Pomeranian

The Pomeranian is a tiny dog with a surprisingly large personality. In fact, special consideration should be taken when introducing a Pom to other dogs, especially of they are larger dogs. Poms can be quite assertive, even to the point of challenging other dogs, and because of their tiny size this can be dangerous.

The diminutive Pomeranian is an excellent companion dog who is delighted to play or snuggle. They are generally devoted to their owner, to the point of becoming suspicious of other people. They are especially prone to barking at sounds and people, and their barking can quickly become nearly constant nuisance barking. It's important to curb your dog's barking early on. As with all puppies, early, positive socialization will help your dog become used to strange people and situations, ensuring that they are happy and well-adjusted. In addition to their companionability, many fans are drawn to the Pomeranian because of their adorable appearance - their thick, fluffy double coat and a lion-like ruff around the neck. Combined with their endearing and energetic personalities, this makes the Pomeranian difficult to resist. In fact, Pomeranians were two of three dogs to be rescued when the RMS Titanic hit in iceberg and sank in 1912. Their owners would not leave their beloved little dogs behind.

Key Breed Stats

Alternative names: The Pomeranian breed is also commonly known by the names Pom,Pom Pom,Deutsche Spitze,Zwergspitz,Spitz Nain,Spitz Enano,Zwers.

Popularity: Popular

Life expectancy: 12 - 16 years

Breed group: Toy Dogs (AKC), Toy Dogs (KC)

Size: Tiny

Male Female
Height 5 - 11 in 5 - 11 in
Weight 4 - 4 lbs 4 - 4 lbs

Coat:

Colors: Black, Black and Tan, Gray, Red, Brown, White, Blue, Orange

Key Breed Facts

Shedding: Heavy shedder

Grooming requirements: High

Good with children: Not really

Good with other pets: Not really

Intelligence / Trainability: High

Exercise needs: Low

Tolerates being alone: Absolutely not

Hunting drive: Low

Suited as Guard dog: Average

Sensitivity: Very sensitive

Good for novice owners: Yes

Hypoallergenic breed: No

Drooling: Very low

Barking: Very frequent

General health: Average

Cost to keep: Low

History

Though the Pomeranian is a tiny breed, they are actually descended from large working dogs of the Arctic regions, specifically the Wolfspitz or Spitz type dog. They are generally considered to be directly related to the German Spitz.

There is no official documentation of the Pomeranian breed until they were introduced to the UK, though they are thought to be named for an area called Pomerania, which is located in northern Poland and Germany along the Baltic Sea. The original Pomeranian type of dog was likely bred there.

The Pomeranian has a long history as a much-loved companion breed and historically important owners include theologian Martin Luther, who had a Pom named Belferlein that he mentioned often in his writings; artist Michelangelo, whose Pom sat on a satin pillow and watched him paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; physicist Isaac Newton, whose Pom named Diamond reportedly chewed many of his manuscripts, and composer Mozart, whose Pom was named Pimperl and to whom he dedicated an aria. In her later years, Queen Victoria became fond of Pomeranians and her dog Marco was believed to be the inspiratin for breeding the smaller-sized Poms of today.

The first breed club was set up in England in 1891, and the first breed standard was written shortly afterwards. The first member of the breed was registered in America to the American Kennel Club in 1898, and it was recognized in 1900.

Appearance

The tiny Pomeranian is a proud, animated, and intelligent little dog with a charming, energetic personality.
Typical characteristics are:


  • Fox-like head, dark, bright, medium-sized eyes, small, high, erect ears, and short muzzle.

  • Compact body with a short back.

  • A high-set tail carried flat the back.

  • Luxurious, long, flowing double coat.

  • A variety of colors including: black, black and tan, blue, blue and tan, chocolate, chocolate and tan, cream, cream sable, orange, orange sable, red, red sable, sable (black-tipped hairs on a background of silver, gold, gray, fawn, or brown), brindle (a base color of gold, red, or orange with strong black cross stripes), and white.

Temperament

Intelligence/Trainability

Pomeranians are generally intelligent, and can quickly grasp basic commands. However, they are moderately difficult to train. Poms tend to have a stubborn streak and require a kind, consistent hand when training. Positive reinforcement is particularly helpful. They can be difficult to house train, and crate training is particularly helpful.

As intelligent dogs, Pomeranians will need an outlet for their intelligence and energy. Playtime and walks will help prevent your dog from acting out in undesirable ways like chewing, barking, etc.

Activity

Pomeranians are lap dogs and excellent companions, but they are also fairly active. They do require daily exercise in the form of walks and play time.

Provide daily play sessions, these intelligent dogs need some kind of mental stimulation to be really happy. Learning small tricks or performing in agility or obedience will help keep these little attention seekers happy and content.

Special attention should be given to puppies. Avoid jumping up and down furniture and running up and down the stairs, as their bones and joints are still growing and too much exercise can induce problems later on. Even as adults, jumping down from furniture and high places is not recommended for small dogs like the Pomeranian.

