At a glance
One of the most diminutive of the toy breeds, the Pomeranian is a fox-like dog, characterized by has triangular face and double-layered coat. Pomeranians are loyal and energetic house pets, known for being “big dogs in small packages”, most especially because they are not intimidated by larger dogs that threaten their loved ones.
- Names – Pom, Zwergspitz; Spitz nain; Spitz enano; Zwers
- Group – AKC: Toy Group; KC: Toy
- Size – small
- Life expectancy – average of 14; range of 12 to 19 years
- Cost of ownership – low
- Ease of ownership – high
- Aggressive tendency - high
- Amount of Exercise – low
- Amount of Grooming – medium
- Ease of Training – high
- Obedience level - high
- Suitable for Children – medium
- Amount of Care Required - low
- Susceptibility to Health Problems – low
Pomeranians are small dogs with almond shaped eyes. The Pomeranian has a soft, fluffy coat that requires regular grooming and their thick, bushy tail fans over their back. The coat can come in a remarkable variety of colors including white, black, brown, orange sable, wolf, or white with colored markings.
- Dog: 3 – 7 pounds (1.3 – 3 kilos)
- Bitch: 3 – 7 pounds (1.3 – 3 kilos)
- Dog: 7 – 12 inches (18 – 30 cm)
- Bitch: 7 – 12 inches (18 – 30 cm)
- Color – black and tan, brindle, parti-color, and solid colors such as black, blue, tan, cream, brown, red, and sable. Blue and black is highly regarded, while the most common is parti-colored, with faces darker than the rest of the body
- Coat – The Pomeranian’s long double coat needs brushing at least once weekly. It is important to actually lift and part the top coat in order to groom the cottony undercoat. Regular brushing can help control shedding but brushing cannot be overdone, as this can damage the coat.
- Shedding – medium
- Allergies – low
- Causes Allergies – medium
The Pomeranian is a frisky toy breed. They are very smart and have a strong bond with their family. They are eager to please, gentle, and affectionate. They also exhibit an inquisitive expression and curiosity.
- Separation Anxiety – medium
- Barking tendency - high
- Aggressive tendency – high
- Compatibility with other animals – high
- Suitable for children – medium
- Watchdog suitability - high
Due to the Pomeranians small stature, they are not recommended for families with very young children, as they can easily be injured by careless kids. Poms are also not good lap dogs. They will enjoy the occasional ride in their owner’s arms but should not be overly coddled as this can lead to serious control and dominance issues. They do make good guard dogs, however, barking at anything they consider a threat to their master.
In order to help the dog socialize, the owner must introduce the Pom to other house pets and give the animals time to get used to each other. Keep in mind that aggressive Pomeranians will not back away from strange, larger dogs.
The first important issue that the owner needs to address is making sure the Pom recognizes them as the pack leader. The dog cannot think he is in control or training will be next to impossible. Another important technique is early socialization. These two actions are very useful for getting the dog to ease up on his domineering attitude and limit his excessive barking.
A Pom will need to be taught to walk a distance from the feet of his master, as they have a tendency to walk to closely and this can result in injuries for the dog. Crate training is also very important as it can help with housebreaking and separation anxiety. The key when training the Pomeranian puppy is patience and consistency and an owner must not forget that Pomeranians are eager to please.
On a final note, once these intelligent dogs are trained, they excel at tricks, search and rescue, therapy dogs for the elderly and ill and companion dogs for the hearing impaired.
- Obedience – high
Poms who enjoy daily walks are less likely to develop behavior issues, e.g. destructive behavior and excessive barking. If possible, a good romp in a safe open area off lead can also be a fun treat for them.
- Energy – low
- Amount required – A 20-minute walk daily, aside from play and runs inside the house, is more than enough.
The Pomeranian’s teeth need to be brushed regularly, as tooth decay can be a problem. The ears can be cleaned regularly using a cotton ball or a soft wash cloth with baby oil. Ear-cleaning solutions for dogs can also be bought.
