American Eskimo Vs Samoyed- Spot The Difference

American Eskimo Vs Samoyed- Spot The Difference

You are in the market for a spitz-like dog and you stumble on what looks like the most beautiful American Eskimo pup.

Excited, you gather more information from the seller only to discover the dog is instead a Samoyed.


How is that possible?

What is the difference between a Samoyed and American Eskimo?


Though the Samoyed and American Eskimo look alike, they have their distinguishing features. For instance, the Samoyed is a large breed dog while an American Eski is medium-sized. But the American Eskimo is brainier than the Samoyed.


It is easy to confuse between the Samoyed vs American Eskimo.


They all spot white fluffy coats and matching temperaments.

But spend time with these two fur babies and you start to see the uniqueness between them.


But first, some history.


American eskimo and samoyed
Samoyed and american eskimo

Samoyed dog gets his name from the native Siberian tribe that discovered him.

The Samoyed people used this dog to herd deer, hunt wild animals, and haul sleds.

When not working, the Samoyed dog was deeply cared for and treated as part of the family of its owner.


American Eskimo dog or the Eskie is a product of American immigrants who lived in Ohio, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Born and bred as a family dog, the Eskie developed strong bonds with its owner too.

To earn a living, Eskies worked in circuses and vaudeville shows performing brilliant tricks like walking the tightrope.


Both dogs are intelligent and are very affectionate. What separates the Samoyed from an American Eskimo?


1. Temperament

With their fluffy wagging tail and jovial faces, you can easily see that the Samoyed and American Eskimo are outgoing dogs.


But not so fast.

The Samoyed is the more outgoing of the two.

Because he was treated like family, through the years he has evolved to love and appreciate people like his own kind.

A Samoyed dog is more welcoming to strangers and pets.


The American Eskimo is equally happy around its owner.

But his affection is only reserved for his owner and will treat everyone else indifferently.

As a circus dog, he only had his handler taking care of all his needs while teaching him tricks.

Everyone else was viewed as a stranger and the relation with them strictly business (insert circus fans).


Between the Samoyed vs American Eskimo, the Samoyed scores 10/10.


The American Eskimo is still a darling if you give her time to warm up to you.


2. Intelligence

The American Eski takes the prize for being the smartest of the two.

His working background involved him learning new and complex tricks to wow his audience.


For a dog that could rival Phillippe Petit on the tightrope, wits have to be his strongest suit.

But being this brainy comes with a price. An American Eski needs constant brain stimulation for his well-being.

You have to teach him new and complex tricks that will get his brain thinking and memorizing.

An Eski that is not properly stimulated can wreak havoc in the home.


Samoyed is intelligent working dogs too.

Though they were not exposed to high-level tasks, they still thrived in herding, hunting, and hauling.

Though he is not as brainy as an American Eski, he is way brawny under that fur coat.


3. Lifespan

Both the Samoyed and American Eskimo have longer lifespans.


A Samoyed dog lives for 12 to 14 years while an Eski lives for 13 to 15 years.


Since both dogs lead active lifestyles, they are likely to surpass their shelf life.


4. Energy levels

A Samoyed has the same high energy as an American Eskimo dog.

But American Eskis can be demanding when it comes to fulfilling their energy needs.


Samoyed dogs will be active in the field and gentle while at home.

They know when it is playtime and when to sit back, relax, and enjoy the moment.

Engage them in enough exercise and they will be gentle well-behaved pups.


The energy levels of an American Eskimo can overwhelm a first-time dog owner.

This dog is too demanding and will stop at nothing to get what they want.

If they feel they are not receiving enough stimulation, physically and mentally, they result in destructive behavior.



Eskis need lots of attention and care, which can make them difficult for busy families

-Kayla Fratt,



Though Eskis are great playmates, they can overwhelm young children.

Also, it is good to watch over this little fellow as he plays with kids.

Overstimulation can easily result in nipping behavior.


5. Vocal or Not?

Need a dog that will accord you a good night’s sleep?

Get yourself a Samoyed puppy.

As active as they are, they seldom bark unless for a reason.

They are great dogs to have if you are raising infants.


American Eskimo dog is not so big on the silence thing.

They will bark when excited, lonely, or anxious.

If you do not train them properly, their barking will annoy everyone, even your neighbors.



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6. Grooming

Samoyed and American Eskimo dog moderately shed their fur throughout the year.

They will shed heavily twice a year when their coats are molting.

Brushing both dog’s coats regularly will help control shedding and pet dander.


In terms of coat maintenance, American Eskimo has an easier-to-manage- coat compared to a Samoyed.

His coat hairs naturally secret oils that keep dust and dirt away.

These oils also keep the coat smooth and shiny.


7. Independence

Samoyed dogs are less likely to suffer separation anxiety compared to Eskis.

Over time, Samoyed dogs learned to enjoy their company while herding sheep in the field.


Eskis spent every minute of their time with their handlers traveling from town to town performing.

Leaving an Eski on his own for hours will earn you a chewed-up shoe or a knocked over vase.


Samoyed dogs will be fine staying at home as long as you leave enough toys and food.


8. Adaptability

Both dogs are small-bodied and will fit the apartment lifestyle.


But for an American Eskimo, be careful about him barking the whole house down.


A Samoyed would be calm for the most part and not cause any trouble.


But if you want a brilliant guard dog, an American Eski won’t let you down.

They are friendly to their family but very reserved with strangers.

They are always alert and will let you know if there is any trouble lurking.


Samoyed dogs are super friendly and won’t make good guard dogs.



The most obvious difference between Samoyed and American Eskimo dogs is their sizes.

But as you spend time with both dogs, you also see the unique features- like temperament, adaptability, and noise level- that truly sets them apart.


The above 8 unique facts about Samoyed vs American Eskimo should help you decide on the best dog to adopt.


See Also

Frequently Asked Questions

Samoyed dogs are not aggressive and pose no threat to people or other pets. They make great family dogs as they thrive around people. American Eskimo dogs are great pets too only that they can grow jealous of their owner. They are also high energy and can be aggressive if improperly trained.

Samoyed coats are clean and odorless. For an American Eskimo, their oil coat tends to stink if not properly groomed. Both dogs need bathing once a while to get rid of dirt and pet dander. Bathe the dogs twice a year to keep them clean.

Samoyed and American Eskimo are not hypoallergenic. They shed year-round and the shedding increases during molting season. But an American Eskimo has a low-maintenance coat compared to that of the Samoyed.

A Samoyed and Japanese Spitz are two different dogs. Though they look the same and have warm temperaments. One big difference between the two is that a Spitz only comes in a pure white coat while the Samoyed has cream and biscuit variants.


A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.