What’s fuzzy, soft, and cute as a button? The one and only Pomeranian! The Pomeranian is a popular toy dog breed known for its cute and lively personality. These little dogs are alert, extroverted, and love being the center of attention. Their royal past made them a desirable breed, especially in the United States.
Although Pomeranians can be territorial when faced with threats or strangers, these loyal and intelligent dogs respond well to training. The Pomeranian’s adaptable personality makes them an ideal family pet. This guide will help you determine whether a Pomeranian is the right fit for you.
This breed will often appear larger than their actual body size because of their fluffy coat. Pomeranians have a thick outer coat that covers their entire body except for the face and legs. Their dark, almond-shaped eyes stand out with a distinctive shine and twinkle.
Pomeranians have a fox-like face and a square-shaped body. The fluffy, curled tail, pricked ears, and thick ruff around the neck complete the look of a dog that was bred to bear the snows of Northern Germany. This toy breed’s size has decreased throughout their history, making them a lot smaller than their original ancestors. A key differentiating factor that sets Pomeranians apart from other toy breeds is their compact and sturdy frame.
The tiny Pomeranian stands 7-12 inches tall and weighs only 3-7 pounds. A Pomeranian puppy can fit in the palm of an adult hand! Because of their small size, most litters will only have one to five pups.
Pomeranians tend to maintain their personality from a young age into adulthood. They’re loyal, playful, and outgoing personas make them desirable family pets. They are also quite independent. These little balls of fluff will fearlessly explore on their own, and they’re not afraid of new sights and smells.
Pomeranians are intelligent and vigilant. These traits make them excellent watchdogs that promptly alert their owner of movement or changes. Because Pomeranians are within the toy breed, they have a reputation for continuous barking and somewhat aggressive personality traits. This is also known as “small dog syndrome.” If you own a Pomeranian be aware that they are known to challenge dogs much larger!
Don’t be fooled by the size. Pomeranians love to run and go for long walks. Their energy level is high, and they need daily exercise to keep them healthy and happy. They require daily mental stimulation to stay entertained.
A simple walk around the block can suffice for this tiny breed. Walks help maintain their weight and health. In addition, regular exercise prevents Pomeranians from developing antisocial and aggressive behavior.
Since this breed loves to explore, a retractable leash will allow adequate roaming space while on a walk. Another alternative for these little dogs is an open space for them to run and play with other dogs or toys.
With the right training, Pomeranians can be well-behaved. This breed learns most commands easily, but the trainer needs to be persistent and kind.
Vocal Command Training
It is important to begin training your Pomeranian as a puppy or immediately upon bringing them home. You can teach them cue words by using treats and affection as positive reinforcers. Some trainers suggest only using the word “no” for emergencies because it can stress out your dog.
Pomeranians can bark like maniacs, so teaching them to hush on command will spare you and your neighbor plenty of headaches. Here are the steps to training your dog a “quiet” command:
- When your Pomeranian launches into a barking fit, wait it out
- Once your dog stops barking, reward them with their favorite dog treat and give them a cue word like “hush” or “quiet”
- Eventually, your PomPom will associate the silence with the treat and the cue
- After about a week of this routine, try interrupting their barking with the cue word
- Reward your dog generously if they stop barking on command
Be patient. It is vital to remember that your Pomeranian will not learn a new command in one or two days. Your dog must start with the basics and learn gradually.
Your vibe is also extremely important! A firm, friendly, and positive tone goes a long way when training or correcting behavior. And of course, the tone should change to exceptionally happy when praising.
Timing is a critical factor when training a Pomeranian. Do not praise them for more than 5-10 seconds after the action is complete. If you don’t have treats immediately available or praise too long after the fact, they could become confused about why they’re receiving praise.
If you train correctly, these small dogs can learn a command in roughly 2-3 weeks. Be sure to reinforce their learning, or your dog will forget their lessons.
Pomeranians hail from the province of Pomerania, a former region of Germany. The breed’s primary ancestors were the Spitz breeds, who were popular in Northern European territories. The Pomeranian’s bloodline includes the Norwegian Elkhound, the Samoyed, and the Schipperke.
Throughout history, Pomeranians have been endorsed by some notable figures. Michelangelo claimed his PomPom sat by his side while he painted the Sistine Chapel; Isaac Newton’s Pomeranian famously chewed on his research papers.
The breed came to England in the 1700s when a German princess married into the English royal family and brought her Poms with her. The granddaughter of this princess, Queen Victoria, came to adore the breed and began breeding smaller varieties just for their charm. In 1888, the first Pom entered the American Kennel Club’s studbook. The AKC officially recognized the breed in 1900.
Pomeranian Health Problems
Compared with many other dog breeds, the Pomeranian has few health problems. Still, there are some health issues that owners should be on the lookout for.
One of the main issues a Pom can face at any stage of their life is overheating. Because Poms have such short noses, it is easy for them to become overwhelmed by the heat, especially in warmer climates. Their thick double coat also traps heat close, exacerbating the issue.
