Pomeranians are some of the cutest pups around. Their small size and super fuzzy coat are one of the many reasons they are popular with dog lovers worldwide. In America, they usually rank in the top 25 dog breeds. Their small size makes them fantastic for apartment living, although they are just as happy to live in any kind of home. All they need is a family offering firm but fair training, plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, and even more love and cuddles.
Pomeranians have one of the largest selection of coat colors. There are 18 standard colors and more non-standard colors to choose from. Their standard colors include Blue Merle, Blue Sable, Black, Black & Tan, Blue, Blue & Tan, Chocolate, Chocolate & Tan, Cream, Cream Sable, Red, Red Sable, Beaver, White, Wolf Sable, and Tri-Color. Poms also come in a few other non-standard and rarer colors too. And with nine different types of standard markings, the Pom possibilities are endless.
Some of the Pom’s colors are more common than others. Each color is beautiful, but only a selection are allowed in the show ring. We explore which Pom coat color you should pick, why, and the colors to avoid for health reasons. We also explain the confusion of “parti Poms” and answer a selection of frequently asked questions on the subject. So, let’s take a closer look at Pomeranians and their colorful jackets.
- Pomeranian Genetics & Health
- Pomeranian Color History
- Parti Pomeranians Explained
- Standard Pomeranian Colors
- Non-Standard Pomeranian Colors
- Pomeranian Markings
- Pomeranian Color Variation
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Learn More About Pomeranians
- Why Trust Love Your Dog?
Pomeranian Genetics & Health
The study of genetics and health is a confusing topic, even for experts who don’t fully understand it yet. In a nutshell, two pigments determine the color of a dog’s coat: eumelanin and pheomelanin. The first causes dark colors such as black and brown, and the latter produces the amount of red and yellow in the fur. The color of a Pom’s coat depends on the color and marking genes they inherit from their parents.
Poms can inherit a standard color gene, or they can also inherit the dilute gene that tones their color down, making it a different color. Dilute colors are equally as beautiful as standard colors, but they carry an increased risk of color dilution alopecia (CDA), a genetic condition that causes patches of thin hair or hair loss and may also cause itchy or flaky skin.
The color merle causes a mottle combination, and it is stunning. Sadly, this coat color increases the likelihood of developing associated health concerns like vision or hearing problems. A Pom pup with two merle parents is even more at risk of health problems, and they are referred to as double merles.
Pomeranian Color History
The original Pomeranian colors were black, chocolate, white, and parti. But now, almost every canine color is found in the Pom breed, making them one of the most colorful. This is due mainly to breeders who, centuries ago, bred them to be smaller than their ancestors and introduced additional color genes along the way. Despite not being part of the original color list, the most common colors now are orange and orange sable.
Parti Pomeranians Explained
One of the original colors was parti, but “parti” is not on the following list of standard colors. That’s because parti is technically not a color but a pattern. Parti Poms are easy to identify, and it describes Poms with a coat consisting of around a minimum of 50% white and patches of another color. Most of the colors below can be parti. Parti Poms with a white blaze on their head are preferred in the show ring.
A pooch with less than 50% white markings is still technically a parti Pom. But in the breeding world, they are called a “parti Pom mismark.” Mismarks are important in breeding programs as they help avoid heavily white dogs at risk of several health issues.
The features, such as their nose and paw pads, also known as points, of a parti Pom must be the same color as their patches. For example, only chocolate, chocolate merle, or beaver-colored pups should have brown-colored noses and other features. If these brown-color parti pups have black points, they are disqualified from the show.
To make it slightly more confusing, there are three types of parti Pomeranians. These are:
- Piebald Parti. This type of parti has patches of color around the body, head, and base of the tail.
- Extreme Piebald Parti. These pups have color patches only around the head and base of the tail.
- Irish Mark Parti. A pooch with color on their head and body and white on their collar, chest, and legs.
Standard Pomeranian Colors
There are many different kennel clubs across the globe, and each has a breed standard that details the ideal characteristics of each breed. The American Kennel Club (AKC) is the primary kennel club in America. The AKC’s Pomeranian breed standard lists the coat colors and markings they accept in the show ring. These standard colors are more common than non-standard colors. But some are rarer than others, so let’s explore them.
