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Pomeranian dog: Breed profile

Close up of small red Pomeranian dog standing on concrete with autumn leaves
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Queen Victoria is thought of as a sour-faced royal, but if one thing was guaranteed to put a smile on her face, it was her Pomeranian dogs. She loved the breed so much that she once had 35 Poms in the royal kennels, having adopted her first in 1888. She would showcase six of them at Crufts three years later. 

It's easy to see why she was so smitten by this smallest of the Spitz family of dogs. Pomeranians, bred from Arctic working dogs and taking their name from the German province of Pomerania, are incredibly cute, and they're blessed with a colorful range of coats from white, red, and tan to orange, grey, and black.  

Interestingly, they were also once much larger than they are today, which is perhaps why they tend to act big despite their diminutive size. Despite their bold personalities, they are incredibly intelligent, obedient, and social, making them a lovely companion. The current trend for so-called “toy dogs” has also made them more popular than ever before. But are they the right choice for you? 

How much exercise does a Pomeranian need? 

QUICK STATS

Life expectancy: 12-16 years
Average weight: Male: 4.5 lbs/2kg   
Female: 5.5lbs/ 2.5kg
About the same as: two liters of water 

Pomeranians have bags of energy, so they'll enjoy plenty of exercise both inside and outside of your home. As such, you can aim for twice-daily walks of about 20 to 30 minutes per session. 

You can also take them on long walks if you make sure they have plenty of water and a few of the best dog treats at regular intervals. It's important they don't overdo it, however, so watch them carefully during periods of hot weather because they can quickly overheat and suffer heatstroke. 

It’s worth noting that the brave and plucky Pom will often square-up to larger dogs and is prone to being attacked by wild animals due to its small size, so always keep them on a lead if you think they'll encounter other animals.

When at home, give your Pom plenty of the best dog toys to help them remain active and occupied throughout the day. As they get bored easily when exposed to any one thing for too long, make sure you have a variety of chew toys, fetch toys, and ball toys on hand to keep them engaged. Puzzle toys that release treats are also a great choice for this inquisitive breed.

How easy is it to train a Pomeranian?

Close-up of Pomeranian stretching out their paw to touch owners hand

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FACTS FOR POTENTIAL OWNERS

Suitable for: People who live in small homes and want a perky, friendly, and spirited companion
Not suitable for: Those who enjoy the quiet life
Temperament: Playful, intelligent, energetic, friendly, stubborn
Shedding: Heavy 

Poms require training from a young age, but the good news is that just like the French Bulldog, they're smart and eager to please. As long as you are firm and consistent, they'll soon learn what they need to do. By teaching them basic obedience commands and giving them instant rewards when they perform the correct action, you'll find they respond well. 

When training this breed, you’ll get the best results when you’re positive and patient. They respond well to short and specific words and particularly enjoy training that incorporates games and tricks. 

Socializing Poms from when they’re a puppy helps them to grow into confident adults who can mix well with other animals and people. You should also take extra care and time to housetrain this breed because their stubborn nature can make the task (which can take as many as four months) a little more difficult. 

Consider crate training as part of this and educate young children that Poms are not toys, even though they look tiny. Rough handling of these dogs can cause them injury. 

What do Pomeranians eat?

The younger your Pomeranian, the more often they should eat, but this changes once they reach adulthood. As adults, they need a quarter to half a cup of quality dry dog food twice a day with limited free grazing to prevent obesity.

We recommend opting for a kibble that’s been designed for small indoor dogs as these are nutritionally balanced, highly digestible, and encourage chewing. Human food scraps should be avoided as Pomeranians can be fussy eaters and giving them a taste for an alternative food may prove counterproductive to your efforts to feed them in the future. 

Pomeranian temperament 

Pomeranians are fun and energetic, but they don't seem to realize just how small and fragile they are. They certainly punch above their weight or at least try to, and they'll think nothing of strolling up to a large dog and issuing a challenge despite the fact their bark is worse than their bite and they’re unlikely to win in a scrap.

For some potential owners, a Pom's bark could be off-putting. With a tendency to bark loudly and frequently, training is imperative to teach them to stop on command. The upside is their bark makes them a wonderful watchdog, alerting you to people entering your property.

You'll also come to love them for their intelligence, loyalty, and lovely friendly nature around children. They’re lively, perky, and adore making their humans laugh, so they make the perfect furry family friend for those in search of a spirited companion. 

Do Pomeranians shed a lot?

Pomeranian sitting on child's lap being brushed

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You may look at a Pomeranian and think: “Wow, so much bushy hair. That's going to be a pain to keep on top of, isn't it?” Luckily, it's not. Although Pomeranians are heavy shedders, males shed their soft, fluffy undercoat yearly and non-neutered females shed twice-yearly, their small size means any hairy mess is infrequent.

Poms need a regular brush twice a week to untangle and remove loose hairs and keep their skin and coat healthy. You’ll also want to clip their nails regularly and brush their teeth several times a week, but aside from that Poms are a lot more low maintenance than first glances would have them appear.

Pomeranians health problems

GROOMING & HEALTH INFO

Amount Of Shedding: High
Easy To Groom: Yes
General Health: Good
Potential For Weight Gain: High 

Pomeranians are generally healthy dogs, but there are some potentially big issues to be aware of, notably tracheal collapse, which is a progressive weakening of the windpipe cartilage. 

This breed can also suffer from luxating patella where the kneecap slips out of its groove, but the biggest problem they face is tooth loss, which is why dry dog food and regular brushing are essential. 

Other health issues include a thinning of the coat as they get older, and canine cataracts affecting their sight. However, with good exercise, regular vet check-ups, and a good diet to prevent them from becoming obese, you'll find that Pomeranians suffer little illness throughout their life. 

Should I get a Pomeranian? 

Pomeranian looking at camera with tongue sticking out.

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If you are willing to put in some early effort then you will get so much joy from this breed. Pomeranians are easy to care for, inexpensive to feed, and their general lack of health issues means they are more low-maintenance than many other dogs you may be considering. 

But while they are smart, attentive, and energetic, they're not easy to potty train and their independent, stubborn nature can be frustrating. You also have to be much more careful in how you handle them so as not to cause injury. 

For any pet parent who is willing to bear those potential issues in mind and doesn’t mind taking them on, the extroverted Pomeranian will quickly show themselves to be a vivacious and playful companion.