The Pomeranian breed is the smallest member of the spitz family and is classed as a toy dog breed. Although the breed did not originate there, Pomerania (northeast region of Germany) is the area where the original type of Pomeranian dog was bred and the reason behind the breeds name.
The Pomeranian we know of today does not resemble the original type of dog which was bred in Pomerania. Aside from the fact that back then, a Pomeranian could tip the scale at up to 13.5 kilograms, there were also differences in the appearance. In fact, it is safe to say that the Japanese spitz we know today resembles early Pomeranians more than the current Pomeranian. This paves in the theory that Japanese spitz are possibly descendants of the early Pomeranian.
In 1870, the English Kennel Club recognised Pomeranians as a breed. However, popularity of the breed was not instantaneous. It was only when Queen Victoria showed an interest in the breed that attention from others start flooding in. The breed’s current smaller size can also be attributed to the Queen herself, as she preferred smaller dogs. It was around 1900 that the EKC’s counterpart AKC (American Kennel Club) gave its nod of recognition to the breed. After which, the breeders started focusing on the coat, giving Pomeranian their renowned puffy appearance.
A distinctive fluffy coat on a small, yet proportionate square body, characterises a Pomeranian. It derives its small, pointed and erect ears, curled, plumed tail and double coat from the genetic pool of the spitz family. Pomeranians have a somewhat fox like appearance with a rounded skull, well defined stop and a pointed muzzle. They also have a look of intelligence, alertness and a proud, almost aristocratic stance.
The undercoat of a Pomeranian is soft and dense. The outer coat is rougher and almost has a life of its own with the way it stands proud. Aside from their feathered tail, they also have a very distinctive ruff or frill around the neck. The fur on the head, front legs and feet is thick and short.
Pomeranian coats come in various colours. Solid colours are neutral colours of blue, black, brown, white, cream and livelier colours of red and orange. Parti-colours, i.e. white with markings such as black and tan are also common. Weight ranges from 1.8 to 2 kilograms for males and 2 to 2.5 kilograms for females being the most ideal.
For its size, the Pomeranian is amazingly active and confident, even to the point of being cocky. It is great at socializing and not one to be easily intimidated. Curiosity is part of a healthy Pomeranian. It will go out of its way to inspect objects or people that catch its attention. It is extremely smart, in such a way that it is highly capable of learning new tricks in a breeze. However, it can be too smart and playful for its own good. At times, if lacking proper training, it can be overly demanding and may have problems with obeying commands.
Pomeranians, with their alert nature, have a tendency to bark even at the littlest sound. This excessive barking can prove to be a problem if not addressed immediately. It is advisable that they be trained early on to prevent this from becoming a problem.
While Pomeranians are generally friendly little dogs they may not be the most ideal family pets. They get nervous easily and are not used to roughhousing. Patience is a bit short, when it comes to very young children and they may easily get a bit snappy or even bite if they fear they may come to some harm. That is why you should be aware of your legal rights after a dog bite. This breed, however, is a perfect companion for single people and for seniors.
With their long, lush coat, it is important that they are groomed daily, as this will prevent matting. Bathing is recommended once a month, including intensive cleaning of ears and eyes. Like any other dog breed, teeth must be brushed regularly to avoid cavity formation, especially as Pomeranians are more prone to dental problems than other breeds. Shedding is common due to the thick outer coat.
As for exercising, this small breed is low maintenance. All it takes is a short walk or a game indoors to keep this dog breed happy. Pomeranians are prone to patellar and shoulder luxation. They can also be susceptible to hypoglycaemia, PRA, open fontanel and entropion.
A well-cared for, healthy Pomeranian can live anywhere between 12 and 16 years.