(Toy, Miniature, and Standard)

American Eskimo Agility Photos

merican Eskimo Dogs, or as they are commonly known, Eskies, are descended from several European spitz-type dogs, including the Pomeranian, Italian Spitz, German Spitz, and Keeshound. Some experts even feel the Japanese Spitz may be a part of the breed's ancestry. The early dogs of the breed served both as watchdogs and companions. In the late 1800s, the

breed was known as the American Spitz and was very popular in traveling road shows and circuses, performing tricks. The breed's intelligence, agility, and unique white coat caught the American public's attention during this period, and the breed's popularity grew. In 1917, the name was changed to American Eskimo Dog, although the reasons why have been lost.

Eskies are bred in three sizes. Toys are 9 inches up to and including 12 inches at the withers (point of the shoulder); miniatures are more than 12 inches up to and including 15 inches; and standards are 15 inches and up to 19 inches at the withers. All Eskies of all sizes have the same look: upright ears, alert expression, plumed tail, and wonderful coat. Eskies are pure white, although some may have some biscuit cream in the coat. The coat is straight and is a double coat with a thick undercoat. All sizes should present the appearance of alertness, strength, and agility.

The Eskie's lush coat requires a minimum of twice weekly brushing. Although not prone to heavy matting (tangles), the dense undercoat will shed, and brushing can keep that under control. The heaviest shedding is usually in the spring and fall, although some shedding will take place throughout the summer and, depending upon your climate, sometimes year-round. The coat requires no trimming.

These dogs need vigorous daily exercise. Although daily walks are a great idea, they are not enough. A brisk jog, game of fetch, session of flyball, or training session on the agility course will keep them satisfied. Without enough exercise, Eskies can be quite mischievous and will amuse themselves, often to the owner's dismay!

All Eskie puppies should attend a puppy kindergarten class where they can socialize with puppies of other breeds and meet a variety of people. Continuing the training after puppy class is imperative for Eskies, not because they are bad—they're certainly not—but because they are alert, intelligent, and need something to occupy their mind. The training program should be structured yet fair and fun. Teach your Eskie tricks, too; he loves it!

Eskie's make alert watchdogs; trespassers will be met with a flurry of barking. Wary of strangers, the breed is very loyal to family and friends. The standard size Eskies make great companions for children and are usually quite tolerant of some roughhousing. The toy and miniature Eskies are too small for rough childhood play. If treated too roughly, these small dogs will protest. Most Eskies are quite tolerant of other small pets, including cats, although few can resist the chase of a running cat, so interactions should be supervised. The primary health concerns include Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), knee problems, and hip dysplasia.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, CKC, UKC Occupation: Companion, watchdog, performer Size: Toy: 9 to 12 in tall Mini: 12 to 15 in tall Standard: 15 to 19 in tall Longevity: 13 to 15 years Exercise: Vigorous daily exercise

Training: Easy; hard to focus Grooming: Twice weekly brushing

American Eskimo Dog 125

merican Foxhound

oxhounds were brought to the American colonies from England in the mid-1600s. The dogs known today as American Foxhounds descend from those dogs and from others imported from England, Ireland, and France. The American Foxhound is recognized by both the AKC and UKC, but many foxhounds are not registered with either and may be mixtures of other foxhounds. Many hunters simply want a foxhound who will hunt in a specific way or who can handle certain terrain or conditions. Claudia Bazinet, of Foxhound Relocation and Retirement, says, "There are about two dozen strains of American Foxhounds, and they vary widely in type."

She continues, "The American Foxhound was bred from the English Foxhound but has a medium build and is faster. They have a shorter neck and longer legs. The American Foxhound has longer ears, but again, that can vary according to the strain." As a general rule, American Foxhounds stand between 21 and 25 inches tall and weigh between 40 and 70 pounds. The coat is short and can be any color but is often the typical hound white and red or rust with a black saddle or cape.

Grooming this Foxhound is easy; simply brush him with a soft bristle brush or curry comb a couple times a week to loosen the dead hairs.

Foxhounds need daily aerobic exercise. Many will not play catch or fetch games, so a long, vigorous walk or a jog beside a bicycle will be needed. Never allow a Foxhound to run off leash outside of a fenced yard; as a hunter, if a rabbit or other critter is flushed, he will be gone and no amount of calling will bring him back.

Although American Foxhounds can be kept as pets and can be quite calm and gentle in the house, the breed is first and foremost a hunter. Training can be a challenge. They are good with other dogs (although they should never be trusted with small pets) and can be quite tolerant of children's antics. They do bay and may cause neighborhood complaints. Health concerns include ear problems.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC Occupation: Hunter Size: 21 to 25 in tall; 40 to 70 lbs

Longevity: 10 to 12 years Exercise: Daily aerobic exercise Training: Challenge Grooming: Easy


Pit Bulls as Pets

Pit Bulls as Pets

Are You Under The Negative Influence Of Hyped Media Stereotypes When It Comes To Your Knowledge Of Pit Bulls? What is the image that immediately comes into your mind when you think of the words Pit Bull? I can almost guarantee that they would be somewhere close to fierce, ferouscious, vicious, killer, unstoppable, uncontrollable, or locking jawed man-eaters.

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