The American Eskimo is one of a number of Spitz breeds which trace their lineage back to the “Peat-Moss” dogs which extended over both Northern & Central Europe and Asia. The Peat-Moss dogs are dated back to the Neolithic or Late Stone Age, 4000 – 1900 B.C., which is the oldest form of the domesticated dog.

Well preserved skeletons were discovered in the peat-moss layers in the lakes and the swampy moors that were so common in that era. These “Peat-bogs” were very abundant in tannic acid – a natural preservative. The remains of these dogs were found with the remains of small villages of that time. These ancient remains of dogs were classified and compared to the modern day dog by German archaeologist Karl Ludwig Ruetimeyer. It was discovered that the remains were very close not only in shape but in size to one of the Spitz breeds, that being the German Spitz.

The German Spitz served its master as an all round watchdog,escort and family companion through thousands of years. The thick coat made him resistant to all weather conditions. The dog accompanied covered wagons on the road as an incorruptible watchdog, and on board ships it was a reliable protector of the load. As a family pet it is a happy, intelligent playmate for the family as well as a pleasant and lovable companion.

Throughout the years, numerous famous people owned and adored the breed. Some of those are the well known painter Michelangelo, the renowned composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the painter and artist Adrian Ludwig Richter, and the Prince of Wales.

In 1899 the German Spitz Club in Germany was formed. A written standard was drafted and the dedication of the German breeders since that time has been unadulterated.

The United States did not see the German Spitz until it was brought over to this Country with the first German Settlers. The breed was cherished by its owners for a number of years and was always ready to serve in whatever manner his master may have required of him.

In the early 1920’s, a very small group of dedicated breeders approached the United Kennel Club to register the breed. The first “documented” registration was in the year 1922. In that year there were 7 dogs registered under the breed name of just “Spitz” (The German Spitz was also very well known just by the name of Spitz”). In 1925, with the anti German sentiment arising in the U.S., the breed name was changed to American Eskimo. This name was adopted from the kennel name of Mr. & Mrs. Hall, who were well known breeders at that time. Still for many years after the breed name change the breed was known as the “Spitz”, “Eskimo Spitz”, and “American Eskimo Spitz”.

After registration, breeders continued to strive to improve the breed. The breed became very popular with the circus as it was exceedingly agile and easy to train. In the 30’s there were UKC licensed shows and in the 40’s there were Clubs wanting to form. During the 50’s there was a decline in activity in exhibiting the breed but through the official magazine, “Bloodlines”, articles from breeders continued, and the promotion of a quality dog from breeders with strong ethics continued to grow.

In 1969, the National American Eskimo Dog Association was formed and an official standard was written. The breed was divided into 2 sizes, standard and miniatures, by weight. This was not new as in the late 40’s and 50’s ads may be found in “Bloodlines” magazine advertising standard and “toy” varieties.

Since then, the Standard of the breed has been revised and improved. Standard and miniatures are measured, no longer weighed. There are numerous, very active Clubs, and breeders still strive to improve the breed.

In 1995, the American Eskimo Dog achieved total recognition by the American Kennel Club. The American Kennel Club recognizes the Toy, Miniature, and the Standard sizes.

Today the American Eskimo is a highly intelligent, multi purpose working breed with a versatility that is astounding. It is used as an able bodied protector of the home, a guarder and herder of livestock, a therapy dog, and as a circus dog, just to name a few of its talents. Breeders are dedicated to not only preserve the breed’s fine qualities and natural instincts, but to steadily refine its attributes.