Welcome to the BarkPost guide to dog breeds where we belly flop straight into the depths of dog breed origin, evolution, and purpose. Follow along each week as we publish new guides that highlight the strangest, most interesting, and most surprising stuff about these creatures who have been our best buds the last 30,000 years.
(All dogs are individuals, which means any single dog from any breed can be any number of ways, both good and not so good. Keep that in mind as we discuss breed generalities!)
If you’re interested in a dog so adorable that people will stop you on the street to “ooh” and “ahh,” you’re definitely going to want to check out the Pomeranian.
Pomeranians are one of the most popular dogs in the world; currently, they’re ranked 23rd on the American Kennel Club’s breed popularity list. And for good reason! Not only are Pomeranians almost too cute to handle, but their inquisitive nature and bold, spunky personality make them a pleasure to be around.
Curious if a Pomeranian is right for you and your family? Let’s take a deep dive into this beloved breed and learn more about one of the spunkiest, liveliest, and most lovable breeds in the animal kingdom:
Also Known As...
Poms. Pom-Poms. "The most adorable purse dog you've ever seen."
The Pomeranian gets its name from Pomerania, an area of northeastern Europe (that is now part of western Germany and Poland) where the Pomeranian were bred down from the German Spitz, a large working dog. Today, the Pomeranian is the smallest of the spitz breed.
Pomeranians first rose to popularity thanks to Queen Victoria, who first encountered the breed on a trip to Florence, Italy—and, after falling instantly in love, brought the Pom back to the England. The Queen became an avid Pomeranian breeder and is credited for bringing the breed’s size down to what it is today (originally, the Pomeranian was around 30 pounds, but after Queen Victoria’s breeding, they reached their current toy size).
Pomeranians first made their way to the US in 1898 and were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1900.
Pomeranians are a toy breed—and they sure are tiny! The average height for a fully grown Pomeranian is only 6 to 7 inches.
Not only do Pomeranians not grow very tall, but they also don’t grow very heavy. The ideal weight for a Pomeranian is between 3 and 7 pounds (and, let’s be real—at least half a pound has to come from all that fluffy hair!).
Pomeranians might be one of the smallest dogs in the animal kingdom—but their personalities are anything but small! Pomeranians pack a major personality punch into their tiny little bodies—so if you’re looking for a dog with a huge personality (without the huge size to match), a Pomeranian would be a great breed to add to your family.
One of the Pomeranian’s most dominant personality traits is their curiosity and inquisitiveness. They need to have their paws in everything that goes on in their environment—and will investigate every noise, smell, person, and activity that happens in the household.
Pomeranians are also very vocal dogs. If they hear or see someone approaching the home, they’ll bark to let you know—which makes them great guard dogs. But if you don’t properly train them, the barking can get a bit out of hand—and before you know it, your Pomeranian will feel the need to bark at everything, from the phone ringing to the wind blowing to the cars driving by your home (and just about everything in between!). Early socialization and training can help you keep your Pomeranian’s barking under control.
Intelligence / Trainability
Pomeranians are extremely intelligent, which makes them easily trainable. But they’ll only take orders from people they respect—so if you want your training to be successful, it’s important to be consistent, set firm boundaries, and establish yourself as the leader in the relationship.
Here are some tips to get the most out of training your Pomeranian:
- Consistency is key. Pomeranians have strong personalities—and if you’re not firm and consistent during their training, they’ll walk all over you. Be clear with your Pomeranian on what behaviors are acceptable, what behaviors are unacceptable, and how you want them to behave—and stick to that plan. The more consistent you are in your training, the better your Pomeranian will respond.
- Socialize—and socialize early. As mentioned, Pomeranians can be a little bark-y. If you don’t want your Pomeranian to bark incessantly every time someone walks past your front door, it’s important to socialize them—and socialize them early. Exposing your Pomeranian to new people, animals, and situations from the time they’re a puppy will make them more relaxed and comfortable—and less likely to bark when faced with new people, animals, or situations as they grow.
- Work off that energy. Pomeranians have lots of energy—and if you don’t give them an outlet to work off that energy, training is going to be hard. Before you work on obedience training, make sure your Pomeranian has the opportunity to exercise. Take them for a nice, long walk or do some agility exercises.
No yard? No problem! Because Pomeranians are small, they don’t need too much space in order to feel happy, healthy, and comfortable, making them the ideal dog for pet parents who live in apartments.
At heart, Pomeranians are lap dogs; they want to be with their humans as much as possible—so ideally, they’ll be in a home where they have plenty of one-on-one time with their families. Your Pomeranian should be fine hanging out alone for short periods of time, but if you have a job or other commitment that keeps you out of the house for 12+ hours every day, this breed probably isn’t the best fit for you.
Pomeranians do well with city living, but if you live in a loud or crowded area (for example, in the middle of a crowded intersection with lots of foot and car traffic), just be aware that your Pomeranian will likely want to bark at all the commotion outside—and you may have to invest some extra time with training.
Good For Families And Kids?
Pomeranians are sweet, friendly dogs—and typically, they’re great with kids. The only thing to keep in mind? The Pomeranian’s size. Because they’re so small, Poms are more fragile than larger dogs—so if you have small children, it’s important to teach them to be gentle with your Pomeranian.
