- Activity Level: moderate
- Grooming Level: high
- Trainability: high
- Adaptability: high
- Kid/Pet Friendly: often
- Average Size: Small
- Average Lifespan: 12-16 years
- Prey Drive: moderate
- Watchdog: very alert
- Registered?: aca, akc
Pomeranian Breed Profile
The Pomeranian is distantly related to the original Arctic sled dogs; they just come in a much smaller package. They are the smallest of the Spitz breeds and have been a royal favorite throughout history. They were recognized by the AKC in 1888 and are part of the Toy Group. They are a popular companion breed and are one of the most popular toy breeds in the world.
Pomeranians are generally active, friendly, and affectionate towards their family. They tend to have a “big dog in a small body” type of attitude and are often suspicious of strangers. This makes them alert watchdogs. However, if left unchecked, this can cause them to bark constantly and to try and intimidate other much larger dogs. Socialization and training early on is very important for a well-rounded and well-behaved Pomeranian.
Poms love attention. They will enjoy life as a lapdog and family companion, which also makes them great therapy dogs. They’ve even been trained as service dogs in some capacities. They tend to do well with children. Due to their small size, they are generally a better fit for older children who are less likely to injure them with accidental falls or rough play.
The Pomeranian is highly adaptable. They are comfortable in apartments as well as larger homes and enjoy city, suburban, or rural settings. Poms also do relatively well in most climates. Their double coat affords them a little more protection in colder climates. However, they can be sensitive to heat. They can become overheated easily in high heat and humidity, so should be kept inside as much as possible and monitored carefully when outside in this type of weather. Because they crave companionship, they do not like to be left alone for long periods of time.
Although the Pomeranian is a toy breed, they are generally healthy. Some health conditions to be aware of include luxating patellas, allergies, hip dysplasia, dental problems, hypothyroidism, eye problems, congestive heart failure, and epilepsy. Many of these health conditions, normal aging aside, can be identified and avoided through genetic testing and screening of the parents. Don’t be afraid to ask the breeder about the genetic history of the parents and to see any health clearances for them.
This dog breed is highly trainable. Pomeranians are highly intelligent and easily trained. This also means it’s easy to train them into bad habits as well as good ones. They respond best to firm and consistent training throughout their life. Some good habits to include in your training program are walking on a leash, to come when called, housebreaking, preventing jumping on and off high furniture, and barking only when necessary.
Housebreaking a Pom can be a challenge, so be prepared to approach it with a lot of patience and a focus on consistency. Crate training can also help you with housebreaking. Because they are such small dogs, jumping on or off high furniture can damage their joints or even break bones. Training them early on not to do this and to use ramps or steps instead will help keep them safe. Poms are also prone to barking. This makes them very alert watchdogs, but can also become a nuisance if not managed. Directing their barking to certain situations and training them to stop barking on command will be a big help. You can also train Pomeranians to compete in some dog sports, like obedience, rally, and agility.
Pomeranians are fluff balls with a double coat and they will shed. The undercoat is soft and dense while the overcoat is long, straight, and harsh in texture. Their coat needs to be brushed daily to prevent matting or tangling and they need a bath once a month. More bathing may be necessary if your Pomeranian gets into something they shouldn’t or gets dirty. It’s also a good idea to take your Pom in for full professional grooming every 4 to 6 weeks, especially during seasonal shedding events.
It is important to keep your Pomeranians nails short. Trimming them once or twice a month is usually sufficient to keep them comfortable. Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is also important. Daily tooth brushing sessions are ideal to keep tartar buildup under control and reduce the risk of dental problems. This is particularly important with Pomeranians, as they are prone to tooth decay, gum disease, and early tooth loss. Getting your Pomeranian used to have their paws handled and teeth brushed as a puppy will make grooming them throughout their life a much easier process.
Although sometimes viewed as hyperactive, Pomeranians have a moderate activity level and don’t need that much exercise to be happy. They may have bursts of activity, but only need a little exercise each day to stay happy and healthy. Daily walks plus some playtime will be plenty for your Pomeranian. Poms can be escape artists when they are outside, so make sure you keep an eye on them. They can also be at risk from large predatory birds and other predatory animals, including dognapping humans! It’s important that your Pomeranian is never left alone when they are outside.
A Pomeranian usually stands 8 to 11 inches tall and weighs between 3 and 7 pounds.
Pomeranians generally live for 12 to 16 years.
Queen Victoria is credited with downsizing the Pomeranian to its current toy breed status and for starting its rise to popularity. In addition to Queen Victoria, Emile Zola, Marie Antoinette, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart also owned Pomeranians.