The delicate looking Pomeranian is really a sled dog in miniature. He has the same type of coat as Husky and Samoyed who sleep outdoors through the Arctic winters. The Pomeranian's history goes back to the powerful sled dogs of Lapland and Iceland, which were eventually brought into Europe and bred with other dogs. The offspring, much larger than today's Poms, were used to herd sheep. But even one hundred years ago Pomeranians weighed as much as 30 pounds.
Photo courtesy of ELEVAGE D'OBREÏKA
The Pomeranian got his name from the German province of Pomerania. It was there that breeders realized what a delightful house pet the Pom would make and started the process of breeding down the size. At the same time they improved the coat. From Germany, the dogs were brought to England where they soon became popular. Selective breeding continued, and today's Pom is one of the most popular "toy" breeds.
The Pom is a delightful and active pet. He is playful, intelligent, courageous and loyal, although some are not especially "cuddly". As a watchdog, the Pom can hold his own. He greets any intruder with loud, sharp barks until the family is aroused.
The Pomeranians gets along well with other family pets and will soon eat out of the same dish as the family cat - if the cat is sociable. The Pom is well adapted to life in the city. His natural activity will get hime enough exercise, even without frequent outings.
Your Pom will expect to be the center of attention. If possible, get a pair of Pomeranians. Two little dogs are no more demanding of care or food than one, and a pair of Pomeranians will have more fun and provide more fun for you!
Unfortunately, many Pomeranians do not mix with small chldren. A child often thinks of a dog as a toy, and the Pom's "clutchy" coat makes him tempting to grab. The Pomeranian may become agitated and snap. Because of his light bone structure, the Pom cannot take the abuse when being around small children. Many responsible breeders refuse to sell a Pomeranian puppy to a family with small kids.
Pomeranian Breed Standard
The standards which have been adopted by the American Pomeranian Club and approved by the American Kennel Club set the present-day ideal for which Pomeranian breeders are aiming. It is by these standards that the dog is judged in the show ring.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: The Pomeranian in build and appearance should be a compact dog. He should exhibit intelligence, docility and activity.
HEAD: The head should be somewhat foxy in outline, the skull being slightly flat, large in proportion to the muzzle.
Even the most perfect specimen falls short of the standard in some respect. It's also impossible, even for a breeder or veterinarian, to tell how a Pomeranian puppy will shape up as an adult dog. Until he's about six months old, he's still developing. At about a year, he will have his final conformation and coat.
The teeth should meet in a scissors grip. The mouth is considered overshot when the lower teeth fail to engage the inner surfaces of the upper teeth. The mouth is undershot when the lower teeth protrude beyond the upper teeth. One tooth out of line does not mean an undershot or overshot mouth.
EYES: The eyes should be medium in size, bright and dark in color. The eye rims of the blues and browns are self-colored. In all other colors the eye rims must be black.
EARS: The ears should be small and carried perfectly erect. Trimming unruly hairs on edges of ears is permissible.
NOSE: The nose should be self-colored in blues and browns. In all other colors it should be black.
NECK AND SHOULDERS: The neck should be rather short, well set in and lion-like, covered with a profuse mane of long, straight hair, covering the whole front part of the shoulders and chest as well as the top part of the shoulders.
BODY: The back must be short and level, and the body compact.
LEGS: The forelegs must be well feathered and perfectly straight. The feet should be small, standing well up on the toes. The hind legs and thighs must be well feathered down to the hocks and must be free in action. Trimming around the edges of the toes up the back of the legs to the first joint is permissible.
TAIL: The tail should be turned over the back and carried flat, set high. It must be profusely covered with long, spreading hair.
COAT: The pomeranian must have two coats, an undercoat and an overcoat. The undercoat is soft and fluffy, and the overcoat is long, perfectly straight and glistening coat covering the whole body. It should be very abundant around the neck and forepart of the shoulders and chest. The texture of the guard hairs should be harsh to the touch.
COLOR: The following colors are recognized: black, brown, chocolate, red, orange, cream, orange-sable, wolf-sable, beaver, blue, white and parti-color. The parti-colored dogs are white with orange or black distributed on the body in even patches, and a white blaze is preferable. Sables must be shaded throughout with three or more colors as uniformly as possible, with no patches of self-color, the undercoat being a light tan color, with deeper orange guard hair ending in black tipping. Oranges must be self-colored throughout, with light shadings and no breeching.
SIZE: The weight of a Pomeranian for exhibition is 3 to 7 pounds. The ideal size for show specimens is from 4 to 5 pounds.
CLASSIFICATION: The classes for Pomeranians may be divided by color in open classes as follows: black and brown; red, orange or cream; sables; any other allowable color.
Major Faults:Round, domey skull. Too large ears. Undershot. Pink eye rims. Light or Dudley (flesh-colored nose). Out at elbows or shoulders. Flat sides. Cowhock. Soft, flat, open coat. Whole-colored dogs with white chest or white foot or leg. Black mask on an orange dog.
Grooming a Pomeranian
Sometimes, a Pomeranian puppy will not look like a Pomeranian that you see at dog shows. This happens because he is growing and his coat changes. The change is quite natural and depends on the individual dog, the time of the year and other factors. You should accustom your Pomeranian to being handled and groom from his early puppyhood.
Taking Care of Pom's Coat: It is not necessary to bathe your puppy or grown dog unless he gets dirty. Daily brushing and weekly cleaning would be just enough. Too frequent bathing removes the oil from the coat and skin and leaves the coat soft and lifeless. At four-to-five months the puppy coat will shed, so the puppy is often shorthaired for several weeks. At six months the coat will becomes fluffy again. At about ten months the puppy should have double coat with heavy, stand-off outer coat. The full adult coat may not develop until the dog is three or four years old.
You will need a wide-toothed comb, blunt-end scissors, brush and sponge. Use the scissors to clip the hair above, below and on the sides of his anus. The sponge is for removing particles of food from his face after each meal and occasionally cleaning the hair on his backside. Usually, only the outer coat gets dirty. His dense inner coat keeps the skin clean. Use the comb only when you find tangles or mats in the outer coat, and be careful not to pull hard. If neglected, mats will have to be cut off, seriously impairing the coat.
Caring for Teeth: Older Pomeranian dogs, especially those fed largely on carbohydrates, tend to accumilate more or less tartar upon their teeth. canned food tends to stick more easily to the surfaces of the teeth, even dry food will cause problems if the teeth are never cleaned. The tartar generally starts at the gum line on the molars and extends gradually to the cusp. Scaling can be done at home, but is best accomplished by the veterinarian dentist. But veterinary care alone will not prevent dental disease. Good home care is important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Most important, you should brush your Pomeranian's teeth daily (!)
You should begin brushing when your Pomeranian puppy is 8-12 weeks old. The aily routine should not take longer than 30 seconds each day. After you have finished brushing, reward him with a treat. Your Pom will remember this treat more than the actual brushing. Do NOT use human toothpaste or baking soda on your pet's teeth. Use toothpaste formulated especially for pets, available at pet supply stores or your veterinarian's office.
There is a general misconception to the effect that feeding your dog hard food and hard biscuits will keep the teeth clean. The hard biscuit will NOT scour the tartar from the teeth! It will only help to remove some soft food particles. Furthermore, the increase of carbohydrates in the diet will contribute to growth of tartar instead of removing it! After cleaning, be sure your pet has access to fresh water.