The Pomeranian is a cocky, animated companion with an extroverted personality. This compact little dog is an active toy breed with an alert character and fox-like expression. Today, the Pomeranian is a popular companion dog and competitive show dog. They can come in all colors, patterns, and variations although orange and red are the most popular.
Pomeranians are little dogs with “big dog” personalities. While lively, friendly and fun, they can be slightly territorial. They grow very attached to their owners and can develop a protectiveness that makes them suspicious of strangers. This not only makes for a loyal, tried-and-true companion, it makes for a superb watchdog. Pomeranians, though small, can really deliver on the barks when a stranger approaches the house.
Descended from large sled dog breeds, the now-tiny Pomeranian has a long and interesting history. The foxy-faced dog, nicknamed “the little dog who thinks he can,” is compact, active, and capable of competing in agility and obedience or simply being a family friend.
Pomeranians are the tiniest of the Spitz, or Nordic, breeds, but they have the courage of much bigger dogs. A perennially popular breed, the Pom weighs less than 7 pounds, but you won’t often find him in a puppy purse. That’s because Pomeranians think big. They know they have four feet and prefer to use them, just as larger dogs would.
Everything about the Pomeranian is bright: his eyes, his temperament, and his intelligence. Though he’s very fond of his family and delighted to get some lap time, he’s also a busy little guy. You’re more likely to find him trotting around your house on an important mission than snoozing on the sofa.
The Pom’s activity level makes him an ideal pet for someone who wants a small dog with the personality traits of the full-size sled and herding dogs from which this breed originates. Because he’s tiny, he can probably get enough exercise indoors, but he’s happiest when he gets to go on long walks, chase leaves, and play with other small dogs. He is athletic and frequently participates in dog sports such as agility, freestyle, obedience, rally, and tracking. Because of his diminutive size, he is suited to life in an apartment, but he is just as at home on a ranch or estate. However, he’s far too tiny to live outdoors. He needs to live inside with his family.
Pomeranians have a profuse double coat that needs regular brushing but are otherwise easy to care for. And, make no mistake, Poms bark. It may not be deafening, but it can be annoying and difficult to stop, even with training. As with many small dogs, Pomeranians may be harder to housetrain.
Ask your breeder about any behavior or health problems in dogs related to your prospective puppy. If she says there aren’t any, run. She should provide you with written documentation from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) that the parents of the puppy had normal hips, elbows, and knees, as well as from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF), certifying that they were free of vision problems.
A Pomeranian can go to his new home at 8 to 10 weeks of age, but some breeders like to keep pups until they are 12 to 14 weeks old to make sure they are mature enough to go to their new homes and to see which ones will shake out as show prospects.
- Pomeranians often are suspicious of strangers and can bark a lot.
- Pomeranians can be difficult to housetrain. Crate training is recommended.
- High heat and humidity can cause your Pom to become overheated and possibly have heat stroke. When your Pom is outdoors, watch him carefully for signs of overheating and take him inside immediately. They definitely are housedogs and should not be kept outdoors.
- While Poms are good with children, they are not a good choice for very young or highly active children because of their small size. Never let your small children and your Pom play without supervision.
- Because they are so small, Poms can be perceived as prey by owls, eagles, hawks, coyotes, and other wild animals. Never leave them outside unattended, and be watchful if there are predatory birds in your location. If this is the case, stay close to your Pom to discourage birds from trying to carry them off!
- Because they are small and attractive, Poms are targets for dognappers, another reason why you shouldn’t leave them outside unattended, even in a fenced yard.
- Although they are small, Poms don’t seem to realize it and can have a “big dog” attitude. This can spell disaster if they decide to chase a bigger dog that they think is encroaching upon their territory, or if they jump from a high place. It’s up to you to make sure that your little one doesn’t harm himself due to not realizing his limitations.
- When your Pom gets old, he may develop bald spots in his beautiful coat.
- To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they’re free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
AKC group: Toy Dog
- The breed became popular in 1888 after Queen Victoria fell in love with a Pom while vacationing in Italy.
- Pomeranians have a thick, beautiful coat that comes in many colors and patterns, and they are easy to groom.
- Pomeranians get along well with other pets but should be protected from rambunctious children.
Pomeranians are prone to dislocated patella (kneecap), slipped stifle, heart problems, eye infections, skin irritations and tooth decay and early loss. It is recommended that they are fed dry dog food or crunchy Milk Bones daily to help keep the teeth and gums in good condition. Newborn Pom puppies are very tiny and fragile. Three newborns can be held in the palm of one’s hand. Dams on the smaller side often need to deliver by cesarean section. When the dog is old it may become molted with bald spots.
They are remarkably hearty and enjoy longer walks, but always keep in mind that they are small and sensitive to heat. They love to play and can get bored easily, so be sure to give them lots of toys and rotate them frequently so there’s always something new. They especially enjoy toys that challenge them.