Showsight Presents The American Eskimo Dog

SIX POINTS ON JUDGING THE AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG by DEBBIE MITCHELL

A judge recently asked me to tell her what were the six most important things when judging the American Eski- mo Dog. The following is what I told her: NUMBER ONE The American Eskimo Dog originated in Germany where it was used as a work- ing farm dog. It was a guardian, a herder and a loving companion. That being said, a judge should look for a dog that is strong, agile and alert. The dog should be well bal- anced with proper gait. I explained that the dog should single track as the speed increases with the legs converging toward the center line of gravity while the back remains firm and level. As defined by Harold R. Spira in Canine Terminology , single tracking—the ten- dency is for the legs to incline more and more under the body as the speed increas- es. Eventually, the paws, as seen by their imprints, come to travel in a single line. Judges should be able to distinguish between single tracking and crossing over. The American Eskimo Dog’s hindquar- ters are well angulated. The lay of the pelvis is approximately 30 degrees at the horizontal. This gives the dog the proper amount of bend in the upper thigh. The second thigh should be the same length in order to make the short well let down hock. This allows the dog to bend the stifle and enables him to get his foot up under the body in order for his imprints to travel in a single line. NUMBER TWO The head should be of Nordic type. The skull is slightly crowned and softly wedge shaped when viewed from the side or from above with the widest breadth between the ears. It should be keen, intel- ligent and alert with slightly oval eyes. The muzzle is broad, with length not exceeding

the length of the skull, although it may be slightly shorter. NUMBER THREE Temperament is of utmost impor- tance. The American Eskimo Dog is intelligent, alert and friendly, although slightly conservative. It is never overly shy nor aggressive. Any show of aggres- sion should be severely penalized in the show ring. However, a judge should never approach an American Eskimo Dog from the rear or out of its peripheral vision as they are protective of their fam- ily and will form a bond with their owner or handler. NUMBER FOUR The American Eskimo Dog has a stand- off, double coat consisting of a dense undercoat and a longer coat of guard hair growing through it to form the outer coat. Males usually carry more coat than do bitches. Bitches may have a natural short, thick coat that appears to be trimmed when it is not. I stressed the fact that any trimming of the whiskers or body coat should be severely penalized.

shoulder layback, the dog cannot reach properly and will not single track. NUMBER SIX The forequarters are well angulated. The shoulder blades are well laid back at 45 degrees with the horizontal. At the point of shoulder the shoulder blade forms an approximate right angle with the upper arm. Once again, without proper lay back of shoulder, the dog will not single track. To me, as a longtime breeder, I feel these are the most important things a judge should be looking for so that the exhibit conforms to the standard. These things should be observed in all sizes, whether it be the toy, miniature or the standard. When I was asked to define the perfect American Eskimo Dog, I said there was not a perfect dog. However, I want to see a perfect Nordic head with the ears and oval eyes the proper width apart, a good stop that is not abrupt, beautiful black points and a good bite than conforms to the breed standard. Structure and movement are very important to me, so my perfect dog would have a great length of neck tapering into a well laid back shoulder with a level

“TEMPERAMENT IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE.”

NUMBER FIVE I explained that the neck is carried proudly erect, well set on, medium in length and in a strong, graceful arch. Too many American Eskimos today are lacking in neck length which gives the appearance that their head is sitting on their shoul- ders. If a judge notices that an exhibit lacks length of neck he should pay spe- cial attention to the front movement. For without proper length of neck and correct

top line. The rear would be well angulated with well bent stifles and well let down pasterns. The tail would be set moderately high and would reach the point of hock when down. The coat would be full and luxurious and not trimmed. The perfect dog would have tight feet, with reach and drive to die for. Most importantly to me, he would be able to single track on a dime and never put a foot wrong. That is my idea of a perfect American Eskimo Dog.

200 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J ULY 2015

Powered by