The American Eskimo Dog breed is a very healthy breed and is usually free of genetic defects and health problems, though it pays to make sure a puppy has been screened for health problems before purchasing one. If you are thinking of buying an Eskie puppy, or any other puppy for that matter, make sure you buy one from a reputable breeder who specializes in no more than a couple of dog breeds. The breeder should invite you to inspect their premises, introduce you to at least one of the puppy's parents, and offer you a health guarantee on your puppy. A good breeder will also be interested in learning more about you in order to make sure the puppy is going to a good home. Expect the breeder to ask you details about your house and yard, and about how often you and your family are home, in addition to other questions.
A rescue group is also an excellent place to find good dogs, especially if you don't want to go through the difficulties of raising and training a puppy. American Eskimo Dog rescue does a good job of matching families with adoptable dogs, and the dogs are usually already housebroken and trained. Rescue Eskies are generally very healthy, good quality dogs that were abandoned or given up by their owners for various reasons. Rescue groups are often contacted by people who have to give up Eskies due to owner allergies, illness, or even death, and these people very much want to find a new home for the dog. Once you've been approved for adoption, adopting a rescue Eskie is also usually much less expensive than purchasing one from a breeder.
In recent years, the American Eskimo Dog breed has become more popular with consumers, and as a result the market is becoming full of unhealthy or "mean" puppies that are creating problems for the people who purchase them. A lot of this is due to the fact that the Eskie is being overbred by puppy mills, which breed for profit rather than for a genuine interest in the dogs, and which take advantage of the fact that most consumers are unaware of their breeding practices. Puppy mills tend to keep many different breeds of dogs in very poor living conditions, and tend to neglect, abuse, inbreed, and overbreed their dogs, producing very poor quality dogs. Such practices are contributing to the deterioration of the overall health of most dog breeds, and are introducing dogs with health and behavioral problems into the consumer market.
Poorly-bred adult American Eskimo Dogs are particularly prone to aggressive behavior and can become problem biters. They can also cost their owners hundreds or even thousands of dollars in veterinary bills as they age. Also, a "pedigree" certificate from a kennel club is not a guarantee of good health or breeding -- it is merely a listing of the dog's geneology and has nothing to do with the overall quality of the dog.
Many bad breeders will show consumers a pedigree certificate to entice them to buy, knowing that the certificate doesn't prove anything. Avoid breeders who won't let you see the puppy's home, who won't let you see the puppy's parents, or have a yard or house full of cages of dogs. If you don't like what you see, then don't buy the dog. Also, don't give in to impulse buying or allow yourself to be suckered by a cute puppy face -- you'll save yourself a lot of potential problems in the future. Remember, you're buying a living thing that will probably share your life for the next 12 or more years. Buying a sick or aggressive puppy from a bad breeder doesn't do yourself or the puppy any favors, and only encourages the seller to continue to produce bad dogs. Don't buy dogs from fleamarkets, auctions, or corner street vendors. Also avoid buying a puppy from a pet store. Pedigreed or not, these puppies often come from puppy mills (often without the store owners being aware of it) and are vastly overpriced compared to puppies you could get from a good breeder, a good shelter, or a rescue group. In other words, don't let yourself be ripped off!
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