Breed Group: Toy
Pomeranians are delightfully alive extroverted busybodies who are perpetually curious. They are always ready to play, especially inside. But because their size makes them easily injured they need to be protected from all but the best-behaved children. They get along well with most other pets including dogs although caution should be taken as some try to chase strange dogs that are much larger than they are. Keenly aware of their surroundings, they are quick to use their voice to warn of anything unusual. In fact, they are willing to express their opinion on just about any subject. Control this tendency from day one. Don’t let him become possessive of his food or toys. Even though they are strictly a house pet and not as active outside as in, being a Spitz-type dog of Nordic descent means Pomeranians enjoy being outside, especially romping in a couple inches of snow. But any off leash activity must be in a securely enclosed area. With their tiny size and innate curiosity, they will find and squeeze through the smallest opening. They need little more exercise than what they get through their normal daily activity.
One of the tiniest of the toy group, well-bred Pomeranians should stand 6 to 7 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 3 to 7 pounds. Because of their popularity, many dogs are poorly bred. Many weigh 10 or 15 pounds and are far too foxy looking with long pointy noses and ears. Use this breed picture as a guide to what a well-bred dog looks like– this dog is an International Champion. They have a medium-long, harsh, fluffy coat. Colors include white, cream, orange-red, brown, sable, black, blue, brindle, and parti-color. Coat care is a must to preserve their teased out look but this does not take nearly the time it does with a larger breed. Shedding is minimal. They do much better in the cold than most dogs their size. They also do well in moderate heat and humidity.
Socialized them well, especially with strangers so they do not become too noisy. Quite intelligent, they will make direct eye contact as if they want to communicate. But training can be a challenge. A Pomeranian is not likely to accept orders from anyone he views as beneath him and he deeply resents being jerked around on a leash. Plenty of praise and an abundance of treats do the job. He is a good choice for a first-time dog owner.
The Pomeranian is the breed most prone to patellar luxation with almost 50% of dogs affected. About 1 in 12 is affected by hip dysplasia, with Legg-Perthes, and thyroid problems each affecting about 3% of the breed. Small dogs, especially as puppies, they are prone to Hypoglycemia. A Pomeranian has a typical lifespan of 12 to 16 years.
The Pomeranian is raked the 14th most popular breed by the American Kennel Club. Between 19,000 and 20,000 dogs are registered annually.
The breed can be traced to at least the 15th century as Michelango owned one who accompanied him when he painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and Martin Luther owned one that is frequently mentioned in his writings. The breed is believed to have originated in Germany, specifically Pomerania. Bred down in size from Nordic sled dogs, he is the smallest of the Spitz type dogs. It was only after they were exported to England that the breed became known as the Pomeranian. But these early dogs were much larger than today’s Pomeranians; many weighed as much as 30 pounds. Even before Queen Victoria of England acquired a Pomeranian from Italy, there was an emphasis on breeding the dog down in size while at the same time producing their fluffy, powder puff coat.
Other famous Pomeranian owners are David Hasselhoff and Tammy Wynette. The National (U.S.) Parent Breed Club is the American Pomeranian Club.