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Pomeranian Dog Breed Information: Facts, Traits, Pictures & More

Pomeranians are a well known, family-friendly small dog breed. But they do have some quirks! Find out if this dog breed is the perfect pint-sized canine companion!

Emma Braby Picture

Last Updated: December 28, 2020 | 14 min read

Small Pomeranian Dog

The Pomeranian, more affectionately known as the Pom, might be small, but he has a huge personality. He is the smallest of the sled-pulling Spitz dog family, including the Alaskan Malamute and the Samoyed. When we say he’s tiny, we mean he’s really tiny! Part of the toy dog gang, this pup has always been a popular choice.

But, just like all dogs, he has his quirks. And it’s safe to say that he is not suited to all types of families. Families with small children especially may be better suited to another breed. It’s not that the Pom isn’t good with small kids. But rather, this breed doesn’t handle rough play well, and can easily be sat or stepped upon due to their smaller stature!

If you are prepared for a smaller pup, the Pom can make a perfect canine companion (as long as you don’t mind barking). Anxious to learn more? Let’s find out whether you’ve got what it takes to be a proud Pomeranian mom or dad!

Breed Overview
    • weight iconWeight3-7 pounds
    • height iconHeight6-7 inches
    • lifespan iconLifespan12-16 years
    • color iconColorsBlack, Tan, Blue Merle, Chocolate, Cream, Orange, Red, White
  • Child Friendliness
  • Canine Friendliness
  • Training Difficulty
  • Grooming Upkeep
  • Breed Health
  • Exercise Needs
  • Puppy Costs

History

Small Black and Tan Pomeranian
This breed is thought to have originated in Germany.

The Pomeranian’s journey began in an area once known as Pomerania, which is now north-eastern Germany and west Poland. He was bred to be a miniature size of his 6,000-year-old Spitz ancestors. His closest relations are the German Spitz, the Samoyed, the Norwegian Elkhound, the Schipperke, and the American Eskimo Dog. The term ‘Spitz’ is an umbrella term that describes dogs with fox-like faces, erect triangular-shaped ears, a thick body with a heavy coat, and a pluming tail.

The Pom has always been popular, but traditionally amongst royalty, nobility, and other rich families. Famous owners have included Mozart, Isaac Newton, and Michelangelo. But he wasn’t an instant hit. In 1761, when a Princess from Pomerania married an English Prince and took her beloved Poms with her. But unlike many other royal dog breeds, he didn’t hit it off straight away.

The Pom breed came into the spotlight in 1888, when the then Queen Victoria of England fell in love with the breed whom she met on a trip to Italy. Her favorite Pom, named Marco, traveled back with her, along with a few others. He was shown in many shows and won many awards. Some say this was because the invigilators didn’t sare award Her Majesty’s dog second prize! The same year, another Pom named Dick was entered into the American Kennel Club (AKC’s) studbook for the first time.

The Pom has floated between the 19th and 23rd in the AKC’s popularity ranking since 2013. Popular with small-dog lovers, apartment dwellers, and active families, he brings cheer to almost everyone he meets! If you have social media, why not follow one of the most famous Poms in the world? His name is Jiff, and he has 10.5 million followers.

Temperament

White and Red Pomeranian
The breed is known for its unique personality.

The Pomeranian is described as the ‘little dog who thinks he can.’ This goes a long way to describe his personality. This bright-eyed pooch is always on the lookout to prove that he can do everything that everyone else can. From being bolshy at the dog park and playing with the big boys to thinking he can tell you what to do at home, he is a bossy dog in a teeny tiny body.

It is charming, but it is also something you can’t let go unchecked. Not only can it get him into a lot of trouble with other dogs, but it can also mean he becomes too dominant in the home. He needs an experienced dog owner or up for the challenge of being firm during training sessions.

The Pom is energetic, and can get bored quickly. Most Poms are happy to be lapdogs until the doorbell rings. There’s probably not a Pom in the world that doesn’t go crazy at the doorbell. His inquisitive nature and role as the family protector will come into play, and his bark is loud and shrill. This is great if you are looking for a watchdog, not so great if you have noise-sensitive neighbors who will complain.

A pet hate of his is to be left alone. Not only is he a sensitive pup deep down, but he also craves human company. For this reason, you need to be able to spend most of your day with him. An anxious Pom is a destructive Pom, and his little jaws will wreak havoc with your carpet. Even if you just take the garbage cans out, he’ll be watching over you like a hawk.

Size & Appearance

Three Fluffy Pomeranian Dogs Outdoors
This breed is quite small, usually weighing less than 10 pounds.

