Australian Eskimo

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35-52 lbs
19-23"
United States

The Australian Eskimo is a mix between an American Eskimo and an Australian Shepherd. They are usually white with brown or black markings which are often speckled or spotted. Their coats are quite wavy and a bit harsh so they do need regular grooming to keep looking neat and they are moderate shedders. The Australian Eskimo has good herding instincts from the Australian Shepherd side, but they are more companion animals who are very affectionate and love to play. They are not known to bark at intruders so aren’t necessarily the best watchdogs though, but are good with children and very loving toward their owners. They can be trained but owners may need a bit of patience to see results. They are not weather sensitive so thrive in hot or cold climates.

Purpose
Companion
Date of Origin
1990s
Ancestry
Australian Shepherd, American Eskimo

Australian Eskimo Health

Average Size
Height: 19-23 inches Weight: 35-60 lbs
Height: 19-23 inches Weight: 35-52 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Addison's Disease
Minor Concerns
  • Dental Disease
Occasional Tests
  • Hip And Eyes
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Dental Examination

Australian Eskimo Breed History

The name comes from the parent breeds - Australian Shepherd and American Eskimo - but details on their origin are quite limited. Despite its name, the Australian Shepherd was bred in the United States in the 1840s to herd livestock and is still very much a working dog. They are very intelligent and loyal dogs whose ancestors were the Spanish Sheepdogs taken to America by Basque shepherds when they emigrated to America in the 19th century. Many of them are registered with the Australian Shepherd Club of America. They are known as Aussies or Little Blue Dogs and were bred to be working dogs. They are prized for their good temperament. American Eskimos originated in Germany and are members of the Spitz family. They were known as the American Spitz until 1917 but the name was then changed to American Eskimo. It is believed that the name change was an attempt to distance the breed in America from its German origins. They were very popular for doing tricks in circuses and are called “the dog beautiful” by some for their good looks. They increased in popularity for being able to dance to music and interacting with clowns at the Barnum and Bailey Circus. Also known as Eskies, they come in Toy, Miniature and Standard sizes but are known for their big-dog attitude. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1995. They were originally bred to be working dogs on farms and are very agile with excellent herding instincts. Some are used as guard dogs and for narcotics detection.

Australian Eskimo Breed Appearance

The Australian Eskimo is a fairly large dog with males weighing up to 60 pounds with a height of up to 40 inches. Their coats are quite harsh and usually wavy and they often have a variety of markings which can be speckled. Your pet is likely to take on many of the characteristics of the parent breeds. Australian Shepherds have bright, expressive, almond-shaped eyes which are either brown or amber although some can have blue eyes. The ears are moderately sized, triangular and with a slightly rounded tip. They have strong white teeth and a muzzle which tapers slightly toward the rounded tip. Their paws are oval in shape and the tail is straight or can be docked. The medium length coat comes in blue or red merle, red or black tricolor, all with white and/or tan markings.  American Eskimos have white fluffy, straight double coats, black eyes  which are slightly oval in shape and erect triangular ears. They often have tear stains below their eyes which are medium to dark brown. The American Eskimo is known for its alert, keen and bright expression. The muzzle is broad and the jaw strong with close fitting teeth. Their paws are oval and tails carried up over the back.

Australian Eskimo Breed Maintenance

The Australian Eskimos are fairly easy to take care of but do need regular brushing to keep them looking good. Try to brush them at least twice a week. It’s a good idea to trim the fur in summer and make sure the dog’s tick and flea medication is up to date so the dog doesn’t scratch because they are prone to allergies. Neither of its parent breeds are hypoallergenic and nor is the Australian Eskimo. All dogs need good dental care so it is important to brush your dog’s teeth daily starting young so it becomes a habit. Regular ear cleanings and clipping of the nails should be a regular part of maintaining your Australian Eskimo.

Australian Eskimo Temperament

Australian Eskimos are intelligent and loyal dogs. They are full of energy and very playful and known to be affectionate towards their owners. They are not regarded as the best watchdogs to have as they don’t necessarily bark at strangers. Because of their Australian Shepherd ancestry, they do have a herding instinct but are more fun-loving and good family pets. Like any new dog entering a family, it will be a good idea to take them for training to help them develop good socialisation skills with other animals. Australian Eskimos are regarded as moderate when it comes to training but if owners persevere they will be rewarded. Considering the Australian Eskimo is a combination of an Australian Shepherd and an American Eskimo, their temperament will be quite similar. Australian Shepherds thrive on human companionship and love to please, while American Eskimos are good with other dogs, cat friendly and good for new owners. They are also very good with children.

Australian Eskimo Activity Requirements

Your Australian Eskimo will need a lot of exercise and playtime to keep fit and are happy in any weather and all climates. They are full of energy and very playful dogs so daily walks are a must. They would do best in a home with a fenced in yard but they could be kept in an apartment provided they are taken out daily for exercise. Children will be able to help keep your dog busy. Both parent breeds need plenty of exercise with the American Eskimo needing enough activity to prevent boredom setting in and the potential for destructive behavior. Australian Shepherd’s love games such as frisbee or playing fetch and also enjoy mental stimulation.

Australian Eskimo Owner Experiences