Everything You Need to Know about the Pomeranian
Little bears with the cutest of smiling faces as puppies, it is no wonder that the Pomeranian is so popular with people young and old.
They are known for their beautiful, fox like features and their luxurious coat that comes in a number of different colors but the true beauty of this breed is definitely in their temperament.
Despite being a toy breed, the Pomeranian is a loving and lively companion dog with a huge personality. They are feisty, active and incredibly intelligent.
I have dozens of stories of my parents’ Pomeranians getting into things that we swore they couldn’t get into.
But even when they are being their bravest…and usually their most mischievous…the Pomeranian is an amazing companion and breed. They are excellent as family pets and they are happy to go everywhere with their owners.
If you are looking for a companion dog with an engaging temperament to match, then look no further than the Pomeranian.
However, before you do, be sure to learn everything you need to know about the breed, which we will cover in this article.
The Fox-Like Appearance of the Pomeranian
Males and Females: 7 to 12 inches (17.78 to 30.48cm)
Males and Females: 3 to 7 pounds (1.36 to 3.18kg)
It should be noted that the breed standard has three color classifications that dogs will fall under, however, there are a wide variety of markings and colors and this can make it confusing on what is an accepted color.
In addition, different country kennel clubs have different rules for what is an accepted color and what aren’t so if you are interested in showing, check the accepted colors for your kennel club.
It should be mentioned that there are no such thing as a “rare” colors and owners should not pay extra for those colors. In addition, some colors do have health problems linked to the coat color, which we will go through in the health section of this article.
Pomeranian Color Classifications
- Red, cream, sable and orange
- Black, blue and brown
- Any other color, pattern or variation allowed
- Orange: Orange ranges from a very light orange to a deep orange. Many orange puppies start out very pale and darken with age.
- Beaver: A dilute brown that ranges from beige cream to orange brown.
- Blue: A dark grey that has a bluish gray coloration to it. Blue can also have other markings or solid.
- Red: Usually a deep rusty red.
- Lavender: This color is the result of breeding a dilute beaver and a dilute blue to produce a greyish chocolate hued dog.
- White: The ideal is a pure white dog with no other coloration on them.
- Cream: A light to dark cream color. The ideal cream is one with zero white coloration.
- Black: Black undercoat and guard hairs. Pomeranians can be completely black or black with markings.
- Chocolate: Ranges from a light brown to a very deep, dark chocolate.
- Sable: More of a coloration than patterns, sables come in red sable, blue sable, orange sable, cream sable, wolf sable and chocolate sable. The coat must have three colors of shading to be considered a sable and one of them is usually a dark grey/black tipping on the guard hairs.
- Tan Points: Found in blue, blue fawn or black, tan points on Pomeranians are similar to the points Dobermans have on the eyebrows, legs, under the tail, muzzle and chest.
- Parti: These are white Pomeranians with color on the body and on the head. There should a white blaze on the head and symmetrical color markings on the head are desired.
- Brindle: Black with brindling of fawn, cream or apricot
- Piebald: A mostly white dog with colored markings.
- Merle: A coat that is mottled colors in a solid or piebald coat. Merle’s can also have miscolored eyes.
The Pomeranian is a toy sized breed of dog that has a rectangular shape, with a slightly taller frame than it is long. The dog should be sturdy, despite being a toy breed, and should have a medium bone. They should have a well-balanced appearance with a level topline. The tail should curl over the dog’s back.
In addition to being sturdy, Pomeranians should have a fox like appearance. The head of the Pomeranian should be in proportion to the body. They should have an alert appearance with bright eyes and a dark, black nose…with the exception of blue, brown or beaver coats.
The eyes are almond shape and should be dark in color. In addition, eyes should be rimmed in black, again with exceptions for blue, brown or beaver coats.
The muzzle of the Pomeranian should have a well defined stop and should be fairly short and fine. It should be straight and creates a head that is wedge shaped.
The coat of the Pomeranian should be a medium length coat that is very thick. It consists of a short, dense undercoat that is very soft and a long outer coat. The coat around the neck, chest and shoulders should create a frill and the front and hind legs should be feathered. The tail should be well covered with a long straight coat.
