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Welcome to the Pomeranian dog microsite. This page contains detailed information on the breed. From this point you can use the above tabs to navigate to the other Pomeranian pages.

- Kitt Killion

Pomeranian Breed Information

Alternative names - Deutscher Zwergspitz, Toy German Spitz, Zwers

Country of origin - Germany

Common nicknames - Pom

Classification and breed standards

FCI:|Group Section 4 #97|Stds
ANKC:|Group 1 (Toys)|Stds
CKC:|Group 5 - Toys|Stds
KC (UK):|Toy|Stds
UKC:|Companion Breeds|Stds

The Pomeranian is a breed of dog in the spitz family, named for the Pomerania region in Central Europe, which is today part of northern Poland and part of modern eastern Germany, and classed as a toy dog breed because of its small size. As determined by the FCI the Pomeranian is part of the German Spitz breed, and in German and many foreign speaking countries known as the Zwergspitz, or Toy German Spitz.

1. History

The Pomeranian originated from the sled dogs of Greenland and Lapland, which were eventually brought into Europe in Pomerania. This region, bordered on the north by the Baltic Sea, has been under the control of Wendish Slavs, Poles, Swedes, Danes, Prussians and Germans, at various times, and most recently Poles again. This region extends from the west of the Rugen Island to the Vistula River. The name Pomorze or Pommern comes from Slavic "along the sea". Breeders in Pomerania improved the coat and bred the dogs down for city living, but they were still 20 pounds or more when they reached England.

English breeders, through trial and error and Mendelean theories, are credited for reducing the dog's size and developing the many colors. The Pomeranian of today is small due to selective breeding, but the breed still retains the hardy disposition and thick coat typical of dogs in cold climates.

Queen Charlotte first introduced the Pomeranian to English nobility; however, the Pom gained international popularity when her granddaughter Victoria returned from vacation in Florence, Italy with a Pomeranian named Marco.

The dogs owned by Queen Charlotte & Queen Victoria were much larger and were German Spitz and a Volpino Italiano. The same is true of any other historical Pom from before the 19th century.

The FCI classifies the German Spitz as one family consisting of the Dwarf (Pomeranian), Small and Standard (American Eskimo Dog), and Wolfsspitz (Keeshond). Additional close relatives of the Pomeranian are the Norwegian Elkhound, the Schipperke, and possibly the Samoyed.

2. Appearance

At an average of 3 to 7 lb (1.4 to 3.2 kg) according to AKC standards, the Pomeranian (Pom) is the most diminutive of the northern breeds. However, there are some that may weigh up to 15 pounds, as the teacup or toy size is not guaranteed.

The head of the Pomeranian is wedge-shaped, making it somewhat foxy in appearance. The ears are small and set high. Its tail is characteristic of the breed and should be turned over the back and carried flat, set high. When born, the tail is not spread out; it may take months for it to grow over the Pomeranian's back, and flatten. Beneath the Pomeranian's fur is a small but muscular dog, similar in appearance to a Chihuahua (dog). If you were to ever bathe a Pomeranian or see one wet, you may easily mistake it for a chihuahua.

The Pom's coat possesses two coats, an undercoat and a top coat; the first is soft, thick, and fluffy; the latter is long, straight and coarse. The undercoat is shed once a year by males, by intact females when they are in season, after delivering a litter, and during times of stress.

Coat colors vary across the breed. There are thirteen AKC-standard color combinations: black, black & tan, blue, blue & tan, chocolate, chocolate & tan, cream, cream sable, orange, orange sable, red, red sable, and sable. The AKC also recognizes five "alternative" colors: beaver, brindle, chocolate sable, white, and wolf sable. Patches of one or more colors over a white undercoat are called "Parti-Color."

One breed standard calls for a cobby, balanced dog. A cobby dog is as long or shorter than it is tall; try to picture it as a circle in a square. A balanced Pomeranian fits together logically and in proportion. For instance, a small, delicately boned Pom with a large head looks unbalanced because its head type doesn't match its body type. A balanced Pom displays legs in proportion to its body: neither so short as to make him appear dumpy nor so long as to make it look like he is walking on stilts.

