent and can be willful. If you don't consistently enforce the rules, an American Eskimo Dog will use his intelligence in clever ways that suit his own purposes.


If you want a dog who...

  • Has that furry "wolfish" or "spitz" look
  • Comes in several sizes, from small to medium-large
  • Plays hard and loves vigorous exercise
  • Makes a keen watchdog
  • Is bright and clever and excels at learning tricks

An American Eskimo Dog may be right for you.


If you don't want to deal with...

  • High energy level
  • Exuberant jumping
  • Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
  • Suspiciousness toward strangers
  • Heavy shedding
  • Excessive barking, often in a high-pitched voice

An American Eskimo Dog may not be right for you.

Keep in mind that the inheritance of temperament is less predictable than the inheritance of physical traits such as size or shedding. Temperament and behavior are also shaped by raising and training.

More traits and characteristics of the American Eskimo Dog

If I was considering an American Eskimo Dog, I would be most concerned about...

  1. Barking. American Eskimo Dogs are often too quick to sound the alarm at every new sight and sound. You have to be equally quick to stop them. If you work all day, American Eskimo Dogs are not a good choice for you (or your neighbors!). For the same reason, American Eskimo Dogs should never be left outside in your yard, unsupervised. To make matters worse, some American Eskimo Dogs have intense, high-pitched barks that can set your teeth on edge.
  2. Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. American Eskimo Dogs need regular opportunities to vent their energy and to use their busy minds to do interesting things. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored – which they usually express by barking and destructive chewing.
  3. Mind of their own. American Eskimo Dogs are very smart and capable of learning a great deal. But they might use their cleverness to manipulate you into doing what they want. Some Eskies are dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.

    To teach your Eskie to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My American Eskimo Dog Training Page discusses the program you need.

  4. Potential suspiciousness toward strangers. Standoffish by nature, American Eskimo Dogs need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds. Otherwise their natural caution can become suspiciousness or sharpness.
  5. Heavy shedding. American Eskimo Dogs shed a LOT. You'll find hair and fur all over your clothing and furnishings.

To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.

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