Grooming Your American Eskimo Dog

Below are comprehensive instructions and great tips on how to groom your American Eskimo dog. Kim is a Vet Tech and a professional dog groomer. 

Here at American Eskimo Dog Rescue and Sanctuary of Iowa we have been able to use several of the grooming techniques that are mentioned in this page.

We would also like to extend a warm word of thanks to Kim for putting this page together about grooming your American Eskimo Dog.
If you wish to purchase a video, please contact Kim at the Email address below. Remember to remove the spaces in the email address.

kph  @


     There is no need for any hairballs to be roaming around your house. If you have hairballs roaming then it is way past time for a full grooming on your American Eskimo Dog. Also; if you can pet your eskie from head to bum and get a handful of hair, it is again way past time for a full grooming top occur.


     Starting with the feet; nails should be clipped at least once every 5 weeks, if not sooner. When standing in a regular stance; NO toenails should touch the floor. Each toenail that touches the floor acts like a rock in your shoe! Not only is it painful, but also it stretches and pulls the tendons on the legs, turns the toes sideways, even to the point of breaking the nails or toes itself!

 For the  the American Eskimo Dog  in the show ring,  hair on the foot should be left in its natural state (long and floppy). However, in the home this extra hair just adds water and dirt into your home. If this hair bothers you, it can easily be trimmed. Trim it even with the pads of the feet weekly; or ask your groomer to shave between the pads. Not only does this keep a tidier foot, a tidier household, but it also keep the foot drier as the hair is not there to stay moist for a much longer period of time.

     Are the ears nice and clean? You should never clean them if they are healthy looking. You will dry it out and create a new problem that wasn’t happening before you “over cleaned” it. Only clean if they are dirty or “shiny/greasy looking. If your dog has been scratching at the canal and you can see obvious red scratch marks make sure your cleaner has NO alcohol in it. Alcohol is painful on scratches. Not only will you be causing your pet pain, but also teaching them to fear having them cleaned. This makes any future problems a major war to treat later on. I like the R7 brand as they carry both types of cleaner. One with alcohol and one without.

     When cleaning the ea r use the  flap (pinna) as a funnel. Hold it up to the ceiling and pour the cleaner onto the flap. The cleaner will run down the flap and into the canal. Hold on good because once the cleaner goes into the canal, your dog’s head will shake! (Keep your lips closed too, it doesn’t taste good) Now massage the base. You want to hear a good squishing sound. If you don’t hear it, add more cleaner. Wax and dirt covered in wax floats. So by filling the canal with  cleaner and massaging it you will loosen the dirt and wax inside. This will then float to the top of the liquid and be massaged out onto the flap. Much easier to clean then digging around inside the canal. After this you then clean what you see on the flap and just inside the canal. Q-tips are great for cleaning all the cracks and crevices. If after you clean them and they becomes dirty quickly (within 48 hours) you should seek out veterinary attention, as this is not normal.

     Do the eyes need cleaning? What about the nose? If the nostrils become caked with debris a few things can cause it. Allergies can cause a build up of debris around the nostrils; fleas can also, as well as medical problems. Use common sense about whether you need to seek veterinary attention or not. Then check the anus. Any “Cling ons or will nots” (poop that will cling on and will not come off) sticking in this area? CAUTION at this area. Any damage to the skin (even just an irritation) can cause some major problems. Any irritation or cut here will cause your dog to lick excessively making the situation worse. Let alone the bacteria from the stool (poop) causing major infections.


Now onto the “grooming” part of this site. I highly recommend a Resco #80 medium (coarse will do the job) comb for your American Eskimo Dog. You will need a slicker brush for a small portion of the grooming; I recommend the Frank’s Universal slicker (from Germany).

You should also have a squirt bottle. A regular sized squirt bottle; put 2 tablespoons of hair conditioner (human or pet brand) into the bottle and fill with warm water. Shake well. You will just be using this to “mist” the hair. If you get the hair “wet” you are using too much. This is just to get rid of any static electricity while grooming.


NEVER bath your American Eskimo dog if the comb can not go through the coat. Any “clumps” of undercoat or matts (knots) will be made bigger and tighter if bathed.


     Starting on the back of the thighs. Using one hand, lift the hair from the bottom of the leg up to the top, holding all the long hair up and out of the way. With the comb start combing the hair DOWN; out from under your hand and back onto place. If you encounter static electricity use the diluted conditioner spray, mist the area ONCE and start combing again. If you encounter a large area that will not comb, start with the edge of area and the corner of your comb. Pick away at it.

     Do not spend a ton of time in one area; as you will make the skin pink or red from irritation. Stop after a while and go back to it the next day. If the are is just beyond you, think about paying for a professional groomer to so the job and then you can start grooming the day they come home from the appointment.

     If it is taking a while, stop. Continue the next day. Re-comb through what you did the day before and then add some more from a new area. Each time re-comb what you have already gone through and add more. Do not try and do the whole dog in one day. It is too tiring to you and your dog and will not be a “good experience” for either of you. Grooming should not be something to avoid, but to look forward to for you both.

     After the comb goes through the entire body – then onto the bath. When wetting your eskie down, always have your hand in the water first. This ensures that you always know the temperature of the water; incase someone flushes a toilet, etc.. Then take the shower nozzle and put it right against their skin. As the eskie coat is water resistant by holding the nozzle out away from the hair you will not be wetting it down to the skin. Then apply the shampoo. Scrub it in well – then part the hair in several hairy places to make sure the shampoo gets right to the skin. The soap is not just for the hair, but to clean the skin as well.

     Then rinse, rinse, rinse and rinse some more. Again, using the shower nozzle right against the skin. When squeezing the water from the coat after the bath if you see any slightly milky water, don’t be shy; RE-RINSE! Any soapy film left on the skin will leave a spot of irritation that can turn into something needing veterinary attention very quickly. Also, soap left in the hair will leave a greasy looking spot when dry. (I like the Groomer’s Edge Grimenator shampoo, personally)

     Follow up with a good conditioner (I like the Groomer’s Edge ReFURbish conditioner). Remember the conditioner is also for the skin. Take a juice jug (plastic preferably) and put a good 2-3 tablespoons of conditioner in the bottom. Using your shower nozzle, fill it up putting a good head of foam onto the top of the jug. The foam will actually do the best job of conditioning. Pour the jug slowly over the hair, rubbing it in well, right down to the skin. Rinse well. Leaving a slight film is okay.

     Towel hug dry your eskie. The more you towel dry – while hugging your eskie of course – the less work you have to do to dry the dog later. If the temperature is nice and comfortable, just work on getting the comb through the coat the same as when your eskie was dry. Hold the hair up against the grain and comb it down out of you hand. If it is not a great temperature and a little chilly. Take your human hair dryer and put it into the front of your pants; so it looks like a gun sticking out and pointing straight ahead. By turning the dryer on in this manner you will still have both hands free. Always have a hand in the air coming out of the dryer as you want to know when it is getting too hot. A dryer on warm is the best setting!! Any grooming questions don’t hesitate to ask. Ajooba & Kim    kph  @

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