American Eskimo Dog Breed Magazine - Showsight

ESKIMO DOG AMERICA N

Let’s Talk Breed Education!

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Official Standard of the American Eskimo Dog General Appearance: The American Eskimo Dog, a loving companion dog, presents a picture of strength and agility, alertness and beauty. It is a small to medium-size Nordic type dog, always white, or white with biscuit cream. The American Eskimo Dog is compactly built and well balanced, with good substance, and an alert, smooth gait. The face is Nordic type with erect triangular shaped ears, and distinctive black points (lips, nose, and eye rims). The white double coat consists of a short, dense undercoat, with a longer guard hair growing through it forming the outer coat, which is straight with no curl or wave. The coat is thicker and longer around the neck and chest forming a lion-like ruff, which is more noticeable on dogs than on bitches. The rump and hind legs down to the hocks are also covered with thicker, longer hair forming the characteristic breeches. The richly plumed tail is carried loosely on the back. Size, Proportion, Substance: Size - There are three separate size divisions of the American Eskimo Dog (all measurements are heights at withers): Toy, 9 inches to and including 12 inches; Miniature, over 12 inches to and including 15 inches; and Standard, over 15 inches to and including 19 inches. There is no preference for size within each division. Disqualification - Under 9 inches or over 19 inches. Proportion - Length of back from point of shoulder to point of buttocks is slightly greater than height at withers, an approximate 1.1 to 1 ratio. Substance - The American Eskimo Dog is strong and compactly built with adequate bone. Head: Expression is keen, intelligent, and alert. Eyes are not fully round, but slightly oval. They should be set well apart, and not slanted, prominent or bulging. Tear stain, unless severe, is not to be faulted. Presence of tear stain should not outweigh consideration of type, structure, or temperament. Dark to medium brown is the preferred eye color. Eye rims are black to dark brown. Eyelashes are white. Faults - amber eye color or pink eye rims. Disqualification - blue eyes. Ears should conform to head size and be triangular, slightly blunt-tipped, held erect, set on high yet well apart, and blend softly with the head. Skull is slightly crowned and softly wedge- shaped, with widest breadth between the ears. The stop is well defined, although not abrupt. The muzzle is broad, with length not exceeding the length of the skull, although it may be slightly shorter. Nose pigment is black to dark brown. Lips are thin and tight, black to dark brown in color. Faults - pink nose pigment or pink lip pigment. The jaw should be strong with a full complement of close fitting teeth. The bite is scissors, or pincer. Neck, Topline, Body: The neck is carried proudly erect, well set on, medium in length, and in a strong, graceful arch. The topline is level. The body of the American Eskimo Dog is strong and compact, but not cobby. The chest is deep and broad with well-sprung ribs. Depth of chest extends approximately to point of elbows. Slight tuck-up of belly just behind the ribs. The back is straight, broad, level, and muscular. The loin is strong and well-muscled. The American Eskimo Dog is neither too long nor too short coupled. The tail is set moderately high and reaches approximately to the point of hock when down. It is carried loosely on the back, although it may be dropped when at rest. Forequarters: Forequarters are well angulated. The shoulder is firmly set and has adequate muscle but is not overdeveloped. The shoulder blades are well laid back and slant 45 degrees with the horizontal. At the point of shoulder the shoulder blade forms an approximate right angle with the upper arm. The legs are parallel and straight to the pasterns. The pasterns are strong and flexible with a slant of about 20 degrees. Length of leg in proportion to the body. Dewclaws on the front legs may be removed at the owner's discretion; if present, they are not to be faulted.

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Feet are oval, compact, tightly knit and well padded with hair. Toes are well arched. Pads are black to dark brown, tough and deeply cushioned. Toenails are white. Hindquarters: Hindquarters are well angulated. The lay of the pelvis is approximately 30 degrees to the horizontal. The upper thighs are well developed. Stifles are well bent. Hock joints are well let down and firm. The rear pasterns are straight. Legs are parallel from the rear and turn neither in nor out. Feet are as described for the front legs. Dewclaws are not present on the hind legs. Coat: 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. It is straight with no curl or wave. There is a pronounced ruff around the neck which is more noticeable on dogs than bitches. Outer part of the ear should be well covered with short, smooth hair, with longer tufts of hair growing in front of ear openings. Hair on muzzle should be short and smooth. The backs of the front legs should be well feathered, as are the rear legs down to the hock. The tail is covered profusely with long hair. There is to be no trimming of the whiskers or body coat and such trimming will be severely penalized . The only permissible trimming is to neaten the feet and the backs of the rear pasterns. Color: Pure white is the preferred color, although white with biscuit cream is permissible. Presence of biscuit cream should not outweigh consideration of type, structure, or temperament. The skin of the American Eskimo Dog is pink or gray. Disqualification - any color other than white or biscuit cream. Gait: The American Eskimo Dog shall trot, not pace. The gait is agile, bold, well balanced, and frictionless, with good forequarter reach and good hindquarter drive. As speed increases, the American Eskimo Dog will single track with the legs converging toward the center line of gravity while the back remains firm, strong, and level. Temperament: The American Eskimo Dog is intelligent, alert, and friendly, although slightly conservative. It is never overly shy nor aggressive, and such dogs are to be severely penalized in the show ring. At home it is an excellent watchdog, sounding a warning bark to announce the arrival of any stranger. It is protective of its home and family, although it does not threaten to bite or attack people. The American Eskimo Dog learns new tasks quickly and is eager to please. Disqualifications: Any color other than white or biscuit cream. Blue eyes. Height under 9 inches or over 19 inches.

