Descended from large sled dog breeds, the now-tiny Pomeranian has a long and interesting history. The foxy-faced dog, nicknamed “the little dog who thinks he can,” is compact, active, and capable of competing in agility and obedience or simply being a family friend.
The Pomeranian got its name from the region of Pomerania, which is now the area of Germany and Poland, where it was developed from the ancient Spitz breeds. The original Pomeranians were much larger, weighing up to 30 pounds, and worked as sheep herders. Marie Antoinette, Emile Zola, Mozart and Queen Victoria all owned Pomeranians. In 1870 the Kennel Club in England first recognized them as a breed. In 1888 Queen Victoria began breeding and showing the dogs. It was she who started breeding them down in size, making the breed very popular in England. The Pomeranian was first recognized by the AKC in 1888. Some of the Pom’s talents include: watchdog, agility and performing tricks. Poms make superior circus performers.
Pomeranians are small dogs weighing 1.9–3.5 kilograms (4.2–7.7 lb) and standing 5.0–11 inches (13–28 cm) high at the withers. They are compact but sturdy dogs with an abundant textured coat with a highly plumed tail set high and flat. The top coat forms a ruff of fur on the neck, which Poms are well known for, and they also have a fringe of feathery hair on the hindquarters.
The earliest examples of the breed were white or occasionally brown or black. Queen Victoria adopted a small red Pomeranian in 1888, which caused that color to become fashionable by the end of the 19th century. In modern times, the Pomeranian comes in the widest variety of colors of any dog breed, including white, black, brown, red, orange, cream, blue, sable, black and tan, brown and tan, spotted, brindle, plus combinations of those colors. The most common colors are orange, black or cream/white.
Cute, feisty and furry, Poms are intelligent and loyal to their families. Don’t let their cuteness fool you, however. These independent, bold dogs have minds of their own. They are alert and curious about the world around them. Unfortunately, in their minds, they are much larger than they really are, which can sometimes lead them to harass and even attack much larger dogs.
Luckily, if they are properly socialized with other dogs and animals, they generally get along quite well with them.
Despite their small size, Pomeranians have a loud bark and make excellent watchdogs. They sometimes don’t know when to stop barking, however, so it’s a good idea to train them to stop barking on command.
Pomeranians make excellent pets for older people and those who are busy, because they aren’t an overly dependent breed. They are also good for apartment dwellers or homes that don’t have a backyard. Because of their small size, they aren’t recommended for families with small children who might injure them accidentally.
Poms generally are good at learning tricks, but you must be consistent and firm when training them. If you don’t establish yourself as top dog in your household, your Pom will be more than glad to take over and may even become snappish.
Poms have a lot of energy and enjoy going for walks. They trot along, proudly holding their head up, meeting new people and exploring new sights and smells.