The 3-7 pound Pomeranian wasn’t always small dog breeds. In fact, they used to be 30-pound sled dogs. But I use the phrase “used to be” loosely, since it’s not impossible to find a Pomeranian of such size today.
That’s because modern Poms still carry the big-dog gene. So occasionally a “throwback” Pom will crop up that’s are similar in size and temperament to their 30-pound ancestors.
Pretty cool, huh?
But there’s a lot more fluffy facts where that came from.
Because Poms are just that awesome.
Don’t believe me when I say that the Pom’s ancestors were sled dogs?
But, whether you believe it or not, it’s the truth.
Just take a look at a Pom and then at a Siberian Husky–you’ll see the semblances. They may be different in size, but both are definitely Spitz-type dogs. And like his Husky cousin, the Pomeranian has a “chilly” past as well.
The Pom descends from northern Spitz breeds and is named for the province of Pomerania (now Poland and Germany). It was in this area, hundreds of years ago, that the breed was developed.
And he quickly became very popular. Especially once Queen Victoria came along. The Queen first discovered the breed in 1888 while traveling to Italy. And of course she couldn’t help but bring some back to Britain with her.
After that, you can only guess what happened: Queen Victoria fell in love with the charming Pom and began breeding them. In fact, the credit goes to her for turning these fluffy pups into toy-sized dogs.
England wasn’t the only place where the Pom became famous, though. The breed also made it over to the United States, where it received AKC recognition in 1900. By around 1950, these dogs were one of the most beloved breeds in America.
Heck, even today, they rank 14th in popularity.
Are Pomeranians Good Family Dogs?
The Pomeranian is a lively, outgoing breed that will absolutely adore his family!
He does well with other dogs (so long as they’re not too much bigger than he is). And he can also do well with cats and other types of pets.
When it comes to children, though, the Pomeranian is best suited to a home without youngsters.
Of course, he can do just fine with older kids that know how to properly handle and treat him. But young children tend to be much more clumsy and can easily injure a tiny Pom without meaning to.
As for living situations, the Pom is very adaptable. He’s a great choice for people living in apartments without fenced in yards.
However, you should be aware that the Pomeranian is very active indoors. So even though he makes a good apartment dog, you can’t expect him to just lounge around and snooze all the time!
As for leaving your Pom home alone while you’re at work–that’s hit or miss. Separation anxiety isn’t nearly as common in Poms as it is in some other breeds. But it’ll depend on your individual pet and his unique background.
Still, most Poms can do just fine for 8-9 hours on their own, assuming they’re left with all the things they’ll need.
Pomeranians need a balanced diet of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to stay healthy.
Of course the amount of food this breed needs is determined by activity level, metabolism, age, and overall health.
But as a general rule, a Pom should eat between ¼ to ½ cup of high-quality dog food each day.
You should feed your pup twice daily on a schedule, dividing his daily portion into two meals. Having two meals a day is especially important for this breed, as smaller dogs typically can’t go a full 24-hours on just one meal.
Their tummies are far too tiny.
At the same time, you shouldn’t leave food out for your dog 24/7 as this doesn’t allow you to watch how much he is eating. Again, two monitored meals a day is best.
For further reference, you should check out the guide listed on your dog’s food bag. You may also want to talk to your veterinarian about exactly how much your individual Pomeranian should be eating.
Again, several factors affect feeding amounts, and each individual dog is different. But these tips should give you a good starting point.
The Pomeranian is not particularly high maintenance, but he is a moderate shedder. So regular brushing is necessary to keep the fur at bay, especially during heavy shedding seasons.
Poms have thick double coats that need to be brushed once or twice a week. For this task, you should use a pin brush and a slicker brush. As you’re going over your pup’s coat, be sure the bristles reach down to the skin. Otherwise you could end up with a very matted Pomeranian!
As for the frequency of bathing, Poms are much more flexible than other breeds. They can be bathed daily, weekly, monthly, or whatever you like. You’ll just need to be sure to use a mild doggy shampoo as well as dog conditioner.
In addition, your Pomeranian also requires the basic grooming care needed by all dogs:
- Brush his teeth at least once a week to keep him healthy.
