You fell in love with this adorable white ball of fluff breed lovingly called the American Eskimo (aka “The Eskie”) and took him home. This small dog melted your heart instantly and you know that you two will be best friends. You got the leash and matching harness and toys of all varieties and you’re destined for friendship. However, you’ve noticed your Eskie is a little chattier than you. In fact, he’s a lot chattier than you. He seems to bark all the time and loves the sound of his own voice. As a good friend you listen, but at some point, he has to quiet down so you can hear yourself think. You wonder will that ever happen?
The Root of the Behavior
The Eskie breed originated in Germany and is a non-sporting, companion dog. These dogs are intelligent and need to be entertained and stimulated. If they’re not, they might find trouble or start a one-man musical for everyone to hear. The very charming Eskie has a genetic predisposition to barking. The Eskie tends to be very protective of his pack and will bark at an intruder. Since he isn’t roaming the hills of Germany with groups of dogs and has made his home in your house, you’re now his pack and he is your attentive watchdog. He is very quick to sound the alarm if he sees a stranger approaching, which tends to make him a somewhat boisterous dog. The Eskie’s hearing is excellent, so he probably hears the sounds of potential predators before you do, and you can trust he will alert you. However, for the amount of noise this dog makes, he is not as aggressive as many think. His bark is usually worse than his bite and you should not expect the Eskie to become aggressive unless someone trained him to do so.
As for his friendship, the Eskie forms strong bonds with his two-legged friends and doesn’t like it when people argue in front of him. His strong bond with you makes him loyal and protective of you and your household, which results in a lot of barking. The Eskie not only barks, but he has been reported to howl and mumble on occasion. The Eskie can struggle to get along with strangers, so he might make some extra noise when you are introducing a friend. His concern for you combined with his unfamiliarity of a stranger makes it hard for him to relax when meeting someone new. This rather vocal dog is often happy and playful but needs sufficient time throughout the day to be amused and interact with others, whether it is you, his human friend, or another canine. An Eskie left alone for too long tends to not only be destructive, but noisy as well.
Encouraging the Behavior
A watchdog can be a great thing, especially if you live alone. You can be sure an Eskie will bark at strangers and alert you to any intruders, which essentially gives you an alarm system that will only cost you about two bowls of kibble a day. But like anything else, too much of a good thing is not always good. For example, if you live in an apartment or close to neighbors, they might complain that your furry dog is too loud too often. They are not benefiting from his protection, so they are less likely to see the plus side of having this alert watchdog within hearing distance of their home. With many dogs, you run the risk of upsetting the neighbors with their barking, but with an untrained Eskie, that risk can be much higher. Your Eskie will protect you, but if he is untrained, he might bark a lot more than you want him to. With his stellar hearing and his willingness to guard and alert you, he could end up barking at every sound. His chatter might make it hard for you to have conversations, watch TV, or get some peace and quiet even in your own home.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If you love your furry friend, it’s best to train him when he’s young. These little pups can be trained early. They can start learning positive behaviors at eight weeks. The Eskie is genetically predisposed to bark, so training takes a lot of effort on both your parts. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to stop his barking altogether, but you can work towards having him stop his alert on command. This will take time, anywhere from two to eight weeks, and consistency. These intelligent dogs can learn lots of tricks, but taming this one instinct to bark is a toughie. If you’re not sure you do it justice, take him to a trainer.
If you sometimes get lonely and need someone to chat with, the Eskie might be the right dog for you. His intelligence, friendliness, and watchdog tendencies make him a great friend. Just remember, he is blasting your conversation to everyone within earshot. If you don’t want your Eskie to share your discussion with the neighbors, consider using a trainer to teach your talkative pup a “stop barking” command.