Pomeranians come in a large variety of colors and markings and litters can include several colors at once. See above for a full list of colors.
The Outgoing and Charismatic Pomeranian Temperament
Personality! That is all the Pomeranian is about. They are full of personality that shines clearly in their dark eyes. The breed is known for being outgoing, charming and vivacious. He loves life and loves being out there meeting new people.
In fact, Pomeranians usually do very well with strange people and animals alike. The breed is known for having a ton of confidence, which is endearing at the best of times and terrifying when he believes that he is as large as the giant dog he’s barking at.
They are usually very alert and this makes them an excellent watchdog as they will bark at anything they deem is suspicious.
The breed is known for being very playful and affectionate. They love their people and thrive when they can be with them. They can be a bit nervous in some situations, especially with young children, and have been known to be a bit snappy in these situations.
However, if you provide your pup with the best training and socialization, he will be less likely to be snappy.
The Small Family Pet
Growing up, my parents always had a Pomeranian and even had multiple for a few years. For us, a Pomeranian is a perfect family pet; however, the breed is not known as being that good for families with young children since they can be nervous with young children and will snap if mishandled.
But with that being said, if you have the right kids and the right Pomeranian, they can do well with children who are a bit older. When children aren’t too loud and who understand when their Pomeranian needs some space.
In the right homes, this is an amazing family pet. They are very affectionate and will bond strongly with their owners and their family.
They are perfect for the elderly because of their temperament and their need to be with someone. With children, make sure they are monitored to prevent rough play. Too rough play can result in a puppy being severely injured.
With other pets, the Pomeranian is a champion. They can be very good with other dogs and small pets; however, they do need proper socialization for them to accept them.
Still, if you have a small family, or older children, Pomeranians can be an excellent choice as a family pet.
Not Just a Lap Dog: Big Roots as a Working Breed
It might be surprising to many, but the Pomeranian was a breed of dog that was originally quite larger than they are today. In fact, even up to the 20th century, it was not uncommon for Pomeranians to be over 20 pounds (9.07kg).
So, let’s start at the beginning for this breed. Believed to have been developed in Iceland, the Pomeranian was descended from Spitz dogs that were found in that area. These dogs served as working dogs and would work as guarding and sled dogs alongside their families.
The ancestor of the Pomeranian made its way to Pomerania, in a Baltic region where Poland and Germany are now found. Once there, breeders began to breed to produce smaller dogs with the first Pomeranians being somewhere around 30 to 40 pounds (13.61 to 18.14 kg).
The breed was first documented in 1764 and found their way to England in 1767 when Queen Charlotte brought two Pomeranians to England.
The first dogs to enter England were believed to be quite larger than the breed we know today, weighing between 30 to 50 pounds (13.61 to 22.68 kg), although they had all of the other physical traits that is still important in the Pomeranian today.
While the downsize was quite slow, by the time they began to see popularity in England, in the early 1800’s, the Pomeranian was already only 20 pounds (9.07kg). The breed gained popularity when Queen Victoria began a large breeding kennel and they became quite fashionable in English society by 1888.
However, one of the prized Pomeranian, by the name of Marco, became well known, especially since he was only 12 pounds at adulthood. With this in mind, breeders began to size down the Pomeranian until he was the toy sized breed that we know today.
The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1900 and has remained in the top 25 dog breeds since 1998.
The Health and Lifespan of the Pomeranian
Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years
Although the Pomeranian is a long lived breed, it does have its share of health problems that all owners should be aware of before bringing one home. They are usually quite healthy on average but they’re small size makes them prone to health problems that toy breeds often face.
As with all breed, make sure that you choose a puppy that comes from health tested parents. In addition, finding a breeder who offers a two year health guarantee will ensure that your puppy has the best start in life.
Before we look at health risks in the breed, let’s take a look at some of the color related health problems that are seen.
Color Related Health Problems:
- Color Dilution Alopecia:Thin hair or severe hair loss.
- Skin Inflammation:This often increases the risk of them developing Staph and other skin infections.