- Trim his nails when needed.
- Inspect his ears weekly for signs of infection or irritation.
Poms may indeed be companion and lap dogs, but they still need a good daily dose of exercise!
A couple short daily walks is a great way to give your Pom the exercise he needs. In fact, this hearty little pup can even enjoy longer walks.
You’ll just need to keep an eye on him to make sure he isn’t getting too worn out. If he seems to be getting tired, just call it quits for the day. This is especially true in hot weather, as the breed is sensitive to heat.
Besides walks, Pomeranians love a good play session. Indoors, outdoors–it doesn’t matter to them. Just so long as they have a large variety of toys! Because as much as he loves playing, the Pom tends to get bored fairly quickly.
But don’t worry–you don’t have to spend lots of money to get him a new toy to play with every week. Simply put his toys on a rotation schedule, changing them out every few days or so. That way your pup will always have something “new” and challenging to play with. (Without breaking the bank!)
Pomeranians are fairly easy to train.
Not only are they intelligent, but they also love to learn new tricks and be the center of attention.
Which are fantastic characteristics when it comes to training! Mix that with proper Pom training methods, and you’ll be on your way to a well-behaved pupper.
So, what is the magical method for teaching your Pom how to be a good boy? In five words: Be positive, consistent, brief, & fun.
Simple enough, right? Still, let’s go ahead and hash these out just so we’re all on the same page.
First off, Pomeranians respond well to positive training. In other words, focus on what he’s doing right. Reward him with food, toys, or praise for good behavior. Never yell at or intimidate your pup. Doing so will only scare him.
You’ll also want to set consistent rules. For instance, if you don’t want your pup to jump up on the bed, don’t scold him one day for doing so but turn a blind eye the next. This will just confuse him.
And if you’re used to working with dogs that live to listen and love to focus–then sorry. You’ll have to adjust. Poms have their own way of learning. But don’t worry; it’s nothing complicated. You’ll just need to keep training sessions short and fun. After all, these pups’ attention spans are just as short as they are!
The one area you may face some difficulties:
True to the toy breed stereotype, Pomeranians are hard to housebreak. This is partly because it’s easy for these tiny pups to sneak into a corner and do their business unnoticed. And also because their little bladders simply don’t hold very much.
But as frustrating as the process may seem, potty training a Pom can be done! Crate training is an absolute must. As are patience and consistency.
Pomeranian Health Issues
Pomeranians are a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan between 12 and 16 years of age.
Still, the breed is prone to certain conditions and diseases:
- Eye problems
- Hip dysplasia
- Legg-perthes disease
- Patellar luxation
- Collapsed trachea
- Dental problems
- Congestive heart failure
- Alopecia X (black skin disease)
Things to Know About Pomeranians
1. Mr. Little Big Dog
Pomeranians may be small in stature, but they’re giants when it comes to personality.
They’re lively, outgoing, energetic, entertaining, all-around fun-loving, spunky little dogs! It’s great!
And not so great…
Poms also think they’re the biggest dog on the block. Which can quickly get them into trouble if you’re not careful.
You’ll always want to keep an eye on your pup when out and about, especially if you know there’s big dogs around. Because Poms will, I repeat, Poms WILL stand up against your neighbor’s 80-pound German Shepherd.
I guess you have to admire their audacity…
Just please don’t stand around admiring it for too long! You’ll need to be prepared to step in immediately should your Pom decide to take on the bigger dog.
2. Socialization A Must
Some Pomeranians are very friendly with any and all people they meet. But most tend to be a bit standoffish around strangers.
Left unaddressed (or unintentionally reinforced), this natural caution can turn into suspicion, fear, and even aggression.
Which is why socialization is so imperative.
From puppyhood, you should introduce your Pom to lots of different people and places. And you’ll want to make these new experiences positive for your pup as well.
This process of socialization will make for a well-adjusted dog that’s confident in the world rather than fearful of it.
Which is exactly what we want. So don’t skimp on socializing!
3. Balancing Socialization and Safety
Okay, so proper socialization is important, clearly. Now let’s talk about safety.
