Pomeranian

Table of Contents

pomeranian dog portrait
Meet the Pomeranian: a compact bundle of joy that's guaranteed to steal your heart! These tiny, charismatic canines are the epitome of "big personality in a small package." With their lion-like mane and adorable smile, Pomeranians have earned a special place in the hearts of dog lovers everywhere.

Join us in this comprehensive guide as we explore everything you need to know about this breed, including their appearance, temperament, ideal environment, grooming, exercise requirements, training tips, dietary needs, health concerns, history, and more.

Best For

The Pomeranian is an excellent choice for a wide range of individuals, making them a versatile addition to various households. Their small size and affectionate nature make them perfect companions for singles, couples, and seniors looking for a furry friend to brighten their lives. Although they can be quite energetic, their exercise needs are manageable, making them suitable for apartment living as well.

Overview

OFFICIAL NAMEPomeranian
OTHER NAMESDeutscher Spitz, Zwergspitz, Dwarf Spitz
ORIGINGermany, Poland
BREED GROUPToy Group
BREED SIZESmall
HEIGHT6-7 inches
WEIGHT3-7 lbs
LIFESPAN12-16 years
LIVING SPACESmall
SENSITIVITY TO COLD WEATHERModerate
SENSITIVITY TO WARM WEATHERHigh
GROOMING NEEDSHigh
EXERCISE NEEDSModerate
TRAINABILITYHigh
BARKING TENDENCYHigh
BITING TENDENCYLow
DROOLING TENDENCYLow
SHEDDING LEVELHigh
POPULARITY RANK23rd
pomeranian with his tongue out
Photo: funeyes/Pixabay

Appearance

The Pomeranian is a small yet captivating breed, known for its distinctive appearance and charming physical features. These pint-sized pups typically stand between 6 to 7 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh around 3 to 7 pounds, making them an ideal size for those seeking a compact companion.

The body is compact and well-balanced, with a short and strong back. Their legs are moderately spaced and parallel, giving them a sturdy stance. One noteworthy feature of this breed is their plumed tail, which lies flat and straight on their back, fanning outwards to create a beautiful display of fur.

One of the most recognizable attributes of a Pomeranian is its delightful, fox-like expression. This captivating look is attributed to their wedge-shaped head, which is in proportion to their body.

Their almond-shaped eyes are dark and medium-sized, contributing to their endearing and alert expression. The ears of a Pomeranian are small, triangular, and set high on their head, adding to their overall foxy appearance.

The Pomeranian’s double coat is another striking characteristic that sets them apart from other breeds. The dense undercoat is soft and fluffy, while the outer coat consists of long, straight, and harsh-textured guard hairs that stand off from the body, creating a unique, puffy appearance. This luxurious coat is especially abundant around the neck and chest, forming a frill or mane reminiscent of a lion.

Pomeranians come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, including solid shades like black, white, cream, orange, red, sable, and chocolate. They can also be found in combinations such as black and tan, blue and tan, brindle, parti-color, and merle. This vast array of colors adds to their appeal and makes each Pomeranian truly unique.

pomeranian dog standing on a chair
Photo: Tachjang/Getty Images

Temperament

Imagine a small, fluffy bundle of joy that’s as eager to explore as it is to cuddle. That’s the Pomeranian for you! These little dogs are known for their big personalities and fearless demeanor. They may be small in size, but they certainly don’t see themselves that way, often tackling tasks and challenges with the confidence of a much larger dog.

Pomeranians are like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day – perky, friendly, and full of life. They’re the kind of companions who can brighten your mood with a single wag of their bushy tail or a playful bark. But don’t mistake their cheerful demeanor for mindless energy. Pomeranians are highly intelligent, with a curious mind that loves to explore and learn new things.

Their affectionate nature makes them lovey-dovey with their family members. However, Pomeranians also have an independent streak, which means they enjoy their own company as much as they enjoy socializing. This makes them a great fit for individuals or families who appreciate a balance of interactive play and quiet companionship.

One of the most charming things about Pomeranians is their open-hearted approach towards life. They’re reserved yet curious, cautious yet adventurous. This makes them excellent companion dogs, always ready to join you on an adventure or snuggle up on the couch for a relaxing evening.