While white is an accepted color, there is an inherited disability that can occur in some white dogs.
- Deafness:White coats often increase the risk of deafness in all dog breeds, including the Pomeranian
Breeding merle to merle cause many health problems and should be avoided. Never purchase a pup from a breeding of two merles. Health problems they are known to have are:
- Malformed Eyes and Ears
Conditions that are seen in Pomeranians regardless of color are the following:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Legg-Perthes Disease
- Patellar Luxation
- Dry Eye (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca)
- Collapsed Trachea
- Dental Problems
- Chronic Valvular Disease
- Heart Murmurs
- Slipped Stifle
- Growth Hormone-Responsive Alopecia
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus
- Reproductive Hormone Disorders
- Cushings’ Syndrome
As you can see, the Pomeranian has a large number of health risks, however, if you purchase from a reputable breeder with health tested dogs, you are less likely to see a problem with them.
Since Pomeranians are a toy breed, it is important to monitor their play and not allow them to jump off from high furniture. It is best to train your Pomeranian to ramps to get on and off of furniture.
Finally, like many breeds, the Pomeranian can become obese quite easily. Always make sure that you monitor their weights and always factor in treats when you count your pup’s daily calories.
Living with Your Lively Companion
Living with a Pomeranian can be an adventure. It is often surprising how such a small dog can take up so much of a home. They are known for being lively and intelligent. And they are quite adventurous.
In fact, my family and I have dozens of stories of how these clever dogs could do everything from open purses to dresser drawers just to find a prize. So, one of the first things I always stress with Pomeranians is to puppy proof you home and expect them to figure out your proofing.
But despite their adventures, this is a breed that loves to be with their families. In fact, they prefer to be with you regardless of where you are going and can be prone to separation anxiety.
For this reason, this companion breed is better suited to homes where they can be a constant companion. However, if you have to leave your pup at home, take the time to crate train him to help limit their anxiety.
Another point that you need to consider is that this small breed can be lost or injured easily. Always close off rooms where they could get hurt if they fell. In addition, never leave a Pomeranian in a yard alone.
They can be snatched by predators and will slip through fences with ease. They also don’t require a lot of outdoor time so they should never be left for long periods in the yard.
While they are a small dog, Pomeranians do need daily walks to keep them healthy, however, the walks don’t have to be very long. In addition, the breed really needs daily play time in the yard or a nice game of fetch down a hallway. This will help keep them from being bored, as will training.
When it comes to training, the Pomeranian is a very intelligent dog that can learn quickly, however, training quickly can be a different story. They are eager to please but their intelligence makes them a bit stubborn. They need an owner who is firm when it comes to training and rules.
Housetraining can be a challenge simply because of their size and not being able to hold it for longer periods of time. However, once they are trained, they will potty easily, even to paper. They tend to bark a lot, especially since they still do very well as a watchdog.
If they are trained at a young age not to bark, they will usually only bark when someone comes to the door or if they notice anything suspicious.
With grooming, Pomeranians are surprisingly easy to keep groom. Brushing should be done two or three times a week to keep the coat free of mats.
Some trimming of hair around the paw pads and the anus will keep your pup tidy. Bathing can be done on a monthly basis or as needed but be sure to use a dog shampoo to keep the coat looking its best.
Nails should be trimmed as needed, usually two or three times a month. A very important area with grooming is dental care since Pomeranians are known to have tooth and gum problems.
Brush their teeth two or three times a week and schedule cleanings with your vet several times a year. The key to preventing dental problems is to check his teeth regularly.
Feeding is usually ¼ to ½ cup of high quality dog food every day. Portions should be split up into two or three feedings a day. As with all dog breeds, obesity can be a problem with the breed so make sure that you are not overfeeding or offering tasty morsels from your plate…a common thing for these toy breeds.
While they are lively and quick, this little dog has a big personality that often fits right into the homes of their owners. They are wonderful companions who are always happy to travel and they are just as happy sitting on your knee for an evening at home. Every Pomeranian owner knows that these little dogs bring a huge amount of love into their homes.