Independence

Pomeranians were bred as companion animals and they require attention from their owners. They are happiest if they can spend all of their time alongside their family, preferably in your lap. They will not thrive in situations where they must spend long periods of time on their own.

It is not advised to leave your Pom outside unattended, even in a fenced-in area; their small size makes them a target for predators. Poms are also prone to heat stroke and will need special attention in hot weather.

Protective

Pomeranians are suspicious of strangers and are excellent "alert dogs". They are too small to protect, but will certainly bark. In fact, barking may become incessant - they should be trained early on as to when barking is appropriate and when it is not.

Living Conditions

Because of their tiny size, Pomeranians are fairly well-suited to apartment living. Just make sure your little pal gets enough exercise and playtime. Be cautious when letting your Pomeranian outside in your yard. They need constant supervision as they can easily be snatched up by predators like hawks and coyotes.

Pomeranians are prone to heat stroke and need a cool, air-conditioned place during hot weather.

Children and Other Pets

Pomeranians can be good family dogs. However, due to their small size, care should be taken so that a child does not accidentally injure the dog. Children should never carry the dog, as they could accidentally drop it. They could also fall or step on a tiny Pomeranian. Like many small-sized companion dogs, Poms can become spoiled which can lead to jealousy with pets and other people. Proper training, boundaries, and socialization are important to prevent this.That said, extra care should be taken, especially with young children (under the age of 6).


  • Young children may unintentionally invade the personal space of your dog and are unable to interpret the warning signals of your dog.

  • Dogs consider the family as a pack, and may consider the younger children as subordinates and may try to correct them.

  • Young children are very time-consuming. They may take away from the time you have to spend with your dog and he may become bored or frustrated.

No dog, regardless of breed, should be left unattended with young children.

Pomeranians can get along well with other dogs, but proper socialization is extremely important. They are bold dogs, not aware of their small size, and may challenge a much larger dog which can lead to disaster.

Health

The average life expectancy of a Pomeranian is between 12 - 16 years. Like all breeds, the Pomeranian is prone to certain hereditary health conditions. A responsible breeder will only breed with dogs that have been cleared for these conditions. A Pomeranian is prone to these diseases:
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (hereditary)
  • Allergies (hereditary)
  • Epilepsy (hereditary)
  • Eye Problems (hereditary)
  • Collapsed Trachea (hereditary)
  • Dental Problems (hereditary)
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia (hereditary) : Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is a very common genetic orthopedic trait, which is affected by environmental and dietary factors. Canine hip dysplasia occurs when there is an abnormality in the development of the hip joint. More info»
  • Patellar Luxation (hereditary) : Patellar luxation is a very common orthopedic disorder in dogs. A patellar luxation occurs when a dog’s kneecap (patella) is dislocated or slips out of its normal position. More info»

Grooming

Pomeranians do require a fair amount of grooming, but they are small dogs, so it's not a huge time commitment. Their double coats should be brushed at least once per week to prevent mats and remove excess hair. They are moderate shedders and regular grooming will help to remove dead hair. An occasional trim to keep the coat neat and bathing with a pH balanced dog shampoo may also be necessary.

Ears should be checked regularly for dirt, redness or a bad smell that could indicate an infection. Clean your dog's ears when needed with an ear cleaner made specifically for dogs. Pomeranians may not wear their nails down on their own. Long nails will require regular clipping and all puppies should be introduced to nail clipping early on so that it will be easier when they are older.

Like many small breeds, Pomeranians are prone to dental problems. They tend to form a lot of plaque on their teeth. If you don’t brush their teeth regularly, the plaque becomes tartar which can lead to tooth problems, at a very young age. Consider brushing their teeth with a soft toothbrush and adapted dog toothpaste two or three times a week. Daily is even better. All puppies should become accustomed to having their mouths and teeth checked regularly.

All puppies and dogs should be groomed regularly (preferably weekly) and have their paws, ears, and mouth handled and examined frequently so that they become comfortable with the process. This way, you will quickly become aware of any problems that arise and your dog will be easy to handle for the vet, groomer, and any treatments that are required throughout its lifetime.

Feeding

1/4 to 1/2 cup of high-quality, dry dog food fed in two daily meals is a good starting point, but other factors need to be taken into consideration. Higher quality dog foods may require less food, as more of the food is digested properly. In addition, higher energy dogs will require more food, while more sedentary dogs may require less.

Special attention is needed when feeding puppies. Puppies need to be fed 3 to 4 times a day. This might seem like a burden but it will help when it comes to housebreaking. A puppy’s digestive system works very fast. Five to 30 minutes after his meal, he will need to go out to do his business.

Just like any other breed, they need to have free access to fresh, clean water at all times.

Older dogs, like puppies, might need a diet adapted to their needs. In some cases, it is advisable to feed them smaller portions 3 to 4 times a day.

When changing your dog’s diet, it’s recommended to do it gradually over a period of a few days to avoid stomach problems.