This extrovert is a toy-sized pooch. Teeny weeny, the Pom is 6 to 7 inches short and only weighs between 3 to 7 pounds. To put it into perspective, that’s as little as two standard bags of sugar.  Because of their size, supervision around kids is a must. Poms also shouldn’t be left unattended outdoors because birds of prey have been known to snatch them up.

Some Pom litters are born with larger pups. Back in the day, just before Queen Victoria bred them, they were 20 to 30 pounds. Reputable breeders will try to stick to the breed confirmation, but there are some breeders out there who breed what is known as a ‘Throwback Pomeranian.’ These usually weigh a minimum of 14 pounds. Throwback Poms are quite popular with families who have younger children for their better suitability and sturdiness.

Our fascination with all things miniature has meant that we have created even tinier Poms. Teacup Poms are those that literally fit in a teacup. These pups are the smallest Poms of all, and they weigh less than 3 pounds. This is obscenely tiny, and it is a controversial topic in the canine world. If you are seeking a Teacup Pomeranian, you need to do your research because they can suffer from health problems.

Under all that hair is a compact and surprisingly powerful little frame. He has a short and straight back, with an overall square appearance. He has a wedged shaped head that is alert and fox-like in appearance. His eyes are dark and almond-shaped, and his ears are small, always erect and set high upon his head. His tail is plumed and sits along his spine, but it is covered by his hair so that you can hardly notice it.

Coat & Colors

Four Pomeranian Dogs Outdoors in Grass
There are several coat colors accepted as breed standard.

The Pomeranian has a double coat that is super fluffy, one of the dog world’s fluffiest. He has a soft, dense undercoat, but his out layer is harsh and long. Together the weatherproof layers work together to keep his body dry and warm. Poms should have a ruff around the neck, which looks a little like a lion’s mane and frames his foxy face. His body carries the longest fur, and it is much shorter around his face and legs.

A female’s coat is slightly shorter than a male’s coat. During puppyhood, his coat can look a little messy, and it is soft and cotton-like. When his adult coat grows through at about 6 months of age, it will look more uniform. According to the breed standard, his coat should not be soft or cotton-like during adulthood. He is a moderate shedder throughout the year and sheds heavily during the shedding season. We have a whole section dedicated to his grooming needs.

When it comes to coat colors, the Pom has one of the most varied and extensive closets. He has near to two dozen color options. Beaver, black, black and tan, blue, blue and tan, blue merle, blue sable, chocolate, chocolate and tan, cream, cream sable, orange, orange sable, red, red sable, tri-colored, white, and wolf sable are the recognized colors. Other colors are found in the Pom breed but would not be recognized in the show ring. One of the rarest colors is the black-coated Pom.

Exercise Requirements

Pomeranian Running
Poms have plenty of energy and should be exercised a minimum of 30 minutes per day.

Pomeranians are little livewires, and flashes of color are all you might see when experiencing a major case of the zoomies. Despite being part of the toy group, he is not a typical lapdog in any way. He is one of the most energetic toy dogs, potentially the most energetic. Thankfully, his little legs only need 30 to 45 minutes of exercise a day. And the rest of his energy can be expelled through playtime at home.

His 30 to 45 minutes every day will need to be outdoor exercise. Spending all day long cooped up inside will send this boy crazy. His curiosity needs a leg-stretch, fresh air, and new smells to keep it happy. His little legs might not be able to keep up with a 45-minute jogging session, but he will happily play around in the park for that whole time.

The Pom will need lots of playtime too. And if he needs it, he will either play with or without you. So, you might want to be there to make sure that he doesn’t get up to too much destructive mischief. Poms love all kinds of toys, and love getting the ball thrown across the room for hours on end. They also enjoy playing tug of war. As long as there is something for him to do, he will be happy.

Living Conditions

White and Gold Pomeranians
The Breed is adaptable to many different living environments.

If anyone is suited to apartment living, it’s this guy. He’s also suited to large homes. Just make sure that he cannot escape, because if he can, he will. He’ll also chase after birds and cats on yard patrol. And remember to keep him company when outside and keep your eyes peeled for birds of prey. Sofas and beds are a long way up (and down!), so you might want to invest in doggy ramps to avoid any injuries.

The toy-sized Pom is best suited to homes with older children. This is because small children don’t see him as a toy dog but an actual toy to play with. Many Poms have been injured by young children who innocently mishandle, squash, or drop them. As long as your Pom is socialized well as a pup, he will get along well with other dogs and pets in the household.

Training

Small Fluffy Pomeranian Dog in Training
Poms can be quite stubborn during training sessions.

