The Pomeranian may resemble a fluffy pompon with feet, but that's not how this feisty little member of the toy group acquired its name. The breed originated in Pomerania, south of the Baltic Sea. The Pom was the breed of choice for such historical notables as Michelangelo, Mozart, Marie Antoinette and Queen Victoria, as well as Hollywood celebrities including Nicole Richie, Sharon Osbourne and Sean "Puffy" Combs. Pomeranians are the epitome of lap dogs, meaning they are inside dogs all the way. If you are thinking of including a Pomeranian in your family, get to know the breed to make sure it is a good fit for your lifestyle.
Pomeranians stand between 7 and 12 inches tall at the withers (shoulders) with a weight range of 3 to 7 pounds. They come in a variety of colors, including red, yellow, cream, brown, merle, white, reddish-orange and black. They may also be parti-colored, that is, more than one color. The AKC allows all colors and there is no one color that is preferred over the others. The Pomeranian looks something like a fox, with small facial features and triangular, erect ears. The Poms feathered tail lies flat on the dogs back, not curled. The tail plume usually touches the back of the dogs head. The Pomeranian's dual coat comprises a dense and fluffy undercoat and a rough overcoat of long, straight guard hairs. The dogs eyes are alert and intelligent. The Poms carriage is proud and commanding.
The Pomeranian breed combines intelligence and loyalty with high energy. Despite their diminutive size, Pomeranians often try to become the leaders of their pack, or family. They possess keen confidence and self-assurance. They are usually good with other dogs, but small children who are not trained to be respectful around dogs may trigger a defense mechanism, causing the dog to bite. Pomeranians need to be leashed during walks to prevent them from taking on larger breeds. This breed may become destructive and develop behavioral problems when left alone. Barking, a problem with many other toy breeds, is generally not an issue with Pomeranians. Poms crave personal attention and playtime, require only one daily walk and adapt well to apartments.
Clean your Pomeranian's teeth daily to prevent dental disease. Mist the dog's coat with water and brush it daily, using a pin or bristle brush, which prevents excessive shedding and keeps the dog's coat free from tangles and mats. Your groomer can counsel you on the many ways a Pomeranian can be groomed. By far, the most popular cut is the lion cut, which leaves the body shaved and smooth, the head with a full mane and a tassel of fur on the tail.
Bathe your Pomeranian as needed but never more frequently than once every two weeks. Excessive bathing will dry out the dogs natural oils and cause itchy skin. Trim your dog's toenails at least once every three months.
A number of genetic problems are inherent in Pomeranians. These problems include cataracts and other eye problems, undescended testicle(s), liver failure, endocrine and musculoskeletal disorders and gastrointestinal diseases. Pomeranians also have been known to develop disorders of the blood and nervous systems. Small-breed dogs must have their teeth checked by a veterinarian annually as they are more prone to dental problems which can lead to infection. Life expectancy is about 12 years, but some Pomeranians live much longer. Keeping a dog within an ideal weight range helps extend its lifespan. Altering the dog early in life will significantly reduce the risk of certain cancers.