The unmistakable bright white coat of the American Eskimo Dog draws dog lovers to the breed. The new owners, however, often are oblivious to the care required to keep the coat healthy. Another unique characteristic is the unusually long amount of time the Eskimo puppy holds on to his “puppy fur”.
The Eskimo is a Nordic breed with a thick, dense undercoat and long outer coat. The Eskimo pup starts out as a ball of fur. As he grows, his coat changes in density and length. By the time the Eskimo is two years old, he finally loses all of his puppy hair and grows his full adult coat, according to the Mid-South Eski Alliance. Regular brushing helps keep the Eskimo’s coat clean.
Start brushing your Eskimo puppy at a young age, since grooming is necessary throughout his lifetime. While he still is small, teach him to sit still while brushing his outer coat with a pinbrush. Pay close attention to the hair behind his ears since this area is prone to matting in Eskimos. Roll him over on his back and gently brush the hair on his belly. Use a small comb or rake to comb deeper into the undercoat, being careful not to pull his hair. After a successful grooming session, offer your Eskimo puppy a treat.
Like the puppy, the adult Eskimo needs regular brushing and grooming at least once a week, since the breed sheds seasonally. Eskimos generally have dry skin and only need bathing every two or three months. Before bathing your Eskimo, always brush his entire coat with a hard bristle brush followed by a rake to remove any mats. Again, make sure you brush behind her ears where mats often occur. Also, the adult has a thicker, fuller mane around his neck that needs additional brushing. Wash your Eskimo with a blue or purple shampoo for white coats.
Eskimos love the cold weather, since they are a Nordic breed, but thrive in any environment where they have room to roam and exercise. They shed or blow their coats twice a year, generally in early summer and winter. Minimal trimming around the Eskimo’s ears helps keep them shaped. Also, the white hair under the Eskimo’s eyes may require regular cleaning with an over-the-counter product to prevent tearing or stains.
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