Black Poms have a solid black coat without any markings or other colors. This color gives Poms an elegant appearance, with a hint of seriousness about them. Black Poms have black features. Parti-black Poms must have at least 50% white fur.
Black & Tan
Black and tan Poms have a predominately black coat with tan markings around their eyes, muzzle, forechest, and legs. The tan markings vary in shade and can be dark to light brown, although preference is given to rich tans over lighter tans.
Blue isn’t a smurf blue but a light gray, similar to steel blue. These Pomeranians have a blue coat, and the hairs darken towards the tips, giving them the charming sable pattern. The color blue is a dilute version of the black coat.
Blue merle Poms are very popular because of their unique mottle pattern. The markings are usually a mixture of blue, gray, black, and white. Blue merle is highly desirable and can come with higher puppy prices. Remember to work with a responsible breeder who doesn’t achieve this coat color by breeding two merles together. This dilute base color carries the health risks associated with CDA.
Chocolate is one of the original Pom colors, and it is sometimes referred to as brown. Brown color coats have a rich chocolate color, but they vary from light chocolate to dark chocolate.
Chocolate & Tan
These Poms have a similar coat to black and tan colored pups but have a rich chocolate base coat instead. The tan markings are more challenging to identify, especially if they are similar in shade to the base coat. This warm shade is beautiful and relatively rare, so they might have a higher price tag than other colors.
They are more brown than cream-colored Poms but much paler than chocolate-colored Poms. Beaver Poms have a dilute color, which makes them more at risk of CDA. Their features are usually brown but sometimes can be black.
White is one of the original Pomeranian colors, and it is trendy. White Poms look like American Eskimo Dogs. They have black features that stand out from their ice-white jacket. This coat color is graceful and goes well with white dog names.
Cream Pomeranians should be cream rather than white and have a very pale orangey tinge. Their features are nearly always black, although they can have lighter brown features. Parti-creams are hard to identify as the cream and white are difficult to distinguish, but they exist.
Cream sable Pomeranians have a cream coat, but their hairs have a dark-color tip. Their dark features and darker tips make their cream coat stand out.
Orange Pomeranians are one of the most common coat shades despite not being one of the original Pom colors. Orange parti Poms are also relatively common and sometimes mistaken for smaller and fuzzy Shiba Inus.
This is another extremely popular coat color. It is the same as the orange coat, but the roots are much lighter than the tips, which are dark brown to black. These pups can have sable hairs all over or have bands of sable hairs, which gives them the appearance of random stripes. But these are not to be confused with brindle stripes.
Red is like the orange coat but has a much deeper rusty hue. Reds are often confused with dark oranges, but red is separate from orange. Poms with red coats are rarer than those with orange coats.
Red sable Pomeranians have a rich red coat with sable markings, giving them a showy accent. This color is rarer than red coats and orange sables and is intensely rich and beautiful.
Wolf sable Poms are wild-looking pups. They have a gray coat with dark gray or black-tipped hairs. This could be an excellent option if you’re seeking a tiny wolf-like pooch. They are sometimes confused with the much rarer Swedish Vallhund.
Tri-color Poms have a coat consisting of three coat colors. These colors are white, tan, and another color. Tri-color pups are also referred to as parti Poms with tan markings. This stunning jacket is rarer than most other colors on the standard list. Because of this, they are sometimes priced higher than pups with just two colors. If the third color is dilute, they are at risk of CDA.
Non-Standard Pomeranian Colors
A few additional colors appear in litters from time to time. Non-standard colors are those that the AKC and many other kennel clubs do not recognize as official breed colors. As breeders usually breed standard colors dogs, these are much rarer than the traditional colors. Rarer colors can sometimes fetch a higher price tag because they are more in demand.
Blue brindle Pomeranians have a steel-blue base coat but with darker gray or black striping throughout. The fuzzy nature of their hair can make it challenging to identify brindling patterns. Although they are rare, they are gorgeous. As the blue coat is a dilute color, the pup carries the risk of CDA.
