Description: The Pomeranian is a small Spitz dog weighing between 3 and 7 pounds, and measuring 7 to 12 inches at the withers. The Pomeranian has a long, fluffy coat that can be found in many color varieties such as orange, cream, black, red, spotted, and white. This dog carries its plume-like tail flat on its back. Pomeranians have a short, pointed muzzle, and small, upright pointed ears. This is a confident and active toy dog. The Pomeranian has a delicate body structure. The Pomeranian is also known as the Dwarf Spitz, Pom, or Loulou.
History: Ancient Spitz herding dogs led to the toy dog we know today as the Pomeranian. Originally utilized as sled dogs in Lapland, these Spitz dogs were brought to Pomerania, now part of Poland and Germany, in the 16th century. This early progenitor was considerably larger than today's dog and weighed 30 pounds or more. Mozart and Marie Antoinette kept Pomeranians, but it was Queen Victoria of England who was responsibly for breeding the dogs down to a smaller size. These small Pomeranians became very popular and the breed was officially recognized in 1900.
Temperament: The Pomeranian is a merry and lively dog. It is even-tempered and makes an excellent companion. Pomeranians are very affectionate and attached to their human family. This is an intelligent, trainable dog that also serves as a good watchdog. They do tend to bark quite a bit, though, so should be taught to be more restrained from the start. Since the Pomeranian is such a tiny dog, it is not a good choice as a pet for small children. There is generally no problem with older children or adults.
Health Issues: A major health problem with Pomeranians concerns the breed's high propensity for tooth decay. This can lead to heart or kidney ailments. It is best to feed Poms dry dog food and provide chews that help clean the teeth. Although they do not usually suffer from hip dysplasia, Pomeranians can experience problems with their knee caps, which can shift out of place, causing the affected leg to become stiff. The Pomeranian can develop eye conditions such as cataracts or entropion. The trachea can sometimes collapse, which is a serious condition. The Pomeranian can live for 16 years or more.
Grooming: Since the Pomeranian has a very thick double coat and sheds heavily, it is important to brush the dog daily. The fur can easily become matted otherwise. It is best to use a dry shampoo on the Pomeranian to preserve the dog's coat oils. The owner should clean the ears and eyes every day to help prevent infections. While a daily brushing of the teeth can help prevent decay, a veterinarian should clean the teeth on a regular basis.
Living Conditions: The Pomeranian makes an excellent companion for indoor living. The dog will play and exercise itself in an apartment or house, but the Pom will enjoy and occasional walk or play session outside. While these dogs are not clingy, they definitely enjoy being around their family. They must be kept inside, and are not suitable for outdoor living.