Originally made popular by Queen Victoria, the Pomeranian is a confident, vivacious breed that hasn't forgotten its royal roots. While originally a larger dog—descendants of Spitz-type dogs—the smaller size of the Pomeranian doesn't dampen a big personality. Poms are confident and playful, with a curious nature. There's no shortage of boldness here—the Pomeranian needs a confident owner who is willing to enforce the rules.
Other names for the Pomeranian include Pompom and Pom.
Pomeranian mixes may be available for adoption in shelters and rescues, but small dogs such as a mixed breed Poms are often adopted quickly. To adopt an AKC registered or a mixed breed Pomeranian, the best first step is to contact shelters and breed-specific rescues to let them know you're interested.
While a Pomeranian mix may show some of the physical characteristics and traits of the breed, the genetics of the other breeds in the mix may also be present. Most shelters do not perform DNA testing on the animals they care for—breed is often determined based on physical characteristics, as well as information provided at the dog's surrender.
Pomeranian mixes adopted from a shelter may share physical characteristics of the breed, but their temperament may not match the breed standard. Shelters and rescues attempt to determine each dog's personality through a series of evaluations—even if the dog's temperament may not follow the breed standard, you can get the dog that suits your home.
Pomeranian mixes may include Beagle, Boston Terrier, Chihuahua, as well as terrier and spaniel types.
Physical Description/Breed Standard
Coat - The Pomeranian's double coat consists of a short, dense undercoat and a thicker, textured overcoat. It forms a ruff around the neck, feathered legs, and skirted hindquarters. The most common colors are orange, black, and white, though any color or marking is allowed.
Breed Standard and History
The Pomeranian is a compact, yet sturdy dog. Its body is as long as it is tall, offering a square appearance. The Pomeranian is medium boned and well-balanced. Small ears must be set high and erect. Dark eyes are balanced and offer an alert and intelligent expression. A short, fox-like muzzle should display a scissor-bite. The soft, full undercoat is covered by a thick, textured overcoat. A ruff is visible at the face. Forelegs are feathered and a skirt is present at the rear. Plumed tail should be high-set and rest across the back. All colors are allowed. Movement should be brisk and efficient, with the head carried proudly. – AKC Breed Standards
The diminutive Pomeranian likely descended from the Spitz family of dogs—considered the oldest type of dog, and closely related to the wolf. The name comes from the Baltic region—formerly called 'Pomerania'—where the smaller size is said to have developed. The dogs became known as Zwergspitz, or Dwarf-Spitz, in Germany. Though there isn't much documentation available, the breed was likely used to pull sleds and herd sheep.
Pomeranians were mentioned by James Boswell in a diary entry from 1764. Queen Charlotte of the British Royal Family kept two Poms in England in the 1760s.
The breed gained fame when Queen Victoria owned four Pomeranians, the smallest of which was 12 pounds. She established her own kennel and her animals competed as show dogs. Though most Pomeranians were still weighing in at around 20 pounds, her little dog furthered the popularity of small Poms, and breeders began developing smaller dogs to meet the demand.
The AKC recognized the Pomeranian in 1888. Of the three dogs who survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, two were Pomeranians.
Other well-known Pomeranian owners include Joséphine de Beauharnais, the wife of Napoleon I of France; Mozart, who dedicated an aria to his pet Pom Pimperl; and Sir Isaac Newton, whose Pomeranian Diamond destroyed some of Newton's research.
AKC Breed Category
The bold and playful Pomeranian is self-assured and rarely shy. Though they are small in stature, they have huge, extroverted personalities. They are intelligent, but often stubborn, so a certain firmness is necessary in a Pom owner. They are always on alert, and often bark at passers-by—or just out of boredom.
Are Pomeranians Good with Kids? Well-socialized Pomeranians may be able to live or play with children, but supervision is recommended. They do not tolerate rough play and can be mouthy. Though sturdy, the Pom is a small dog and children should be taught gentle handling skills to prevent injury to the dog.
Are Pomeranians Good with Other Pets? Pomeranians tend to do well with other dogs if properly socialized and introduced. They may be possessive over food or toys, so supervision and feeding separately may be necessary. Play with larger breeds should be supervised to ensure it isn't too rough as Poms may be injured if play is too rambunctious. Pomeranians tend to get along well with cats.