Approved: October 11, 1994 Effective: November 30, 1994

HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG BY DIANA ALLEN T he American Eskimo Dog’s country of origin is Germany. It was originally bred as a multipurpose working dog

on the farm. The “Eskie”, as it has been nicknamed, is one of a number of Spitz breeds. The word “Spitz” is a German word and translated as “sharp point”. The dogs were referred to as Spitz as when alerted their ears would quickly come to a sharp point. Spitz breeds are also called “Nordic Breeds”; the two terms are interchangeable. On the whole, Spitz breeds have the same characteristics. They have erect ears, wedge–shaped heads, double weather resistant coats, are trotting breeds, have tails that are well plumed and they all have been used to assist man. They have been used as herders, hunters, haulers, guardians and devot- ed companions. These are just a few of the many services that they are capable of performing. ON THE FARM The Spitz in Germany was used to assist humans in a number of tasks on the farm. Farms in Germany are differ- ent than what we are used to seeing in the US. In Germany, farmers lived in vil- lages and went out each day to the farm. Sheep and cows lived in the village at night and had to be taken out to pasture each day. The dog was an intricate part of the farmer’s life. In an average day, the dog would perform a number of tasks. They went with the farmer to take the sheep out to pasture. They gathered sheep from the pasture and searched for any ani- mals that had strayed. The dogs would

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go with the children to watch over sheep that grazed in the unfenced fields and remained on the job even if the children were sidetracked with play. They watched the gates that were left open, rounded up the chickens and put them up at night. The family farm dog would do any number of tasks that may need doing. The dog was also used to serve as a watchdog for the property and family. They were even noted to go with the farmer to hunt on occasion to bring home dinner. The dog would not only keep away predators of animal and human out of its territory, the dog need- ed to know the difference between its own livestock and livestock that was trespassing. The Spitz was an intelligent, thinking dog. It was robust and hardy, with a strong natural desire to please. The Spitz will do its best to accomplish any task that is asked of it. At harvest time, the Spitz could be found riding the vegetable carts into market protect- ing against thievery. COMING TO THE US When the German settlers came to the US, many of their dogs came with them, so came the Spitz. There, the Spitz is found in colors other than white. They are also found in black, chocolate and red, but why the white variety was the most popular color in the US is unclear. Many of the German settlers settled in the Midwest and New England as these areas look very much like the German countryside. German settlers also went to southern Texas and the Spitz became popular in that region.

The Germans used the Spitz very much in the same manner as they did in Ger- many. The breed became a formable watchdog of the farm. CIRCUS LIFE The Spitz’s historical association with the circus began in Germany; however, the German circuses used the Spitz, but no more or less than any other breed or mixed breed. Gypsies were noted to have Spitz traveling with them. The dogs would readily warn of an approaching strang- er, this also included the local law enforcement. Since the breed was eas- ily trained, eye catching and intelligent, the gypsies would train the dogs to do tricks. They would then invite the local townspeople to come and watch the dogs, for a fee of course. Some of the circuses in Europe began to use the Spitz in their acts. In the 1920s, there was a story of the P.T Barnum and Bailey circus using a Spitz in one of its circus acts named “Bido”. (In fact, “Bido”, a dog from the Midwest, can be fold in old pedigrees of that time.) It was said that it was the only dog to be trained to walk a tight rope; however, there is no documenta- tion of the actual dog performing. There was also a story of a dog named “Trixie” that was also said to be used a circus dog; however, documen- tation leads to a children’s book of that time about a circus dog named Trixie. That dog looks to be a Pomeranian and is described as “white and brown”. Whether this was a real dog that was written about or just a child’s storybook is unknown.

