Pomeranian

This affectionate little puff-ball makes a great family pet and often has a larger-than-life personality.

Pomeranians are known for their luxuriously, fluffy coats and their fun-loving, confident nature. When socialised as young pups they can grow to be excellent family members, but can be sometimes a bit nervous of children if not exposed at a young age.

Their long, fluffy double coat needs a good regular brush, but is not as high-care as many long-haired breeds. Poms are part of the Spitz family from Central Europe in the area now known as Poland. The Pomeranian can vary greatly in size, from the tiny toy size of 2kg, up to 10kg in weight. They can be prone to a number of heritable diseases, though nothing too serious and life-threatening. Currently they are rated in the top 15 in America and are popular ‘hand bag dogs’.

WHAT DOES THE POMERANIAN WANT IN THEIR PERFECT LIFE PARTNER?

I would love to live with a social person who will take me out on lots of playdates. I love to and visits to the local café and not leave me alone too much. I’m just as happy snuggled up on the couch as playing with a special someone, but I must admit some firm ground rules are needed as I do like to be the boss.

AT A GLANCE

Lifespan 12-15 years
Weight 2-10 kg
Height (at shoulder) 13-30 cm

 

PERSONALITY

Lively – Pomeranians are very active little dogs and need lots of activity and stimulation. They are often very excitable, particularly when their owners come home.

Playful – Life is just a game to your average Pomeranian. They love playing with other dogs and lots of activity.

Courageous – No one ever told the Pomeranian that they are small. They will often take on much bigger dogs and will rarely back down if challenged. They can also be a little timid if not socialised when young and these dogs must be carefully watched if they did not grow up around small children.

EXERCISE & TRAINING

Exercise Requirements Low – 0-0.5hrs per day
Training Requirements Medium – 0-0.5hrs per day
Apartment Friendly? Yes

Pomeranians do need strict ground rules, give a little and they will have you wrapped around their gorgeous little, furry paws. This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours training them, just be consistent and don’t give into their fussy whims about food! They don’t need hours of walking, but they do like to socialise and will need regular trips outdoors, even if they don’t necessarily need to touch the ground on those walks.

They can be prone to overheating in hot climates, so avoid exercise in the heat of the day if you have an excitable Pomeranian who is prone to overheating and breathing problems.

GROOMING

Trips to the Groomer No- easy care at home
Tick Friendly? No
Hypoallergenic No
Brushing High – Daily brushing required
Hair fall Moderate Shed- will drop some hair, but not excessive
Coat Type Long

The Pomeranian has a double coat, which can get quite long. This is partly insulating, but they can be clipped during the warmer months, particularly if they are prone to overheating.

The typical Pom has a thick coat that needs a good brush and in some cases daily but not all of them matt particularly easily. Some can be prone to that doggy smell if not brushed out regularly, but nothing a weekly or monthly bath won’t fix.

FAMILY SITUATION

Good With Kids Excellent – Good with kids of any age
Good With Other Small Pets High – Good with other animals
Sociability High – Loves other dogs and best in a multi-dog household.

Pomeranians are generally very active, sociable dogs who love to be the centre of attention. They are great with other dogs and kids if socialised well when puppies. The smaller, fragile toy variety can be in danger if children are too rough, but the larger dogs are fairly robust.

They can be very fixated on one family member and if not trained to be alone at a young age can suffer separation anxiety. Some good grounding in socialisation and training can really help them as they grow.

EXPENSES

Overall Expenses (Annual) Low $1000-$1500
Veterinary Expenses (Annual) Medium – $200-$500
Food Expenses (Weekly) Low – $5-$10

Being a small-breed dog their food and veterinary expenses are relatively small compared to larger breeds. They are prone to a number of health problems, but none particularly expensive to treat, unless surgery is required for a luxating patella. Their biggest expense is usually preventative dental care and regular dental cleans under anaesthesia.

HEALTH & WELLBEING

MAJOR HEALTH CONCERNS

Luxating Patella – in smaller breed dogs in some cases the knee-cap can move out of the groove it runs in when the knee bends, resulting in a hopping gait and a little kick of the back leg out behind when running. This can be fairly mild, but if it causes significant lameness, may require surgical correction.

Tracheal collapse – many Pomeranians have a characteristic ‘goose honk’ cough with exercise or excitement due to the tracheal cartilages being a little weak, this can lead to increased risk of airway infections.

Brachycephalic Airway Disease – this syndrome is a result of a number of abnormalities due to selective breeding to get that short nose. While the Pomeranian is not as severely effected as the Bulldog or Pug, they can suffer from a long soft palate that may require surgical correction. Ideally look for a Pomeranian with a longer nose and little noise when breathing.

Alopecia X – this condition is particular to Pomeranians and is a non-pathogenic condition that causes symmetrical hair loss. There are a number of theories and treatment, but it is not thought to be harmful and purely cosmetic.

PREVENTATIVE CARE & WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

Weight Management – While not prone to overeating, their small frame does not cope with even a few extra grams, and it can be difficult to detect when they gain weight due to all that fluff. Keeping your Pomeranian lean will help with any knee problems and breathing issues.

Dental Care – Pomeranians are prone to dental disease, so a regular program of brushing, dental food, raw bones and chews can help prevent costly dental work later in life.

BREED ORIGIN AND INTERESTING FACTS

Pomeranians are from the area of Europe now in Poland and are Spitz-type arctic dogs originally descended from Icelandic dogs. Their thick coat of fur would have made them ideal sledding dogs. The Pomeranian is very closely related to Huskies, Malamutes, Chows and Akita Inus in the German Spitz family.

Pomeranians became very popular when Queen Charlotte brought two into England in 1767. The original dogs were of a much larger size, but were subsequently bred down to their smaller toy stature.

Around 80% of Pomeranians go through a shedding stage where they lose their puppy coat, this is known as the Puppy Uglies and is an awkward stage where patches of hair fall out and the little pup looks like it has been electrocuted. Their coat also often changes colour during this time.

A group of Pomeranians is known as a tuft, while 2 Pomeranians together is known as a puff.

Pomeranians can come in many different colours, with 19 listed colours on the AKC website, including the very rare merle colour. It is said that no two poms look alike.

Some famous Pomeranian owners include Michelangelo, Elvis, Martin Luther, Mozart and Theodore Roosevelt.

 

RESCUE A POMERANIAN

Petfinder lists all types of dogs who need homes, both purebred and mixed breeds, adults and puppies.

The ASPCA often has Pomeranians for adoption, just do an advanced search on their adoption page.