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!
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.
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 bossy 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
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 conformation, 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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. When you get your Pom, use this guide to find the ideal name.
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.
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!
October 1, 2022 at 7:58 pm
I need help. My dog is very picky and doesn't eat the foods that I give him. So what type or kind of food can I give my dog for nutrition and health?
October 3, 2022 at 11:11 am
SR please speak to your vet as they can best advise what is safe to give your dog based on their health history and any potential allergies.
March 5, 2022 at 11:30 pm
I'm actually planning for a pom and after reading this helpful info I'm gonna buy/adopt a pom
February 13, 2022 at 4:18 pm
Hi! I have a 16 week old pom puppy and I'm having a hard time potty training her. She knows how to go thru the doggie door just fine to go play outside but not to pee/poop. She stills uses potty pads. I'm thinking of putting them outside to see is she'll use them out there. Any suggestions? Thanks!
January 5, 2022 at 10:06 am
I have a throw back Pom that is a great companion but she has a habit that I am unsure how to deal with. When she wants to engage you in play she will nip at your legs which has progressed to out right aggression to the point of drawing blood with that mouth full of sharp little teeth. I have tried time outs in her cage, which I don’t want to use as a source of punishment as I want her to view her cage as a safe zone. Other methods I have tried include a sharp yelp from me, firm NOs, a squirt of water to the face all to no avail. I am to the point of thinking about a muzzle for her as I am at wits end and not sure where to go from here. I failed to mention that she is 8 months old and recently spayed. Do you have any suggestions that I could try? Other then the nipping issue Grace is a good little dog, very social with both strangers and other dogs. Thanking you in advance for any guidance anyone can offer.
June 16, 2022 at 12:32 pm
My Pom is older now - about 14-1/2 yrs old. I remember, though when he was a puppy. He started to exhibit this nipping behavior at about 4-5 months old. He would nip me when I was on the phone etc. (on the sofa), and/or when he wanted my attention to be on him! When I stood up he would actually jump up to nip me in the behind!! Ouch! Long story short, I asked my Vet how long he would be having this behavior issue because it does hurt. He said because my dog was young it would last quite awhile longer. He did grow out of it probably when he got to about a year old. So don't despair because it's probably not going to be an issue too much longer. I don't think punishing him or putting him in his crate will help. I feel like maybe when he does this, plan an activity with him to tire him out a little and let him know that he's important. He'll grow out of it soon. In fact, he's probably already grown out of it based on when you posted your comment. Best of luck to you because you have an amazing little friend in a Pom. I know I do.
December 14, 2021 at 5:35 am
How many rate this dog
November 28, 2021 at 11:51 pm
I live in Honolulu Hawaii, I am looking for a reputable Pomeranian breeder on the island of Oahu, were can I find a reputable breeder or who can I call to find a reputable breeder of Pomeranians.
October 25, 2021 at 12:48 pm
Is there any guarantee that person who advertised poms are legit. She need give her address to where I can come to purchase. But. Also requested a deposit to hold. I don't want to lose my deposit or the money I will spend to get there. Atlanta to VA.
October 26, 2021 at 1:47 pm
Denise - we recommend that you ask the breeder for 2-3 references of happy customers. Then you can contact them to confirm this breeder is legit. You may also be able to find reviews if you search the breeder's name on the internet.
September 12, 2021 at 11:30 am
I rescued my girl from a wonderful rescue...she was 11 months old...she is my third pom rescue and the youngest...and she is DEFINITELY A WATCH DOG..LOL.BUT SOO SWEET AND LOVING....my motto "ADOPT DON'T SHOP" ❤💖💕
September 6, 2021 at 11:47 pm
I love Pomeranian puppies. I've seen on the website that some of them cost like $3149. My mom can't afford that but I really like them. They're so cute. Have a nice day.
August 28, 2021 at 6:17 pm
I just had to put to sleep my 17 year old female Pomeranian Zaria I miss her so much she was little 4 lb girl she was black those 10 of red in their fur she lived a long life with me a good life I took very good care of her whatever happened to her because her downfall I do not know but it could have been a seizure or whatever but I end up having to put her to sleep the saddest day of my life heartbreak I think about her often I had her cremated and I'm waiting for her remains to be back with Daddy
August 30, 2021 at 11:13 am
We are so sorry for your loss, Steve.
August 13, 2021 at 9:22 am
I have had the pleasure of owning 2 Poms. A male and a female. Both have since passed away. (15 yr old-M & 12 yr old-F). Thank you for the refresher on Pomeranias. I'm looking to purchase a third pup. I STILL miss them terribly however, I'm ready to give love to another sweetheart.
August 15, 2021 at 6:42 pm
Sounds like two amazing pups, Evelyn! Thanks for stopping by to comment! Good luck in your future puppy search!
July 29, 2021 at 6:29 pm
I absolutely love Poms! I have had 5 and going to get another. How can you tell if a Pom is going to have a heart problem? I lost 2 with this problem. One was 18yrs and the other was 10yrs. It was so sudden....I wasn't prepared for it. It just breaks your heart. I absolutely love these dogs. Thanks for your information.
July 29, 2021 at 10:19 pm
Hi Joan! Thanks for commenting. I'd ask for health screening results from your breeder to check for any heart conditions. You can also use a doggy DNA test with health check to see if there are any results. I will say, 18 years is a long time, even for a small breed like the Pom. Good luck in your search!
July 23, 2021 at 12:31 pm
I love to read articles about my pompoms. I have been having pompoms for 20 years already. They are wonderful!
July 26, 2021 at 4:24 pm
Thank you, Migdalia! Glad you loved the article!
May 7, 2021 at 5:36 am
I found this information to be very informative. I am a first-time dog owner at 53. I did buy a pomeranian. I am truly falling in love. Thank you for all the information. It was very insightful and well needed on my end.
May 11, 2021 at 7:00 pm
Thank you Lubertha! Glad you found the information useful and congrats on your new addition!
April 30, 2021 at 5:15 pm
I’ve been a Pom mom since 2003. My first beautiful boy was a black & tan and died of CHF at the age of 11. I then rescued another off Craigslist. She was wonderful but non disclosed health issues created quite a challenge for both of us! Mostly the severe luxating patella, grade 4 plus severe hip dysplasia, not common in small breeds. She endured multiple knee surgeries and severe arthritis. Sadly, she passed after an injury to her cervical spine.
Happily, I am the proud owner of a bubbly, vivacious Pom that I did buy from a reputable breeder as I was searching specifically for a black & tan, not a common color. She only "alert" barks which is a blessing. She does have an acute sense of hearing! Jazzmin is easy to train and loves to play fetch! Brings the ball or toy right back to me or even will put the ball in my palm if I’m laying down on the couch!
She is a true blessing. I’d attach a photo but the site doesn’t seem to allow that. Thank you for the article.
May 3, 2021 at 3:18 pm
Sounds like Jazzmin is an amazing pup, Becky! Thank you for stopping by to share your experience with the breed. Even though your first experience wasn't ideal, it sounds like you did your best to provide your pup with a great home, and medical care. Thanks again for sharing your story!
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.
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!
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.
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!