The circuses used many dogs in their acts. The American Eskimo Dog was undeniable used in circus acts, but was never developed or bred to be a circus dog. THE SPITZ NAME The UKC (United Kennel Club) regis- tered the breed in 1913. Only the white variety was registered. There was a fire in the early days of UKC and many of the records were lost; therefore, the first recorded registration of the breed isn’t until 1922. There were seven dogs registered under the breed name of “Spitz”—the first recorded bitch was “Patsy Pall” and the first male was “Rob Roy”. In 1923, an additional thirteen were registered as Spitz. By 1924, there was considerable anti- German sentiment in the United States arising. Many of the German breeds were being chastised and discriminat- ed against. UKC changed the name of the breed to “American Spitz”. In 1925, the breed name was changed again to “American Eskimo Spitz”. This name was adopted from the kennel name of Mr. & Mrs. Hall who raised the Spitz along with a number of other breeds. Their kennel name was “American Eski- mo Kennels”. In 1926, the “Spitz” was completely taken off the name; how- ever, the breed was still referred to for many years as “Spitz” or “Eskimo Spitz”. THE STANDARD The first Breed Standard was written in 1958, along with an official “History of the Breed”. By this time, due to the anti–German sentiment from the past, the entire history of the breed had been

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erased and the breed was described as a dog that was bred down from large sled dogs, with nothing of its German origin being mentioned. The size of the breed was stated at “15 to 19 inches at the shoulder”. Then, in 1969 the National American Eskimo Dog Association was formed and they divided the breed into two sizes, Standard and Miniature, accord- ing to weight. This was done “for show purposes only”. The breed was divided so there would be more classes, thus more ribbons would be given out. This would hopefully keep exhibitors show- ing longer and make the shows larger. In the 1974 Standard, nothing was written about any history of the breed. Nothing was said where the breed came from, nor what it was bred for. There was a statement in an old Bloodlines magazine that stated, “soon people will forget about the Spitz name, and only know the breed as American Eskimo, they forget everything”. It seemed that the intent was to attempt to hide where the breed actually came from. In 1985, the American Eskimo Dog Club of American was formed. The breed was then divided into three siz- es by height and disqualifying heights were incorporated into the Standard.

They are a resourceful, thinking breed and can be destructive if left without a “job”, or something to do. They are easy to train, love to work and enjoy being with their human pack members. Off lead, they prefer to stay within sight of their human. They have a close bond with humans in general, and enjoy working close with them. They are a versatile breed being able to be used for a number of tasks. Breeders work hard to breed a dog that is sound structured, mentally stable and can do the work the breed was intend- ed to do…which is to be versatile, able to herd, able to be a watchdog as well as a close companion, be intelligent, easy to train, independent and be not needy. These are the traits that are the essence of what makes the breed an American Eskimo Dog. The American Eskimo Dog traces its ancestors to Germany and has many of the same ancestors as a number of the Nordic breeds of today. Today, the American Eskimo Dog stands proud of its German heritage. The American Eskimo Dog is one of the most versa- tile breeds excelling in herding, agil- ity, tracking, obedience, service and therapy work, companion and just an all–around great dog!

In 1995, the AKC officially accepted the American Eskimo Dog for registra- tion. They did not separate the breed into separate varieties or sizes. In Open class only, the breed could be separated into three divisions. Eskies are show in the Non–Sporting group. THE ESKIE TEMPERMANT The American Eskimo is considered a “primitive breed”, in that many of the natural instincts of the breed are still very fixed. The Eskie, as with most Nor- dic breeds, has a strong pack instinct. The Eskie’s natural instincts in breed- ing, whelping and rearing of a litter are unyielding and require little to no outside assistance. The breed is noted for its longevity, with many living until their middle to late teens. For their size, they are strong, powerful dogs. Also, they are a healthy breed when com- pared to many other breeds, but are not without their issues. As with any breed, they are not the breed for everyone. With their strong pack instincts, they must have a pack leader. They are a moderately active breed and do need exercise. They are a double–coated breed with a thick weather resistant coat, and will shed their undercoat usually twice per year.

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JUDGING THE AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG P erhaps the first thing peo- ple notice about the Eskie ring is the wide range of sizes shown together. Eskies by RUTH SAMPSON AND DIANA ALLEN

will be almost two inches longer than tall. Thus a 19 inch tall dog would be 21 inches in length. Even the 10 inch toy would be 10 inches at the shoulder and 11 inches in length. Eskies are not to be cobby. Coming to the front of the dog, first notice the alert and intelligent expres- sion. Cradle the head in your hands. The Eskie head should have a soft wedge shape with the widest breadth between the ears, eyes are dark to medium brown, almost oval in shape and symmetrically placed on the head. The standard calls for full dentition and either a scissor or level bite is correct. The muzzle is broad and the length can be shorter, but may not exceed the backskull length. Ears are triangular, erect and conform to size of head. Jaw is strong and well developed. Bridge of the muzzle is flat, foreface is high, stop is well defined. Eye rims, lips and nose are black to dark brown. As with many Nordic breeds, Eskies may snownose (center of nose leather fading) with the winter months, hence the name. This is not to be confused with a total or par- tial lack of pigment of the nose. Disqual- ification: Blue eyes. In examining the remainder of the dog, the neck is medium in length and carries a good arch. Front legs are well under the body. The standard calls for a well angulated dog both front and rear, you may be able to feel the right angle, (one corner of a square) where the shoulder blade meets the upper arm. Both bones lay back 45 degrees from a line through the joint running parallel to the ground. The 45 degree angle is probably more sought after than found, but straight shoulders severely impact

