Pomeranians are small, affectionate dogs with foxy faces and gorgeous double coats. These dogs may be tiny in stature but are large in personality and have long been a favorite of royals and commoners alike. Poms are particularly great for novice owners and do great with activities like agility courses and as therapy dogs. With training. socialization, and some patience, dogs of this breed can be an absolutely fantastic companion.
Historically, Pomeranians were much larger than the dogs we know today and would weigh up to 30 pounds and had all white coats! They get their name from the German and Polish region of Pomerania, where they were developed to be sheep herders. Fans of the breed have included Marie Antoinette, Mozart, Michelangelo, and Queen Victoria. In fact, Queen Victoria began breeding and showing the breed in 1888 and was the one to start breeding them smaller. Between their intelligence, agility, and eagerness to learn, some Pomeranians have even worked in circuses and Hollywood!
As the smallest of the Spitz dogs, Pomeranians have many traits in common with their larger cousins, including a high energy level, thick double coat, and curly tail. Often, these dogs weigh 3-7 pounds and stand 8-12 inches tall at the shoulder. Their coats come in a few colors, with tan one of the more common colors. While they have thick, puffy coats, Poms are relatively easy to groom and need to be brushed twice a week for most of the year. Going to a groomer can make keeping on top of a Pom’s coat easier but if you’re not up for regular brushing, this breed is not for you.
Health-wise, Poms are typically healthy but are prone to a few health conditions. Because of their thick coats, these dogs can easily overheat in hot weather and develop heat exhaustion or worse, making it vital for owners to keep an eye on how their Poms are doing on warm days. Additionally, this breed is prone to other issues like luxating patellas, collapsing trachea, seizures, progressive retinal atrophy, and congestive heart failure.
Don’t let their small stature fool you – socialization, training, and regular exercise are vital for this breed! Poms are tiny and may not be as destructive as larger dogs, which may give owners the impression that these dogs don’t need to be trained. Because of that, they can easily develop Small Dog Syndrome and can be frequent barkers. Those are both great traits that make Poms great watchdogs but like any dog, they can be trained to not bark their heads off and be very fun dogs. Pam Nichols was quoted in a 2021 Daily Paws article about Pomeranians, saying that:
“The most important thing you can teach them is self-control. … They can be very yappy, and if you get one that yaps and you don’t stop it when they’re a baby, you’ll have a yapper for life. I tell Pomeranian owners: You get what you tolerate, and you need to decide if those behaviors that are cute now will still be cute when this puppy is a grown-up. People think, ‘Oh, that’s so cute! He barks when I see him!’ That’s not cute, so stop it. But they’re trainable—very, very trainable.”
Pomeranians are happy go lucky pups that love attention, being with their people, and doing fun activities. But rough and rowdy children or young kids who don’t understand boundaries yet may not be great for Poms, as their size makes those situations difficult and potentially dangerous. A home with older children and people who understand a Pom’s boundaries and limitations would be perfect. While they may not be up for rough and tumble play, Pomeranians are still incredibly playful and affectionate.
If you’re looking for a Spitz dog but don’t have the space for a large dog, consider this breed! They’re great for folks who haven’t had a dog before or those living in apartments, small homes, or urban settings. While they might be cute, tiny, and like a teddy bear, Poms still need training and socialization, particularly if you don’t want a yappy dog. But with the right routine, these dogs can be wonderful, cuddly companions to have around!