The Pomeranian is a dedicated companion who is always on alert. Poms often bark when someone approaches the home, or if other animals walk through the yard. They are not likely guard dogs due to their tiny size, but they make wonderful watchdogs.
Pomeranians have an abundance of energy. They are a perky, bouncy breed that lives for play, but also appreciate quiet time spent cuddling.
Indoor Tiny Pomeranians don't take up a lot of space, and they don't need much space to exercise. Their daily requirements for exercise may be fulfilled through indoor play and a short walk outside. They make wonderful apartment companions, though barking may be a concern.
Outdoor A daily easy-paced walk outdoors is often plenty for a Pomeranian. While Pomeranians developed from hardy sled dogs, they are not built to live outdoors. Their fur may keep them warm when temperatures dip but they do not handle frigid temperatures well. They should not be expected to live outdoors, and should not be left outside alone.
Exercise Energetic Poms can get the majority of their exercise needs while playing indoors and with a short walk or two outdoors each day. When leashed for walks outdoors, a harness is recommended in order to prevent tracheal collapse caused by pulling at the collar.
Endurance Pomeranians love to run and play, and they may seem difficult to keep up with at times. Their ancestors were built to work, and that impressive endurance is still present in the breed today. Poms excel at agility and other sports that require stamina—though sled pulling is no longer on their duty roster.
Activity distance rating
Food Pomeranians are an energetic breed and their activity level should be taken into consideration when it comes to feeding. The general recommendation for how much high-quality dry dog food (based on average weight and activity level) to feed is ¼ to ½ cup per day, but more may be necessary for a larger or more active Pomeranian. This amount should be split between two or three meals.
Pomeranians may be prone to food guarding behaviors. It may be necessary to feed a Pomeranian separately from other animals in the home. Children should never be allowed to touch or remove food from any dog while it is eating.
Alone Time While social, Pomeranians can learn to spend up to eight hours alone during the day. Small breeds may not be able to hold their bladder all day, so a dog walker may be necessary. Their exercise needs can be fulfilled through indoor play throughout the day, as well as a short daily walk.
Health and Grooming
12 - 16 years
The fluffy double coat that the Pomeranian shows off requires regular maintenance. Brushing multiple times per week and trips to the groomer for a trim every one to two months is necessary. Shaving is not recommended for the Pomeranian. They shed heavily, so allergy sufferers may have difficulty with this breed.
Common Health Issues
While Pomeranians are a generally healthy breed, some of the more common health concerns are:
You can minimize serious health concerns in a Pomeranian by purchasing her from a reputable breeder who engages in responsible breeding practices, and through screening for common diseases and conditions.
While intelligent, the Pomeranian can be willful or manipulative. They can learn basic commands with ease, though getting them to cooperate can be more difficult. Handlers must be consistent and never allow a Pomeranian to make the rules. Training a Pomeranian not to bark unless necessary should begin early. As with many small breeds, housetraining may be difficult, so consistency is key.
Agility is a favorite of the energetic Pomeranian. The athleticism of their ancestors shines through when they compete in agility. They're also natural performers with the ability to learn advanced tricks.
Sporting Dog Training
While the Spitz breeds from whom the Pomeranian descended have a history as hunting dogs, the Pom is not an ideal sporting dog. They may have some prey drive and chase rodents in the yard, but they are not built for the hunt.
When is a Pomeranian full grown?
What are the Pomeranian Puppy Uglies?
Extra brushing and regular bathing during this time will help the process along. Poms may be more susceptible to cold temperatures and a coat or sweater may be necessary to prevent a chill.
During this puppy shed, coat color or markings may darken, lighten, or change entirely. The color change may be barely noticeable, but more obvious changes are possible—such as brown fur turning to cream or parti coloring appearing. The 'uglies' phase usually lasts until one year of age, when the adult coat finishes growing in.
Abnormal hair loss after one year of age may be attributed to 'alopecia x,' a disorder that causes hair loss in Pomeranians and other breeds. This symmetrical pattern baldness is also called 'black skin disease' because the skin may change color. Treatment does not always reverse the hair loss attributed to the condition, but it is not harmful and the hair loss is not contagious.
What is a 'throwback Pomeranian?'
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