Poms are adorable little balls of fluff that are well-loved by many. This small dog is deceptive, though, because its loud bark will certainly alert a dog owner to any strange events happening in or around their home. With a good training regimen, the Pomeranian can be an excellent dog for your family home.
- Dog Breed Group: Toy Group
- Height: 6 to 7 inches
- Weight: 3 to 7 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years
Short History of the Pomeranian
The small stature of the Pomeranian dog breed may make you believe that this toy dog was bred for nothing more than being one of the cute lap dog breeds, but that’s as far from the truth as can be. They were originally bred to be sled dogs – first bred from the sled dogs of Iceland and Lapland.
The Pomeranian is the smallest member of the dog family known as Spitz dog breeds. This group also includes Samoyed dogs and the Malamute dog breed.
Poms get their name from the area that they were bred in. This area was known as Pomerania many, many years ago. The historical region of Pomerania was part of today’s Poland and Germany and could be found on the Southern shores of the Baltic Sea. On a map today, you could outline the borders of Pomerania by finding the northwest of Poland and the northeast of Germany; this is where Pomerania stood.
It is said that the Pomeranian is descended from the German Spitz dog breed. There’s even a written record of reference to a Pomeranian dog from 1764, so that should give our readers some idea of how long this dog breed has actually been around!
Poms are also known as Zwergspitz, Dwarf Spitz, and several other names. The strangest one we discovered was “Tumbleweed”, which was affectionately bestowed upon the breed because they look like fluffy tumbleweeds with eyes.
Pomeranians became more popular after the Royal family took a liking to them. Queen Victoria was well-known for her love of Pomeranian dogs, and it was Queen Victoria who was credited for the reduction in size that made the Pomeranian one of the toy breeds. This was a reduction of approximately 30 pounds from the original stature of the Pomeranian breed to what we recognize as a Pomeranian today.
- We’ve already covered the fact that the Pomeranian is a member of the Spitz dog family, but did you know that Poms weren’t given an official classification in the United States of America until 1900?
- The Pomeranian has consistently been in the American Kennel Club dog breeds top 20 rankings since 1998.
- Margaret Hays had a Pom on the Titanic, they both survived the tragedy of the ship sinking.
- People in Detroit, Orlando, Los Angeles, and Seattle have a tendency to own Poms.
- Poms are not hypoallergenic.
As a note on that last breed fact – did you know that there are no true hypoallergenic dogs out there?
The allergy to dog’s fur comes from their body fluids (saliva, sweat, etc.) or pollen being present on their fur. When someone is allergic to dogs, they’re actually allergic to either of these things. Some dogs are said to be better for allergy sufferers, such as the Border Terrier, Coton de Tulear, Maltese, and Bichon Frise. An allergy sufferer would be better with a breed of dog that has wiry hair and one that doesn’t shed often. Even then, they would need to take precautions and regularly wash their hands.
How Big Does a Pomeranian Grow?
This tiny dog really doesn’t take up much space. They grow up to around seven inches at most, but anywhere between 3 and 7 inches is a standard height for a Pom.
The Teacup Pomeranian variant is even smaller, with 3 pounds being their average and, usually, maximum weight.
According to the American Kennel Club, who set the standard for all dogs in America that are registered with them, the following describes the breed standard of a Pomeranian that they would accept:
The Pomeranian has a double coat that consists of a short undercoat with dense fur and a longer outer coat with a “harsh” texture. Their tail is fluffy – the American Kennel Club describes it as a “plumed” tail. The tail should be set high at the rear of the pup.
The official standard describes Pom dogs as “cocky, commanding, and animated” when they walk. They are alert, intelligent, and naturally inquisitive. All this should come across while someone is observing a Pomeranian. This dog has a high energy level and they aren’t afraid to use every ounce of it.
The ideal weight for a Pom that is being shown in American Kennel Club shows is 4 to 6 pounds, but as long as their weight falls between 3 and 7 pounds, they are an acceptable specimen of the breed. This dog breed should also be proportioned in a certain way – their body is a square shape with a short back, and the ratio of body length to height should be one to one.
A Pom dog should have a fox-like expression. There are other variants of the breed, such as the Teddy Bear Pomeranian, but the official standard is the fox-face Pomeranian. Their ears are small and erect, while their muzzle is short and straight with a (typically) black nose.
Eyes should be dark, bright, and shaped like almonds. The American Kennel Club disqualifies any Pom dog application that has light blue, blue marbled, or blue flecked eyes.
