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The foxy-faced, spunky Pomeranian has the corner on cute. But did you know they were originally bred to pull a sled? This tiny puff of fluff is royalty’s choice of lap dog, but their surprising background belies their petite and carefully-coiffed appearance.
The Pomeranian is a descendant of the Spitz, the ancestors of today’s huskies and other sled dogs. The breed’s name comes from the region of Germany and Poland which was, in ancient times, known as Pomerania.
In the mid-1900’s, the Pomeranian was introduced to England. Back then, it weighed around 30 pounds and was most likely white in color. Canine historians think it probably descended from the Deutscher Spitz. It had pragmatic uses, including pulling sleds and herding sheep.
In 1870, the Pomeranian gained recognition through The English Kennel Club. But the breed earned its popularity boom when Queen Victoria took a fancy to it. She imported a Pomeranian from Italy, a red-coated dog named Marco. She became quite passionate about her dogs, who became beloved travel companions, and she maintained her own breeding kennel. She even exhibited her dogs at the famous Crufts Dog Show in London when it opened in 1891.
Thanks to the royal endorsement, the breed was exhibited in dog shows in the United States under the American Kennel Club’s Miscellaneous Class the following year. Eight years later, it earned a regular classification. It was accepted in various colors. The trend of miniaturizing the Pomeranian continued, and it was selectively bred to have a bigger coat and a “puff ball” appearance.
According to the AKC breed standard, the Pomeranian is “long a favorite of royals and commoners alike [and] has been called the ideal companion. The glorious coat, smiling, foxy face, and vivacious personality have helped make the Pom one of the world’s most popular toy breeds.”
The AKC recognizes nearly two dozen color patterns, the most common being orange or red.
Although it is descended from northern sled dogs, the Pomeranian is recognized as a toy breed.
6 to 7 inches
3 to 7 pounds
12 to 16 years
The Pomeranian is inquisitive, bold, and lively.
With a thick double coat, the Pomeranian needs regular brushing to keep clean and free of mats. His undercoat will typically shed heavily twice a year. Like many toy dogs, he can be prone to obesity and needs his diet monitored carefully, as well as given a daily dose of exercise. Unless the Pom is raised with children, he generally does not do well with them. Being a petite toy breed, he can be fragile, and care must be taken to avoid injury.
Possible Health Concerns
Pomeranians can be prone to the following:
Patent ductus arteriosus
Although all dogs benefit from some outdoor time to sniff around and enjoy a leash walk, Pomeranians require a moderate amount of exercise. They do well in apartments and can thrive on an outdoor jaunt a couple of times a day with a game of fetch.
A Pomeranian’s diet should be maintained to avoid overfeeding. He will thrive on quality kibble, with extras such as meat or fish and steamed vegetables.
Pomeranians are ideal companions for a quiet home, and most of them thrive in a lap-dog lifestyle. Once he settles into your lap, it won’t be long before he finds a secure place in your heart.