The Eurasier is a medium-sized companion dog breed with a thick double coat developed in Germany in the 1960s and 1970s to be an exceptional family pet. It is a spitz-type of dog, which means it has the characteristic wedge-shaped head and bushy tail curled up over the back.
The breed is extremely attached and loving with its family, including children. Although it is generally accepting of strangers, this dog tends to be reserved, preferring to save its affection for its beloved family.
HEIGHT: 19 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 40 to 70 pounds
COAT: The double coat consists of a medium-long, straight, loosely lying outer coat and a thick undercoat. The hair is shorter on the face, ears, and fronts of the legs and longer on the tail, backs of the legs, and neck.
COAT COLOR: Any color or combination of colors except pure white and piebald.
LIFE SPAN: 14 years
TEMPERAMENT: Reserved, alert, calm, watchful, even-tempered, intelligent
Characteristics of the Eurasier
Eurasiers were bred to be fantastic family pets and they are not working dogs. They thrive when they are in close proximity to their humans although they do not need constant attention. They can watch over the home but are not aggressive or problem barkers.
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History of the Eurasier
The Eurasier was the fruition of one man’s dream to develop the ultimate family dog. Julius Wipfel, who lived in Weinheim an der Bergstrasse in Germany, owned two special dogs with different personalities. One, a male black spitz-type dog of mixed origin, was very wolf-like in behavior, intelligent, and independent. When that dog passed away, he acquired a female wolfspitz, called a keeshond in the United States, which was less wolf-like, but much easier to live with. Longing for a perfect blending of both types of dog—primitive and independent, but adaptable and social—Wipfel set out to create a new breed.
Wipfel wanted this new breed to be attractive, medium in size, calm, even-tempered, affectionate, and extremely adaptable to family life. He started in the 1960s by crossing the wolfspitz and chow chow, calling it the wolf-chow. Although the wolf-chow was close to what Wipfel set out to achieve, the new breed needed more genetic diversity, so the Samoyed was introduced in the 1970s.
The introduction of the Samoyed, with its friendly personality, proved to be just what the breed needed to become the perfect family dog. Wipfel and other breeders who collaborated with him had created what they considered the ideal breed.
The breed name was changed from wolf-chow to Eurasier to indicate the breed’s origin from European and Asian breeds.
Today, the Eurasier is found throughout Europe, though it’s rare in the U.S. The United States Eurasier Club, which is the national parent club for the breed, estimated there were only about 150 of these dogs living in the United States as of the year 2000 (the latest figures).
It is recognized by the United Kennel Club in the Northern Breed Group and is part of the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service (a stepping stone toward full recognition).
The Eurasier is active and athletic, but it doesn’t have boundless energy and needs only moderate daily exercise. The Eurasier’s gorgeous fluffy coat is naturally clean, needs minimal grooming, and sheds little which makes it a better choice for allergy-prone households. Intelligent and easily trained, this dog is good-natured and loyal. This breed cannot live outside or in the backyard. It does not do well if left alone too much and it needs to live inside with its family.
Although Eurasiers are up for hikes, you can meet the breed's daily exercise requirements with two 30-minute walks a day. Add in off-leash running, and interactive play to your Eurasier's day. They are athletic and enjoy the physical and mental challenge of training for dog sports and activities such as agility, flyball, obedience, and herding.
The Eurasier’s soft, profuse, moderately long coat sheds very little and is surprisingly easy to maintain with just a thorough brushing out once or twice a week. Eurasiers are naturally very clean and rarely have any doggie odor. Bathe the Eurasier when dirty and trim the nails weekly or every other week. Look in its ears at least weekly for wax buildup and irritation. Aim to brush its teeth every day.
The Eurasier is extremely smart and generally wants to please, so it is a highly trainable dog. The Eurasier is also a sensitive breed—avoid harsh training methods and try gentle and positive techniques, like clicker training, using lots of treats, and showering your dog with heaps of praise.
Common Health Problems
Eurasiers are exceedingly healthy and hardy, boasting a long average life span of 14 years. However, like most purebred dogs, Eurasiers are prone to developing certain inherited conditions. These include:
- Hip Dysplasia: Lameness may occur with this condition if the dog's hip joints are not developed properly.
- Elbow Dysplasia: The dog's forelimbs will be affected by malformed joints.
- Patella Luxation: This condition results in the dog's knee caps slipping out of the grooves.
- Hypothyroidism: The dog may not produce enough thyroid hormones which will require medication for life.
- Missing Teeth: This breed is prone to naturally missing a few non-essential teeth.
- Distichiasis: This condition results in the abnormal growth of an errant or a double row of eyelashes.
The appearance of these genetic issues is kept to a minimum with robust testing of adult dogs before breeding them. The United States Eurasier Club requires all breeders in good standing to screen their dogs for issues with patellas, elbows, hips, eyes, and thyroid prior to breeding.
Diet and Nutrition
Many Eurasiers are light eaters, and some are downright picky. Though not prone to overeating, it’s good practice to feed measured meals twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time (known as free feeding).
Ask your breeder or veterinarian to recommend a good dog food for your Eurasier, as well as how much to feed.
Where to Adopt or Buy a Eurasier
If you have your heart set on a Eurasier puppy, get ready to wait. The United States Eurasier Club publishes a list of breeders on its website, but there are currently less than 10 breeders in the U.S. You’ll likely be put on a waiting list for a puppy. Expect to pay on average between $1,000 to $2,500 for a puppy from a breeder.
Adult Eurasiers sometimes find themselves in need of rehoming. The United States Eurasier Club also operates a rescue program via its website.
Wonderful family dog
Clean and calm in the house
Easy-care, low-shedding coat
Cannot be left alone for long periods
Sensitive to upset in the family
Some are picky eaters
More Dog Breeds and Further Research
Eurasier dogs seem ideal for many families, but they are rare. If you like the Eurasier, you might also like to research these breeds:
There’s a whole world of potential dog breeds out there—with a little research, you can find the right one to bring home!
What color is the Eurasier's tongue?
A Eurasier's tongue is sometimes, but not always, blue-black or speckled pink and blue-black. That's because it's descended from the chow chow, a breed that also has bluish pigmented tongues.
Will the Eurasier be okay living in an apartment?
Will the Eurasier do well in a household with other pets?