The Pomeranian is a companion dog and the perfect breed for a family pet. It is a small dog that weighs between 3 and 7 pounds and is classified in the toy group. It does not require much exercise but does need careful grooming due to a thick double coat, which is typically orange or red in color. Outgoing, alert, intelligent and eager to please, this breed is just as at home in the show ring as in a domestic environment.
The Pomeranian originated from the Spitz family of dogs, which in turn has been traced as far back as the Stone Age to a type of Peat dog known as the Torfhund. The German Spitz is thought to be the oldest breed in Europe, with archaeological evidence suggesting that Spitz-type dogs have been around for at least 4,500 to 7,500 years. It is likely that this breed is present in the ancestry of many modern breeds.
The name Pomeranian was first used as a general term and encompassed breeds now categorized individually: the five sizes of German Spitz and also the Italian Volpino. In Germany, the Spitz was known as "Der Pommer," and in its anglicized form this became "Pomeranian." In France it was known as Lou Lou; in Holland either Keeshond or Wolfshond. The name Pomeranian caught on in Georgian England, however, and this is the name that has stuck with the breed ever since.
In 1888, a toy Pomeranian was sent to Queen Victoria from Florence, Italy. Although the Pomeranian was already kept in England at this time, something of a trend for the smaller type started when it became known that the Queen owned one. Queen Victoria was popular among her subjects, and consequently the popularity of this breed soared. From the year 1891 to 1893 inclusive, the Queen was involved in showing Pomeranians, and their popularity with the Royal family continued when the future King Edward VII bought one for his young daughter.
In 1870 the Spitz dog, as it was then known, was recognized by the Kennel Club in England. Some of these dogs could weigh up to 30 pounds and were a popular choice for herding sheep. When the smaller size became much more popular and desirable in late Victorian England, it was further developed by the addition of the Seidenspitz, a breed thought to have come about by crossing the smallest Spitz dogs with Maltese dogs. Initially it was difficult to control the size of the dogs that were bred, but over time this was standardized to consistently produce the toy dog of today.