Let’s face it: Pomeranians are small, no matter how big they think they are. And small dogs in a big world face dangers that their larger counterparts generally don’t have to deal with.
For instance, a tiny Pom can be seen as prey by hawks and other large birds. They can be sat or stepped on. They can break their leg trying to jump off of tall furniture. They can be targeted by larger dogs that see them as a fun, new squeaky toy. The list goes on…
I think it goes without saying, but keeping your Pomeranian safe is definitely a good idea.
At the same time, you don’t want to smother your dog. You can’t just carry him around 24/7 and never let him explore his surroundings.
So how do you let your Pom live like a dog and protect him from dangers all at the same time?
The answer: it’s a balancing act that requires A LOT of close supervision.
For instance, let him play out in the yard. Just don’t leave him alone out there for hours on end. And yes, take him to the dog park to meet new furry-friends. But watch him like a hawk instead of getting distracted by your phone.
It’s not too difficult to achieve the proper balance. Just requires a bit more of your attention.
4. Loyal and Loving
Sure, your Pom will keep you on your toes as you constantly work to keep him safe and happy.
But in exchange, your pup will give you more puppy love than you know what to do with!
Pomeranians are extremely loyal to their families, and they love their people like no other. Which is probably why the breed is such a great candidate for therapy work.
But official therapy dog or not, a Pomeranian will definitely put a smile on your face at the end of the day.
That’s just what they do!
5. The Spinning Spitz
How exactly do they put a smile on your face, you might ask?
Besides all the kisses and cuddles and love, they also spin like crazy when excited!
Check it out:
How could you not want to come home to that every day?
6. The Woofing Watchdog
Before you go get a Pomeranian, though, there’s another thing you should know:
Poms love to bark. Like, really love to bark.
Which can get annoying if you end up with a dog that barks at nothing all day long. So tackle that tendency before it becomes your dog’s favorite pastime. From day one, you’ll want to work on teaching your pup the “quiet” command. Trust me, it’ll come in handy.
On a similar note, the yappy Pomeranian does make an excellent watchdog. So if you’ve always wished for a heads up on when the mailman’s about to arrive, a Pom will definitely fulfill that dream.
It’s one of the things they do best.
7. Titanic Survivors
Of the 12 dogs aboard the Titanic, only three survived when it sank. And two of those pups were Pomeranians.
One was taken aboard a lifeboat by Elizabeth Rothschild, who refused to board without her dog. The other was wrapped up in blankets by its owner, Margaret Bechstein Hays, before also being taken into a lifeboat.
8. At the Heels of the Famous
We already know that Queen Victoria was super into these pups, but did you know that several other famous people were too?
Yep. The Pom was loved by many! Among the list of famous Pom owners are Michelangelo, Mozart, Martin Luther, Charles Darwin, Teddy Roosevelt, Houdini, and Isaac Newton.
And there’s more tidbits where that came from, too.
Michelangelo’s pup sat on a silky pillow and watched him paint the Sistine chapel. Mozart dedicated an aria to his Pom, Pimperl. Martin Luther’s pup was named Belferlein. Darwin’s was named Snow. Teddy Roosevelt had a little guy called Gem. Houdini owned a Charlie. And Newton’s little Pom, Diamond, used to mess up his manuscripts.
So if you want to name your Pomeranian after a famous person’s pup, then there ya go!
And if your Pom ever ends up eating your homework or pooping on your tax returns, you can rest assured that Isaac Newton would’ve related to your struggles!
9. A Pack of Poms?
Usually the term for a group of dogs is a pack. But according to some, Pomeranians have their own special labels.
Apparently a pair of Poms is called a puff, while a group of three or more Poms is referred to as a tuft.
Who would’ve known?
10. What Are My Color Options?
Get ready for a long list because Poms are very colorful little pups! There’s…
- And basically any combinations of those you can think of!
And if you’re wishing for even more options, then not to worry! Besides the above colors and color combinations, Poms also come in a variety of markings, including:
- Irish marked
- Tan markings
- Tri color markings
- White markings
So good luck choosing your favorite! (Or at least your top several favorites if you don’t mind owning a tuft of Poms!)