Getting to know your dog starts by getting to know its breed, and that includes getting a better idea about its appearance, personality, and health requirements. Here’s what you need to know about the Pomeranian:
One of the most fascinating aspects of this breed is that in its much earlier and larger incarnations it was used in Lapland and Iceland for pulling sleds. Eventually, the Pomeranian moved on to other regions along the Baltic Sea. At this particular time, the breed was still used as a working dog but then it started to increase in popularity as a family pet. The name given to this dog, which was originally Pommern or Pomore, means “on the sea.”
The Pomeranian was introduced into English nobility. While somewhat popular, it became even more so after Queen Charlotte’s granddaughter, Queen Victoria, returned from Italy with her new furry friend. Although the appearance was much the same, the earlier varieties of the Pomeranian were actually larger than what we see today.
This dog belongs to the Spitz family, which includes other breeds such as the Samoyed, Schipperke, and even Norwegian Elkhound, which surprises many people as they are all considered “toy” breeds due to the small size. Over time, breeders were able to fine-tune the Pomeranian, which led to a much better coat and smaller size. In addition, breeding experimentation provided a greater selection of color while not interfering with the breed’s strong but sweet temperament.
Following the American Kennel Club’s standards for the Pomeranian, the average weight is between 3 and 7 pounds and height is 8 to 11 inches. The appearance of the breed is quite distinct, having a wedge-shaped head. The result of the small body and head is a look very similar to that of a fox. In addition, the Pomeranian has small and high set ears and a tail that curls over the back while being held tall.
Although all of these characteristics make the Pomeranian the cute dog it is, the coat is without doubt its pride. In fact, this dog has two coats. The first is the soft, thick, and fluffy undercoat while the second is the straight and course overcoat. Every year, the male dog will shed the undercoat, as the female goes into heat, once a litter is delivered, and if experiencing too much stress.
As mentioned, breeding has resulted in a wide range of colors and color combinations – 13 in all. These options for the Pomeranian include:
Black and Tan
Blue and Tan
Chocolate and Tan
Parti-color (typically white with other colors)
In addition to the standard 13 colors for the Pomeranian, the American Kennel Club also recognizes the following:
For the Pomeranian to fall within the standards set by the American Kennel Club, the dog should be well proportioned. This means the dainty head cannot be too large or small, but must balance well with the body type. Additionally, the Pomeranian’s legs must be proportionate. In fact, even the breed’s expression is to display alertness, intelligence, and pride.
Temperament and Personality
Like the Chihuahua, the Pomeranian does not realize it is a small dog. With a serious bark (or yelp as some may say), the dog is actually a great watchdog. This breed loves its family, enjoying good, quality cuddle time. However, it is also an energetic and agile dog that is relatively easy to train.
Because of the small body size, the Pomeranian makes a great pet for people without a yard or those with a small yard. However, because this breed also enjoys exercise, it makes a great pet for those who like spending time outdoors. In other words, the Pomeranian is a versatile dog – perfect for many types of families.
Fortunately, the Pomeranian breed tends to be healthy but like most other dogs, there are a few possible health risks. With good care, a dog of this breed could easily live to be 14, 15, 16, or older. Some of the more common concerns with the Pomeranian include a Luxating Patella, dry eye, cataracts, and skin ailments.
Health risks that are not quite as common would be epilepsy, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, and hydrocephalus. Then on rare occasion, you might find a dog in this category dealing with Hip Dysplasia and Legg-Calve Perthes, a degenerative disease of the hip joint. Of all possible health risks associated with a Pomeranian, a collapsed trachea, or heart disease known as Patent Ductus Arteriosus are the most serious.
It is also important to keep this breed of dog well groomed. Otherwise, the undercoat can become tangled, pulling on the skin and causing blood circulation problems. Typically, brushing the coat two to three times a week is sufficient. Since this breed of dog is also prone to dental problems, most veterinarians recommend brushing, along with regularly scheduled cleaning, which would be done professionally and under anesthesia.