Pomeranian Breed Summary
Fluffy, Independent, Affectionate and Loyal
These fluffy little pooches are descendants of the Spitz, found in Northern Europe, with their closest relatives included the German Spitz and the Samoyed. They were originally thought to weigh around 30 lbs, but now weigh only around 8 lbs! Even in their early years Pomeranians proved popular, with famous owners such as the artist Michelangelo and the composer Mozart! The attraction to the Pom came about when a European princess, Sophie Charlotte married King George lll, bringing a pair of white fluff-balls with her. Sophie Charlotte’s grand-daughter, who went on to become Queen Victoria was also especially fond of this breed and even on her death-bed, asked that her favourite, Turi, be bought to her bedside. This breed has since become so popular that they are often the most popular breed entered at Crufts.
|Kennel Club Group||Toy|
|Height (at the withers)||Males and Females 13cm -28cm|
|Weight||Males and Females 1.5kg - 3kg|
|Coat||Thick, Plush Coat|
|Colour||Beaver; Black; Black and Tan; Brown; Cream; Cream Sable; Orange; Orange and Cream; Orange and White or Cream; Orange Sable; Red; Red Sable; Sable; Sable and Grey, White, or Orange; Shaded Red; Shaded Sable; White; Wolf Sable.|
|Common health issues||Chiari-like Malformation Syringomyelia (SM); Alopecia X (Black Skin Disease); Luxating Patella; Tracheal Collapse; Insufficient Closure of the Fontanel; Dental Problems; Cataracts ; Distichiasis; Broken Bones (especially front legs).|
|Other Names||Deutscher Spitz; Zwergspitz; Pom; Zwers.|
There is a lot of dog inside a Pom, and they have been nicknamed ‘the little dogs who think they can’. Some members of this breed believe themselves to be a lot larger than they actually are which could end in quite a nasty way with a bigger dog! It’s therefore vital that they are trained and socialised from a young age to get on with other dogs. Although they can be extremely feisty fellows, they are extremely loyal to their families and make excellent guard dogs. They're not a largely dependent breed, meaning they can be left by themselves for a while and won’t decide to ruin your home! Because of their intelligence, they can also quickly learn new tricks, but you must make sure to assert yourself as ‘top dog’, as their personalities will take over both you and your house. They are extremely loveable dogs and make a fantastic family pet, always bringing a smile to your face.
Although the modern Pomeranian is a toy breed, the Pomeranian actually shares ancestry with much larger breeds, such as the Samoyed, Norwegian Elkhound; German Spitz, American Eskimo Dog and the Schipperke. These Spitz-type dogs all originate from the Arctic regions. The word Spitz was originally used by the Count Eberhard zu Sayn, and it translates from the German as ‘sharp point’, referring to the shape of these dogs’ noses and muzzle. Common Spitz feature, regardless of the breed’s size include the wedge-shaped heads, thick coats, and pricked ears, and these are evident in the Pomeranian.
The Pomeranian gets its name from the region Pomerania, which sits between Poland and Germany, on the Baltic Sea, although it’s not clear whether this area was actually the origin of the breed. Wherever the Pomeranian came from, it was popular across Europe with many notable figures, including Michelangelo, Sir Isaac Newton, Martin Luther, and Mozart. Martin Luther wrote frequently about his dog Belferlein, while Mozart dedicated an aria to his beloved Pimperl.
In the 1760's, the young Princess Sophie Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz married Prince George, later to become King George III of Britain. She brought her two mainly white Pomeranians, Phoebe and Mercury, to the UK. These were later depicted in paintings by Gainsborough. However, while the breed became popular within royal circles, they failed to capture the love of the public. The first modern reference to the Pomeranian was made at around this time, when James Boswell wrote in his diary Boswell on the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland in 1764, ‘The Frenchman had a Pomeranian dog named Pomer whom he was mighty fond of.
While Pomeranians were bred down in size from larger working dogs, they still weighed as much as 30 pounds through into the 1800's, when Queen Victoria’s love of a particularly small Pomeranian, a red sable called Windsor’s Marco that weighed only 12 pounds, led to breeders starting to produce smaller versions. It is believed that the Pomeranian halved in size during her reign, and more colours were imported from Europe, so that they became the dog we know today. Queen Victoria’s Marco and a female named Gina competed at many shows and became champions. Queen Victoria adored her Pomeranians so much that, as she lay on her deathbed, she asked that her favourite, then one named Turi, was brought to her.
The first Pomeranian breed club was founded in the UK in 1891, and the first breed standard established soon after. In America, the first Pomeranian was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1898, although it took another two years for the breed to be recognised by the Club. In 1909, the American Pomeranian Club was accepted by the American Kennel Club as the official Parent Club for the breed.
Interestingly, Pomeranians were involved in the most famous maritime disaster of all time, as two were among the only three dogs to survive the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. A Miss Margaret Hays and Elizabeth Barrett Rothschild each took their Pomeranians with them onto the lifeboats.
From 1900 until the 1930's, Pomeranians were often the most numerous breed at Crufts. The breed was still stabilising at this time, with the size reducing even more during this period. Most at this time were white, black, chocolate or blue, but after an orange Pomeranian named Glen Rose Flashaway won the Toy Group at Crufts in 1926, more colours were imported. Despite their popularity, it wasn’t until 1988 that a Pomeranian finally won Best in Show at Crufts.