Pomeranians are among the cutest small dog breeds thanks to their fluffy coats, fox-like faces, pointy ears and plumed tails. But, despite their miniature status, this toy dog certainly doesn’t act its size. Known as the little dog who thinks he can, this feisty breed is lively, energetic and playful. They make great family pets as they’re smart and good at learning tricks, but they aren’t suitable for young children who could injure them. They may be tough to train as they’re quite independent and can be stubborn so crate training is recommended, but train them well and they’ll make wonderful watchdogs. We’ve got all the facts you need to know about the Pomeranian dog to be its biggest cheerleader.
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1. They used to be big sled dogs
While Pomeranians weigh around 7-10 pounds today, they weren’t always quite so small in size. They belong to the Spitz family of dogs, which includes the Alaskan Malamute and American Eskimo Dog. They are believed to have descended from larger sled dogs in Iceland and once weighed up to 30lb. It was only when Queen Victoria began to breed Pomeranians as lapdogs during the 1800s that they evolved into the small dogs they are today.
2. They originated from Pomerania in Northern Europe
Pomeranians get their name from a province on the coast of the Baltic Sea, which encompasses parts of Germany and Poland. The first mention of Pomeranian dogs was a diary entry in 1764 when English writer James Boswell wrote about a dog named Pomer. There was no proper documentation for the breed until it arrived in the UK in the 18th Century when Queen Charlotte brought two Pomeranians with her after coming to England to marry George III.
3. They bark like they’re a big dog
While Pomeranians are small and one of the best dogs for apartment living, they do tend to bark a lot, which may be a problem if you have neighbours. It’s important to socialise your Pom early to avoid dog aggression and train them to listen when told to be quiet. This is one bold breed and they often think they can take on bigger dogs with their yappy bark. Another way to keep this under control is to keep their mouths busy. They’re very active dogs but a chew toy or treat-filled puzzle toy will help focus their attention on something else to keep them out of trouble.
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4. They inspired art, music and science
As Pomeranians grew in popularity, people from all disciplines used them as their artistic muses. Mozart dedicated one of his arias to his pet Pomeranian, Pimperl, Michelangelo painted the iconic Sistine Chapel with a Pomeranian at his side and Chopin’s Waltz of Dogs was written after the composer saw a friend’s Pomeranian chasing its tail. Famous physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton wrote many of his theories accompanied by his Pomeranian as did theologist Martin Luther.
5. Pomeranians make wonderful therapy dogs
You wouldn’t think Pomeranians would be used as service dogs, but they are very talented. They’re not only used as therapy dogs because of their loving and affectionate nature, but as medical alert dogs that keep an eye on their diabetic owners and alert someone if their owner suffers a heart attack. They are also used as hearing assistance dogs for the deaf and hard of hearing as they can let them know if a phone rings or someone knocks at the door.
6. They come in 13 different colours
Most dogs come in two or three colours; some dogs come in four or five, but the Pomeranian has 13 different colours recognised by the American Kennel Club including red, orange, white, blue, brown and black. As they grow older their coat changes colour - for example an orange sable may start out dark as a pup and then get lighter in colour as it matures. Blue Pomeranians are actually silver gray in colour and are quite sought-after. The rarest coats are the tri-colored and the true black coat.
7. They’re sensitive to temperature
You may think Pomeranians wouldn’t get cold with such a thick coat, but they do and might not enjoy going out in bad weather. Similarly, they don’t enjoy the heat. Watch out for panting, and bright red tongue or pale gums if it’s too hot out and consider the purchase of a swimming pool for dogs. Pomeranians have a double coat of fur with a harsh outer coat and a soft undercoat but, despite this, they only need to be brushed about twice a week and bathed occasionally.
8. Beware or they may be snatched
The Pomeranian may enjoy walks outside, but it is not an outdoor dog so it’s important to keep an eye on your pet. While it needs to get enough exercise, you may not want to leave it outside by itself. Birds of prey such as owls, eagles and hawks may confuse it for prey. Because the Pomeranian is so small it is also often the subject of theft by opportunists looking to sell this precious pet.
9. They’re record holders
A Pomeranian from Los Angeles named Jiff once held two world records. He not only held the Guinness World Records for the fastest 10 metres on hind legs, but the fastest five metres on front paws too. Pomeranians often excel at obedience and agility training. They can be easy to train if you are firm and consistent and make it fun by providing your Pom with the best dog treats while they learn.
10. Pomeranians can give birth to twins
Giving birth to twins is a rarity among dogs, but it is a possibility for female Poms. It’s hard to tell if the pups are twins unless you watched them being delivered as they can be different colours, but it does happen occasionally. The average litter size of Pomeranians is one to five puppies, so it makes it even harder to tell if a mother has given birth to twins in a larger litter. They can also fall pregnant by two different males at once.
You’ll never want to let them go
Only three dogs survived the Titanic and two of these were Pomeranians. The animals were hidden by their owners as they boarded their lifeboats and, when one of them was discovered, the owner refused to leave without her pet. Just like them, once you own a Pomeranian, you’ll have a companion for life and you’ll never want to let them go.
Former editor of World of Animals magazine, Zara is a freelance writer with a passion for wildlife. Born in South Africa, she developed a love of animals from an early age. She is currently looking for a bigger house just so she can get a cat and a dog.
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