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The Pomeranian or 'Pom Pom' as it is affectionately known by lovers of the breed, is a small Spitz type of dog that originated in the centralised area of Europe. In some countries they are known as 'Zwergspitz' meaning Dwarf Spitz.
This breed took its name from an area between Poland and Germany called Pomerania but originated from larger Spitz type dogs from as far afield as Russia, Siberia and other Arctic regions. Spitz type dogs at this time were usually much larger than the modern Pom we know today, and paintings from the 1700 and 1800's show the forerunners of the Pom being slightly larger. The exact origin of the breeds which have played a hand in moulding the modern Pom are unknown, however, by the time Queen Victoria came to the throne, they were gaining in popularity within England. This was further increased when Victoria established a kennel for breeding her favourite dog breeds, amongst which were Pomeranians. She had one favourite in particular, a red sable Pom called 'Windsor's Marco'. This dog was small, even by Pomeranian standards at that time, and such was the influence of the choice of the Queen that breeders immediately started to breed Poms, selecting for the smaller size. It is reputed that in Queen Victoria's lifetime, the Pomeranian as a breed decreased in size by almost half, giving rise to the Pom we have today as a popular companion. In 1891 the first Pomeranian club was initiated and breed standards followed shortly after. They continued to grow in popularity and were a particular favourite of well to do ladies of the era. Indeed, 2 Poms were amongst the 3 dogs which survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, having both been saved by their first class lady owners.
Average height to withers: Males and females can vary between 5-11 inches.
Average weight: Varies between 2.5-4kg in weight for both males and females.
The Pomeranian is a small toy sized dog with a wedge-shaped head which is in proportion with the body. The short muzzle is straight and fine. The colour of the nose can vary with coat colour. It has almond shaped eyes which are always dark and medium in size. The small, erect ears are set high on the head and the feathered tail lies straight and flat over the back as with all Spitz type dogs. The Pom has a thick, double coat with an outer coat which is long straight, and harsh in texture with a soft and thick undercoat. The coat is longer around the neck and chest area with plenty of feathering around the ears. The coat comes in a variety of colours and patterns including red, orange, white, cream, blue, brown, black, black and tan, wolf sable, orange sable, brindle all of which may have white markings.
The Pomeranian is a proud, lively, intelligent and loyal little dog. As per its breed history, it makes a wonderful companion due to docile temper and affectionate nature. As a very independent Toy breed, they do require a firm but gentle routine of training. With good socialisation, they usually get along with other dogs and household animals without any problems whatsoever.
Pomeranians need to see their owners as the pack leader or they will become very demanding and quite bossy and picky. They are notorious for being fussy eaters also, but this is something that can be beaten with consistency in the owners actions. Because of this breeds tiny size and its innocent looking face, there are a very high percentage of Poms who develop so called 'small dog syndrome' which manifests as a series of human induced behaviours, where the dog adopts the position of alpha within the family. These behaviours can include separation anxiety, food/possession guarding, nervy and temperamental behaviours. They may even attack if feeling this position is under threat.
They can become snappy on occasion and despite their 'cute' appearance are not always suited to life with children. However, if a Pom is given rules to follow, limits as to what they are allowed to do, daily pack walks and a calm, confident pack leader, this can be a well rounded, trustworthy and fun family pet.
The Pomeranian has quite a long life expectancy of around 15 years of age. They are quite healthy little dogs all in all, but are prone to a few conditions. This includes a condition called 'Black Skin Disease' which is a form of Alopecia and typically manifests as darkening of the skin pigmentation. It appears to mainly affect males and can give rise to other skin disorders.
They are also prone to 'Luxating Patella' or a slipped kneecap. This can occur either trough trauma or a malformation while the dog is growing and causes ridges to form at the knee, making the knee cap slip out of place sideways causing the knee to lock painfully. Veterinary treatment should be sought if the Pom is displaying this injury to the knee.
A considerable amount of daily time is needed to care for the Poms coat to prevent a build up of dead hair and dander which can cause allergies in humans. At least one daily walk is needed, especially with younger Poms as they can tend to be quite energetic.