come in small, medium and large size (officially known as toy, miniature and standard). The toy is 9 inches up to and including 12 inches. Miniatures are over 12 inches up to and including 15 inches. The standard Eskie is over 15 inches, up to and including 19 inch- es. All Eskies are shown on the table. Disqualification: Height at withers under 9 inches or over 19 inches. When the dogs come into the ring, the first thing noted is that this is a Nor- dic breed. It is a trotting breed. It will cover the most amount of ground with the least amount of effort. The fastest dog isn’t necessarily the best mover. The best mover will be efficient, tireless and effortless. The dog putting forth a lot of effort to get around the ring will not be your best mover. The legs of the good moving Eskie may not move as fast, but the dog will cover good ground. On the table, note that the top of the withers, the elbow and just behind the front pad are all in a straight line per- pendicular to the ground. The length of the leg should be 50% of the height of the dog, with the body also being 50%. This can sometimes be hard to see because of the abundant Eskie coat. Note also that the front pasterns are angled 20 degrees which acts as a cushion and increases stamina over long distances. Eskies are not a square breed. The standard calls for a ratio of 1 to 1.1 height to length. Thus the length should be 10% more than the height of the dog. A 19 inch dog (measured at the withers)

Eskie Coat Pattern

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Standard

Mini

Snow Nose

Toy

the gait. The sternum can be easily felt as the dog has good forechest. Ribs are on the approximate level of the elbow and are well sprung to the elbow. The back is strong and level; loins are well muscled. The standard calls for a 30 degree lay off of the pelvis. To be in balance with the front, the stifle must be well bent and the hocks short (well let down), and straight. There is a very slight slope of the croup. Upper and lower thighs are of the same length. Feet are oval. Toes are arched and pads are tough and deeply cushioned. The Eskie is a single tracking breed. All footprints falling on a single line of travel. When the dog breaks into a trot his body is supported by only two legs at a time, which move as alternating diagonal pairs. To achieve balance, his legs angle inward toward a center line beneath his body, and the greater the speed, the closer they come to track- ing on a single line. (In a small ring, Eskie legs can be seen to converge but may not reach true single tracking in a confined space. The gait is “agile, bold, well bal- anced and frictionless, with good fore- quarter reach and good hindquarter drive”. The head will drop slightly to keep with the forward momentum of the dog. Eskie tails may be down when the dog is at ease but must be car- ried loosely over the back while they are moving. The Eskie is a double coated breed. It is white or white with biscuit cream. The quality of the coat is more impor- tant than the quantity. Dogs will nor- mally carry more coat than the bitch- es. Bitches will have a slightly softer texture to their coat. The coat is weather

resistant and carries the typical pattern to the coat. Pattern is more apparent on dogs than bitches. Disqualification: Any color other than white or biscuit cream. And finally, please remember from the standard: “There is to be no trim- ming of the whiskers or body coat and such trimming will be severely penal- ized. Only permissible trimming is to neaten the feet and the backs of the When judging the American Eskimo Dog it is important to keep in mind the original function of the breed. It was originally bred as a multi-purpose working dog of the farm. The Eskie is one of the most versatile of breeds and is extremely intelligent. The Standard for the breed is very descriptive as to what is desired. The Eskie is a Nordic breed and also displays the charac- teristics of the ancient Spitz line of dogs. Good and balanced angulation is extremely important with shoul- ders well laid back. It is also a trotting breed, so movement is very important, not only written in the standard, but to the breeders that have dedicated their lives to preserving, protecting and improving. rear pasterns.” SUMMARY: The Eskie succeeds in agility, obe- dience, flyball, lure coursing, dock dog diving, herding, therapy and ser- vice dog work. And is a strikingly beau- tiful dog in the conformation ring as well as a loving and loyal companion. Eskies exel at these and other tasks. But it cannot do so if it is not have the structure, temperament and type as according to the standard…so please judge accordingly.

