Showsight Presents The American Eskimo Dog

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

266 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , D ECEMBER 2017

Powered by