Characteristics of the Pomeranian

You want to add a new dog to your family. Once you saw the Pomeranian, you thought this might be the breed for you. This cute and clever breed may just be a good fit for your household, but before you buy a puppy, be sure that you are a good match for each other.

Is a Pomeranian your perfect pooch?

A Pomeranian can be happy in about any home where he is the focus of admiration and loving attention. The breed’s affection for their people is just one of the many characteristics that makes the Pom a great canine companion. But more importantly, can you be a good pet owner? Can you provide a good home for a Pomeranian?

The first requirement of a good owner is that you believe adopting a dog means that you have made a commitment to that animal for his lifetime. Potential owners should be knowledgeable about dogs in general and learn everything they can about Pomeranians in particular. This means understanding that the Pom requires an extra commitment towards grooming, attention, training, and possibly health care, as well.

People are attracted to Pomeranians because of their adorable, foxy faces, teddy-bear looks, and bright, happy personalities. But all that fur and fun packed into a small dog requires a major investment of time and effort from the owner to care properly for this high-maintenance, demanding breed.

If you pick a Pomeranian as the perfect do for you, it should not only be because you admire their appearance and personality, but also because you are aware of the breed’s difficult traits and can accept and live with them.

Fur, Fur, Fur

According to rescue volunteers, one of the most common reasons Pomeranians are given up is the breed’s need for regular grooming. That fluffy coat doesn’t get that way without work. Are you ready to spend a few hours every week brushing, combing, clipping, bathing, and drying to maintain that beautiful Pom appearance?

”Pomeranians are cute and adorable, and people may think that because they are a little dog, they won’t need much work,” says Mary Jane and Dan Coss, Ohio rescue workers, ”But they are high maintenance. You have to brush them regularly and keep them clean because they get dirty easily.”

All that fur can be a haven for fleas too. Are you able to make the effort to keep your yard, home, and dog flea-free? Besides fleas, Pom fur attracts feces, so it is necessary to clean or clip the hindquarters frequently.

When you have that much fur on a dog, there will be lots more fur in the house-on the furniture, the carpeting, and on your clothing. In addition to continual shedding, double-coated dogs such as the Pom also ”blow coat.” This is a heavier shed that can occur either annually, bi-annually, or whenever the seasons change. Can you live with a dog who sheds constantly, as well as with the mess that the shed fur makes? If the answer is, ”no,” or ”I don’t know,” don’t get a Pom.

…And No Fur

Sometime between the ages of three and five months, Poms lose their baby coat and become very raggedy and scraggly looking, with thin, sparse, wispy, or spiky fur. This phase is called the ”uglies” or the ”puppy uglies.” It can be extreme or dramatic, and last as long as the puppy is growing in his adult coat. Some dogs may experience two full coat losses and regrowths, with males and females experiencing different patterns. It can take anywhere from four to six months for the coat to start filling in, and as long as a year or two for the adult coat to fully develop.

Poms at a later stage in life may also suffer from extreme hair loss. This is a medical condition for which treatment may or may not be successful in getting the fur to regrow, and your Pom could end up with very little fur; thin, straggly fur and possibly black skin (a medical condition where the skin turns black and fur falls out; see Chapter 8). It’s probably better not to get a Pom if you won’t be able to love him when he’s not beautiful.

Barking, Barking, and More Barking

All dogs bark. Some dogs have a lot to say and bark frequently. Then there’s the Pomeranian who really likes to bark. Because he is so alert and in tune with his surroundings, and because he is protective, a Pom feels it is his duty to tell you about every sound, scent, sight, or change of which he becomes aware.

Even among potential owners who are certain the breed’s barking will not be a nuisance, rescue workers report that a large number of Poms are returned because they are so ”yappy.” Additionally, some toy dog breeds, including the Pom, have breathing problems and may snort or cough. Rescue volunteers report that, sadly, some Poms are given up because their owners do not like the sounds they make.

Depending on where you live, it may be important that any dog who stays in your home needs to be quiet. Or you may prefer a dog that doesn’t have much to say, or doesn’t feel the need to warn you of possible danger. If silence and a quiet, serene atmosphere are essential to you, consider a calmer, less vocal breed than the Pomeranian.


Another main reason that Pomeranians are abandoned is due to problems with house-training. Breeders and owners experienced with the Pom say that these dogs are “difficult” to house-train.

Why? Possibly because they are so small that they can relieve themselves quickly and leave little evidence of their faux pas.

Rescue coordinators also want potential owners to be aware that adopting an older Pom may bring additional problems with indoor soiling. Some Poms who are given up may never have been house-trained at all and may be difficult or impossible to house-train.

Owners of Poms who have learned not to relieve themselves indoors often recommend the use of a crate to help ensure successful house-training. Be aware that the training process may take many months to succeed, and owners must unwaveringly adhere to house-training routines. People who are not comfortable crate training a dog, or who are unable to diligently stick with the plan may do better with a different breed.