Movement Puppy Sidegate

Movement Agile, bold, well balanced, good reach & drive

Movement Single Tracks as speed increases

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JUDGING THE AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG

T

By Debbie Mitchell

he American Eski- mo Dog is a small to medium-size Nordic dog. Th ere are three separate size divisions of the American Eski-

reach and drive appears below as Figure 1. Please note that the dog’s front foot is even with the end of his nose. Th is indi- cates correct lay back of the shoulder and a deep chest giving this dog the ability to reach correctly. Depth of chest extends approximately to point of elbows, Th e rear foot is o ff the ground showing the dog’s ground covering ability as well as his driv- ing ability. Th is also illustrates well angu- lated hindquarters and well bent sti fl es. As speed increases, the American Eskimo Dog will single track with the legs con- verging toward the center of gravity while the back remains fi rm, strong and level. Gait is a very important aspect of the American Eskimo Dog. A judge should know that the animal should single track and look for the best specimen that con- forms to the standard. When judging the American Eskimo Dog, a judge should always keep the breed standard in mind, whether it be a toy, miniature or a standard. Breed type is always important, but a judge must remember that structure and movement are part of breed type. Th ey must also take into consideration that a dog that appears beautiful and typey standing still might be a totally di ff erent type once the judge sees the dog moving.

mo Dog, Toy (9 inches up to and includ- ing 12 inches), Miniature (over 12 inches up to and including 15 inches) and Stan- dard (over 15 inches up to and including 19 inches)—all measurements are height at the withers. All judges should remember that there should be NO PREFERENCE for size, but that every size presented must conform to the breed standard. A judge should be prepared to see all sizes together in his or her ring as the American Eskimo Dog is not separated into varieties except in open classes in specialties or in open classes in which a club has been requested to separate the sizes and has agreed to do so. A good example of a miniature Ameri- can Eskimo Dog. Th e American Eskimo Dog is a multi- purpose working farm dog. A judge should be looking for a dog that is well-balanced, that trots, but does not pace, is agile and can cover the most ground e ff ortlessly. Th e dog should appear to fl oat with excel- lent reach and drive. A good example of

Toy American Eskimo

Fig. 1

“GAIT IS A VERY IMPORTANT ASPECT OF THE AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG. A judge should know that the animal should single track and look for the best specimen that conforms to the standard.”

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Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

A judge should never compare the American Eskimo dog to the Samoyed. Th e American Eskimo Dog was never meant to pull sleds. Th ey were used as guardian, working, herding and compan- ion dogs. Th eir movement, head type and eye shape are completely di ff erent from the Samoyed. Samoyeds pull from the front, American Eskimos drive from the rear. Th e American Eskimo should have a pro- nounced stop, whereas the Samoyed has more of a slope. Th e eye of the American Eskimo is slightly oval, not oblique as is the eye of the Samoyed. Th e American Eskimo has a very dis- tinctive coat. It is a stand-o ff double coat consisting of a dense undercoat. It should be straight with no curl or wave. THERE IS TO BE NO TRIMMING OF THE WHISKERS OR BODY COAT AND SHOULD BE SEVERELY PENAL- IZED. Figure 2 is a picture of the cor- rect American Eskimo coat that is labeled to show a judge what to look for and to

avoid putting up a trimmed dog. It should also be noted that females do not carry as much coat as males. Figures 3 and 4 are pictures of excellent females that are not carrying as much coat as Figure 2, but are still in correct coat. Another important aspect of the Amer- ican Eskimo Dog that a judge should con- sider is length of neck. Adequate length of neck that blends naturally into the shoul- der indicates a strong shoulder lay back. Lay back of the shoulder contributes to the amount of reach a judge will or will not see. Th e neck should have a strong grace- ful arch blending into a level top line. Th e following photo shows an animal with the correct length of neck and correct pigment. Judges should never consider the American Eskimo Dog a “head” breed. Th e head is a Nordic type head, slightly crowned and slightly wedge shaped with widest breadth between the ears which should conform to the head size and be triangular, slightly blunt tipped and held

erect, set on high yet well apart. Eyes are dark to medium brown and slightly oval. Th e presence of tear stains, unless severe, should not be faulted. Th e stan- dard calls for a full complement of teeth which should be considered when judg- ing. Th e American Eskimo must have a keen, intelligent and alert expression, Th e following depicts the correct head type. Judges should also be able to recognize the di ff erence between snow nose and absence of pigment. A dog that is kept inside all of the time and is not exposed to the sunlight may often develop lightening of the nose or as more commonly known as a “snow nose.” Th ose dogs will have a black line all around the nose leather and may even have a few black spots on the faded nose. Th is phenomena also occurs in some American Eskimos as they age. Further, a dog with a snow nose will not have any fading of the eye rims or the lips. Absence of pigment means that the nose is pink with total absence of black and some

“THE AMERICAN ESKIMO HAS A V ERY DISTINCTIV E COAT. It is a stand-off double coat consisting of a dense undercoat.”

