Showsight Presents The American Eskimo Dog

AMERICAN ESKIMO Q&A

“Some folks seem to think Eskies are biters and unsociable, but none of the eight I’ve had over my life have had this temperament. They are protective, but with proper socialization they are happy, well-adjusted dogs.”

parasites across borderlines, the “adopting” public’s emotions are being manipulated, and we are harbored with blame and responsi- bility for situations we did not create and cannot control. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? Between five to ten weeks. An experienced breeder observing the development of their puppies’ structure, type and temperament will be able to determine which pups are show prospects. We are look- ing for overall balance and proportion, an outgoing and cooperative attitude, flowing movement and gait, and representative breed type. The most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? American Eskimo Dogs should not be trimmed, oth- er than to neaten the feet and hocks. Our breed standard is very spe- cific about this, and trimming is to be heavily penalized. Recently, we have heard judges advising exhibitors to trim their dogs to cre- ate a preferred body outline and proportion. This is not acceptable. Instead, a judge should be relying on his/her hands during physical examination of the dog, and the dog’s movement, in order to deter- mine structure and proportion. The coat is icing on the cake, it’s not what makes the dog. Our breed club does cover this in our judges’ education seminars. The best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? Be nice, be welcoming, and be a good sport. The public observes us constantly. My ultimate goal for the breed is to ensure its longevity and health. American Eskimo Dogs have been known for living long lives of 13-18 years with few health issues. I’d like to encourage breeders to maintain health testing, and use the information rea- sonably and responsibly in order to preserve our breed’s health and longevity into the future. My most favorite dog show memories are of my puppy owners’ wins and brags in the show and performance rings! American Eskimo Dogs can do just about anything with you! They love all kinds of performance sports and excel at them. They like to hike and swim and spend time with you, doing everything you do. They are silly and fun, active and curious, and a bit mischie- vous, so be prepared for a full life that includes your Eskie! TAMMYWALDROP Although Tammy Waldrop has had American Eskimos since 1989, she didn’t enter the show world until 2016 with her first toy bitch, Lillie Belle. Four years later Lillie is a Bronze Grand Champion, Multiple Best of Opposite Specialty winner, including the 2019 AEDCA parent club regional specialty and the 2018 National Owner-Han- dled Championship. In 2019, Tammy began her Kennel, Snow Song Eskies, with the breeding of Lillie

Belle (GCHB Arctic Magic’s “Once-Upon-A-Princess) and Smoke (GCHG Sunfall’s Smoke Gets in Your Eyes), which produced a sin- gleton male—Snow Song’s “Lord of the Dance”—Finn, who won a Group 1 and 3 in the 4-6 month puppy class at his first show! I live just north-east of Houston, Texas in New Caney. Out- side of dogs I spend my time composing music, writing children’s novels, vegetable gardening, cheesemaking, and directing music ensembles, especially handbell choirs. Do I hope the breed’s popularity will change or am I comfort- able with the placement? I hope American Eskimos will become better known and more widely sought after as performance dogs and personal pets. They are such wonderful companions and love to interact with their humans. Does the average person on the street recognize the breed? Very rarely. Most people say of my toy girl, “Is that a Pomeranian?” Are there any misconceptions about the breed I’d like to dis- pel? Some folks seem to think Eskies are biters and unsociable, but none of the eight I’ve had over my life have had this temperament. They are protective, but with proper socialization they are happy, well-adjusted dogs. What special challenges do breeders face in our current eco- nomic and social climate? The unfortunate picture that some ani- mal activist and rescue groups paint of breeders, respectable or not. Also, the mind set of people who want only a “pet” and seem to think you should practically give those pups away! At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? I’ve only breed one litter, and that was a singleton, but I could tell as early as six weeks that he moved really well. What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? The breed standard. And also, that because he/she judges three sizes that show together, bigger is not always better. If he/she can’t see the movement as well in a smaller dog then bend over and look! (I actually had a judge tell me that he chose the bigger size, because he could see the movement better). What’s the best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? Social media. I post the fun things I do with mine all the time on Facebook and it had generated interest in the breed. Also, taking your dog places with you and interacting with other people. And not making a sour face when they ask “Is that a Pomeranian?” My ultimate goal for the breed? To see it increase in numbers, in health and soundness, and in new people participating in show- ing and performance sports and in the national and regional clubs. My favorite dog show memory? That’s easy! The very first time that I or my toy bitch, Lillie Belle, stepped in a show ring we won Best of Winners and a five-point major and I was hooked! Thanks to judge Cindy Stansell! I’d also like to share that Eskies are extremely intelligent and need interaction. They are not a dog to leave all day in a crate. And there’s nothing cuter than an Eskie puff-ball puppy!

SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MARCH 2020 | 305

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