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Pomeranian

Breed overview

  • Breed groupToy group (American Kennel Club)
  • Height6 to 7 inches
  • Weight3 to 7 pounds
  • Coat length & textureThick, long, and shiny 
  • Coat colorPomeranians come in many colors, including white, black, blue, orange, and red. Black, tan, sable, white, and brindle shadings are all common. 
  • Exercise needsDaily 
  • IntelligenceHigh intelligence 
  • BarkingVery vocal
  • Life span12 to 16 years
  • TemperamentSpunky, alert, and loving 
  • HypoallergenicNo
  • OriginPomerania (formerly a part of Germany)

Pomeranian fun facts

  • This toy breed once weighed as heavy as 30 pounds and held down jobs as herding and working animals.
  • Loved by Queen Victoria — she entered six Pomeranians in the first Crufts dog show in 1891.
  • Companion to the famous: Martin Luther, Michelangelo, and Mozart, to name a few
Pomeranian-funfacts

Pomeranian temperament and characteristics

These small dogs have big personalities. They’re lively, alert, and fairly playful. Engaging them in games of fetch and providing them with plenty of toys can keep Poms stimulated. 

Pomeranians are highly affectionate with their families. Expect to be showered with kisses and receive tons of requests for cuddles. Poms are one of the more popular breeds for people looking for an emotional support animal because of their affectionate nature.

Family life

The world is big to Poms because of their small size, so they may be nervous around wobbly young children. Others may take well to little ones. Some Poms get along well with other pets, and others do not. Early socialization, with activities like going to dog parks, can help. If you’re adopting, shelters and rescue groups can provide information on whether the specific Pomeranian you are interested in is friendly toward cats and other dogs.

Pomeranians have moderate guard dog tendencies, so barking is common when newcomers arrive. Though they may be wary of unfamiliar people at first, they may warm up to guests eventually.

Common Pomeranian health problems

Poms can live relatively long and happy lives. However, keep an eye on them, especially as they hit their golden years. Pomeranians are prone to certain health conditions, but early detection and prompt treatment can significantly affect a pet’s outcome.

  • Patellar luxation. Patellar luxation is an orthopedic condition more common in small dogs like Poms. It happens when the kneecap moves out of place and is a common cause of lameness.
  • Collapsing tracheas. Toy breeds like Pomeranians are more susceptible to collapsed tracheas , which can ultimately be fatal. Symptoms include coughing and wheezing.  
  • Congestive heart failure. Toy breeds can be prone to heart disease due to changes in the valves that control blood flow, which can lead to congestive heart failure.
  • Hypothyroidism. Low thyroid levels are one of the more common issues in Pom Poms. Reputable breeders should provide thyroid test results from the parents of the Pomeranian puppies you’re interested in purchasing.

Cost of caring for Pomeranians

Pomeranians tend to be healthy, but serious conditions can result in a hefty vet bill. Some price tags will be larger than others. For example, surgery to treat patellar luxation can cost $1,500 or more per knee. Treatment for collapsing tracheas depends on the severity. Sometimes, limiting exercise and stress and weight loss will do the trick. If your pup needs a tracheal stent inserted to prevent collapse, it can cost more than $4,500. Just testing for heart conditions can cost more than $200.

Pet insurance

Pet insurance may help lower out-of-pocket costs. It’s best to sign up earlier in your pet’s life. Pet owners that take this step enjoy the most significant benefits if an issue pops up down the road. Pet savings accounts and financial aid programs may also help you afford to care for your Pom.

History of the Pomeranian

Today’s Pomeranians likely descended from the Spitz family in the Arctic region of Iceland. They stayed warm in the cold weather by holding down jobs herding and pulling sleds. Today’s Poms have physical characteristics that still support their cold-weather roots, like a thick coat and small ears to reduce frostbite risks. 

Once the Spitz family made its way to Europe, to the region Pomerania near the Baltic Sea, this is probably where Poms became smaller. Once about 30 pounds, today’s Pomeranians typically weigh between three and seven pounds. Lap dogs were popular among royals like Queen Charlotte. It’s rumored that Queen Victoria once had 35 Poms in her kennel and one by her side when she died.

U.S. roots

The Pomeranian breed was accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1900, the same year the American Pomeranian Club was formed. These little dogs are survivors, and a pair of Poms even survived the sinking of the Titanic. Today, most Pomeranians are content to stay safe and sound on their humans’ laps.