The Pomeranian is an intelligent breed. But (and it’s a big but), not only is he stubborn, but he also has the attention span of a goldfish. Dory would be a great name for a Pomeranian! This means that he can be difficult to train and not ideal for novice owners who are nervous about dog training.

His stubborn ways mean that if he isn’t in the mood for your training, he probably isn’t going to take part. Unless, of course, you can make training super fun and worth his time. This is the best-kept secret to training your Pom. Short and sweet, a lot like him, is the key to success! Or at least as much training success as you’re going to get with him.

Whatever you do, never give in. Always be persistent and consistent with training. Otherwise, he will learn that he can wrap you around his paws. Positive reinforcement training is the best way to train a Pomeranian.  It’s important to teach him to stop barking on command, considering how vocal he can be.

Early socialization is also important for the Pom and his potentially yappy ways. He needs to be introduced to as many dogs of all shapes and sizes so that he learns not to feel threatened by them. Unfamiliar environments, walking on the sidewalk, his grooming routine, and meeting other humans should all be a part of the socialization process.

And last but not least, is crate training. Because the Pom is an anxious pooch when alone, and crate training can help with this. Crate training an anxious dog can lower their anxiety levels. It will also allow you to relax when you are away, knowing that he isn’t running wild at home.

Health

Golden Fluffy Pomeranian Dog Running Around
The breed is generally healthy, and enjoys a longer lifespan of up to 16 years.

Generally, the Pomeranian is a healthy dog who enjoys an average lifespan of 12 to 16 years. This is a fantastic lifespan for a canine, but there are actions that you need to do to ensure that he gets there. Keep him fit and healthy with exercise and stimulation, and keep up to date with health checks and vaccines. Feeding him the best nutrition you can afford is also one of the easiest ways to ensure he gets everything he needs.

Below is a list of the most common health concerns to affect the Pomeranian breed. Your Pom pooch might suffer from just one, or a few, but he also might not suffer from any. Keeping an eye on any changes in his body and behavior is important for the early detection of health problems. Some conditions, such as heart problems, are only picked up by vets who will listen to his heart during health checks.

Patella Luxation

This is also known as ‘slipped stifles,’ but essentially, it is a slipped kneecap. Your Pom will be born with it, but he usually won’t show any symptoms until he reaches full growth. Mobility issues are the first sign, and it can eventually lead to arthritis.

Eye Conditions

The Pomeranian is susceptible to a variety of eye concerns. The four most common problems are cataracts and keratoconjunctivitis sicca, commonly known as dry eye. Tear duct issues and ingrown eyelashes, also known as distichiasis. Early treatments can prevent blindness and improve his quality of life.

Cardiac Concerns

The most common heart condition to affect the Pom is patent ductus arteriosus. Shortly after birth, the small vessel that carries blood between the heart valves does not close as it should. This causes a fluid build-up in his lungs and heart, which is too much strain on his heart. Heart disease is also a leading cause of death in older Poms.

Tracheal Collapse

This is where the trachea, commonly known as the windpipe, is malformed at birth or becomes weakened. This causes the windpipe to become too narrow, resulting in difficulty breathing and consistent coughing. To avoid any strain around his neck and windpipe, using a harness is advised.

Nutrition

Pomeranian Eating From Green Bowl
Getting the right nutritional balance is important, especially for small breeds.

The Pomeranian is a toy-sized dog who needs to be fed a toy or small-sized kibble. Standard kibble pieces will be far too big for his mouth. Most good-quality brands will provide options for toy-sized breeds. The average Pomeranian will consume around ½ cup of food every day, depending on his age, weight, and activity levels. So be sure to follow the package instructions according to your Pom. If he’s a Throwback Pom, he’ll eat much more, or if he’s a Teacup Pom, he’ll eat much less.

The Pom’s nutritional needs will change throughout his lifetime. So it’s crucial that you learn about the Pom’s specific life stages to make sure he’s getting the best nutrition from his bowl. The most important life stage is puppyhood because despite being small, he has lots of growing to do. And it sets the stage for a healthy life and body. High-quality kibbles also offer different life stage options. They also ensure that he will get a well-balanced diet too.

Grooming

Pomeranian Getting a Bath
Bathing and regular grooming are critical to keeping dog fur under control with the Pom.

Surprisingly, the Pomeranian has a relatively simple grooming schedule. His fluffy coat needs brushing two to three times a week throughout the year. During the shedding seasons, which are spring and fall, he will require brushing every other day at the very least. This will help you manage his coat and pick up the dead hair before it lands on your clothes or sofa.

