The Pomerenian is an adorable toy breed that traces its family tree back to sled dogs in Iceland and Lapland. At that point, the dogs probably weighed between 20 and 30 pounds and were used to herd sheep. In the mid-1800s, the breed was introduced to England, and Queen Victoria fell in love with the breed. The breed was gaining popularity in the U.S. by the late 1800s, although the dogs were bigger and heavier boned and had larger ears than the Poms we know today.
Pomeranians today are very small dogs, most weighing between 3 and 7 pounds (show dogs weigh between 4 and 6 pounds). Height is between 8 and 11 inches. The Pomerenian’s body is slightly shorter than it is tall at the shoulder and, although small, should feel sturdy. The head is rounded, with a short, fine muzzle, dark, bright, almond-shaped eyes, and small, erect ears. The tail is plumed and lies flat on the back.
The Pom has a double coat, with a soft, dense undercoat and a long, straight outer coat. The outer coat stands out rather than lying close to the body. Colors include red, orange, cream, black, brown, brindle, and parti-color. Show Poms have a lovely coat that makes the entire dog look like a powder puff. The majority of pet Poms, however, do not have this coat; instead, they have a lush coat that tends to lie down. In either case, the coat needs to be brushed two or three times a week to prevent tangles and mats from forming.
Poms are very clean dogs. They will lick their paws after eating and then wipe their face with damp paws. Although very small, Poms still need daily exercise, but their diminutive size makes this easy. A short walk will do, as will a game of ball thrown across the living room or down the hallway. They are happiest when active and love to train on the agility course or chase a small flying disc. Housetraining Pomeranians can be a challenge, but with close supervision, perseverance, and patience, it can be accomplished.
Poms are also protective little watchdogs, and barking, if uncontrolled, can become a problem. Training should continue past puppyhood to keep the breed’s bright mind active and learning. Poms excel in trick training and love to be the center of attention. These dogs have participated very successfully in several dog activities, including obedience competition, agility, and therapy dog work. Poms are happy, affectionate little extroverts who make great pets for the elderly. They are too fragile for very small children but can be wonderful companions for gentle older children. Interactions with other dogs must be carefully supervised, both because Poms are so tiny and because Poms have no idea how small they are and often try to control the situation with other dogs.
Poms are usually good with other pets, although they may try to chase cats. Health concerns include knee problems, hypoglycemia, eye problems, and tracheal collapse.