One of the most common breeds of dogs in the world is the Pomeranian. And why not? Its small in size easy going and does not require a lot of fussing unlike some other breeds. The Pomeranian also called a Pom pom or even simply Pom is a breed of the Spitz type. It is said to have originated in Central Europe, in the Pomerania region, which now comes as a part of northern Poland and east of Germany, hence giving it the name. Its size is so small, that it is classified as a toy dog, although its ancestors, i.e. the Spitz were much larger, specifically the German Spitz. In fact, it often goes by the name of ‘dwarf Spitz’, in some countries.
The very size makes it absolutely adorable to have and to hold. Its popularity can be credited to the large number of royal owners this breed has had for the past few centuries, as early as the 18th century. Also the fact that since celebrities these days have made owning a small dog so fashionable, everyone wants to be in trend, and a Pomeranian fits the bill perfectly. In fact the size of the breed reduced by about 50% during Queen Victoria’s lifetime alone. What is interesting is the breed seems to have a fairly good lifespan for its size, about 12 to 16 years. The breed is considered among the top 15 most popular breeds in the USA and simultaneously its popularity is growing worldwide.
These compact dogs weigh about 1.9 to 3.5 kgs and tend to have an abundant textured coat, set high and flat, yet as fluffy as ever. They have a unique ruff on the neck and a fringe of fur on their hindquarters. The earliest known Pomeranians were mostly if not exclusively white, brown or black. But after Queen Victoria adopted a small red Pomeranian, this color too gained prominence. With time, a large variety of colors were seen in the breed. Some solid, others were a blend or a combination of various colors. The most common colors are white, orange, cream and black. Other colors include tan, spotted, brindle, blue and sable. Merle is a distinct color recently developed, which gives a mottled effect. Although there are certain colors considered unacceptable according to some breeding standards. The eyes, nose and paw pads also can be uniquely colored as a consequence of breeding. Pomeranians have the largest variety of colors compared to any other breed.
Because of their thick double coat, breeders recommend daily grooming in order to maintain its quality and since it is fairly easy. Special care needs to be taken during the shedding season of their undercoats, which happens about twice a year, when the coat tends to knot and tangle easily. The undercoat is usually softer, while the outer is long, straight and just a tad harsh. To maintain the gloss and softness, its better if the fur is trimmed every 1-2 months. What makes Pomeranians particularly loved by kids is that they are a very friendly breed. They love to play. They are inherently lively, and this energy more than makes up for their relatively small size.
They also make decent guard dogs, considering they are highly prone to barking at any new stimuli. This alertness makes them susceptible to any change in their environment. They are aware about everything around them, often excessively defensive about their territory. Their intelligence ensures a good response to training, which is aided by their extrovert nature. But at the same time they are well known for their ability to get what they want from their owners. They love to be the centre of everyone’s attention, which comes off as aggression and dominance. If not trained well, they tend to bark excessively, which makes them unadvisable for the elderly. Toys come in handy when you need them to be alone.
One advantage of their lightweight build is that this breed is not known to have hip dysplasia as commonly as other breeds do. With good nutrition and sufficient exercise this dog lives a sturdy, healthy life. Most of the ailments are a result of insufficient care and grooming, such as regular cleaning of their ears, teeth and eyes. It’s advisable to feed them dry food, as early tooth loss is a common problem. On an average a pom breed is about 1-3 puppies per litter, among the smallest compared to other breeds. Some other common ailments are related to bones and muscles, such as patella and slip disc. This is painful in the initial stages, but it later subsides. Respiratory problems such as tracheal collapse are another commonly found ailment amongst Pomeranians. Most common symptom of which is coughing that worsens by hot weather, excitement or exercise. Testicular disease, ie, cryporchidism is treatable by surgery. But the most common disease involves complete or partial hair loss and hyperpigmentation.
A Pomeranian is well-suited as a companion for everyone. Its loving nature makes it an ideal lap dog. Pomeranians are often used as therapy dogs. In fact their adorable appearance alone can make them extremely popular, as recently witnessed in case of Boo, that became an internet sensation, based solely on its cuteness.