The American Eskimo is a hardy breed with an average life span of 16 years. This breed tends to become overweight easily, so proper diet and exercise is needed to maintain an overall well being. Health testing should be performed by all responsible breeders and anyone purchasing a puppy should be aware of the genetic problems which have been found in some individuals of the breed, such as PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), luxating patella, and hip dysplasia (canine hip dysplasia). None of these problems are common and the breed is generally very healthy. In addition to the rarer problems mentioned, the breed can have a tendency towards allergies and most commonly, tear-staining. This breed also is known in some cases to have dental issues.
The American Eskimo is not recommended for first-time dog owners and tend to make excellent family dogs. They are an intelligent species, and as well as being very alert, they often demonstrate aggressive behavior [if not well socialized]. The breed requires a large amount of exercise and is a high shedding breed. They are hypo-allergenic, so are popular with people with allergies. American Eskimos are not great with children unless properly socialized. The species makes friends quickly but is cautious of strangers. American Eskimos are also very quick learners.