Another issue to be aware of for your little Pom friend is a condition called Alopecia X (AKA black skin disease). It is a genetic skin disorder that can cause the skin to turn black. Another symptom associated with Alopecia X is hair loss. The conditions has received alternative names since its discovery, including severe hair loss syndrome, Pseudo-Cushing’s Disease, coat funk, and woolly coat.
The luxating patella is another health issue associated with this dog breed. The problem with the Pom’s patella is that the ridges that form the patella are too shallow, preventing the bone from sitting sit securely. This shallow placement can lead to the patella popping out of place. This condition occurs due to malformation or trauma.
Weakened tracheal rings cause tracheal collapse. This issue is more present as the breed ages. Common symptoms are coughing and fainting.
Heart health issues are the most common problem for all dogs as they get into their golden years. The heart valve slowly becomes deformed until it no longer closes tightly.
Hypoglycemia occurs when your dog develops very low blood sugar. This condition is one of the most common Pomeranian health issues. Hypoglycemia causes problems in the nervous system and can result in seizures and even coma.
How to Care for a Pomeranian
If you are considering welcoming a Pomeranian to your family or household for the first time, there are a few things you need to know about caring for your new friend. It is easy to gain a Pom’s unconditional love by learning to meet their individual needs. Although this breed is active and likes to spend time outdoors, they are perfectly happy chilling inside as well.
You will need to take your Pom to the veterinarian often and keep them up to date with shots to promote good health. When you leave your Pomeranian alone at home, we recommend that you leave a small space for them to feel safe in, such as a crate.
At night, Pomeranians prefer to be near you, perhaps sharing a bed. When they have established this sleeping arrangement, it can become difficult for this breed to sleep alone or in a dog bed. If your Pom becomes your snuggle buddy, just make sure you don’t accidentally crush or frighten them!
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Nutrition and Feeding for Pomeranians
By the age of six months, this breed can eat 2 to 3 times per day. They have an unusually high metabolism, so they must eat often. For this reason, it is encouraged to leave out a constantly filled bowl of dry dog food. Talk to your vet about the ideal weight for your Pom so they don’t carry around excess weight that their bones could not handle.
A Pomeranian’s most iconic feature is their coat. Their thick, double coat comes in an astounding array of colors. The most common colors are orange, black, cream, and white. Different variations include spotted, brown, brindle, blue, red, tan, sable, merle, and other combinations.
Grooming & Bathing
Brushing your Pomeranian daily is the best practice for maintaining their fur. The coat is not difficult to brush and should take no more than a few minutes. The goal is to keep shedding under control.
When bathing, use a reliable puppy shampoo and conditioner about once a month. You should smooth your Pom’s fur with a slicker brush as you blow it dry to minimize tangles. Do not air dry. If knots occur, you can comb through the hair with your fingers and a detangling solution.
It is also recommended to trim the coat of your Pomeranian every one to two months. However, do not shave your Pom’s fur. Shaving dogs with a double coat interferes with their ability to regulate their body temperature. Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly will help prevent tooth decay. Poms tend to lose their teeth early, but this can be prevented with proper care.
Children and Other Pets
Pomeranians are a friendly dog breed, with proper socialization they adapt well to other pets and children. However, these small dogs should not be around small children who might accidentally injure or annoy them. Children should be cautioned about the size and fragility of this breed. This breed is prone to injury, so they might be better suited for adults or households with no young children.
Pomeranians get along great with other pets, especially if they bond at a young age. They are friendly with cats if they are about the same size. As mentioned before, these dogs don’t realize how small they actually are. They will try to challenge a bigger dog when threatened. It would be a good idea to introduce your larger dogs slowly and see how compatible they are.
When looking for a Pomeranian, rescue groups are an excellent place to check. There are many available across the nation. The Southern California Pomeranian Rescue is a non-profit rescue that maintains a safe, no-kill solution for abandoned, misplaced, or lost Pomeranians. Their primary mission is to spay or neuter the dogs before placing them in their qualified forever homes.
Other similar organizations include the Pawsitiviley Pom Rescue and Pomeranian Rescue. Pomeranians can also be found within larger organizations, including the ASPCA and Pet Finder for finding shelters in your area.
The American Kennel Club was the first organization in the United States to register the Pomeranian in 1888, although the breed was not actually recognized in the United States until a few years later. The American Pomeranian Club, Inc. was established in 1900. They are currently the only official AKC National Parent Club of this breed.
More About This Dog Breed
Pomeranians are a fun and lovable breed. Their intelligence and trainability have gained them notable placements in competitions.
In 1926, a Pomeranian won the Toy Group at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for the first time. The Pom was named Glen Rose Flashaway. This was also the first time a Pom had won any sort of competition. It wasn’t until 1988 that a dog named Great Elms Prince Charming II won the Best in Show prize within the same competition.
One of the most famous Pomeranians of the 21st century is Boo the Dog, who became an internet sensation with 17.5 million likes on his Facebook page. Boo went on to become the official Pet Liaison of Virgin America in July of 2012.
Because this breed is so popular, it can be found within many shows and movies. Celebrities have used them as fashion staples, and owners like to dress them in style. This breed makes a great addition to any family willing to take time to train and care for them!