Small, fox-faced Pomeranians descended from large breeds of sled dogs and are active, capable, competitive and obedient creatures. Pomeranians have triangle-shaped heads and pointed ears. They have dark-colored eyes and noses that can be either deep in color or match the shade of their coats.
They also have a distinctive plumed tail that fans out over their back. They come in a variety of solid colors, including red, orange, white, brown, or black. In rare cases, you may see a white Pomeranian with colored markings or one with a different combination of colors. The prominent double coat of Pomeranians stands out from their bodies, with rough white fur around their chest. Although the Pomeranian (also called the Zwergspitz, Dwarf Spitz, Loulou, or Pom for short) only weighs between three and seven pounds, this lively dog has a very bold demeanor. Learn more about Pomeranians and their unique temperament and personality traits to see if Poms are the right dog breed for you!
The Pomeranian is the smallest member of the Spitz family of dogs, which includes the Samoyed, Norwegian Elkhound, and Alaskan Malamute. Their name comes from the province of Pomerania, in Germany.
Pomeranians were first bred in Pomerania from the ancient Spitz ancestors of far northern countries. The closest relatives of the Pomeranian are the Norwegian Elkhound, the Schipperke, the German Spitz, the American Eskimo Dog, and the Samoyed, all of which have distinct wedge-shaped heads, erect ears, and thick, furry coats. Some early Pomeranians weighed as much as 30 pounds.
Even in the early days of the breed, Poms were very popular. Notable people throughout history who were said to have had Pomeranian-type dogs include Michelangelo, Isaac Newton, and Mozart. Pomeranians became especially popular in the 1800s when Queen Victoria allowed some of her Pomeranians to be shown in a conformation show.
This was the first time a Pomeranian was ever shown in a dog show. During the 64 years that she was the Queen of England, she bred more than 15 different kinds of dogs. In her later years, Queen Victoria was particularly fond of Pomeranians, which she first saw in 1888 on a trip to Italy. She bought a 12-pound Pomeranian who many believe was the inspiration for breeding smaller Pomeranians.
From 1900 until the 1930s, Pomeranians often had the largest number of entries at the Crufts Dog Show, Britain’s national dog championship. During this time, the Pomeranian breeding standard was stabilized, with the size coming down to its present weight of three to seven pounds, and the coat developing its signature deep frilling. A wider range of colors of Pomeranians also became available during this time period. Early Poms were primarily white, black, or chocolate, but when an orange dog began winning at dog shows in the 1920s, the range of colors expanded.
The popularity of Pomeranians spread across the Atlantic in the late 19th century. In 1888, the first Pomeranian ever was entered into the American Kennel Club (AKC) Stud Book. In 1892, the first Pom was submitted for a dog show in New York. After the AKC recognized the breed in 1900, Pomeranians quickly gained popularity in the United States. In 1909, the American Pomeranian Club was accepted as a member club of the AKC and was designated as the parent club for the breed. By the mid-1900s, Pomeranians were one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Currently, Pomeranians rank 14th among the 155 breeds that are registered with the AKC.
Although they are small, Pomeranians have loud barks and make excellent watchdogs. However, they sometimes may not know when to quit barking, so it’s a good idea to train your pup to stop barking on command. Because of their outgoing temperaments, Pomeranians can be great family dogs, especially with proper training. Some Poms have also been trained to be hearing assistance dogs and they make excellent therapy animals by bringing delight and comfort to the sick and elderly in hospitals and nursing homes.
Pomeranians are intelligent dogs and are easily trained. Poms are active animals but can be fully exercised with indoor play and short walks, allowing them to live happy lives in the city or the suburbs. Pomeranians have lots of energy and enjoy going for walks. When they’re outdoors, Poms will trot next to their owners, holding their head up, greeting new people and exploring the sights and smells of the environment.
Pomeranians also perform well in certain dog sports such as tracking and agility, but they typically prefer curling up on their owners’ laps. More and more Pomeranians are being trained in obedience, agility, tracking, and flyball.
Most Pomeranians are good at learning new tricks, but it’s important to be consistent and firm while training them. If you don’t establish yourself as being in charge, your Pomeranian might take over the territory and may even become snappy.
Additionally, Pomeranians can sometimes be suspicious of strangers and may bark a lot when they don’t recognize someone. This is largely a result of whether your dog gets early socialization or not.
Good nutrition and obedience training are other essential keys of good Pomeranian temperament. Some Pomeranians can be difficult to housetrain so crate training your puppy is recommended.
Pomeranians are usually very alert and curious about the world around them. In their minds, they feel that they are much larger than they really are, which can sometimes lead them to pick fights or attack larger breeds of dogs. Luckily, when they are properly socialized with other animals and dogs, they will usually get along quite well with them.
Although they are small, Pomeranians don’t always seem to realize it. They can have a “big dog” attitude which can be disastrous if they decide to chase a bigger dog that they think is approaching their territory, or if they jump from a high place. It’s up to you to make sure that your Pom doesn’t harm himself due to not realizing his small-bodied limitations.