About the Author

How all of this started - Theresa Wright, Ph.D. 

Theresa Wright, AuthorDuring Theresa's early childhood,  many different different family dogs came and went; mainly Collies, Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies and Samoyeds.  She loved them and appreciated their instinctive drive to act out on their working characteristics.  The Huskies and Samoyeds loved to run and if the gate was open, they would escape and then course for miles, eventually stopping at a stranger's porch several miles away to drink beer and have snacks.  The Malamute was quite the predator and would stalk birds, squirrels and gophers.  She could easily leap over the fence to roam and when she did, she would scout around the neighborhood and dine on the local cat population.  The collies ran back and forth day and night along the fenceline, chasing cars passing by.  When children would play outside, the collies would grab them by the wrist and pull them back to the house. The collies would do that with visitors too, such was their herding instinct.

Then, at the age of 11, she was on an extended bike ride and came across an American Eskimo.  She was completely smitted by the clean white coat, the perky ears, the joyful expression and the energetic spirit inside.  She rode by and visited so often that the owner was tempted to give her the dog.  Not long after that, an American Eskimo puppy named Minka came into her life.  Minka quickly became her best buddy and a lifelong bond and love of the Northern Breeds was forged. To everyone else, the dogs were merely pets that needed food and water, but the American Eskimo's unique character spurred her to develop a deeper understanding of their nature, purpose and capabilities, which ranged far beyond that of the specifically purposed working dogs her family had in the past. Her parents maintained their sanity by assuring themselves that she would outgrow her fascination with dogs, but little did they suspect it would become a lifelong passion and commitment.  (She also felt a deep kinship and love for horses too, but that's a different topic for another time.)

Around this time, the National American Eskimo club was established as the parent club for the American Eskimo, which was affiliated with the United Kennel Club (UKC for short.)  By coincidence, the headquarters for the UKC were located in her hometown, Kalamazoo Michigan.  The American Eskimo was originally recognized by the UKC  in 1913, and all of the American Eskimos registered with them were "Purple Ribbon Bred" which meant that three generations (or parents, grandparents and great grandparaents) were UKC registered (versus being single registered.)  The National Club closed the studbooks and only litters from two UKC registered dogs could be registered.  This was a defining moment for the Eskie, and a big step to help rein in variations and standardize the breed type. 

This led her to wonder about the origins of the Eskie as well as the related Northern Breeds.  Many people referred to the Eskie as "Spitz" dogs, but very little information was available about how the breed originated or where the ancestors had come from. The same held true for the Northern breeds as well.  So, she set out on the path of learning  by exploring the history of the Northern and Spitz type dogs.  She took every opportunity to read books, encyclopedias, magazines and periodicals,  She made time to meet breeders and started collecting information and taking notes. 

Theresa and Nederlandse Keeshond in HollandAs part of a college exchange program, she lived in France during 1978 and found the whole of Europe to be very dog-friendly and allowed dogs on public transportation, restaurants and shopping.  She came across many sizes and colors of Spitz dogs throughout Europe, from the Keesond in Holland, the Chien Loup in France, the Volpino in Italy, and the Spitz in Germany.  Her research took her to back to Europe in 1992 and she was able to visit kennels in Holland and Germany to meet several FCI registered Nederlanse Keeshond and German Spitz dogs and found they had been indigenous for several hundred years, possibly more.  She was captivated by the range of coat colors (wolf-grey, black brown, orange, white and parti-color.) and the variety of sizes ranging from about 15 pounds up to about 50 pounds.  Then, she wondered why the variety of colors and sizes were not present in the United States? They accompanied the early Europeans and were a commodity that could be ordered through shipping catalogs.  Their disappearance from America during the 1900's was a mystery is search of an explanation.


Theresa is unique combination of creative artist and scientist.  The scientist part awakened as she started to focus on Biology, Chemistry and Genetics during High School.  Her Science projects started out at the level of proving mendelian inheritance patterns, and over the course of 3 years, developed into creating methods to extract and work with DNA.  In her final Science Fair Project, she toiled for 3 years to create/breed pure strains of laboratory mice and then was able to reprogram the DNA of hairless mice to get them to regrow hair.  Her projects competed in Science Fairs at the Regional and International levels, winning top honors at the age of 16. 

Theresa went on to earn a Bachelor's degree in Biology and Chemistry and during her senior year and completed internships working on projects that involved cloning and recombining DNA.  She met "Mr. Wright", got married and started a family after a few years.  While raising a family, she studied graduate Physics, Nuclear Biology and Holistic Medicine while teaching physics classes for 5 years at Western Michigan University. Later, she earned a Master's Degree in Computer Science (which helps pay for her dog hobby) and also made good on her promise to her mother to become a doctor by rounding out her education with a Ph.D. in Natural Health (Naturopathy.)  Further studies included Canine and Equine Chiropractic training, Herbology, Homeopathics, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda.  She has devoted much of her life giving time to learning and understanding many different forms of medicine and alternative methods of healing.  Also, during the 1980's and 1990's, she put several generations of her breeding stock through the health screenings available at that time to help establish baseline values for the breed. 


