QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG
DEBBIE MITCHELL BIO
3. What, to you, is the ultimate hallmark of the breed? They are a multi-purpose working farm dog used for guarding as well as herding. They are a Nordic dog with structure and movement being most important. 4. Describe the American Eskimo Dog in three words: Intelligent, beautiful, agile. 5. What makes this breed the ideal companion in the 21st century? American Eskimos are very healthy and usually live a long life. They are loyal and very intelligent and are easily trained for service dogs such as detecting seizures and diabetes, as well as other maladies. 6. What about the breed makes it a great show dog? The American Eskimo Dog has a beautiful profile with a “look-at-me” attitude. There is nothing more beautiful than the reach and drive of the dog as it floats around the ring. 7. What, if any, are the traits breeders should focus on preserving? American Eskimos are supposed to single track. Reach and drive, structure and movement are ever so important to this breed. It is the breed's essence. I think current breeders are breeding for a cute or pretty dog so it will win, but it can- not move correctly, which is a true disservice to the breed. American Eskimos are headstrong. They need to be taught that you are the alpha persona. I fear that some current breeders may not put enough emphasis on preserving good temperament and good socialization. 8. What are the health concerns about which breeders should beware? The American Eskimo is overall a healthy breed. They can get PRA, but both Paw Print Genetics and OptiGen ® have a test that can detect clear, carrier and affected. If a breeder will do these tests and breed accordingly, it should not be a problem. Over vaccination can cause seizures. I know of some dogs that have had diabetes. Also, some may have a thyroid deficiency, but on the whole, I think these are rare.
I am the Judges’ Education Committee Chairperson for the American Eskimo Dog Association of America. My husband Rick and I have owned, bred and exhibited American Eskimo Dogs since 1983. We bred our first litter in 1989. The
breed has become my passion. Since then, 18 American Eskimo Dogs of my breeding have finished to their AKC Championship, 1 of which I finished to his AKC Grand Championship. I fin- ished 9 from the Bred by Exhibitor class. I have a BS in Chemistry and I am currently a practicing Certified Paralegal in the State of Texas. I am the current Gazette columnist for the American Eskimo Dog, as well as a member in good stand- ing of the American Eskimo Dog Association for more than 20 years. In addition, I am the Cor- responding Secretary for the National American Eskimo Dog Association, Secretary/Treasurer for the Northeast Texas American Eskimo Dog Association and Treasurer for the North Texas Non-Sporting Association. Also, I am a judge for the United Kennel Club. It is my privilege to have the American Eskimo Dogs, to have the oppor- tunity to write about them and to have made so many dear friends because of them. 1. Where do you live? What do you do outside of dogs? I live in Krum, TX. I am a Certified Paralegal. 2. Number of years owning and/or showing American Eskimo Dogs? What attracted you to the breed in the first place? I have owned the AED since 1983. I attended my first show in 1989 and my first AKC show the first weekend the AED was accepted in July, 1995. They make wonderful companions. They are very intelligent and are easily trained, and they are a beautiful breed.
190 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J ULY 2015
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