This standard also calls for an expression that imparts great intelligence, showing that the Pom has an alert character and that he behaves accordingly. The Pom's alertness makes it a superb watchdog, and a great companion, However they are very feisty and stubborn at times (they need a lot of attention).

3. Temperament

Despite its diminutive stature, the Pomeranian is confident, outgoing, and expressive. The breed is easily adaptable to various environments, and can be a pleasant and loyal companion for up to fifteen years.

Pomeranian pups are curious and eager to learn early in life. They are intelligent, quick-witted, aware of their surroundings, and can be trained to be watchdogs. They may point out objects that are out of place before humans notice them. However, they are also cheeky and cunning and can manipulate humans if not careful.

Pomeranians enjoy mild exercise and are therefore suitable for apartment life. They are not recommended for homes with small children as they may quickly become temperamental and nip or bite if provoked. They can get along well with other household pets if given a slow and proper introduction.

4. Health

Poms often live 12-19 years. Some very healthy Poms have even been known to live 20-35 years.

The most common problem in Pomeranians is luxating patella. Also Legg-Calvé-Perthes syndrome and hip dysplasia can occur, but are rare in this small breed. Patent ductus arteriosus (a congenital heart defect) and collapsing trachea have become serious problems in Poms.

Dry eye, tear duct disorders and cataracts that can appear in young adulthood and often lead to blindness are also common. Skin diseases are quite common, especially allergies (that often leads to acute moist dermatitis or "hot spots") and follicular dysplasia (also known as alopecia X). Other problems that occur regularly include hypothyroidism, epilepsy, and hypoglycemia. Occasionally, hydrocephalus can occur in Pom puppies. Poms, like many toy breeds, are prone to bad teeth and harmless episodes of reverse sneezing. Also, it is important that Poms are trained not to mingle around peoples feet. Because of their loyal tendencies, they will follow from room to room, easily getting stepped on. Their delicate bodies will injure easily this way.

5. Grooming

Coat care for the Pomeranian is similar to the Pekingese. A daily or twice weekly (damp) brushing against the hair weekly is essential to keep the thick, plush coat, which sheds seasonally, free of mats. Brushing also helps to prevent dry skin and dandruff. A Pomeranian's coat needs very little trimming only every now and then. Combing is seldom necessary and sometimes totally unnecessary. Regular ear and nail care is recommended, along with generally only peak-seasonal bathing. It is unadvisable to bathe Pomeranians too frequently as excessive bathing can damage their skin and coat by removing essential oils, especially if using anti-flea products. Pomeranians are also prone to teeth problems, and it is recommended that their teeth be brushed at least once a week. Ideally, their teeth should be brushed daily and the dog receive dental and vitamin treats.

6. Owners

6. 1. Historical

* Michelangelo had a Pomeranian who would sit and watch him paint the Sistine Chapel.
* Queen Victoria had 2 Poms.
* Sir Isaac Newton had a Pomeranian who once upset a candle on his important papers, which contained more than 20 years of research.

6. 2. Pop culture

* Ice skater Sasha Cohen has a Pomeranian named Mocha.
* Nick Cave's parents owned a Pomeranian named Marco Polo, who was stuffed (taxidermy) after his death and who Cave still has in his Brighton apartment.
* Fran Drescher had a Pomeranian named Chester who was featured on her show, The Nanny, as C.C.'s pet and in her other show, named 'Living with Fran'.
* Jeff Hanneman has a chocolate Pomeranian named Scoolu.
* Paris Hilton has 2 Pomeranians named Prince and Kimchi.
* Sharon Osbourne has 3 Pomeranians named Minnie, Mr Chips and Pipi.
* Nicole Richie has a Pomeranian named Foxy Cleopatra.
* Paulina Rubio has a Pomeranian named Miranda.
* Maria Sharapova has a Pomeranian named Dolce.
* Brittany Taylor has a cream Pomeranian named Bandit.
* London Tipton from The Suite Life Of Zack and Cody has one named Ivanna.

Copyright (c) 2008 Kitt Killion Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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