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“AMERICAN ESKIMO DOGS WERE ORIGINALLY USED FOR PROTECTION OF THEIR HOME AND FAMILY.”

possible absence on the lips and eye rims as well. It should be noted that the head is only part of the total dog combined with structure and movement. One important thing for a judge to note is that white is the preferred color, but white with biscuit cream is permissible. If a judge must choose between a pure white dog of lesser quality, than a dog with bis- cuit cream, the judge must choose the bis- cuit cream dog due to its quality in regard to type, structure and movement. Breeders have been striving for many years to present an animal with a temper- ament deserving of the breed. American Eskimo Dogs should be intelligent, alert and friendly, although slightly conserva- tive. It is never overly shy or overly aggres- sive. A judge needs to remember that the breed is conservative. A judge should not approach an American Eskimo Dog from the rear, bend over or touch a dog on the fl oor, especially if the judge is a man that is over 6 feet tall or should they approach a dog on the table completely out of the animal’s peripheral vision. American Eskimo Dogs were originally used for protection of their home and family. Th e dog will form this protective bond with

its owner/handler or its handler. It is very important that a judge take this into con- sideration so as not to startle the dog. Th e American Eskimo will not threaten to bite or attack, but may show its conser- vatism if startled which may convey the wrong message to the judge. It is of immense importance that judges be aware of the temperament expected by responsible breeders whether it be the American Eskimo Dog or any other breed for that matter. I was asked to de fi ne the perfect Amer- ican Eskimo Dog. As we all know, there is no perfect dog. I would love 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 move- ment 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 top line. Th e rear would be well angulated with well bent sti fl es and well let down pasterns. Th e tail would be set moderately high and would reach the point of hock when down. Th e coat would be full and luxurious and

not trimmed. Th e 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. Th at is my idea of a perfect American Eskimo Dog.

BIO Debbie Mitchell is the Judges’ Education Committee Chairper- son for the American Eskimo Dog Association of America. She and her

husband Rick have owned, bred and exhib- ited American Eskimo Dogs since 1983. Th ey bred their first litter in 1989; the breed has become her passion. Since that first lit- ter in 1989, 18 American Eskimo Dogs of Debbie’s breeding have finished to their AKC Championship, 1 of which she finished to his AKC Grand Championship. She fin- ished 9 from the Bred by Exhibitor class. Debbie has a BS in Chemistry and is currently a practicing Certified Paralegal in the State of Texas. She is also the current “Gazette” col- umnist for the American Eskimo Dog, as well as a member in good standing of the American Eskimo Dog Association for more than 20 years. In addition, Deb- bie is the Corresponding Secretary for the National American Eskimo Dog Associa- tion, Secretary/Treasurer for the North- east Texas American Eskimo Dog Associ- ation and Treasurer for the North Texas Non-Sporting Association. Also, she is a judge for the United Kennel Club. Debbie feels it is her privilege to have the American Eskimo Dogs, to have the opportunity to write about them and to have made so many dear friends because of them.

“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 top line.”

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JUDGING THE AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG

by BARBARA E. BEYNON

T his year, 2015, marks the 20th anniversary of full recognition of the American Eskimo Dog (AED) by the AKC. Most judg- es and aspiring judges have had plenty of time to see the range of correct styles (the word I use to describe variations of correct type) of Eskies in the show ring. The American Eskimo Dog, or “Eskie”, is a small- to medium-sized white Nordic type dog whose country of origin is the US. It is bred in three sizes--Toy (9 to 12 inches), Miniature (over 12 to 15 inches) and Standard (over 15 to 19 inches). Any Eskie under 9 inches or over 19 inches is disqualified. Other breed-specific disquali- fications are blue eyes and any color other than white or white with biscuit cream. Faults listed in the Breed Standard which are so severe as to compromise correct breed type include pink nose pigment, pink lip pigment, pink eye rim pigment and yellow eye color. Some judges believe that Eskie fanci- ers should remove their emphasis on Toy, Mini and Standard, but size is an essential element of correct AED type. Two disquali- fications are provided for size: Under 9 inches and over 19. Judges must also remember that in divided Open classes, they must pay spe- cial attention to the divisions of 12 and 15 inches and be prepared to measure an Eskie which does not meet the require- ments of its class. An AED which is found to be in the wrong class is marked as “Excused-Measured out” (it is only dis- qualified if it is under 9 or over 19). A real- life example which I witnessed was in an Open Miniature Bitch class during which the judge called for the wicket and mea- sured out an under-12-inch bitch. The bitch was not disqualified as she was between 9 and 19 inches; but she was excused

from the Miniature class because she was a Toy. The AKC considers the Eskie to be a “low entry breed”, which is good and bad for judges. Good because judges are able to continue with the approval process for new breeds; but bad because they may complete their permit assignments without ever judging an AED. Sometimes a judge will have only one outstanding exhibit, but they may be afraid to reward it because it looks different from the oth- ers and the judge does not want to justify the placement of the odd-dog with the

the Breed class as handlers for the Winners are found. If additional placements are required in the Breed class, judges must pay special attention to handler swapping. Recently I passed off my Winners Dog to a friend while I stayed on my specials bitch. I marked the entries for all of my dogs as eligible for NOHS; and the judge wanted to use my Winners Dog for NOHS Best of Breed. But when I passed him off, he became ineligible for the prize. The judge and steward thought that was the case and I assured them that they were correct.

