The Pomeranian dog breed is a spitz-like small dog with a playful and lively nature. They are alert, bold, and adventurous too, always being the first to notice something amiss and announce their concern quite vociferously. This makes them excellent guard dogs to have in the house. They are good companions too, because of their affinity for human company and their close attachment to their owners.
The Pomeranian dog breed is named after their place of origin Pomerania, a region that lies in Poland and Germany now. They were not always the small dogs we know today, but a medium sized spitz dog similar to their ancestral breed called German Spitz.
These dogs were favored by many royals as companion dogs, and their preference for smaller dogs probably led to selective breeding for progressively smaller dogs. From the original 30 pounders, they have come to weigh not more than 8 pounds. Queen Victoria is known to have had a Pomeranian that weighed considerably less. Their color too underwent a change over the years; the original breed being mainly solid white dogs with occasionally a few black or brown dogs seen.
The earliest records of these dogs come from the pictures and literature of the 18th century when they were first introduced into England, where they became quite popular under the patronage of several royals, including Queen Victoria.
The Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1870, and their increasing popularity brought them to the United States soon afte. These dogs have consistently figured in the top 20 breeds in the country, but brown colored dogs are more common now.
Pomeranian dogs typically measure 5 to 11 inches in height and weigh 4 to 8 pounds. Their small and compact body is covered in a thick double coat that stands out in every direction. It comes in colors white, cream, orange, red, brown and black with all kinds of combinations, including merle coat. The small, triangular ears stand erect and the short, plumy tail is carried on the back.
Pomeranian dogs are known for their playful and friendly nature, but they are also territorial and possessive of their owners. They tend to stay close to their owners when other people are around, often displaying their protective side by barking loudly if people try to come closer to their owners. Early socialization and consistent training should curb this tendency; otherwise it can become a nuisance. Pomeranians are intelligent dogs and are easily trained. However, they shouldn’t be allowed to dominate over their owners. These dogs get anxious and cranky when left alone in the house for extended periods, even though dog toys may help keep them entertained.
Grooming and exercise
The long, fluffy, double coat of the Pomeranian dog breed requires a thorough brushing everyday to keep it neat and tangle free. They are heavy shedders, and daily brushing reduces the amount of hair all over the place.
Pomeranians are active dogs full of energy, but they manage to meet most of their activity requirements by constantly running around within the house. However, they are very playful, always looking forward to enjoying a game or two with their owners. As with all dogs, a daily walk or to is essential for optimum health. But they may prefer to stay indoors most of the time even when they have free access to a yard.
Even though Pomeranian dogs have thick coat, they need protection from cold as their small body cannot generate much heat for long. They cannot tolerate heat too. Even with sufficient protection from both heat and cold, these dogs are not to be kept outdoors. They need human company to remain happy. Besides, they are excellent guard dogs from the inside, warning the family of any unfamiliar occurrence or the approach of strangers with loud barking that’s likely to be a deterrent to mischief mongers.
Common health issues of Pomeranian dog breed
Pomeranian dog breed has been around for quite some time, and it generally enjoys relatively good health, but is not completely free of medical problems. Hip dysplasia is rare, but they may often have shoulder and patellar luxation. Eye problems commonly found in this breed include progressive retinal atrophy that may lead to blindness, and entropion that may require surgical correction. Deafness is a problem found mainly in merle-coated dogs.
These dogs are prone to obesity and related metabolic disorders which can be avoided by controlling the diet and providing regular exercise. Tracheal collapse, characterized by hoarse voice, and a skin disorder called Black Skin Disease are occasionally seen.
Average life expectancy of Pomeranian dog breed is between 14 years, and with good care, they may enjoy a trouble free life up to 16 years or more.