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 Photo of Pomeranian
Photo: by Jill Terry

Pomeranian Books

Group: Toy - Breed Standard


The Pomeranian is a breed of dog in the spitz family, named for the Pomerania region of Historical Eastern Germany, which is today part of northern Poland and part of eastern Germany, and classed as a toy dog breed because of its small size. Originally part of the German Spitz breed, and of the Zwergspitz, or Toy German Spitz, designation, the breed as a whole did not fully exist until the 19th century.


Ideal weight: dogs: 1.8-2 kgs (4-4½ lbs); bitches: 2-2.5 kgs (4½ lbs).

The head of the Pomeranian is wedge-shaped, making it somewhat foxy in appearance. The ears are small and set high. Its tail is characteristic of the breed and should be turned over the back and carried flat, set high. The Pom's coat is its glory, two coats, an undercoat and a top coat; the first is soft, thick, and fluffy; the latter is long, straight and coarse. The undercoat is shed once a year by males, by intact females when they are in season, after delivering a litter, and during times of stress. The breed standard calls for a compact, short-coupled dog. Try to picture him as a circle in a square. A balanced Pomeranian fits together logically and in proportion. For instance, a small, delicately boned Pom with a large head looks unbalanced because his head type doesn't match his body type. A balanced Pom displays legs in proportion to his body: neither so short as to make him appear dumpy nor so long as to make him look like he is walking on stilts. This standard also calls for an expression that imparts great intelligence, showing that the Pom has an alert character and that he behaves accordingly.


The Pomeranian is a very active dog who is intelligent, courageous, and a loyal companion. The Pomeranian may not interact well with small children, and due to its small size can suffer abuse from children. Pomeranians can be trained to be good watchdogs by announcing intruders with loud, sharp barks or yips. Unfortunately, lack of very dedicated training has instead led this breed to a reputation for constant, undirected barking. For this reason, these dogs can prove very stressful company for those unaccustomed to their vocal nature. The Pomeranian easily adapts to life in the city, and is an excellent dog for country living with its strong hunting instincts from its wild ancestors.

Breed Health

Pomeranians are generally a healthy, hardy, and long-lived breed — Poms often live 12 to 16 years or so.

The most common problem in Pomeranians is luxating patella. Also Legg-Calve-Perthes syndrome and hip dysplasia can occur, but are rarer in this small breed. Patent ductus arteriosus (a heart disease) and collapsing trachea have become serious problems in Poms. Dry eye, tear duct disorders and cataracts that can appear in young adulthood and often lead to blindness are also common. Skin diseases are quite common, especially allergies (that often leads to acute moist dermatitis or "hot spots") and follicular dysplasia (also known as alopecia X). Other problems that occur regularly include hypothyroidism, epilepsy, and hypoglycemia. Occasionally, hydrocephalus can occur in Pom puppies. Poms, like many Toy breeds, are prone to bad teeth and harmless episodes of reverse sneezing.

Breed Care

A daily or twice weekly brushing is essential to keep the thick, plush coat, which sheds seasonally, free of mats. A Pomeranian's coat need very little trimming only every now and then. Combing is seldom necessary and sometimes totally unnecessary. Regular ear and nail care is recommended, along with peak seasonal bathing. However, it is unadvisable to bathe Pomeranians too frequently as excessive bathing can damage their skin and coat by removing essential oils. Pomeranians are also prone to teeth problems, and it is recommended that their teeth be brushed at least once a week. Ideally, their teeth should be brushed daily.


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