“THE AED IS A TABLE BREED, REGARDLESS OF THE SIZE OF THE EXHIBITS ENTERED THAT DAY.”

AKC Field Rep. Sometimes an assignment may include only one of a particular sized Eskie and the judge feels that they must be constant in rewarding size. Judges have told me “I put up a Miniature for Win- ners Dog, so I had to continue to use Min- is”. Please do not fall into either of these two patterns. The Eskie is primarily an owner-han- dled breed, so swapping of dogs between classes will occur in the event of a large entry. While the handlers should not hold up your ring too much, they do need a little time to switch dogs and armbands. Typical- ly the most swaps and confusion come for

The AED is a table breed, regardless of the size of the exhibits entered that day. Even if the entire entry is comprised of Standards and the handlers do not make use of the table, please remind exhibi- tors that all entries are examined on the table. If a judge needs to recheck a feature, put the AED back on the table. Do NOT put two Eskies on the same table at one time! The Eskie is territorial and protec- tive of its handler; and whichever Eskie gets on the table first will likely challenge the other. As a breeder-owner-handler of many Eskies, I spend time training my dogs

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“PROPORTION IS A VITAL COMPONENT TO CORRECT BREED TYPE AND MOVEMENT. THE ESKIE HAS A LENGTH TO HEIGHT RATIO OF 1.1 TO 1, MEANING THAT IT IS SLIGHTLY LONGER THAN TALL.”

well before shows. No matter how much time we spend, a youngster is naturally excited and nervous during its first shows. Eskies are highly intelligent and know when the difference between a class, a match and a show- especially a large show. They feed on the excitement around them and can really embarrass their handlers. I have been known to inform a judge that my unruly youngster was in its first show. I was not looking for sympathy placement but a little gentler hand and a few extra seconds of examination. Examining bites can often be enter- taining for all involved. Before the recent canine influenza outbreak, I often exam- ined bites of all exhibits. If I had an Eskie that didn’t want to cooperate, I told the handler that we would finish the exam and come back to the mouth. While com- pleting the exam, I quietly asked the han- dler if they would show the bite when we returned to the front. No one rushed the Eskie and it quickly forgot its trauma in those few moments. Judges typically ask a multiple-entry class to come into the ring and line up before going around the ring together, with the first Eskie going onto the table. However, many judges ask handlers of singleton entry classes go directly onto the table without the go-around lap. Because the Eskie is extremely curious and watch- ful, it wants to see what’s going on at all times. The initial go-around gives the judge a chance to get a first impression, but it lets an Eskie see what’s going on. Judges, please treat the singleton classes in the same manner as you do the multiple-entry classes. You must see the Eskie move from the side—why not do it first and allow them to settle down?

Proportion is a vital component to correct breed type and movement. The Eskie has a length to height ratio of 1.1 to 1, meaning that it is slightly longer than tall. The length is measured from point of shoulders to point of ischium and the fore- quarters and hindquarters are well-angled. A correctly structured AED will not appear long because its length will come from its well-angled shoulders and hips. The Eskie which appears long typically has straight shoulders, a short neck and straight hindquarters. The AED is a well-balanced dog with typical working dog movement—think of Rachel Paige Elliot’s videos. An Eskie which is built correctly will move with good forequarter reach and balanced hind- quarter drive. From the front and rear, the Eskie’s feet will converge toward the longi- tudinal center of the body. While moving on a loose lead, the Eskie holds its head up and looks at nearby peo- ple and dogs as it floats around the ring. Some Eskies which have straight angula- tion are rushed around the ring and can only look at the floor while their handlers try to hold their heads up on tight leads. Evaluation of expression is best done when the Eskie is on the floor, usually as it comes back to the judge after the down- and-back or other similar pattern. The typi- cal Eskie expression is dark eyes with dark eye and nose pigment (but not necessarily black) on a snow-white face. Eskie eyes are “not fully round” but rounder than many other Nordic breeds whose standards require an almond-shaped eye. Ear size is in proportion to the head and small ears are as faulty as large ears. Expect the well-trained AED to be a superb showman in the ring. In large Breed

classes and at specialties, I enjoy asking handlers to gait their Eskies one-at-a-time to the far side of the ring and free stack- time permitting, of course. Some Eskies can put on a real show for the crowd! The AED is remarkably intelligent, but this can have its down side. Once an Eskie has “performed” for its handler, it may get bored and decide to ignore the peo- ple in the ring. Eskie owners never know when that will happen, but we’ve all had an Eskie who said, “I’m tired of this. Can we go home now?” Experienced handlers keep different toys and treats at the ready should it happen to them, usually during large classes. Years ago the American Eskimo Dog was given the nickname “The Dog Beau- tiful”. I hope that you enjoy judging these intelligent and sometimes mischievous white beauties as much as Eskie fanciers enjoy showing their charges to you. See you in the ring! ABOUT THE AUTHOR Barbara Beynon has been a breeder- owner-handler of American Eskimo Dogs since 1978. In 1996, she was approved by the AKC to judge AEDs and judged the National Specialty in 2005 and 2014. She is a Charter Member of the American Eskimo Dog Club of America (currently serving as President) and the Lone Star American Eskimo Dog Club in Texas (currently Secretary). She is the author of the book The Complete American Eskimo: A Special Kind of Companion Dog (How- ell Book House, 1991). Barbara holds a Master of Science degree in Geology and is a Texas-registered Professional Geo- scientist working as an independent geological consultant.