However, their small size doesn’t mean they’re passive or submissive. Pomeranians have a strong will and can be quite assertive at times. They’re not afraid to stand their ground, even when faced with much larger dogs! This trait, combined with their alertness and intelligence, makes them excellent watchdogs.

Despite their feisty nature, Pomeranians are very loyal and deeply attached to their human families. They crave attention and love and can become anxious when left alone for long periods. So, remember to shower your Pomeranian with plenty of love and affection, and you’ll have a devoted furry friend for life.

pomeranian lying on grass
Photo: NUKUL2533/Getty Images Pro

Ideal Environment

The Pomeranian is highly adaptable and can thrive in various environments as long as their physical and emotional needs are met.

Physical Environment

Given their small size, they are well-suited for apartment living and can comfortably reside in urban settings. However, it’s important to ensure they have access to a safe outdoor space or nearby park where they can exercise and explore on a regular basis.

Climate Adaptability

As a breed that originated from cold climates, Pomeranians generally tolerate chilly weather quite well, thanks to their dense double coat. However, it’s essential to keep an eye on them during extreme cold, as their small size can make them more susceptible to hypothermia. Providing your Pomeranian with a warm and cozy indoor space during the colder months is crucial for their well-being.

On the other hand, Pomeranians are not particularly well-adapted to hot climates due to their thick fur. It’s vital to take precautions in warmer weather to prevent overheating and heatstroke.

Ensure that your Pomeranian has access to shade, fresh water, and a cool place to rest during hot days. Avoid exercising them during the hottest parts of the day, and consider using cooling mats or vests to help regulate their body temperature.

Ideal Owner

Pomeranians make excellent companions for singles, couples, and seniors who are seeking a loving, loyal, and entertaining pet. They also do well in families with older children who understand how to handle these delicate dogs gently and respectfully.

Other Pets

When it comes to other pets, Pomeranians can coexist harmoniously with fellow canines and even cats, provided they are introduced and socialized properly.

brown pomeranian in red sweater
Photo: Hanna Auramenka/Pexels

Grooming

The Pomeranian, with its luxurious double coat and charming appearance, requires regular grooming to maintain its beauty and overall health. Proper grooming not only keeps their coat looking its best but also helps to prevent potential health issues such as matting, skin problems, and dental concerns.

Coat Care

One of the primary grooming needs for Pomeranians is coat care. Their dense double coat consists of a soft, fluffy undercoat and a longer, harsher outer coat. Regular brushing is essential to remove loose hair, prevent matting, and distribute natural oils throughout the coat.

It’s recommended to brush your Pomeranian at least two to three times a week using a slicker brush or pin brush, along with a comb for tangles and mats. During shedding seasons, which typically occur once or twice a year, daily brushing may be necessary to manage the increased hair loss.

In addition to brushing, it’s important to bathe your Pomeranian every four to six weeks with a gentle dog shampoo formulated for their specific coat type. Bathing helps to remove dirt, debris, and any potential allergens from their fur while keeping their coat clean and healthy.

Be sure to thoroughly rinse out the shampoo and use a conditioner specifically designed for dogs to maintain the coat’s natural moisture and shine.

Ear Care

Pomeranian ears should also be checked and cleaned regularly to prevent infections and wax buildup. Use a cotton ball or soft cloth with a dog-specific ear cleaner to gently clean the outer ear area, being cautious not to insert anything into the ear canal.

If you notice any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or foul odor, consult your veterinarian promptly.

Dental Care

Dental care is another crucial aspect of Pomeranian grooming, as these small dogs are prone to dental issues like plaque buildup and periodontal disease.

Brush your Pomeranian’s teeth at least two to three times a week using a soft-bristled toothbrush and dog-specific toothpaste. Regular dental checkups with your veterinarian are also essential to monitor and address any dental concerns.

Nail Care

Nail care is an important part of Pomeranian grooming, as long nails can cause discomfort and lead to issues with their gait or posture. Trim your Pomeranian’s nails every three to four weeks using a guillotine-style or scissor-style nail clipper designed for small dogs.

Be cautious not to cut the quick, which is the blood vessel within the nail, as this can be painful and cause bleeding. If you’re unsure about trimming their nails yourself, consult a professional groomer or your veterinarian for guidance.

Additional Grooming Tips

In addition to the basic grooming needs mentioned above, it’s essential to keep your Pomeranian’s eyes clean and free from debris. Gently wipe the area around their eyes with a soft, damp cloth to remove any discharge or buildup.