Chocolate merle Poms have a rich chocolate base coat but with speckled merle markings on top. The merle markings consist of white, tan, red, chocolate, and black flecks. It’s essential to identify the color of their parents to ensure they aren’t a double merle, which leads them to additional health problems over other merles and colors.
Brindle coats are typically warm brown with darker stripes throughout. This non-standard color gives them a fluffy tiger appearance.
Chocolate sable doggos have a chocolate brown coat with chocolate-tipped guard hairs. This gives them an intensely chocolate multi-layered appearance. This color is hard to identify, especially if the tips aren’t majorly different in shade.
Beaver sable Poms have a light-colored brown, biscuit-like base coat, with dark brown or black hair tips. These are easier to identify than chocolate sables, as the hair is much lighter at the roots.
Black & Brindle
Black and brindle Pomeranians have an orange to red base coat with strong black brindle stripes. Overall, they have a darker look than standard orange or red coats. The thickness of the brindle stripes varies, and it might be tricky to distinguish between these and orange or red sables depending on the pattern.
Lavender Pomeranians are the rarest color, and despite not being allowed in the ring, they are lovely looking. Lavenders have a smoky chocolate color coat with pinkish or purple tones. They are often born looking chocolate in color but develop the lavender hue over time. Poms with this coat color have lighter color features and sometimes blue eyes. This dilute coat brings with it the risks of CDA.
There are also a handful of Pomeranian markings to consider, which can also affect most of the coat colors. These include:
- White markings
- Tan markings
- Irish marked
- Tri-color markings
- Merle markings
Pomeranian Color Variation
There are plenty of colors on the Pomeranian color chart. If you come across a Pomeranian with a different color that’s not on this list, there is a chance they are not a purebred Pom. They might be a Pomeranian mix breed. Sadly, many irresponsible breeders out there breed for rare and unusual colors, hoping to sell them for as much money as possible. If you come across a litter made up of primarily merles, there is a chance the breeder has bred two merles together. So, you need to be cautious.
White Pomeranians are one of the original colors. Although they aren’t as common as orange Poms, many exist. You need to be sure the puppy is white and not suffering from albinism. Albino dogs have no pigmentation and often have pale eyes and features like noses and skin. Although they can make wonderful family pets, they are at risk of many health and behavioral problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
We know our readers still have many questions about Pomeranians and their huge variety of coat colors. If you don’t see your question below, ask about it in the comments, and we’ll find the answer.
What Color Pomeranians Shed The Most?
The amount that a Pomeranian sheds is unrelated to their coat color, and all colors shed the same. Poms have double-layer coats that shed moderately all year round and much heavier during the shedding seasons. Thankfully, their small size means there isn’t as much hair to contend with compared to larger breeds.
Does A Coat Color Affect A Pomeranian’s Health?
The only time that a coat color affects a Pom’s health is if they have inherited the dilute or merle gene. But not all Poms with these genes inherit the associated health problems, and they can be just as healthy. It’s essential to work with a responsible and ethical breeder that breeds for health over color. It’s also important to ensure your pup isn’t a double merle.
What Color Pomeranian Should I Get?
This depends on the purpose of your Pomeranian. If your Pom is a family pet, their coat color isn’t particularly important. As long as they are healthy Poms, that’s all that matters. However, if you plan on showing your Pom in the conformation ring, they need to wear a standard color jacket. If they are parti Poms, they must conform to the parti rules above.
Learn More About Pomeranians
Pomeranians have a wealth of coat colors to choose from and are one of the most colorful breeds. But there is so much more to learn about them than their colors, especially if you’re thinking about welcoming one into your family. They need a high-quality diet and a lot more exercise than people think, and it’s important to consider pet insurance. Pick a selection of challenging or chew toys for solo playtime, too. Training a Pom can be a little challenging, but definitely not impossible if you’re consistent.
Why Trust Love Your Dog?
Emma is a dog owner with over 20 years of experience. She has also worked as a professional dog walker and sitter for many years, taking care of countless dog breeds with different needs, including Pomeranians. Emma dedicates countless hours researching the latest pet care, health, food, and training developments to keep her two best buddies and other doggy clients as happy and healthy as possible. She works alongside a professional and experienced team to bring the best, most accurate, and up-to-date information to our readers.