Showsight Presents The American Eskimo Dog

THE AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG By Diana L. Allen

T he American Eskimo Dog has been in the United States since the 1800s and some evi- dence has shown it to be here possibly during the 1700s. Th e breed came to the United States by way of Europe, Germany in par- ticular, with the immigrating settlers. At that time the breed was known just as the “Spitz”. Th e word spitz is a German word that means “point”. It meant that the ears of the dog would come to a “ point” when the dog was alerted. Th e term Spitz also

referred to a “type” of dog that categorized many of the Nordic breeds. When the anti German sentiment arose during the World Wars, the term “Spitz” was replaced with “Nordic”. Th e two words Spitz and Nordic are interchangeable. Th e Eskie was fi rst registered with UKC in 1913, as just “Spitz”. With the anti Ger- man sentiment arising, many of the Ger- man breeds were chastised and some of the breeds even had the breed names changed to pull away from the German heritage. Th e “Spitz” name was changed a few years after it was registered with UKC to

American Spitz, then to American Eskimo Spitz and fi nally in 1926, the “Spitz” was completely taken o ff of the name. Th e name “American Eskimo” came from the kennel name of Mr. and Mrs. Hall, who were very well known breeders at that time. It was thought that if the name was com- pletely changed, no one would know that the breed was ever called a Spitz, nor know of its German heritage. After that time, the history of the breed became quite obscure. In 1969, UKC divided the breed into two varieties, Standards and Miniatures, denoted by weight. In the late 1970s the

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