By regularly attending to your Pomeranian’s grooming needs, you’ll not only maintain their stunning appearance but also contribute to their overall health and well-being. Establishing a consistent grooming routine will help ensure that your little companion remains clean, comfortable, and happy.

pomeranian dog sitting on a bench
Photo: eliz19/Getty Images

Exercise

Despite their small size, Pomeranians are energetic and lively dogs that require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Meeting their exercise needs not only helps to keep them fit and healthy but also prevents boredom, which can lead to destructive behaviors.

Exercise Amount & Types

Pomeranians typically benefit from at least 30 minutes of daily exercise, which can be broken down into shorter sessions throughout the day. This exercise can include leisurely walks, interactive playtime, or engaging in games such as fetch or hide-and-seek. When walking your Pomeranian, it’s important to use a harness rather than a collar to protect their delicate trachea from potential injury.

In addition to physical exercise, Pomeranians also require mental stimulation to keep their active minds engaged. Interactive toys, puzzle games, and obedience training are excellent ways to provide mental enrichment and help prevent boredom. Training sessions also serve as an opportunity to reinforce good manners and strengthen the bond between you and your Pomeranian.

Dog Sports

Pomeranians have been known to excel in various dog sports and competitions, such as agility, rally obedience, and canine freestyle. These activities offer an excellent way for your Pomeranian to expend energy while also showcasing their intelligence and athleticism. Participating in such events can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your dog.

Exercise Precautions

It’s essential to monitor your Pomeranian during exercise, especially in hot weather, as their thick double coat can make them more susceptible to overheating. Be sure to provide plenty of water and allow them to rest in a shaded area if they show signs of fatigue or overheating.

pomeranian running on green meadow
Photo: Tatyana Consaul/Getty Images

Training

Training a Pomeranian can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, as these intelligent and spirited dogs are generally eager to learn and please their owners.

However, their independent nature and strong-willed personality may sometimes present challenges during training sessions. With patience, consistency, and a positive approach, you can successfully train your Pomeranian and nurture a strong bond between the two of you.

Pomeranians are highly trainable when provided with proper guidance and motivation. They respond well to positive reinforcement techniques, such as praise, treats, and play, which encourage them to repeat desired behaviors. It’s essential to remain patient and consistent in your training methods, as inconsistency or impatience can lead to confusion and hinder progress.

Socialization is a critical aspect of training for Pomeranians, as it helps them develop into well-rounded, confident dogs. Exposing your Pomeranian to various people, animals, environments, and situations from a young age will help them become more comfortable with new experiences and reduce the likelihood of fear or aggression later in life.

Due to their small size and delicate structure, it’s important to handle Pomeranians gently during training. Be cautious not to use excessive physical force or harsh corrections, as this can cause injury and lead to fear or mistrust. Instead, focus on building a trusting relationship by using positive reinforcement and gentle guidance.

Pomeranians can sometimes be prone to stubbornness or selective hearing, which may require additional patience and persistence during training. If your Pomeranian seems uninterested or disengaged, try breaking up training sessions into shorter, more frequent intervals to maintain their interest and enthusiasm.

One common challenge that Pomeranian owners may face during training is excessive barking. Since Pomeranians are naturally vocal dogs, it’s important to address this issue early on through consistent training and redirection. Teaching your Pomeranian a “quiet” command and rewarding them for remaining silent can be an effective way to manage excessive barking.

black and brown pomeranian sitting among flowers
Photo: pellegritiferale/Getty Images

Diet & Nutrition 

Proper diet and nutrition play a crucial role in maintaining the health and well-being of your Pomeranian. Feeding them high-quality, well-balanced meals tailored to their specific needs will ensure they receive the necessary nutrients to support their growth, energy levels, and overall vitality.

What to Feed & How Much

When choosing a suitable food for your Pomeranian, it’s essential to look for products that follow the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines, which ensure that the food meets the minimum nutritional requirements for dogs.

There are various options available, including dry kibble, wet food, and raw diets. Each option has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to consider your Pomeranian’s individual needs and preferences when making a decision.

The amount and frequency of feeding depend on your Pomeranian’s age, weight, and activity level. Puppies require more frequent meals (3-4 times a day) to support their rapid growth and development.

