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About Pomeranians

General appearance

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 weather.

Colours
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 muzzle.

Historical background

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 1700’s 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
muzzles.

During Queen Victoria’s 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 survive.

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.

Health Matters

Pomeranians are 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 surgical intervention.. 

Temperament

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.

Little "big" dogs

Pomeranians are alert and active little dogs that have a fearless "big dog" attitude . . . they think and act as if they’re 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 don’t 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 devotion.

 

© This article is Copyright 2000 by Christine Heartz, Chriscendo; and Bev Carter, Damascusroad.

  Used with permission of the authors.

Would you like more information than this on Pomeranians?

Why not visit the Pomeranian Club of Canada website! It contains a wealth of information.

Click here to go there now!

If you are a true Pomeranian fancier 

this book by Sari Brewster Tietjen

is one you won't want to be without.

Its an excellent reference book with material on

whelping and raising puppies. It also has some great

grooming material in it for the show enthusiast.

Online bookstores sometimes carry it. You may also be

able to get it through your kennel club or on Ebay.

 

 • Home • Contact Us • What's New • New Litters • Puppy Exports • About Us • Pom Reader Kennel Visit • Poms in Canada Kennel Visit  • About Poms • Stud Services • Links • Photo Album • 


   • Fun Photos • New Damascusroad Championships • Puppies Growing Up • List of Articles • About Pet Food • Skin/Coat Care • Vaccination Information • CKC Breed Standard •