American Eskimo Dogs are among the most intelligent of the dog breeds. They have problem-solving capabilities, are very independent thinkers, and are easily bored. Eskies are generally very cheerful, hardy, rowdy, playful, nosey, affectionate, and don't recognize the fact that they are small dogs.
They crave attention and must be made members of the family or they can become problematic. They are mischievous tricksters, and many owners describe them as having a sense of humor. Most Eskies are very friendly and outgoing with family members and people they know, but tend to be reserved and suspicious around strangers. Eskies are also very vocal; many owners claim that their Eskies try to "talk" to them. The breed is a very good and devoted watchdog, and is commonly used as such, but it can become a problem barker if left alone for too long. Eskies take their watchdog duties very seriously.
Most of them are also avid chewers and need a constant supply of chew toys. Most Eskies are excellent with children, other dogs, and cats (though no dog of any breed should be left unsupervised with a young child) as long as the Eskie is exposed to them at a young age. Eskies are somewhat predatory, though, so they need to be watched closely around rodents, birds, and other small pets. Eskies tend to be energetic, and young dogs should be kept busy or they can become mischievous and destructive. Crate training and obedience training are highly recommended. Older Eskies are usually more sedate and become more affectionate with age, preferring to be petted or cuddled over running around. Many American Eskimo Dog owners keep more than one Eskie so the dogs can keep each other entertained, though lone Eskies do very well in busy households. Eskies make excellent apartment dogs as long as they are walked regularly and given plenty of opportunities to exercise. Eskies do very well in busy households.
Eskies do shed a lot, and they require frequent brushing to prevent matting (especially behind the ears) and to cut down on the shedding. Their fur should never be clipped or shaved except for medical reasons. The Eskie is amazingly easy to keep clean despite being a white dog. Eskie fur contains an oil that prevents dirt from adhering to it. When an Eskie gets dirty, usually the dirt brushes right out of the fur as long as the fur is dry. Eskies should only be bathed about once every couple of months depending on how dirty they get. Being bathed too often can cause skin problems because it tends to make an Eskie's skin dry and irritated. Unless they are very dirty, Eskies rarely have a dog smell. Eskies love cold climates, though they do well in just about any climate. One of the joys of American Eskimo Dog ownership is watching an Eskie play in the snow. Most Eskies LOVE snow and will play in it for hours if allowed. Many of them also like to play in water.
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