American Eskimo Dogs (Eskies) are playful, alert and highly intelligent dogs that come in three sizes (standard, miniature and toy). They are easily recognized by their puffy white coat and smiling expression, which kind of reminds me of a Samoyed.
And yes – they shed!
Eskies have a fluffy, straight, white double coat that sheds heavily throughout most of the year, and even more during times like spring and fall. They’re not hard to groom, but regular brushing is needed to maintain their coat and manage the shedding.
Let’s take a closer look at just how much fur these beautiful fur babies shed, and how much effort is needed to maintain their coat.
American Eskimo Dog Shedding
American Eskimo Dogs are a high shedding breed.
They’re right up there with the heaviest of heavy shedders, like the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky and German Shepherd.
So if you’re looking for a low shedding dog, the Eskie isn’t it. They’re also not considered to be a hypoallergenic dog, which means their coat isn’t ideal for people who suffer from allergies.
Why do they shed so much?
Virtually all dogs shed, so regardless of which breed you get, if they have hair, expect to see some of it floating around your home. But of course, some dogs shed more than others, and Eskies fit into that category. The reason for this mostly comes down to the individual breed and their hair growth cycle. Basically, the faster their fur completes its natural cycle of growing, falling out, and being replaced by new fur, the more they shed.
But how noticeable the shedding is from dog to dog varies greatly depending on the type of coat they have. Eskies have thick, woolly, double coats which means that, when they shed, it’s generally more noticeable than a shorter coated dog or a dog with a single coat.
A double coat simply means that instead of having one layer of fur, they have two – both a top coat and an undercoat. Not only does this mean more fur dropping off of their coat, but it also means they tend to shed more heavily during seasons like spring and fall.
Related: What is Seasonal Shedding?
This is commonly referred to as “blowing coat” and it just means the dog is molting its coat in preparation for the change of season. For example, they no longer need their thicker coat in summer, so in preparation for this, they shed their winter coat in spring.
Sometimes shedding can be due to other reasons though.
As in, outside of what is considered “normal.” Such as if they have some sort of health issue, their diet is out of whack, or if they’re stressed. There are actually a lot of reasons why dogs can shed excessively, beyond what you’d normally expect from a given breed. So if you do have any concerns about your dog’s shedding, contact your veterinarian.
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Grooming Your American Eskimo
Grooming an Eskie isn’t hard, but it does take more effort than some dogs because of how thick their coat is, and you will need to brush more often if you want to manage the shedding.
As mentioned earlier, Eskies are double coated dogs.
Their outer coat is made up of medium-long fur that is straight, fluffy and white (or white with biscuit) in color. And it’s characterized by more profuse hair around the neck, chest and tail area.
The undercoat is shorter and dense and helps insulate them from hot and cold weather. And this is the layer of fur that he sheds most during shedding season.
While the Eskie’s coat sheds heavily, one of the good things about it is the natural oils within the coat essentially repel dirt. At least, more than the average coat. So, for the most part, they’re not a very dirty dog, and brushing is all it takes to maintain their coat.
For general coat maintenance, brushing a few times per week with a slicker brush or pin brush should suffice. Some also like to use a comb as this can help in working out the mats and tangles they are prone to getting.
However, during shedding season, stepping this up to daily brushing can make a big difference. And some prefer to use a deshedding tool or undercoat rake during this time, as these can make it easier to reach all the way down to the undercoat to remove as much of the dead fur as possible.
Learn more about the different types of dog brushes here.
The occasional bath can also help, but over bathing or using a harsh shampoo can cause dryness in his skin and fur, which in turn can lead to higher levels of shedding. So bathing can be a great way to remove excess fur, but at the same time, overdoing it can make matters worse.
Can You Stop Your Eskie From Molting?
You can’t stop any dog from shedding (or molting) completely. Shedding is a natural process most dogs go through, so the best thing to do is learn how to manage it.
When it comes to Eskies, there’s a lot you can do to minimize how much fur they drop, but because they are such heavy shedders, you should expect to see hair floating around the home if they’re an inside dog. There’s simply no getting around it.
That said, here’s how to minimize the shedding:
- Brushing: The best way to keep the fur out of your home is to brush often. A quick 10 minute brush each day during shedding season can make the world of difference. It also helps to stimulate his coat oils and distribute them over his skin, which encourages stronger hair growth.
- Bathing: Bathing with a high quality dog shampoo during shedding season can help to remove a lot more of the old fur, especially prior to brushing.
- Proper nutrition: Making sure your dog is eating a healthy, balanced diet is key. Speak with your vet to select the best possible food for your Eskie, as this can help eliminate shedding caused by poor diet and help promote a healthier coat that, overall, sheds less.
- Vacuuming: If you own an Eskie, be prepared to invest in a decent vacuum cleaner or at least an attachment that is designed to pick up dog hair. This can be well worth it because the right tool for the job can save you a lot of time down the road.
There are other ways you can reduce shedding too. For example, some people like to use natural supplements designed to help with shedding or use things like coconut oil or fish oil.
However, it’s important to understand that there’s no magic solution to stopping the shedding. It mostly comes down to simple things like making sure your dog is healthy, that he is eating right, and that you are brushing him regularly. By getting these few simple things dialed in, you can enjoy having your Eskie around and keep your home as free from dog hair as possible.
If you’re looking for a low shedding alternative, however, consider the Poodle, which is also part of the non-sporting group of dogs. Or if you don’t like the thought of grooming a Poodle (it can be pretty intensive) then a better alternative might be the Miniature Pinscher.