Before we move on, let’s cover coat color. All-natural colors, patterns, and variations of such are allowed on a Pomeranian. There are even Open Classes at specialty shows which divide poms and other breeds of dogs by the colors of their coats. There are almost 20 standard color variations for pom coats, including Red Sable, Wolf Sable, Tri-Colored, Blue Merle, and Orange. Nine different marking types are also known as standard markings for the breed.
The entire entry for the official standard of a Pomeranian, according to the American Kennel Club, can be found on their website. For additional information on the appearance of a Pomeranian, you could also consult the American Pomeranian Club.
The Pomeranian dog breed is a breed that is full of excitable, extroverted pups. Poms are known for being intelligent dogs, and they are extremely social when they’re raised correctly. Socializing a dog is a crucial part of their development and should be started as early as possible to avoid issues later on.
Your Pomeranian will love meeting new people. Toy breeds are often social because they’re bred to be lap (or sometimes purse) dogs. This, of course, isn’t fair on them, and they deserve a fulfilling life – as much as any other, larger dogs.
Even though your Pom may have the fluffy coat and cute act down, there is much more to this tiny part of the Spitz breed family. Your pet will be a naturally alert creature. They can make perfect guard dogs, which is especially important for families with children that are worried about security. A pom can be another alarm for your household, and they’ll certainly let you know if they’ve heard or seen something that’s out of the norm for their surroundings.
However, not all of these small dogs are the same. The temperament of your Pom will largely be down to how they were raised and how you raise them as a dog owner. A Pom can be a great canine friend, but you need to socialize them and train them from a young age to curb any unwanted habits; such as constant barking that won’t stop.
Like training any young dog, expect an uphill battle as your Pom grows. But, with a good training routine and plenty of things to keep their minds and bodies active, your Pom will grow up to be a well-mannered pup.
Before you adopt a young Pomeranian, you should try to meet one of their parents. Meeting a biological parent that has been around a young pup is a good way to figure out what kind of personality your dog will have. Behavior can be trained; personality isn’t so easy to change in a dog. It takes a lot longer and requires much more effort.
If you’re adopting a dog of older age, you have the opportunity to see that Pom fully developed. But older dogs are seldom adopted, which is sad but true. Do consider buying, adopting, or rescuing an older dog! They make wonderful companions and small dogs can be extremely loving and protective over their family.
Do They Bark a Lot?
The short answer is yes. But this is because Pomeranian dogs have been trained to be working dogs since they were bred from German Spitz dogs. They bark to alert their humans that something has happened. Untrained Poms may seem to bark endlessly, but with a good trainer, you can work on this habit and get it out of your dog’s system. Eventually, they’ll stop barking on command. Head over to our review of dog silencers for more alternatives.
How Do you Keep Them Entertained?
As a high-energy breed, it’s great if you have children around to help entertain your pet. Children can very easily keep up with small dogs like Pomeranians, and you won’t feel like you’ve taken on a whirlwind of a dog that you can’t keep up with.
If you are struggling to keep your Pomeranian entertained, they may not be getting enough playtime or exercise time.
Do Pomeranians Like Water?
Pomeranian dogs can swim, but their small size can put them in a bit more danger than larger breeds. If you’re taking your Pom near a body of water, it’s best to equip them with a life vest that has a handle on the back. This will enable you to pick up your Pom in the event of an emergency, without any fuss or problems. Poms are incredibly small pets to own, and you’ll find that carrying them out of the water is no different from picking up a cat. For more options, check out our detailed review of dog life jackets.
Do Pomeranians Like to Cuddle?
Because of their history, Poms absolutely love to cuddle. Once upon a time, these dogs and their ancestors would have lived and worked in packs, so today’s modern Pomeranian is a social breed with no qualms about physical contact.
Are Pomeranians Easy to Potty Train?
As an intelligent animal, you will find that Poms are very self-sufficient pets to own. They are easy to train and will pick up the rules of going to the bathroom outside as easily as they learn any other command that you throw at them.
Health & Care
Pomeranians, like any other type of pet, have needs. Grooming needs, dietary needs, the works! Pet owners need to be responsible, and they need to put in the work to research the breed they have and the needs of that breed as a puppy or as an adult dog. This includes the kind of food they can eat, things to avoid, how to socialize them, and local dog trainers that will work with you and your pet.
Is the Pomeranian dog breed easy to train?