Pomeranian-history

Caring for your Pomeranian

Pomeranians are popular breeds for families looking to add life and love to their homes. Still, caring for them is a big undertaking, especially initially. You’ll need to accompany your little one on their first vet trip and schedule vaccinations to protect them from preventable health issues. You’ll need to puppy-proof your home and keep them comfy as they teethe

Exercise 

Pomeranians may be small, but they have high energy levels and require physical and mental stimulation. Poms do well in a home that can get them daily physical activity and plenty of attention.

Poms don’t need hours of exercise, and they’re probably not a good choice for people looking for a running or hiking buddy. Still, about 30 minutes of movement per day through walks and play sessions is important for their physical and mental health. Keeping your Pom at a healthy weight can prevent issues like obesity

 

Pomeranian-exercise

Grooming 

Pomeranians have a double coat and long fur. They’ll need plenty of pampering and trips to the groomer to keep their thick coats shiny. Daily brushing at home with a slick or bristle brush will also help and might be a bonding experience. 

A Pomeranian’s fur isn’t the only thing you’ll be brushing. Dental disease is common in pups, so brush a pet’s teeth once per day to help mitigate these issues. Trimming nails about twice per month can prevent breakage and overgrowth, which makes it tough for your spunky Pom to walk and play with you. Poms have short ears, but cleaning them a couple of times each month can prevent infections and bacteria build-up.

Diet and nutrition 

A Pomeranian within the weight range for the breed standard should do well on dog food with the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) seal. Poms are adorable, and it’s tempting to want to treat them constantly. However, treats should only make up about 10% of their daily food intake. The rest should come from dog food.

Poms are also small dogs. If you give them a low-calorie treat from your fridge, such as blueberries, you may need to cut them up. 

Pom puppies under four months will need three to four meals per day. After that, pet owners can feed them twice daily. Your vet is the best person to ask for guidance on how much food to feed your Pom. The bag of the dog food you purchase may also provide information. A three-pound neutered adult dog only needs 146 calories per day — so remember, treat sparingly.

Training your Pomeranian

Pomeranians are intelligent dogs, but they can be a little challenging to train. Training from a young age can help them live their best lives. 

Pomeranians love to bond with their humans. Keeping training sessions positive and reward-based is more effective than negative tactics, like yelling or crating for punishment. Treats make great rewards, but they should only make up about 10% of a Pom’s diet, even during training. Since these dogs love cuddles, plenty of petting and praise are also effective.  

Start with short sessions and one or two-word commands. “Sit,” “stay,” and “come” are great first instructions to teach your Pom.

Pomeranian-training

Breeds similar to the Pomeranian

Pomeranians make excellent dogs for some, but you may be uncertain whether this toy breed is right for your lifestyle or home. Even if you love Poms, it’s always good to read up on different breeds of dogs just to be sure. Here are a few similar breeds to get you started:

  1. Chihuahua. Lively, tiny, and protective, Chihuahuas have similar personalities to Poms but fewer grooming needs.
  2. Maltese. Like Poms, Maltese dogs are super-loving towards their families.
  3. American Eskimo dog. Eskies are a bit larger than Poms, but they are highly affectionate towards their families and alert. They tend to be a bit easier to train, though.

Frequently asked questions

Is a Pomeranian a good dog? 

Pomeranians that receive consistent training from an early age can make excellent pets. They love their families and are known for showing tons of affection. They’re spunky and pack a ton of personality into their tiny bodies. Expect plenty of laughs and love. 

Do Pomeranians bark a lot?

Pomeranians are vocal dogs. They are protective of their humans, which is why they may sometimes bark. They want to alert their family to something strange such as people they have never met appearing on your doorstep.

Are Pomeranians expensive?

It depends on where you look. A shelter or rescue group may only ask for a donation. Some may ask you to give what you can and cover initial vet bills. If purchasing a purebred Pomeranian from a reputable breeder, expect to pay $500 or more.

Are Pomeranians lazy dogs?

Not at all. Though Poms love curling up in your lap, this toy breed has a lively and alert personality. They are full of energy and require daily exercise, though they do not need as much physical activity as larger dogs. A half an hour per day should suffice. Poms are usually up for playtime with balls and other toys — it’s another way they can bond with their favorite people.