Showsight Presents The American Eskimo Dog

AMERICAN ESKIMO Q&A

APRIL ELLISON

CAROLYN JESTER

I have owned and loved American Eskimos since 1969. In 1973, I formed a local UKC club to host shows for the AE. Then I wanted more, so in 1985 I helped to organize the AEDCA for the purpose of seeking AKC recognition for the AE. I served as AEDCA Presi- dent from 1985 to 1998, and kept the stud books for recognition. In 1995 the AE was accepted into AKC. I have spe- cialized in raising the toy size American Eskimo, because they were so much easier for me to handle. I live in Oklahoma. I am retired now, but worked most of my life for a Veterinarian. Do I hope the breed’s popularity will change or am I comfort- able with the placement? I would like everyone to know how special the AE is, but I would not want them to be so popular to cause detriment to the breed. Do these numbers help or hurt the breed? Very possibly both. They hurt the breed because it would be ben- eficial for more good breeders to be involved in producing excep- tional examples of the breed, but on the other hand, there are fewer “puppy mill” breeders producing poor specimens of the breed. Does the average person on the street recognize the breed? Not usually, there is a lot of confusion with Poms and Samoyeds. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? Usually around four to six months of age. The most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? Probably the size range. The AE has a huge size range, and it can be confusing to Judges who have not seen all sizes. The best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? Just getting your American Eskimo out to be seen, they are eye catching, and they do attract a lot of attention. That opens the door to discussion about the wonderful qualities of the breed. My favorite dog show memory? Winning BOB at Westminster the first year they were eligible to be shown there (1996). The American Eskimo is a very devoted and loving breed. They just want to be with their owner all the time. They will follow you around the house, lay at your feet, or in your lap all the time. DENISEMILLER

I have been in Eskies for 17 years. I purchased my first show dog (AKC CH UKC GRCH Sycamore’s Mischief Maker) in 2006. Shortly thereafter I purchased my foundation bitches (AKC CH UKC GRCH ArtcMgc Snpf ’s Queen of Hearts, NJP CA and AKC CH UKC GRCH Car- ara Reason T’ Believe). I have a breeding program focused on the total dog that can do it all and look good too. My dogs excel

at performance events as well as conformation. I live outside of Athens, Georgia. I am a Registered Nurse for a behavioral health company. Do I hope the breed’s popularity will change or am I comfort- able with the placement? I would like for the Eskie to be more popu- lar. It’s rare to see one in the community or in training classes. Most people who see my dogs in public don’t know what the breed is. Does the ranking numbers help or hurt the breed? Hurt—we need more breed fanciers for the breed to thrive. Does the average person on the street recognize the breed? No, the average person thinks my dogs are either a Husky, a Samoyed or a Pomeranian. Are there any misconceptions about the breed I’d like to dispel? Yes, the breed has a bad reputation for having a poor temperament. Today’s responsibly bred dogs typically have wonderful, sweet tem- peraments and can excel at most anything the owner wants to do with them. What special challenges do breeders face in our current econom- ic and social climate? The current “adopt don’t shop” mantra most pet people seem to have is a daily struggle. I am constantly pointing out the benefits to getting a dog from a responsible breeder—espe- cially on social media in pet-oriented groups. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? I can tell by eight weeks if the puppy will grow up to be a worthy show dog. The most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? In my opinion the most important thing to keep in mind about the coat: 1) There is to be no trimming of the body coat. Trimming is to be severely penalized. Unfortunately, this isn’t being penalized and professional handlers are sculpting the coat. 2) Eskies blow their undercoat two times a year. The quality of the coat should be considered more important than quantity of coat. The dog with the most profuse coat isn’t always the best dog in the ring. The best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? I believe the best way to attract newcomers to the breed is to go out into the community with our dogs. Once they meet the dogs and see how great they are people tend to be interested. A lot of people in the agility community have become interested in Eskies after seeing the ones I bred excel in the sport. My favorite dog show memory? When I finished my bred-by boy Flash to his AKC Grand Champion title—my first bred-by GCH! I’d also like to share about the breed that Eskies can do “all the things’. I have bred Eskies that hold dock diving titles, trick titles, herding instinct certificates, farm dog titles, top agility titles, a dog that does disc dog and multiple conformation Champions and Grand Champions. I have bred an NADD National Champion and a top finisher at the Agility Invitational (multiple years). They can also just hang out on your couch and be fine with that.

I have been involved in American Eskimo Dogs since 2002 when we purchased our first Eskie from a local breeder in the Seattle area. Langley was supposed to be our pet, however his breeder encouraged us to show him. That started an 18 year odyssey with plenty of ups and downs, but also plenty of personal rewards. I strongly credit my focus on campaigning my

dog Zephyr to helping me deal with breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in 2012. I didn’t start showing until my 40’s proving that it is never too late to start showing dogs. I would not change a thing and would encourage others to not be afraid to join the sport of dogs no matter their current age. I have met some amazing people and made many friends over the years. At some point Bob and I will slow down and focus on showing locally, but it is going to be a long time before that happens. Currently we live in Des Moines, Washington; a suburb of Seattle. However we will be moving in the next couple of years to

SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MARCH 2020 | 297

Powered by