Breed Group:
Companion Dogs

Middle Age: 6 years

Geriatric Age: 12 years

Life Span: 12 to 15 years

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Pomeranian Breed History & Background

Pomeranians originated in the Pomerania Peninsula in the 16th Century from ancient Spitz breeds. Relatives of the Pomeranian include the Norwegian Elkhound, the Schipperke, the German Spitz, the American Eskimo Dog, and the Samoyed. All of these dogs can be characterized by their wedge-shaped heads, prick ears, and thick furry coats.

Originally, Poms were bred to be sledding dogs, and they weighed up to 30 pounds. From the time they were introduced as a family pet, Pomeranians were extremely popular. Notable owners of Pomeranian-like dogs include theologian Martin Luther, artist Michelangelo, and physicist Isaac Newton.

Poms moved to England when Princess Sophie Charlotte, from a province near Pomerania, married an English prince, who later became King George III, and brought her two Poms with her. Their granddaughter, who became Queen Victoria, had a special place in her heart for dogs. During her reign, it is said she bred fifteen different breeds of dogs, and Pomeranians were among her favorites.

In 1888 during a trip to Italy, Queen Victoria met a 12 pound Pomeranian, and she fell absolutely in love with him. It is believed that the current day Pomeranian came about due to Queen Victoria breeding smaller and smaller Pomeranians, trying to make her own version of her Italian Pom friend.

Pomeranian Temperament & Personality

Pomeranians are social, spunky, and smart dogs. They love to meet new people and pets. However, they sometimes think they are bigger than they really are. If your Pomeranian starts to provoke a larger dog, stop him immediately. He probably thinks he can take on this much larger dog when in reality he cannot. It is characteristic of Pomeranians to always be alert and bark at anything out of the ordinary. When picking out your Pom puppy, try to meet one of the parents. Shyness or aggression are some Pomeranian personality traits that your dog will not grow out of.

Are Pomeranians Trainable?

To facilitate training, start when your Pomeranian is young. They are high energy and like games, so if you can make training a game, they will be eager to learn. When they do a trick correctly or demonstrate good behavior, your Pomeranian will love getting rewarded with treats or joyful praise. Due to their intelligence, they love to learn new things. However, Pomeranians can get bored easily, so make training sessions short. Remember that you are the one in charge, not your dog. Do not end training sessions just because your Pom doesn’t feel like continuing.

Pomeranian Exercise Requirements

Due to their small stature, Pomeranians can usually get a good amount of exercise indoors. Making time for short daily walks and play times is important for Pomeranian health. During hot summer days, keep the walks shorter as they can overheat. This breed also loves playing with toys, so make sure you have plenty to keep them entertained!

Pomeranian Lifespan

Pomeranian life expectancy generally ranges anywhere from 12-15 years.

Is the Pomeranian Breed Popular?

Pomeranians are relatively popular dogs. The American Kennel Club has ranked them as the 22nd most popular dog in the U.S.

Feeding Requirements for Pomeranians

It is recommended to feed your Pom ¼-½ cup of food each day, divided into two meals. Adjust how much you feed your dog depending on his age and activity level. If your dog becomes overweight, it can cause extra pressure on his limbs and other major Pomeranian health problems.

How to Groom a Pomeranian

A Pomeranians’ fluffy coat often sheds, with females shedding more than males. To prevent their hair from getting all over your house, brush them at least twice a week. When brushing your dog, make sure you get all the way to their undercoat, as that is where a lot of the shedding occurs.

Some Pom owners like to get their dog trimmed every once in awhile to keep them looking at their best. You can bathe your Pomeranian as frequently as you would like, as long as you are using a mild shampoo. Lastly, it is especially important to brush your Pomeranian’s teeth twice a week, due to the fact that they are prone to dental problems.

Are Pomeranians Good With Kids?

Although Pomeranians are very social, it is usually not recommended that they live with young children. Many times, young children don’t understand how fragile Poms are and can accidentally give them injuries. If you have a Pomeranian and a child, watch their interactions to ensure they are being careful.

Common Pomeranian Health Issues

  • Bronchitis: Bronchitis is often found in toy breeds and affects the small airways in the respiratory system, called bronchi, that are responsible for transporting oxygen through the dog’s airways. Bronchitis occurs when the bronchi become inflamed and filled with secretions. The fluid and inflammation can make it extremely difficult for your dog to breath. Symptoms of bronchitis include coughing, wheezing, vomiting, and loss of consciousness.
  • Collapsed Trachea: Collapsed trachea is a condition where the trachea collapses easily and can be the result of your dog pulling too hard on the leash. This is an issue with Pomeranians because they are often so excited to meet new people and see new things that they pull on the leash until they make choking noises. It is crucial to leash train your Pom puppy to prevent this from happening. Your dog may have a collapsed trachea if he is coughing loudly, and it sounds almost like a goose honking. A collapsed trachea can be treated medically or surgically.
  • Dental Problems: Pomeranians are prone to gum problems and have a history of early tooth loss. Brush your Pom’s teeth frequently to prevent any dental conditions they may develop.
  • Epilepsy: Unfortunately, Pomeranians are prone to epilepsy. For some dogs, epilepsy is a lifelong disease. When your dog has a seizure, it is important to make an appointment with your vet to figure out the cause, as the treatment for epilepsy is dependent on what is causing it. Signs your dog is having a seizure include collapsing, paddling his legs, and frenzied barking or whining.
  • Eye Problems: Some Pomeranian eye problems include cataracts, dry eye, and tear duct issues. If you suspect your Pomeranian is having eye problems, take him to the vet because some of these complications can cause blindness.
  • Legg-Perthes Disease: Legg-Perthes Disease is very common in toy breeds. This disease occurs when blood flow to the head of the femur is decreased, and the head of the femur that connects to the pelvis starts to disintegrate. If your puppy has this disease, it will develop within 4-6 months of age. Signs your puppy has Legg-Perthes Disease include limping and atrophy of the leg. He will need surgery, and it is essential that you find an experienced vet. The vet will cut off the diseased femur, and the remaining scar tissue will act as a replacement.
  • Patellar Luxation: Patellar Luxation occurs when the kneecap is dislocated from its normal position in the groove of the thigh bone. The only time the kneecap is placed back into its normal position is when their leg is relaxed and lengthened. Dogs generally do not feel pain when the kneecap is not in position, but they do feel pain when the kneecap slips out of place, grinding on their thigh bone. Unfortunately, treatments for this condition are not extremely effective, and patellar luxation will cause your dog pain later in life. Separation Anxiety: Due to their love of human interaction, Pomeranian separation anxiety is common. Your Pomeranian may have separation anxiety if he barks endlessly, chews on furniture, or tries to escape once you leave.

Other Resources

National Breed Website: American Pomeranian Club

Rescues: Southern California Pomeranian Rescue