The fluffy Pomeranian, colloquially known as “Pom”, is a long-time favorite companion of royals and commoners. They work well in both city and suburban homes, able to burn energy with indoor play and short walks. If you’re looking for a loyal companion with a feisty attitude, then a Pomeranian might be right for you!
Pomeranians were developed in the Pomerania province in Northern Europe as a member of the Spitz breeds. Their ancestors were sled dogs but were bred down to toy-size companions. Legend says that Michelangelo had a Pomeranian sitting on a satin pillow, watching him paint the Sistine Chapel. Theologian Martin Luther, physicist Isaac Newton, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and President Teddy Roosevelt are other notable figures in history who are said to have owned a Pomeranian.
Pomeranians were first brought to England in the mid-18th century by the future Queen Charlotte. Her granddaughter, Queen Victoria held a particular fancy for Pomeranians and is credited with shrinking the breed by half its size during her 64-year reign. In the late 19th century, the breed made it across the sea to America where they were recognized as a breed by the AKC in 1900.
Appearance & Coat
The Pomeranian is a toy breed, reaching about 6-7 inches in height and 3-7 pounds in weight. Its plumed tail is set high and lays its hair flat out across the whole back. Their perky ears are also set high on the head.
The Pomeranian’s long, fluffy, double coat is by far their defining feature. They have longer fur around the chest and neck that forms a frill. This fancy coat can come in 23 different color combinations, including white, black, brown, red, orange, cream, blue, sable, and many combinations of those colors.
Pomeranians are extroverts who love meeting new people and other dogs, but will sometimes act like they’re bigger than they actually are. Poms might try to prove themselves by barking at larger dogs. They are extremely alert and inquisitive, making them a good watchdog for your home.
When a Pomeranian is in good health, they can live from 12 to 16 years. The best breeders will screen their studs and dams for genetic health problems before they are used in breeding. Ask your breeder if they follow this practice before purchasing from them.
Some potential health issues that can arise from unscreened parents include Luxating Patellas, Hypothyroidism, Collapsing Tracheas, Congestive Heart Failure, Seizures, and Alopecia. The recommended tests for your first vet visit are a Patella Evaluation, Cardiac Exam, and Ophthalmologist Evaluation.
Caring for a Pomeranian
The Pomeranian’s Ideal Home
The Pomeranian’s ideal home is with a loving family who gives it a lot of attention. They live well in city and suburban environments, only needing to go on short walks multiple times a day. Pomeranians can do well with children, but it’s not recommended for families with young children who are unable to distinguish between a toy and a toy-sized dog.
If you work from home, a Pomeranian is an excellent choice. You can give it the attention it needs by letting it curl up on your lap while at your desk. This breed also makes a great watchdog, alerting you with its bark if there’s an intruder and you’re focused on work.
Training Best Practices
Pomeranians enjoy learning tricks but have a short attention span. Try to keep training sessions short and fun, rewarding your puppy with treats, play, or praise. Poms can make great therapy dogs because they easily fit on your lap. For this, you’ll need to work on obedience training to keep them from barking at other dogs and jumping off patients’ laps.
Pomeranians like receiving frequent attention and have a high energy level but don’t have much stamina. This means the best exercise for a Pom is multiple shorter walks throughout the day. With its small size, this breed will also enjoy playing inside as an alternative to one of your walks.
When taking your Pomeranian on a walk, it’s best to keep them on a leash. They can easily squeeze through small gaps in fencing or other escape routes. They might also be mistaken for prey by large, predatory birds if they stray too far from their human companion.
Grooming & Hygiene
The Pomeranian’s fluffy double coat is its most distinctive feature and needs a lot of care to keep it fluffy. Brushing with a wire slicker brush and metal comb twice a week will keep their coats free of tangles and help with shedding. When it sheds about twice a year, you may need to brush them daily. You can bathe Pomeranians once a month or more if they’re starting to smell a bit.
As with all dogs, keep a Pom’s nails trimmed. If you hear their nails clicking or scratching the floor as they walk, the nails have gotten too long. It’s also a good idea to brush your Pomeranian's teeth to avoid potential dental issues. As you groom your Pom, check for sores, rashes, or other signs of infection and take them to a veterinarian if you find any.
Are you ready to adopt a Pomeranian into your family? Find a Pomeranian puppy from a reputable breeder near you.