This dog is capable of overheating because of their heavy fur coat. Thus, owners must not leave them outdoors or in a car in hot weather. On the other hand, they can handle cold climates quite well but not severe freezing temperatures.
Poms are generally agreeable to most brands of dog food but they must never be given chicken bones or fish. A healthy Pom diet consists of a quality dog food with meat listed as the first ingredient and includes the proper balance of protein, carbs, fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are sometimes picky with their food, and it can be a challenge to get them to eat the dry dog food that is good for their teeth. Dry kibble can be mixed with canned food or moistened with water or whatever the owner deems the best solution after consulting their vet. If the owner would like to give a homemade diet, it must not contain table scraps.
Daily brushing is essential to keep the coat from matting. Professional groomers often start at the head and brush back creating a part, allowing the longer hair to fall naturally. The coat will require occasional trimming. Keep in mind, the Pomeranian is a consistent shedder, so you may be cleaning up little bits of hair on a regular basis.
- Ease of grooming – medium
- Amount of grooming – medium
Certain hereditary breeding related issues among Pomeranians are loose knees (luxated patellas), low
blood sugar (hypoglycemia), hair loss (alopecia) and heart murmurs. Luxated Patellas are a result of the dog being bred down to such a small size, which in turn led to shallower joints. Individual cases vary in severity and most of the time the condition is treatable through rest and supplementation with calcium, MSM, glucosamine, and chondroitin. Surgery is often the last resort. The complication can also get better or worse during the dog’s life, depending on age and activity.
Hypoglycemia is mostly prevented by not over exercising and feeding the Pom with a special diet or on a frequent basis. Heart murmurs are present when a puppy is born and are found when the pup is taken for a health check.
Pomeranian births often requiring Cesarean sections.
- Litter size – average of 2; range of 1 to 3
- Puppy cost – average $715; range $430 to $1,000
Poms are considered to be one of the hardiest of the toy breeds. Nevertheless, examples of major health concerns are loose knees, open skulls, low blood sugar, loss of teeth, dwarfism and eye problems. Dislocation and broken bones are common, so puppies need to be discouraged from jumping on to high surfaces.
- Life expectancy – average of 14; range of 12 to 19 years
- Susceptibility to illness – low
- Common health problems – some bloodlines are prone to slipped stifle, dislocated patella (knee-cap), heart and skin problems and eye infections
Pomeranians are a very vivacious, fearless and loud breed. They love to bark, play watchdog and spend time in the company of their owner. They are smart, easily trainable and are a very affectionate and loyal companion. Their heavy coat does require frequent maintenance and they are regular shedders.
- Living conditions – Pomeranians are equally agreeable to houses and apartments. They obtain plenty of their needed exercise indoors but should also be taken on a daily walk.
- Good with Children – Pomeranians are not compatible with young kids because rough children can easily injure the dog, and this breed will not take kindly to rough handling or teasing and will nip at a disrespectful child. Poms enjoy the company of older, more sensible children.
Pomeranians trace their roots to the Nordic Spitz family. They would go out with hunters and herders amidst harsh winter climates. Descended from wolves, Spitz dogs were popular sled dogs and were brought to southern Europe as sheep herders.
The Pom takes its name from Pomerania, a region near the Baltic Sea, which Germany and Poland have jointly adopted.
- County or origin – Germany and Poland
- Group – Toy (AKC and KC)
- Recognition – CKC, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, CCR, APRI, ACR
Did you know…
- Some famous owners of Pomeranians include:
- Queen Victoria (Fluffy, Nino, Mino, Beppo, Gilda and Lulu; by her deathbed, Turi)
- Kate Hudson (Clara Bo)
- Sir Isaac Newton (Diamond)
- Martin Luther (Belferlein)
- actress Fran Drescher’s Pomeranian (Chester)
- Marie Antoinette
- Thomas Edison
- The tiny and cute Pom is not a lap dog and prefers to sit at their master’s feet.