As they grow older, you can gradually reduce the number of meals to 2-3 times a day. Adult Pomeranians typically do well with two meals per day, while seniors may benefit from smaller, more frequent meals to accommodate their slower metabolism.

It’s essential to measure out your Pomeranian’s food portions based on the feeding guidelines provided by the food manufacturer and adjust as needed to maintain a healthy weight. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, which puts unnecessary strain on their small frame and can cause various health issues.

Treats

Treats can be a valuable training aid and a way to bond with your Pomeranian, but it’s important to use them in moderation. Opt for healthy, low-calorie treats, and make sure they don’t exceed 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake to avoid weight gain.

Water

Hydration is another vital aspect of your Pomeranian’s diet, as proper water intake helps regulate body temperature, supports digestion, and aids in overall bodily functions. Make sure to provide your Pomeranian with access to clean, fresh water at all times, and monitor their consumption to ensure they’re staying adequately hydrated.

pomeranian sitting in autum park
Photo: Maitri/Getty Images

Health

Pomeranians are generally considered a healthy and robust breed, with a life expectancy of 12-16 years. However, like all breeds, they may be prone to certain health issues. Regular veterinary checkups, a balanced diet, and proper grooming can help maintain your Pomeranian’s health and well-being throughout their life.

Here are common health issues associated with the Pomeranian:

Patellar Luxation: This condition occurs when the kneecap (patella) slips out of its normal position, causing pain and discomfort. Patellar luxation is a common issue in small dog breeds, including Pomeranians. Mild cases may require minimal intervention, while more severe cases may necessitate surgical correction.

Tracheal Collapse: Pomeranians are prone to tracheal collapse, which is a narrowing or weakening of the trachea (windpipe). This can lead to breathing difficulties, coughing, or gagging. Preventative measures include using a harness instead of a collar during walks and maintaining a healthy weight. Treatment options depend on the severity of the condition and may include medication or surgery.

Dental Issues: Due to their small mouths and crowded teeth, Pomeranians are at an increased risk for dental problems such as plaque buildup, gum disease, and tooth loss. Regular dental care, including tooth brushing and professional cleanings, can help prevent these issues and maintain your Pomeranian’s oral health.

Hypothyroidism: This is a hormonal disorder that occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, leading to symptoms such as weight gain, lethargy, and hair loss. Hypothyroidism can be managed with medication and regular monitoring by your veterinarian.

Collapsed Trachea: Pomeranians may also be susceptible to a collapsed trachea, which occurs when the cartilage rings that support the trachea become weak, causing the airway to narrow. This can result in coughing, difficulty breathing, and exercise intolerance. Treatment options may include weight management, medication, or surgery, depending on the severity of the condition.

In addition to these common health issues, Pomeranians may also be prone to eye problems, heart conditions, and skin allergies. Regular veterinary checkups can help detect and address any potential health concerns early on, ensuring that your Pomeranian remains happy and healthy throughout their life.

white pomeranian dog at home
Photo: Leung Cho Pan

History

The Pomeranian boasts a rich and fascinating history, dating back several centuries. Named after the Pomerania region in Central Europe, which is now part of modern-day Germany and Poland, these charming dogs have captured the hearts of many throughout the years. Today, the Pomeranian is recognized worldwide for its adorable appearance, lively personality, and unwavering loyalty.

The Pomeranian’s ancestors were larger Spitz-type dogs, which were employed as working dogs in the Arctic regions. These hardy canines were used for various tasks such as herding, sledding, and guarding. Over time, the breed was gradually reduced in size through selective breeding, resulting in the smaller, companion-sized Pomeranian we know today.

The breed gained significant popularity in the late 19th century, thanks in large part to British Queen Victoria. During her reign, Queen Victoria became an avid dog enthusiast and devoted Pomeranian owner.

She established a breeding program at her kennels and played a pivotal role in refining the breed’s appearance and promoting its popularity. Her fondness for Pomeranians helped to elevate the breed’s status in high society, and soon these charming dogs became fashionable companions for the upper class.

The exact date of when Pomeranians first entered America is not well-documented. However, it is known that the breed gained popularity in the late 19th century and was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1888. This suggests that Pomeranians were likely introduced to the United States sometime before or during the late 1800s.