He will also only need bathing once every 6 to 12 weeks, depending on how dirty he gets. Some owners only wash him as and when he needs it. Regular brushing will help to keep him dirt-free and smelling fresher. Never bathe him any more than the recommended amount because you will spoil his natural coat oils and irritate his skin. Ensure that his coat is thoroughly rinsed of soap suds and dried properly too. If you don’t ensure this is done, it can cause skin infections and sometimes mold on his coat.

His teeth, squashed into that small mouth of his, will need brushing several times a week. The Pom is at a heightened risk of periodontal diseases. Always use doggy toothpaste because human toothpaste is toxic to dogs, particularly small dogs like your Pom. When grooming him, it’s a good idea to examine his eyes to ensure that they look healthy.

Breeders & Puppy Costs

Small Pomearnian Puppy
Expect to pay $1,000 and up for a purebred puppy.

The Pomeranian has always been a very popular dog breed. This means that there are very good-quality breeders out there with years of experience. But it also means there are many bad ones who are looking to make a quick buck. So, one of the most important things you can do as a dog mom or dad is to pick a reputable and ethical Pom breeder who produces the best pups.

A reputable breeder will charge anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000 for a Pom pup. If you are looking for a puppy from an award-winning lineage or a popular breeder, you can expect to make more. Many factors affect price, and you also need to think about his ongoing costs. Poms are known to be a relatively expensive breed to care for, so you must research and budget them in.

The AKC lists many Pom breeders who are registered, making this a great place to start your search. Speaking to other Pom lovers is another great way to find top-quality breeders. Just be sure to conduct your own research. Always meet the breeders, the pups, and their parents in person, and trust your gut. Avoid anyone who pressurizes you to buy a puppy, those that are cagey about details or refuse to meet you in their breeding environment.

Rescues & Shelters

Small Pomeranian Rescue Dog
Consider a Rescue dog, rather than adopting a puppy.

Buying a Pom puppy isn’t for everyone. If it isn’t an option for you, why not consider rescuing one? Head out to your local shelters, and speak to the staff there. Not only might it be a better option for you, but rescuing can also be much cheaper too. Bear in mind that Poms are popular dogs. There may well be waiting lists for Pomeranians in generic dog rescue shelters.

If your local shelters aren’t proving fruitful, there are dedicated Pomeranian rescue organizations across the country. These guys devote their time solely to homeless Poms, and sometimes Pom mixes. The American Pomeranian Club lists contact details for Pom rescuers in most states. And the Pomeranian Rescue list adoptable Poms state by state. If you are open to adopting a mixed breed Pom, you’ll likely have more luck than looking for a purebred.

As Family Pets

  • The Pomeranian is a live wire toy dog that is both playful and fun.
  • Pomeranians are affectionate with their family.
  • They have been known to suffer from separation anxiety.
  • These pups can sometimes suffer from “little dog syndrome.”
  • He needs 30 to 45 minutes of outdoor exercise a day to stay healthy
  • It’s important to make sure the breed is socialized early.
  • He makes a great watchdog and is very vocal.
  • The Pom is delicate and should only be home with older children.
  • He has a short attention span and stubborn.
  • This means training can take additional time and dedication.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Pomeranian is a crazy fun canine, and he needs an equally fun family who can keep up with him. This little pocket rocket needs a family with older children and who can spend most of their time with him. As long as you can match his needs listed in this guide, you are bound to find a best friend in a Pomeranian. If you are sure that you are the right family for him, he is sugar, spice, and all things nice!

Leave a Comment

4 Comments

Kim Chisum

February 28, 2021 at 8:39 pm

Thank you for posting this article. It's always nice to come upon informative articles on the Pomeranian breed. I have been researching about this breed over 2yrs and believe it to be a good fit for me. From the research of breeders listed on AKC Marketplace website, reading books and articles, I believe I have afforded myself a wealth of information. Thanks again for sharing.

Kelly Wilson

March 2, 2021 at 4:23 am

Hi Kim! Thanks for stopping by to comment. I'm glad you found the article useful. Good luck in your search for your next pup!

Ann

April 6, 2021 at 2:48 pm

I rescued a pom and the vet estimates to be between 6-8 years old. With in a month she had bladder stones. Such a loving little girl. You can not snuggle her but she will flop down and lay into you or sleep on your head. Barks at everything. When I got her she weighed 16 pounds.

Kelly Wilson

April 7, 2021 at 5:36 pm

Sounds like a great pup, Ann! Thanks for rescuing, and thanks for stopping by to share your story with our readers!