Thankfully, Pomeranians are one of the easier pets to train. The Pomeranian is a direct descendent of working dogs and sled dogs. They’re smart, reliable, and very trainable.
Poms do incredibly well in obedience competitions, too, which gives them a good place in dog sports and competitions, should an owner be interested in taking them down that path.
How much exercise does a Pomeranian need?
Even though the Pomeranian is an energetic pet to own, they do not need a huge amount of solid exercise. This is a pup that is a small size, and you should always keep this information at the forefront of your mind when planning your day with your Pom. Playtime is different, you can play with your pup as much as they want to play, but keep exercise to 30 minutes a day.
What food does a Pom eat?
Pomeranian pets will be happy to eat the same kind of high-quality food that any other pup would be happy to eat. They don’t need a special diet unless they have a medical condition or their vet advises it.
Check out the Best Dog Food For Pomeranians.
How much should you feed a Pomeranian?
You should endeavor to feed your pet two meals a day. Those meals should be made up of around a quarter cup of dry food that is high quality and not full of fillers and other nasty ingredients.
That is the basic diet for a Pomeranian, but you are welcome to try wet food as well as dry. Just remember to feed your dog according to their weight and keep an eye on how much your pets are eating if you have other, larger dogs in the house. If the food is there, a dog will eat it, and that can lead to obesity in a small breed.
Do they shed a lot?
Looking at their fluffy double coat, we’re sure you can tell that your Pomeranian is going to be a pup that sheds over the course of the year. Funnily enough, they don’t shed as much as some other dogs do, and they aren’t known as heavy shedders.
There are, however, special grooming requirements for a dog with a double coat. Read on for more information!
How do you groom a Pomeranian?
Double-coated dogs need a bit more attentiveness in their grooming schedule. You should never, ever shave a double-coated dog. The top, or outer, layer of their fur can be trimmed but if a groomer talks about shaving your dog, change groomers. Proper pet care is crucial!
You can buy special brushes and combs that are suitable for double-coated dogs. One of these, known as an undercoat grooming rake, will help rid the bottom layer of your pet’s fur of any loose hairs. While a slicker brush can be used to groom the thicker, longer topcoat of their fur.
Brush your pup at least once a week, and more during shedding season. They should also only be bathed once a month or so unless they’ve gotten particularly dirty. You can bathe them more often, depending on their needs, but once a month or every other week is plenty.
Are Pomeranians healthy?
In general, as long as the puppy has come from a reputable and responsible breeder who has the knowledge and experience necessary to breed and raise a Pom, these little dogs should go on to live healthy lives. That’s not to say that Poms aren’t predisposed to any health conditions, though. Unfortunately, due to their size, they are at risk of a few things that potential Pomeranian owners should be aware of.
The health conditions of this pup can include:
- Coat loss: A condition called Alopecia X is a known coat loss problem found in this breed. It can be evident in Pomeranian puppies when a profuse puppy coat does not shed or the coat sheds and does not grow back.
- Collapsing Trachea: Poms making “honking” noises or harsh gagging/coughing sounds are at immediate risk of this health condition. It is diagnosed using an X-ray machine and can be fatal if ignored.
- Eye problems: Vets with CERF test training can diagnose eye conditions. It is, however, uncommon for a Pom to have eye problems.
- Heart problems: Toy breeds can be at risk for heart-related medical conditions (for example, heart disease) and the American Pomeranian Club highly recommends testing Poms for them because Poms are prone to multiple heart disease issues.
- Hip Dysplasia and Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: Both of these conditions occur in Pomeranians. While Hip Dysplasia is where the ball and socket joint of the pup’s hip has not formed properly, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease is when the femur of the hind leg is not growing the way it should.
- Hypoglycemia: Common in young or very small Pomeranians, some dogs from the breed can outgrow this issue, but it can also be a serious disorder in adult Pomeranians. Poms with Hypoglycemia should not be bred because the condition can be passed on genetically.
- Hypothyroidism: It is recommended by the American Pomeranian Club (APC) that any Pomeranian is tested for a low thyroid issue during regular health testing when they are young. This condition causes dry skin, fur loss, weight gain, and behavioral changes, among other symptoms.
- Patellar Luxation: A problem where the knees of the Pomeranian slip out of place, Patellar Luxation is usually looked for when the Pomeranian is still a puppy. Breeders should have Pom puppy knees graded by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, who can determine if the pup will require surgery to correct any issues.
- Seizures: Some Pomeranians can suffer from a type of seizure that does not have a known cause, though liver and kidney problems can be suspects for Poms that do have seizures.