Pomeranians are a healthy breed—and, like most small dogs, that translates to a longer lifespan. On average, Pomeranians live between 12 and 16 years.
Overall, Pomeranians are a healthy breed. But, just like any other breed, Pomeranians are prone to certain health issues—and, as a responsible pet owner, you should be aware of them.
Some common health issues with Pomeranians include tracheal collapse (a collapsing of the windpipe), luxating patella (a condition where the kneecap frequently slips out of place), and alopecia X, also known as “black skin disease” (a combination of alopecia and skin hyperpigmentation, which more commonly occurs in male Pomeranians).
To maintain your Pomeranian’s health, make sure to schedule regular exams and screenings with your vet.
Don’t let a Pomeranian’s small size fool you. While a Pomeranian certainly isn’t opposed to snuggling up on your lap (they are lap dogs after all1), these spunky little dogs have plenty of energy—and love nothing more than to run, play, and explore. In order for a Pomeranian to feel their happiest and healthiest, they need regular exercise; a quick walk around the neighborhood each day (along with plenty of indoor play!) should be plenty.
Friendly with…(Dogs? Strangers? Cats/Other Pets?)
Pomeranians are extremely friendly, and tend to get along with other animals, including dogs—but that doesn’t mean other animals will get along with the Pom.
Because the Pomeranian is so small, it can easily be injured by larger dogs—even if the larger dog is just trying to play. If you’re going to take your Pomeranian to the dog park, make sure it’s a dog park specifically for small dogs—and make sure you’re monitoring your Pom’s interactions to make sure they don’t get hurt.
A Pomeranian’s small size can also make them a target for predatory birds, like owls or hawks (who may mistake your Pom for a squirrel, rabbit, or other prey animal). When you’re out with your Pomeranian, make sure they’re leashed and under your control at all times.
Coat & Grooming
One of the first thing you’re bound to notice about a Pomeranian? Their full (and fluffy!) double coat. In order to keep your Pomeranian looking their best, their coat needs to be brushed on a regular basis—at least once a week. You should also plan to get them professionally groomed (including a haircut, nail trim, and full bath) every four to six weeks.
Toys Pomeranians Would Like Best
Pomeranians are fun and playful. And one of the ways they like to have fun and engage their playful side? Dog toys, of course!
The right toys will keep your Pomeranian engaged, occupied, and having a great time. Some of the best toys for Pomeranians include:
- Plush Toys. Pomeranians love to cuddle. And when you can’t be there to cuddle with them, a plush toy is the perfect alternative.
- Tug Toys. Pomeranians are small, but they can be surprisingly strong—which you’ll learn when you engage them in a good, old-fashioned game of tug of war.
- Thinker Toys. Because Pomeranians are so intelligent, they need toys that keep their brain engaged. Thinker toys are ideal because they’ll keep your Pomeranian occupied for hours as they try to figure out the puzzle—and get to the treat hiding inside!
Recommended Diet Or Supplements
Like all dog breeds, Pomeranians feel their best (and stay their healthiest) when they’re fed a diet of high-quality dog food free of unnatural ingredients, fillers, or preservatives. Pomeranians are prone to early tooth loss, so it’s best to stick to a dry food diet. It’s also important to control portion sizes; because Pomeranians are so small, even a slight increase can lead to unwanted weight gain.
This supplement is veterinarian-formulated, made with all natural ingredients (glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid), and comes in the form of 150 soft chews. Basically, it looks and tastes just like delicious treats, and it could really help your Pom-Pom with their hip and joint issues. ($32.99.)
For Pomeranians with joint issues - or any dog who just loves to lie around! - a nice comfortable bed with orthopedic support is probably a good idea.
This ultra plush orthopedic dog bed provides support for even the most active of dogs! The combination ergonomic memory foam and gel foam relieves pressure points, and helps ease body aches caused by hip dysplasia, arthritis and other orthopedic issues. It offers the best therapeutic support for your Pomeranian. ($27.99-64.99.)
Notable Rescues To Find The Pomeranian Of Your Dreams
Pomeranians are an extremely popular breed. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of Pomeranians out there in need of loving, forever homes! Adopt, don’t shop; why go to a breeder when you can go to a rescue?
If you’re ready to add a Pomeranian to your family( and give them the love and stability they deserve), here are a few notable Pomeranian rescues where you can find a Pom in need of a forever home:
- Pawsitively Pom Rescue, serving Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas
- Pomeranian Rescue Group, serving Northern California
- Southern California Pomeranian Rescue, serving Southern California
- PomRescue.com, serving South Carolina and the surrounding areas
- Central Ohio Pomeranian Rescue, serving Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois
- Adoptable Pomeranians on Petfinder
Notable Instagram Pomeranians
Can’t get enough of those adorable little Pomeranians? If so, you need to add some serious pom-pom energy to your Instagram feed!
If you want your Instagram experience to be all Pomeranians, all the time, here are a few Instafamous Poms you’ll want to follow ASAP:
***Looking for a gift to blow your Pomeranian's mind? Spoil them with BarkBox! Every month BarkBox delivers 2 original toys, designed in-house, 2 full bags of all-natural treats, and a chew. Sign up here and receive a free extra toy every month. <-- This deal is worth up to $120 in value if you sign up for a 12-month subscription! :)
Featured image via Teddy_Maisy_Poms/Instagram