In popular culture, Pomeranians have continued to enjoy widespread admiration and have even graced the silver screen. Famous Pomeranians include Boo, who rose to internet fame as the “World’s Cutest Dog,” and Pom Pom, a character from the animated film “Secret Life of Pets.”

Additionally, numerous celebrities, including Paris Hilton and Sharon Osbourne, have been known to own Pomeranians, further cementing their status as beloved companions.

Throughout their history, Pomeranians have excelled in various canine sports and competitions, including conformation shows, agility, obedience, and rally. Their intelligence, athleticism, and desire to please have helped them to excel in these events and showcase their versatility as a breed.

Parent Club

The official parent club for Pomeranians in the United States is the American Pomeranian Club (APC). Founded in 1900, the APC is dedicated to promoting the well-being, responsible breeding, and ownership of Pomeranians.

The club provides valuable resources, educational materials, and support for Pomeranian enthusiasts and breeders. Visit their website to learn more about the American Pomeranian Club and access their wealth of information.

Breed Standard

A breed standard is a set of guidelines established by breed clubs or kennel organizations, defining the ideal appearance, temperament, and physical traits of a specific breed. 

It serves as a reference for breeders, judges, and enthusiasts to evaluate and maintain a breed’s unique qualities. Covering aspects like size, appearance, and temperament, breed standards are used in dog shows and competitions to assess individual dogs against the ideal representation of their breed.

Check out the Pomeranian’s breed standard as set by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

pomeranian puppy in the mountains at sunset
Photo: Ольга Гурьянова/Getty Images

Acquiring

Deciding to welcome a Pomeranian into your home is an exciting journey! First, it’s important to prepare. Poms are energetic and require a safe space for play. They also need grooming tools, as their fluffy coat needs regular care.

If you’re buying, ensure you choose reputable breeders. A great Pom is not just about looks, but health and temperament too. Reputable breeders prioritize these aspects and provide you with a well-rounded companion.

Alternatively, consider rescuing. Many Pomeranians are in need of a loving home. The American Kennel Club and the Pomeranian Club of America can assist in finding rescue Poms. It’s a rewarding option, giving a second chance to a furry friend.

Remember, whether you buy or rescue, you’re gaining a loyal companion who will fill your life with joy and love. Enjoy the journey!

FAQs

Are Pomeranians good family dogs?

Yes, Pomeranians can make excellent family dogs. They are affectionate, loyal, and adaptable, making them suitable companions for families with older children. However, due to their small size and fragile nature, they may not be well-suited for families with very young children who may accidentally injure them during play.

Are Pomeranians vocal?

Pomeranians are known for being a vocal breed. They may bark to alert their owners of strangers or unusual noises, express excitement, or seek attention. Consistent training and socialization can help manage excessive barking and teach your Pomeranian appropriate communication.

Are Pomeranians hypoallergenic?

No dog breed is truly hypoallergenic, as all dogs produce allergens in their dander, saliva, and urine. However, Pomeranians have a double coat that sheds less dander compared to some other breeds. Regular grooming and bathing can help reduce allergens, but individuals with severe allergies should spend time around Pomeranians before committing to ownership.

Why are Pomeranians expensive?

The cost of a Pomeranian can vary depending on factors such as the breeder’s reputation, location, and the puppy’s lineage. Pomeranians from reputable breeders may be more expensive due to the costs associated with responsible breeding practices, including health testing, proper care, and ensuring adherence to breed standards.

Do Pomeranians require frequent grooming?

Yes, Pomeranians require regular grooming to maintain their thick double coat. Weekly brushing can help prevent matting, remove dead hair, and promote healthy skin. Additionally, periodic bathing and trimming of the nails, ears, and teeth should be part of their grooming routine.

How much exercise do Pomeranians need?

Pomeranians are energetic and active dogs that require at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. This can include walks, playtime, or engaging in activities such as fetch or agility. In addition to physical exercise, Pomeranians also benefit from mental stimulation through training and interactive toys.

Are Pomeranians prone to any specific health issues?

Like all dog breeds, Pomeranians may be susceptible to certain health concerns. Common issues in Pomeranians include patellar luxation, tracheal collapse, dental problems, hypothyroidism, and collapsed trachea. Regular veterinary checkups can help detect and address potential health issues early on.

Table of Contents