One of America's favorite dogs, the Pomeranian is a tiny, fluffy, handful of fun!
Originating in Central Europe, their larger ancestors were known as Wolf-Spitz. With their thick, double coat, they were just the things to herd flocks of sheep and pull sleds through the frozen tundra. The smaller ones were kept at home, more as companions and watchdogs.
In time, they became a favorite among the wealthy and royalty. Much loved by Queen Victoria, England's monarch is given the credit for "shrinking" the breed to the toy size we know and love today.
The average Pom stands between 7-12 inches and weighs between 3 -7 pounds.
If obedience trained and socialized while still young, this lively, little clown will evade many of the inappropriate behaviors associated with Small Dog Syndrome. They are naturally very vocal. Pomeranians make wonderful watchdogs. Alert and responsive to outside noises, they can overdo the barking thing. They must be taught one or two barks to inform you something is amiss, is enough!
Training should not be a problem, even though they can be obstinate, they are intelligent and they do like to please their owner. They can become so bonded, they could be overly protective and also suffer from separation anxiety. It is suggested to work at preventing those unacceptable behaviors as early as possible, before they become a problem.
Since they are so tiny and frail, they are not the best choice for a family with young children. They are a wonderful pet for a family with older children, singles or senior citizens. In general, they are friendly, curious, affectionate and obedient. Like many small dogs, they can also easily become master manipulators. To get the best out of them, you must always maintain your status as the leader of their pack.
You don't have to be an athlete to own a Pom. A couple of brisk walks a day and some one-on-one playtime with you and they are very happy. Be careful in the summer, they can overheat quickly. It is best to walk them in the cooler hours of the day. They can be busy indoors, but are pretty independent. Spend a few minutes interacting with them and they will chill.
Careful with the jumping! Even though Poms are a rather sturdy and healthy breed, they do have a few things to be aware of. Those little bones break easily. Patella luxation (slipped kneecap), slipped stifle, heart problems, alopecia (Black Skin Disease), dental problems, and eye problems are fairly common. When walking them, it is recommended to use a harness, not a collar, as they are also prone to tracheal collapse.
Some Merles are predisposed to deafness. That shouldn't be a problem though. Even a deaf dog makes a wonderful pet. The advantage is, they usually don't have the yappy barking habit.
With some males, there could be a problem with an undescending testicle or two!
Always keep your Pom on a leash and under control. Like many small dogs, most do not hesitate to challenge a larger dog!
Grooming their thick, double coat can be work. They are heavy shedders, particularly twice a year. The majority of Pom-Pom owners have their pets professionally groomed at those times. A good daily brushing will help keep their coat from too many tangles and mats. It's not unheard of to give Poms a "puppy cut." Not only does it make them even cuter, it helps with the grooming.
Bottom line: Do your homework. As Pomeranians are so popular, avoid flea markets, backyard breeders and pet shops. They only perpetuate dreadful puppy mills that are grinding out inferior quality dogs. Find a responsible, trustworthy breeder. Shelters and rescues often have Poms. Being a favorite of older people, they are more often surrendered because of life circumstances rather than behavior problems. Who knows, perhaps your new best friend may be patiently waiting for you there.