The Pomeranian is the smallest dog in the Spitz family. A companion dog, it is not only known for its compact size, but its thick, rounded coat. Pomeranian owners also love their "Poms" for their bold and exuberant personalities.
The Pomeranian dog has a fox-like and alert expression. A small, square-proportioned breed, the Pomeranian's distinctive puffy appearance comes from its thick, soft undercoat and harsh, long outer coat, which stands away from its body and is usually a variation of red, orange, cream, black and sable; an up-gazing head carriage and thick ruff further enhance the Pomeranian's physical appearance. It also has a curled tail, small ears, and an effortless and free gait with good reach and drive.
The busy, bold, and vivacious Pomeranian, utilizes each day to the fullest. It is playful, inquisitive, self-confident (sometimes too confident), attentive, and always in the mood for an adventure or game. The breed is generally shy around strangers and some Pomeranians may bark a lot or be unfriendly towards other dogs.
The small but active Pomeranian dog requires daily physical stimulation -- short walks or indoor games. Its double coat requires brushing twice a week or more frequently during shedding periods. As it is very family oriented and small, it should not kept outdoors.
The Pomeranian breed has a lifespan of about 12 to 16 years. It has a tendency to suffer from minor health conditions such as open fontanel, shoulder luxation, hypoglycemia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and entropion, or major issues like patellar luxation. Tracheal collapse and patent ductus arteriosis (PDA) are sometimes noticed in Pomeranians. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may run cardiac, knee, and eye exams on this breed of dog.
The Pomeranian descended from the Spitz family of dogs, an ancient group from the Arctic and the progenitors to the sled dog. The breed gets its name from the now defunct region of Pomerania (present day Germany and Poland) not because it originated there, but because the breed was most likely developed and bred down to size there.
It was only after the dogs were introduced in England in the mid-19th century that they came to be known as Pomeranians, but these dogs were not as we know them today. Probably weighing in at about 30 pounds and white in color, the most probable ancestor of the breed was the Deutscher Spitz. In its larger form, the Pomeranian served as a sheepherder.
The English Kennel Club recognized the Pomeranian in 1870. However, the breed only grew in popularity when Queen Victoria imported a Pomeranian dog from Italy. And while her dogs were large and gray, most others were small and sported a variety of colorful strains.
The Pomeranian breed was placed in dog shows in the United States under the American Kennel Club's Miscellaneous Class as far back as 1892, but it was not until 1900 that it received a regular classification. By then, the breed was exhibited in various colors in both the U.S. and England. The trend of breeding the Pomerinian smaller continued and even more emphasis was placed on its coat and "puff-ball" look. Today, this miniaturize sled dog continues to attract dog fanciers, as well as loving families.