How long do Pomeranians live?
If they are healthy, well looked after, and don’t have any major health issues, a Pomeranian can live anywhere from 12 to 16 years.
Adopt a Dog From a Rescue Center or Shelter!
Toy dogs are often considered fashionable dog breeds to purchase and are made more popular by being highlighted through the media. When dogs are shown on television, whether that’s through TV series and movies or because a celebrity or influencer has one, sales and adoptions for those breeds tend to flourish. It happened with Wolfdogs thanks to the popularity of Game of Thrones, and Corgis because of the British Royal family and the TV shows like Reign.
Because of these trends, it’s not unusual for dogs to end up back in shelters or rescue centers once their popularity dies down. People who fall into these trends are rarely ready to be dog owners and they do little research on the breed that they’re suddenly interested in welcoming into their home.
An off-putting characteristic of Pomeranian dogs is that they are loud. They bark readily, at every noise that they hear. This is because Poms were bred as working dogs and have even had the training to be guard dogs in the past. They are trying to protect their owners, even if their owner doesn’t understand that.
Thankfully, your Pom can be trained out of this behavior. A good obedience school will be able to help you and your Pom work together so that you can be the perfect pair. They may even recommend dog sports as an outlet for your dog’s excess energy.
What we’re getting at here is that there are several rescue groups and shelters out there that cater to abandoned and surrendered Pomeranian dogs. Just because a pup has the tendency to bark doesn’t mean that you give them up. That’s where these professionals come in, and they’re waiting to hear from you so that you can give a Pom a home.
Back to the APC website, there’s an entire list of rescues that house Pomeranians that are looking for their forever homes. Some of these rescues cater to all breeds, while others cater exclusively to Poms. They’re listed with all the information that you need to contact the rescue, including a contact number, the rescue’s address, and an email. At the time of writing, there are 20 rescues listed on the page, spanning across America.
How to Find a Good Breeder
Based on all of their traits, characteristics, and the information we’ve given you here, if you think that a Pomeranian is right for you then it’s time to think about where you would want to procure one.
Backyard breeders are a blight on the dog world and the less they’re used, the less of them will exist. Avoid local selling pages, animal sales groups, and ads that pop up on marketplace websites. These are not going to lead you to a breeder who knows what they’re doing and has had their puppies checked for any health conditions.
The American Kennel Club has its own online marketplace where you can search for Pomeranian puppies for sale near your area. That could be a great start on your puppy-finding adventure.
Alternatively, the American Pomeranian Club allows you to search for members that are breeders on their website. They also have advice on how to find a decent and reputable breeder, rather than just leaving you to search through listing upon listing.
What is the Average Price for a Pomeranian?
A dog with a hefty price tag. They can cost anywhere from $500 to $6,000 (that’s USD) when being purchased from a breeder. There can be a lot of factors in play that up the price of a Pomeranian puppy, including the rarity of their coat color and markings, their pedigree, the awards that their parents may have won, etc.
Always remember to see proof of health examinations completed on the Pomeranian puppy that you’re interested in purchasing if you do decide to buy a Pom from a breeder. It’s a whole different experience to adopting from a shelter, and you should always take someone with you when you go to meet with the breeder. Ask questions, get the facts, and seek advice from reputable sources like the APC
Q: Are Pomeranians good with children?
A: Pomeranians can be great around children, as long as they’re properly introduced. It’s actually more likely that your children will cause harm to a Pomeranian than the other way around. Remember to caution any children in the household that small dogs aren’t very sturdy, and it’s best to avoid roughhousing with them. Instead, play fetch, create an obstacle course, and take them on leisurely walks.
Q: When should you start socializing with a Pomeranian?
A: Like any other pup, you should begin socialization at around three weeks old. Puppies need to be socialized with humans, dogs, and other pets to ensure that they can thrive in their environment.
Q: What are the pros of adopting an older Pomeranian?
A: When you adopt a Pomeranian out of a shelter or from a rescue, you are giving them another chance at finding a home. More than that, you actually benefit from getting to meet a dog who has already settled into their personality; and they’ll only become more friendly towards you as time passes.
Q: Do Pomeranians get along with other dogs?
A: Pomeranians were pack dogs. As long as they are socialized from a young age and get to meet and know a variety of other dogs, there should be no reason that they don’t get along with those other dogs. If there are issues, consider the behavior of both dogs and look at the body language of your Pom to better understand the situation.