About the Pomeranian
The Pomeranian combines a tiny body (no more than seven pounds) and a commanding big-dog demeanor. The abundant double coat, with its frill extending over the chest and shoulders, comes in almost two dozen colors, and various patterns and markings, but is most commonly seen in orange or red.
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Alert and intelligent, Pomeranians are easily trained and make fine watchdogs and perky pets for families with children old enough to know the difference between a toy dog and a toy. Poms are active but can be exercised with indoor play and short walks, so they are content in both the city and suburbs. They will master tricks and games with ease, though their favorite activity is providing laughs and companionship to their special human.
- Temperament: Inquisitive, Bold, Lively
- AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 23 of 195
- Height: 6-7 inches
- Weight: 3-7 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 12-16 years
- Group: Toy Group
The Pomeranian is a miniaturized relation of the powerful spitz-type sled dogs of the Arctic. The breed is named for Pomerania, the area of northeastern Europe that is now part of Poland and western Germany. It was there, hundreds of years ago, that the Pom’s ancestors were bred down from their much bigger, burlier cousins.
The Pom, also known as the Zwergspitz in some countries, is the smallest of the spitz breeds. With their elegant appearance and regal bearing, you might say Poms are “fit for a queen”—and you’d be right. The Pom’s popularity is largely due to Queen Victoria, who became smitten with the breed while visiting Florence, Italy. When the dog-happy Dowager Queen returned to Britain with Poms in tow, the breed’s fame was assured.
Victoria became a serious breeder and exhibitor of Poms. At the 1891 Crufts dog show, Victoria showed six of her breeding. One of her favorites, Windsor Marco, won first place in the breed. (A British historian wrote, “It would have been a brave judge to have placed her second.”) Victoria is credited for reducing the Pom’s size from about 30 pounds to their current toy stature. It was reported that as the aged queen lay dying in 1901, her favorite Pom, Turi, kept vigil at the foot of her bed.
Other historical figures of refined sensibilities who were Pom owners include Marie Antoinette, Emile Zola, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Care and Training
Did you know?
- The Pomeranian is a member of the family of dogs known unofficially as the “Spitz Group.”
- The name naturally traces to Pomerania, not as a point of origin, but possible because the breed may have been in the process of downsizing there.
- Specimens of the Pomeranian were shown in the US as far back as 1892, but they were not officially classified until 1900.
- The Pomeranian is a descendant of sled dogs of Iceland and Lapland.
- Not well known until 1870, when the Kennel Club in England recognized the so-called Spitz dog.