The Pomeranian may be tiny, but they are real extroverts and they boast very kind and affectionate natures. They are the tiniest of the Spitz-type dog and have very fox-like looks all wrapped in a bundle of fluff. They boast an interesting ancestry with the German Spitz being one of the dogs used to create the breed with Queen Victoria popularising these little dogs during her reign in the 1900’s. Today the Pomeranian is as popular in the UK and elsewhere in the world all thanks to their sweet temperaments paired to the fact these little dogs are super intelligent and love nothing more than to please.
The Pomeranian was named after the region between Poland and Germany called Pomerania where they were developed. However, their ancestors are larger Spitz-type dogs that hail from as far afield as Russia, Siberia and other Arctic regions. Spitz dogs were at the time usually much bigger than the modern Pomeranian we know today with paintings from the 1700 and 1800's depicting their forerunners as being that much larger.
The exact origin of the various breeds that played a part in creating the modern Pom remains unknown. However, by the time Queen Victoria came to the throne, they were gaining in popularity in England as well as the rest of Europe. Queen Victoria established a kennel to breed from her favourite breeds, amongst which were her beloved Pomeranians which as a result promoted these little dogs throughout the country even more.
She had one particular favourite, a red sable Pom called 'Windsor's Marco'. This dog was small, even by Pomeranian standards back in the day and such was her preference that breeders immediately started to produce smaller and smaller Poms. It is reputed that in Queen Victoria's lifetime, the Pomeranian decreased in size by almost half, giving rise to the Pom we know as a popular companion today.
In 1891, the first Pomeranian club was established and a breed standard was set shortly afterwards. These tiny dogs continued to grow in popularity and were a particular favourite of well to do ladies of the era. Indeed, two Poms were among the 3 dogs to survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, having both been saved by their lady owners. Today, Pomeranians are still one of the most popular choices as companion dogs thanks to their small stature, their adorable looks and their loyal, affectionate natures.
Height at the withers: Males 13 - 28 cm, Females 13 - 28 cm
Average weight: Males 1.8 - 2 kg, Females 2 - 2.5 kg
Pomeranians are small dogs that boast a thick, plush coat. They have a very fox-like look about their heads and they often seem to be smiling. Their heads are large in relation to their muzzle which is finely chiseled. Their nose colour matches their coat and the same applies to the colour of a Pom's eyes which are oval in shape and set nicely apart on a dog's head. However, eyerims are black.
Their ears are small and set not too far apart or too low on a dog's head which they carry upright. Poms have strong jaws with a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones. Their neck is short, but well set into the shoulders which are clean and nicely laid back. Front legs are fine and straight and moderately long in relation to the rest of a Pom's body.
They have short backs and compact nicely ribbed bodies that give these little dogs their "barrel" look. Chest are deepish but not too wide and hindquarters are fine boned with dogs boasting small, compact and very cat-like feet. Tails are set high and profusely covered in harsh, long hair that spreads over it and which turn over a dog's back, a characteristic these little dogs are known for.
When it comes to their coat, the Pomeranian boasts having a double coat with the outer coat being long and flat whereas their undercoat is soft and fluffy. Their coat is more abundant around a dog's neck and on the front of their shoulders and chest which forms their unique "frill". Their forequarters, thighs and back legs are nicely feathered adding to a Poms delightful appeal. Accepted colours include the following:
Dogs with cream coats have black noses and black eye rims. White coated Poms must be quite free from lemon or any other colour. A few white hairs, in any of the self-coloured dogs is allowed.
The Pomeranian forms a very strong bond with one person and therefore they are not the best choice for first time owners. They are however, the ideal dog for someone who is familiar with the breed or this type of dog. As previously mentioned, these little dogs may be tiny in stature, but they boast heaps of personality and are renowned for being total extroverts. Being highly intelligent, the Pomeranian knows how to get their own way which is why they need to be well trained from a young age and not the best choice for novice owners who might see their pets get the better of them.
Poms are very quick to learn new things which includes the good and the bad. If they are allowed to get their own way, they tend to show a more dominant side to their character which often results in dog becoming wilful and unruly therefore harder to handle.
It's essential that puppies be well socialised from a young age for them to grow up to be well rounded, happy characters. They have no idea of their size which can be a problem when they meet other dogs which they will happily take because it's in their feisty nature to do so regardless of big other dogs happen to be.
They do not like to be left on their own for short or long periods of time and are known to suffer from separation anxiety which means they are not a good choice for people who spend a lot of their time out of the home. They are a very good choice for people who spend most of their time in the house even when everyone else is out.
Known to be very intelligent little dogs, Poms are willing and eager to learn new things which means they are pretty easy to train. However, they are known to be unpredictable at times which can make it a bit challenging to know how a Pom may react to something or someone. Their training and education has to be consistent and always fair, but these tiny dogs need to be handled with a firm hand for them to understand who is boss and their place in the pack.
With this said, it can be quite a challenge to housetrain them with perseverence being the key to success. It's also important to nip any excessive barking in the bud because Poms love the sound of their own voices which is less of a "bark" and more of a shrill "yap".
Pomeranians are outgoing and alert little dogs and they form strong bonds with their families. However, they can be a little too over-protective which can become a problem especially when they are around the children and at meal times. They are not the best choice for people with young children because Poms can be a little snappy. With this said, any interaction between children and such a tiny dog has to be well supervised by an adult to make sure things don’t get too boisterous.
If they have been well socialised from a young age, they will accept being around other dogs although, they do tend to be a little "protective" around them which can lead to aggression. They do not tolerate small pets and animals which means any contact should be avoided. If a Pom has grown up with other pets in a household which includes cats, they generally get on well, but they will think nothing of chasing the next door neighbour's cat, especially if the cat ventures into their territory.
The average life expectancy of a Pomeranian is between 12 and 16 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
Like so many other breeds, the Pomeranian is known to suffer from very few hereditary health issues and are known to be one of the hardiest of the toy breeds. The conditions that seem to affect the breed the most which are worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these feisty little dogs includes the following:
As with any other breed, Pomeranians need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
Although tiny, Poms boast having quite a thick double coat which consists of a very soft undercoat and a longer, straight outer one. As such, they do need to be regularly brushed to keep on top of things and to prevent their undercoats from matting. As with other breeds, they tend to shed more during the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent brushing is necessary. It's important to teach puppies that a grooming session is something to look forward to which means the experience always has to be a good one.
It's also essential for them to get used to having their ears, feet and other places touched which makes it easier to check things on a regular basis when dogs are older which includes having to trim a Pom's nails when necessary.
Because these little dogs are so tiny, Poms don't need to be given masses of exercise, but they do enjoy and need to go out for at least 30 minutes a day. They also love to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can be off their leads in a safe and familiar environment as long as the fencing is secure.
With this said, young Pomeranian puppies should not be given too much exercise because their joints and bones are still growing and too much pressure on them could result in causing a dog a few problems later on in their lives especially as they are so prone to breaking bones.
If you get a Pomeranian puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive issues and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
If you are looking to buy a Pomeranian, you would need to pay anything from £700 to over £2500 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Pomeranian in northern England would be £19.20 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £41.22 a month (quote as of April 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK and a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry, to feed your dog throughout their lives making sure it suits the different stages of their lives. This would set you back between £20 - £30 a month. On top of all of this, you would need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Pomeranian and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying your dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over a £800 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Pomeranian would be between £50 to £80 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree puppy.
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