Breeder of the YearTheresa’s passion for the Spitz breeds transformed into a breeding program for American Eskimo dogs. She started breeding American Eskimos in 1980 and after producing a few litters and attending some dog shows, she decided to revamp her breeding program and work to improve the breed by applying the principles of genetics and inheritance.  She noted traits and inheritance patterns in several bloodlines and noted how various phenotypic traits were expressed and passed down to subsequent generations. Observing genetics and studying pedigrees in the manner for several years, she selected dogs that would both improve and preserve the breed’s future. She continued to exhibit her dogs in conformation for over 20 years and over that time, accrued over 50 Champion titles, several Top 10 placements and Breeder awards.


Joining clubs was an essential link to learning more, sharing stories and connecting with and becoming part of a wonderful and dedicated family that obesesses about everything "dog," speaks the same language and also understands the same priorities.  It also does good for one's soul to contribute what they can to the promotion of the breed as well as set forth a solid path that leads into the future.

AEDCA LifetimeTheresa started out as a member of the National American Eskimo Dog Association (NAEDA) and the Michigan American Eskimo Dog Association (MAEDA) and held several different offices over two decades. Her favorite office was as the Publicity Director and she took joy in writing several of the newsletters for both clubs. She helped many clubs organize and run UKC dog shows. 

In 1985, she became a founding member of the AEDCA (the American Eskimo Dog Club of America) which took the monumental steps that led to AKC recognition of the breed in 1993. 

She joined the Kalamazoo Kennel Club (KKC) and enjoyed the company of AKC breeders and exhibitors as well as the large variety of breeds and fanciers.  She was appointed as the Education Coordinator and organized successful training seminars that brought well known "dog" celebrities such as Dr. Ian Dunbar (of Sirius Puppy Training fame) and George Alston (of Westminster Best of Show fame) to Kalamazoo. 

Theresa also became an honorary member of the Nederlandse Keeshonden Club (in Holland) based on her research and the close ties between the American Eskimo and the Spitz dogs in Europe.


AKC Gazette with Marushka

The UKC Breed Standard - In 1995, the NAEDA appointed Theresa as the committee chair and was charged with updating the UKC Breed Standard.  Work was completed and adopted by the UKC in 1996.

Articles about the American Eskimo and the European Spitz breeds were published by the UKC Bloodlines Journal.

Dog Fancy - Wright's Thunder

Theresa and her dogs appear in several books such as "The American Eskimo" by Monica Sellers, "The Complete American Eskimo" by Barbara Beynon and  the American Eskimo book from the "Barrons Educational Series."  In fact, Theresa provided research and information for Chapter 3 of "The Complete American Eskimo."

Wright's Marushka was chosen to appear on the August 1995 issue of the AKC Gazette. (Photo on right) The original photo is included for comparison.

Several Wright's dogs have been featured on the cover (and inside) of Dog Fancy magazine features about the American Eskimo. (Photo on left)

Several Wright's dogs have appeared in calendars by Browntrout.


All things in life come full circle in time. The experiences, learnings and lessons aquired over several decades of raising, breeding, exhibiting, caring for and loving these beautiful Northern Breed dogs is being shared with you, hoping to provide a good measure of enlightenment and insight (and entertainment) with the best of intentions. Food for thought is the greatest gift one can give, trusting that the knowledge gained will assist in better understanding the choices available and enabling decisions that are the most meaningful for each individual that needs them.

Hopefully, a few of the topics, holistics perspectives or rationales will resonate with you and bring benefit to you.  Your interest and support is appreciated very much.  There are many valid perspectives and opinions in the world, and each of carries only a small portion of the total amount of knowledge that exists.  We can work our way toward the whole by sharing and adding the bits each of us holds.  And then, we might just have a perfect world... 



 "The Dog Beautiful - Book 1




The Northern, Nordic and Spitz breeds are indeed some of the most beautiful dogs in the world. One look into their eyes touches the depths of the soul and energizes the vibrant and spirited life-force that is as enduring as nature itself.

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The goal  is to provide insight and knowledge about today's modern dogs.  Providing balanced perspectives flavored with common sense observations that  are brought forward in a holistic and non-judgmental manner.  The intention is to inspire those who love their pets and enable them to create and enjoy relationships that are fuller, vibrant and more enriching.   There is always more to learn from our dogs and from each other. 

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The author, Theresa Wright, can be contacted via  Email.  You're welcome to follow our facebook page and joing our facebook group.

Address: Troy MO, USA
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