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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.

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The American Eskimo Dog

E

vidence has shown that the white Spitz dog was brought over to the US with some of the first settlers. The major- ity of dogs during the early times had

BY DIANA L. ALLEN

to work for a living. The white Spitz was no exception. It worked the farms as a herder, guardian, vermin catcher, and sometimes it even accompanied hunting trips for the family dinner. Times were lean, and the dog occasion- ally was expected to supply its own source of protein. The larger dogs were kept outside as herders, guardians, and workers. The smaller dogs were brought into the home as companions and vermin catchers; but if asked to, they could perform the jobs that the larger dogs did. The breed was bred to be a multi-purpose working dog of the farm.

Nice Toy, ears well placed, correct eye, nice length of neck. Correct breed type. Would like to see more rear angulation, longer second thigh.

Dog is showing correct sidegate according to the standard. Feet are meeting under the body and are only lifted high enough to clear the ground. Note the same distance between the front two legs as there is between the rear two.

Correct head study, muzzle balances with backskull, eyes are wide set, correct shape, ears conform to head size, bridge of nose is flat, high foreface, nice expression.

SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 2021 | 265

THE AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG

TODAY, THE TRAITS AND INSTINCTS THAT WERE DESIRED TO DEVELOP THE AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG HAVE PRODUCED A VERY INTELLIGENT, VERSATILE DOG THAT EXCELS IN AGILITY, OBEDIENCE, TRACKING, LURE COURSING, BARN HUNT, FARM DOG, THERAPY AND SERVICE DOG WORK.

Excellent sidegate! Legs are only lifted high enough to clear the ground, same distance between front legs as there is in rear, feet are meeting under the body. Head is dropped slightly to keep with forward momentum of the dog.. Even through the coat you can see that back remains level.

The breed lived in somewhat obscurity until registered with UKC just after the turn of the 20th Century. At first, the breed was just registered as “Spitz” as it was definitely a Nordic/Spitz- type dog. The name went through several changes, from Ameri- can Spitz to American Eskimo Spitz, until finally, in 1926, the name was settled to American Eskimo, denoting its Nordic heri- tage. Populations of “Eskies,” as they were nicknamed, could be found in the Midwest and Texas. Gradually, the breed could be seen in other areas. Over the years, it lived a quiet life, without anyone seeking AKC recognition. More people began to fall in love with the American Eskimo dog that was extremely intel- ligent and versatile, had outstanding beauty, and was noted for its longevity. This was also a time of the rise of the many circuses. They trained many dogs of numerous breeds and mixed-breeds to perform in various performances. The American Eskimo was trained in some circuses along with many other breeds at that time. The Eskie, however, was never “bred” to be a circus dog. It was not used any more or any less than any of the other breeds. Many of the white Spitz that were used were not purebred dogs. There were a number of “stories” of the Eskie and the Circus, but when researched, they were just that—stories. In 1969, UKC closed the stud books. The National American Eskimo Association was formed and the breed was divided into Miniatures and Standards. In 1994, the AKC recognized the American Eskimo Dog, adding “Dog” to its name. The breed was divided into three divisions; Toy, Miniature, and Standard. Today, the traits and instincts that were desired to develop the American Eskimo Dog have produced a very intelligent, versa- tile dog that excels in Agility, Obedience, Tracking, Lure Cours- ing, Barn Hunt, Farm Dog, Therapy and Service Dog work. These are just to name a few of its talents. It is hard to find something that the American Eskimo Dog cannot be taught. When judging the American Eskimo Dog, remember what the breed was originally developed for—a farm dog. The AKC Standard for the breed states that the American Eskimo Dog is “…a picture of strength, agility, alertness and beauty.” The Eskie is a Nordic/Spitz-type dog and should give you the impression of a small-to-medium-sized “Northern” breed.

This dog shows good arch of neck, balanced front and rear. It is out of coat, but quality appears good, nice headpiece, and showing snownose.

Eskies can be excellent herders.

Classic Headpiece! Correct eye, muzzle has good depth, bridge is flat, correct stop, and foreface, ears are correct size., all over, very nice head, and intelligent expression.

266 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 2021

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