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Other Names: Pom, Dwarf Spitz
Dog Group Kennel Club: Toy (AKC, KC)
The Pomeranian is the smallest of the five sizes of German Spitz. This tiny, fluffy dog has bright, dark, almond-shaped eyes, and a distinctive feathered tail that fans forward over the back.
Their double coat usually comes in solid colours. A wide range of colours include: black, brown, chocolate, beaver, red, orange, cream, orange sable, wolf sable, blue, white or parti-colour.
Weight: 3 – 7 lbs
Average Life Span: 11 – 15 yrs
The Pomeranian is an active breed, known for having a big personality in a little package. They are lively and energetic little dogs who are very loyal to their families. They will accept other animals in the household but will not hesitate to attack outsiders, regardless of their size. They make excellent watch dogs as they are verbal when confronted with a stranger. They are good with older children, but would not suit a family with young children as they can be seriously injured (even children with the best intentions could easily fall on this little dog).
They are intelligent dogs and are quick to learn obedience tricks. However they are difficult to housebreak.
A Pomeranian’s coat goes through many changes before the adult coat grows in. At about three months a Pom puppy loses that cloud-soft puppy fluff. The adult coat begins to appear when the Pom is a year old, but that coat requires months of growth before it is fully mature. Daily grooming is needed and occasional trimming is required around the feet. Neglected coats, in addition to matting easily, can harbour undetected vermin, skin conditions and fungus.
Minimal requirements, they will get enough exercise running and playing around the house and garden. The breed is very curious and needs plenty of mental stimulation to prevent behavioural problems and destructive actions.
Pomeranian Health Issues
Dislocation and broken bones can be common and great care must be taken with puppies to deter them from jumping.
Dental Problems: Close attention must be paid to a Pom puppy’s teeth. Baby teeth are normally replaced by an adult set at about six months. In many cases, however, the Pom will retain its baby teeth and have two sets of teeth growing side by side. When this occurs, dental work by a veterinarian may be necessary.
Luxating Patella Slipping knee joints (also referred to as luxating patellas, slipped stifles) are a common problem in small breeds. In this condition, the kneecap slips out of its groove and moves against the thighbone (femur) instead of along its natural groove. Although this has been found to be a heritable condition, small, active breeds are likely to aggravate it through the course of their natural activities (jumping up and down) around taller objects such as furniture.
Entropion: is a problem with the eyelid that causes inward rolling. Lashes on the edge of the eyelid irritate the surface of the eyeball and may lead to more serious problems.
Cataracts: cause a loss of the normal transparency of the lens of the eye. The problem can occur in one or both eyes and can lead to blindness.
Tracheal collapse: is a disorder of the windpipe. The rings of the trachea are weakened and collapse, resulting in persistent coughing and possibly difficult breathing.
Hypothyroidism: an endocrine disease that results in the abnormally low production of thyroid hormones. The symptoms of hypothyroidism include lethargy, mental depression, weight gain and a tendency to seek out warm places. Hypothyroidism can also affect the coat and skin, causing hair loss and excessive dandruff.
Hypoglycaemia: the medical term for low blood sugar is a condition associated with a sudden drop in the level of blood sugar. This commonly affects the small toy breeds as puppies, and usually not seen in puppies over twelve weeks of age. It is most likely caused by the uneven spurts in growth of the internal organs of the puppy, especially the pancreas which is associated with insulin production. Symptoms that a dogs sugar level has dropped too low include: weakness, confusion, drooling, pale gums, seizures. These attacks can be fatal. Prevention from these attacks are monitored through diet. Always ask your local vet for advice!!
Severe Hair Loss Syndrome: It occurs mainly in males. When the puppy coat sheds, the coat does not grow back. Another version of the same condition happens at a later age, with a normal appearing coat that slowly starts to thin, starting at the back of the thighs and buttocks and moving up the back.
The Pomeranian is thought to have descended from the sled dogs of Iceland and Lapland. The breed is the smallest of the group of dogs known as “spitz-type” dogs. Spitz dogs were extremely popular in Germany as early as the 1500s, where they were used to herd livestock. At this time they were still much larger than they are today.
The first to officially import the Pomeranian breed of dog to England was Queen Charlotte wife of George III. The two dogs Charlotte imported in 1767 – and their portraits rendered by Thomas Gainsborough – brought national attention to the breed in England. Queen Charlotte obtained her dogs from the area around Pomerania, it was here that they were bred down in size. The dogs were now called Pomeranians in Britain, even though no German breed has ever been known by that name. To this day the Pomeranian’s counterpart in Germany is still called the zwergspitz (dwarf spitz). The popularity was slow to take until Queen Victoria became interested in the breed and began to show it. In fact, Queen Victoria is believed to have been a great influence in the breed’s eventual smaller size, since she preferred the smaller specimens.