The Canadian Kennel
Club Breed Standard describes the Pomeranian as "a compact,
short-coupled dog . . . exhibit[ing] great intelligence . . . The weight
of a Pomeranian for exhibition is 3-7 lb." A correctly sized
Pomeranian should be in the range of about 4-5 lb. (there is no such thing
as a "toy" Pomeranian the breed is a member of Group 5,
known as the Toy Group).
The head of the Pomeranian is "somewhat
foxy in outline" with small erect ears, small almond shaped eyes,
and a rather short neck "covered with a profuse mane and frill of
long, straight hair sweeping from the underjaw and covering the whole of
the front part of the shoulders and chest as well as the top part of the
shoulders . . . The tail is characteristic of the breed, and should be
turned over the back and carried flat, set high. It is profusely covered
with long, spreading hair." The CKC breed standard calls for a
thick double coat a long outer coat which is held off the body by a
soft fluffy undercoat which protects the dog against hot, cold and wet
In Canada, 13 colors are permitted under the Breed
Standard including black, brown, chocolate, red, orange, cream and
sable (in some countries, other colors are permissible). They also come in
black and tan and parti-colours, a red and white and a black and white.
The most common color for Pomeranians is orange in various shades, ranging
from light to dark. The orange sometimes comes with sabling (i.e. black
tips) on the ends of the coat on the back, as well as on the chin and
The Pomeranian is one of the most
loved and admired of the Toy Breeds. As far back as the pre-Christian era,
there have been small spitz type dogs depicted in artwork. Later, during
the Roman Empire, dogs resembling Pomeranians were favorite pets of the
great ladies of the period.
His present name recalls the fact that it was in eastern
Europe, in the region of Poland and East Germany known as Pomerania, that
the breed became established. His ancestors were the same as the Keeshond,
the Elkhound and the Samoyed. The Germans were the first to produce a
smaller spitz type breed, for they recognized the appeal of miniature
editions of the breed. These dogs quickly became popular with the ladies.
In the late 1700s two Pomeranians accompanied Charlotte
on her trip to Great Britain from her native Pomerania. She was to become
the wife of King George III (The Mad King). At this time, the breed
was 20-30 pounds, with foxy heads and long coarse
During Queen Victorias reign the Pomeranian became
increasingly popular. Indeed, the Queen herself exhibited a dog called
Gona, a lemon and white. Although she favored dogs in the 12 to 18 lb.
category, in her lifetime, she watched the breed progress from a somewhat
rocky start. In 1870 when the breed was first officially recognized, there
were only 3 dogs entered at the first show. For 20 years, the popularity
of the Pomeranian was limited until 1891, when the first Pomeranian Club
was formed. Show entries rose to over 60 by 1895, and five years later
reached a total of 125. By this time, it was evident that the breed would
Originally the breed had two size classes for exhibition,
the over 8 pounds and the under 8 pounds. The smaller dogs became so
popular that no Challenge Certificates were offered for the over 8
pounds class and it was eventually dropped altogether. Several years later
the Standard was revised to set the upper limit at 7 pound
where it remains to this day. Germany, however, continued to breed both
the medium and the larger sized Pomeranian, and they appear today as the
Klein and Mittle Spitz that are shown throughout Europe.
The breed was also originally seen in solid white, black,
or chocolate and occasionally a few nice parti-colors. In 1913, the orange
dog, Mars, was the first of this color to finish its championship and the
craze for orange and orange sables all but eliminated the other colors
within a few years.
The Pomeranian was officially recognized by the Canadian
and American Kennel Clubs in 1900. The Canadian Standard closely resembles
the English standard, while the American one has undergone a few more
changes. Today we still work to preserve the endearing qualities of the
smallest member of the Spitz family.
generally a very healthy, hardy and long-lived breed often, Poms live
15 or 16 years. As with any breed of dogs, however, there are certain
problems that may be encountered.
The most commonly
occurring problems involve the teeth which, if not scrupulously cared for
and maintained through frequent cleaning, can fall out at a relatively
early age, possibly causing heart problems leading to early death.
Less common is a endocrine dermatitis condition sometimes referred to as
black skin disease. This condition affects a number of different breeds,
and while it involves some (usually temporary) coat loss, it is more of an
aesthetic than a health related condition. Another more common problem in
most toy breeds involves the knees i.e., luxating patellas.
Although common, it is generally not a problem that frequently requires
Pomeranians make wonderful pets and
are devoted to their owners. His size makes him an ideal house dog and a
tireless companion outdoors. Their intelligence and reasoning powers are
almost uncanny and they can seem to understand your every word. It is not
wise to bring a puppy into a household with very young children . . .
because of his small size, a young child may hurt a Pom unknowingly and/or
unintentionally. With supervision, they can grow up with and be the
constant companion of an older child. One Pomeranian is fun but more than
one and the fun is multiplied many times over. Although certainly not
guard dog sized, they can be very defensive when anything unusual occurs
and will bark a warning when anyone approaches the home. Pomeranians are
very quick to learn and should be discouraged from senseless barking. They
are fearless when it comes to strange dogs, and will become very
protective against ones many times their size.
Pomeranians are alert
and active little dogs that have a fearless "big dog" attitude .
. . they think and act as if theyre much bigger than they actually are.
They are highly intelligent and this makes them easy to train. Many have
competed successfully in obedience trials while others have been trained
as hearing assistance dogs. Still others have been trained in search and
rescue for use on sites where a small-sized dog is necessary and/or
advantageous (e.g., earthquake sites). Pomeranians have also been used
very successfully as therapy dogs and may often be seen consoling the sick
and elderly in hospitals and nursing homes.
Training and Care
Because of their
small size, Pomeranians make a good apartment dog since they dont
require a lot of exercise and they can easily be trained to a litter box.
Although they require some grooming, their coats can easily be maintained
with a weekly brushing and combing. It is also important to keep the
Pomeranian's toenails short through regular trimming (at least every 2-3
weeks). They are quite a hardy breed, requiring little in the way of
special care but they do require lots of love and attention. A
Pomeranian's greatest joy in life is to be near the object(s) of his
This article is Copyright 2000 by Christine Heartz, Chriscendo; and Bev
Used with permission of the authors.