The Pomeranian dog is the tiniest of the Spitz breed, but you won’t often find them acting timid.
The toy Pomeranian thinks big - working as if it is a much larger dog, like the herding and sledding dog from which this breed originates. A full-grown Pomeranian stands around 7 to 12 inches tall and can weigh between 3 to 7 pounds. These pups are easily recognizable by their fluffy double coat coming in various colors and fox-like faces with alert ears. We’ll go over why this breed may be right for you and your family, taking a quick look at their personality, health, and grooming habits.
Pomeranians are more than just adorable balls of fur. They’ve been around for centuries and have been the inspiration behind many artists’ masterpieces. Poms take their name from their home province of Pomerania in what is now Germany and Poland. The breed quickly became popular in Great Britain after Queen Victoria fell in love with these pups in 1888 while vacationing in Italy, breeding them into the toy size we know and love today. Interest in the breed came to America in 1911, where the first Pomeranian specialty show was held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Queen Victoria isn’t the only famous person to fall for this breed - Sir Isaac Newton, Martin Luther, Michelangelo, and Mozart all owned Pomeranians. The species is still prevalent today, ranking 15th among those listed by the American Kennel Club.
The Pomeranian is a true extrovert - perky, friendly, and attention-seeking. They have an aggressive, bold temperament and tend not to be fearful of strangers or other animals. Poms may be tiny, but they consider themselves significant and have a tendency to bark, giving them a well-deserved reputation for being a great guardian of their home and family.
They are generally laidback and easy to live with - enjoying both sitting on your lap and giving kisses as well as going for walks and exploring new sights and smells. Pomeranians make excellent pets for older people and apartment dwellers but are not recommended for families with small children who might accidentally injure them.
The Pomeranian lifespan is generally around 12 to 16 years. They are typically healthy, but like all breeds are prone to specific health conditions. Some Poms can suffer from various allergies, ranging from contact allergies to food allergies and eye problems like cataracts, dry eye, and tear duct problems. A prevalent condition for these pups is Patellar Luxation, which is the dislocation of the knee joint. Collapsing trachea is also very common for toy breeds, which causes respiratory problems and makes wearing a collar complex. It’s best to avoid tiny Pomeranians (like the two-pound size), as they often have more health problems.
The Pomeranian has a thick, double-coat with an undercoat of soft, fluffy hair and a top coat of long, straight hair. Even with all of that fur, Poms are generally easy to groom due to their small size. However, they do shed. Males shed their undercoats once a year, and unspayed females shed their undercoats when they are in season after they deliver a litter and whenever they're stressed. The key is to brush your dog at least twice a week to help with shedding and prevent mats and tangles. You can bathe them as often as you like, whether that's daily or monthly, as long as you use a mild dog shampoo. Other grooming needs include dental hygiene because these pups are more prone to dental problems, so it’s a good idea to brush their teeth once a week, if not daily.
Pros and Cons
Pomeranians are great companions and have a long list of pros, including their appealing looks, convenient size, happy attitude, and intelligence. These dogs may not be suitable for you if you don’t want to deal with:
- The fragility of toy breeds
- Strong-willed mind
- Excessive barking
- Regular brushing and heavy shedding
Pomeranians are perfect for family life, as long as you have children that are old enough to handle your Pom safely and gently. Pomeranian puppies can be incredibly fragile, and young children can easily hurt a smaller dog without realizing it. These pups do well in cities or suburbs and can be indoor dogs as long as they get short walks and some indoor exercise. They are great for older people, too, as they make surprisingly excellent watchdogs and can keep their owners alert.
Adopting a Pomeranian
Knowing what you’re getting into is an essential step before adopting or purchasing a Pomeranian. These pups may be turned over to rescue because they shed too much, bark too much, or have housebreaking issues. There are many Poms in need of adoption and fostering, or you can purchase from a reputable breeder. The easiest way to adopt a Pomeranian would be through a rescue that specializes in this particular breed. You can also try contacting the American Pomeranian Club for resources and options.
Pomeranians make beautiful companions with their friendly demeanor, highly trainable intelligence, fearless attitude, and gentle spirit. They have a long and exciting history, and today the toy Pomeranian is one of the most miniature, furriest dog breeds that exist. Like any dog, they are prone to some health and grooming issues, but overall, the Pom is a great dog for families with older children, retirees, and city dwellers.