How to groom an American Eskimo dog (step by step)

American Eskimo grooming is needed to make sure that he is in his top-notch condition both healthwise and in terms of his looks.

Also known as the Eskie, the American Eskimo dog is a dog with a particularly beautiful and white coat. This coat may be challenging to take care of but if you do it correctly and consistently it becomes easier than it may seem on the first sight of the dog.

You can learn more about the American Eskimo dog by visiting the link where I go deep on all that you need to know about this beautiful pooch.

But before we look at some of the steps you should undertake while grooming an Eskimo dog, let us look at his coat appearance.

American Eskimo coat basics

The American Eskimo dog coat is the most distinct feature that this pooch has.

These dogs have fluffy white double coats made up of a short, dense undercoat and a longer outer coat.

And as you would expect with any other double-coated dog, this canine sheds all year round and blows out the coat twice a year.

How to groom the American Eskimo’s coat

In a nutshell:

These dogs will need to be brushed at least 3 times a week to minimize shedding. This should be done daily during the heavy shedding periods.

Brushing will also help minimize the formation of tangles which can eventually form mats.

And contrary to what their coats may have you believe, these dogs do not easily get dirty as the coat oils act as dirt repellants.

This means that they will not require to be bathed much and a bath after every 6 weeks will be enough. Apart from this, you can bath the dog when he is especially smelly or dirty.

Never shave your American Eskimo’s coat as growing back will take longer and will be irregular. The coat acts as in insulator during winter and helps in temperature regulation in summer.

You can groom your American Eskimo dog at home but if you are not used to it you should visit a professional groomer.

A professional groomer will walk you through the grooming and tell you the mistakes to avoid.

However, if you are confident enough you can follow this guide to groom your Eskie.

Tools needed for grooming

  • Steel comb
  • Bristle brush
  • Detangling spray
  • Nail clippers
  • Standard Scissors
  • Bathing mat
  • Ear cleaning solution
  • Dog shampoo
  • Doggie toothpaste and brush

Step 1. Bathing

You can bath this dog in an outdoor kiddie pool or a mat using a garden hose or if that is not an option use a tub.

Before you bath your American brush his coat.

After brushing the coat thoroughly with the dog’s whole coat. Wetting an Eskie’s coat may difficult as this dog has a water-resistant coat so take your time as you massage the water into the coat.

You will then need to apply shampoo on the dog’s coat and make sure you lather properly.

Some dog shampoo may need to be mixed prior with water according to the intructions before being applied on the dog. This is especially true for shampoos that come as pastes.

As you lather start from the top and work your way downwards.

After you lather the dog’s body including the tail, the underbelly and the legs rinse him completely.

Repeat the process above but in the second round use a doggie conditioner and then rise the dog.

Point to note: Do not lather the dog’s face, ears, or eye area but rather use a washcloth to clean these areas. 

After you are done use dry towels to dry the dog and complete the drying using a blow dryer.

Step 2: Brushing

Before brushing use a detangling spray to wet the coat.

Brush the coat in entirety using a bristle brush against the hair to remove all loose and dead hair. Then go over the brushed area using a medium or wide-toothed steel comb to remove any tangles.

If you encounter any tangles first use your fingers to remove them before going over with a brush.

Start from the dog’s shoulders working in small sections at a time using the “line brushing method.”

Line brushing involves working in a small section of the coat at a time making sure that you reach the undercoat. Hold a tuft of hair, brush it thoroughly, and work your way throughout the dog’s whole coat.

After you are done working in small sections throughout the whole coat, use your bristle brush to brush the coat in the direction of the hair growth.

Then use a flea comb to remove any remaining tangles and fleas if there are any.

Step 3: Take care of the paws

Paw care mainly involves trimming the nails using quality clippers every 6 weeks and trimming the hair between the paw pads using scissors.

If you hear your Eskie’s nails clicking the floor as he walks, they will need to be cut.

Do not clip the nails too close to the paws but make sure that they don’t touch the floor. Cutting too deep can injure the dog causing him pain and making him bleed.

Long hair between the pads can collect dirt and cause infections.

Step 4: Clean the ears

If you fail to clean the ears periodically, they can collect debris, dirt, and even grass which can cause ear infections. In severe cases, these infections can lead to a loss in hearing.

You should use a dog ear cleaning solution and cotton balls to clean the ears.

Overcleaning the ears is can also cause problems for the pooch as it can dry out the ears and create an entirely new problem. You should only clean the ears when they are dirty.

Never use Q-tips or alcohol.

However, I would advise you to let a professional groomer do the ear cleaning as any mistakes could be disastrous.

Step 5: Dental care

Dental hygiene is very important for every dog to prevent periodontal diseases.

Clean the teeth at least twice a week using a toothpaste formulated for dogs. Brush the dog’s teeth just like a human to reduce tartar and plaque buildup which will leave the dog’s mouth with a fresh breath.

Step 6: Clean Tear stains

The American Eskimo dog is a white dog and tear stains on his face can dry up to form reddish-brown stains.

These tear stains are not pleasing, to say the least, and will need to be cleaned. It is recommended that you use a saline contact solution or boric to clean the tear stain. Using a cotton ball, put the solution below the eyes and after a few days, the stain will fade/disappear.

Coconut oil can also be great for removing tear stains.

Frequently asked questions

Is it okay to shave an American Eskimo dog?

The American Eskimo’s coat can be shaved but it is not okay to do it. This coat acts as an insulation for the dog during winter and helps to regulate the dog’s temperature when it is hot. Shaving the coat will damage it even after it grows back.

If you think the coat is too long the best solution is letting a professional do it to the desired length.

However, it is recommended that you leave the dog’s coat untouched.

How often should I bathe my American Eskimo?

You should bathe your American Eskimo dog every 6 weeks. This is unless the dog is stinky or extremely dirty between the baths.

Benefits of American Eskimo Dog grooming

  1. Grooming affects how you look at your Eskimo dog and how he generally feels. Cases, where lack of care affects the overall behavior of an Eskie, are not rare. Properly grooming your pooch will make you a proud dog owner and improve the dog’s esteem.
  2. Brushing not only helps the dog get a healthier and shinier coat but also improves blood circulation.
  3. Grooming is a great time to improve the bond between you and your American Eskie.
  4. Proper and regular grooming will prevent matting of the coat which can be painful for the dog.

My final take

Do not wait till your dog’s coat mats to start brushing as the best way to prevent matting is by regular brushing in the first place.

Introduce the dog to grooming when he is still young and make it a positive experience for your canine friend. Make it pleasant for the dog and he will take it as a source of attention and affection making it for you.

There you go, WOOF!

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