Even with a thoroughly house-trained Pom there still can be accidents. When the weather is rainy or if he doesn’t feel well enough to go out, a Pom may relieve himself inside. Whatever the cause, if having a dog that is not 100 percent reliably house-trained is unacceptable, or if you have flooring that cannot withstand pet accidents, then a Porn is not the dog for you.

Fragile – Handle With Care

Although the Porn is a sturdily built dog, he is nonetheless tiny, with a diminutive body and bones that are fragile and easily broken. Care must always be taken in handling a Porn, and it is essential that he be prevented from jumping off of furniture or out of your arms where landing or falling could cause a serious injury or even death.

Pom owners report that, while they are indoors, they commonly wear soft slippers around their dogs to prevent accidentally stepping on and hurting small feet and legs. Because Poms like to hang out around their people’s legs, owners should also learn to do the ”Pom shuffle,” a walk where you slide your feet across the floor instead of picking them up and setting them down as you normally would.

Despite the fact that the Pom is robust and usually healthy, the breed is disposed to certain health conditions which can be chronic. These conditions, which may include orthopaedic problems, tracheal collapse, or tooth loss, can be expensive or time-consuming to treat. Moreover, they may mean a lifestyle change which affects human members of the household in addition to changes for the dog.

Health problems can also result in sleepless nights for owners of sick dogs, cancellation of plans, rearranging schedules to take the dog to the veterinarian, plus the expenditure of funds which may have been planned to pay off debt or for a special weekend get-away. Individuals who lack flexibility in personal and work schedules, or who can’t afford extensive veterinary expenses, should consider if they really want to take on a Toy dog with possible health problems.

To breeders, Pomeranians are known as the ”heartbreak breed.” This is because newborn puppies tend to die quite easily. Part of this is due to small size; puppies who weigh one ounce (28 grams) or less usually die very shortly after birth. Since Poms have small litters, there is a chance that all or most of the puppies can be lost. Pups that weigh two ounces or more have a greater likelihood of surviving.

An up side of having a fragile Toy dog is that most tend to be long-lived. The Porn is no exception, with many living an average of 15 or 16 years. Although a Pom may experience arthritis as he ages, other signs of aging may be slower to develop than in some shorter-lived breeds. For people who want their canine companion by their side for many years, the Porn is a good choice.


Poms love to play and be active. Exercise, structured activity, and just plain old doggy games are all good ways to keep this busy breed from getting into trouble. Most Poms are happy playing ball, chase, or tug as long as you or an animal friend are playing along. Surprisingly, many Poms also love to play with water and will happily splash in a small wading pool or even jump in the shower with their human. Whatever you are doing, your Pam is usually happy matching your activity.

Household and Environment

Pomeranians can live about anywhere you do. For people who live in small apartments or high-rises, a Pom can be good choice because of his compact size, and because he can be trained to use newspaper or a litterbox. The downside to having a Pom as an apartment dweller is that he does bark frequently and may disturb the neighbours. Poms are also happy living in suburbia or on a farm, though care should be taken to keep your Pom away from large animals and dangerous equipment in a farmyard.

Regardless of where you live, it is preferable to have a fenced yard. Most Poms are not prone to running away, but keeping your dog in an enclosed outdoor play area is far safer for him. Curious Poms may like to explore flower and shrubbery beds, so avoid using poisonous plants or mulch, and consider providing your dog with his own place to dig.

Because of his sledding ancestry, common to all spitz breeds, the Pom does enjoy a good outdoor romp, particularly in the snow. His thick coat insulates him against extremes in temperatures, including hot days. However, many Poms do not like warm weather and become uncomfortably hot during summer. Poms may also disdain going out any longer than necessary if it is raining. Whatever the season, be sure to watch out for the development of ”hot spots” (sores caused by licking a spot repeatedly, such as when a flea bite itches or due to allergies; see Chapter 8) in the summer and for tiny feet getting too cold in winter.

Indoors, most any space where you spend time can satisfy the Pom’s needs. Homes with multiple stairs or high furniture may present a challenge for a Pom who has a problem with luxating patellas. And because Pomeranians have lots of fur, people who are particular about having a spotless house – with no dog hair on the furniture or floor might want to consider adopting a different breed.

Family Status

When you choose a dog, one of the most important considerations is the composition of your family and household. Do all family members want a dog? Can everyone contribute to the dog’s care? Are they all willing to follow the rules that are set for taking care of and training the dog? If an individual in the household is not thrilled with the idea of getting a dog or is not willing to help with their care, then it might be better not to have a dog as a member of the family.

Are you about to undergo a major life change, such as the birth of a baby, a divorce or wedding, a disruption in work, or a cross-country move? If your family or home life is about to make a major shift, then wait for a more settled time to get a dog – it will be easier for both you and the dog to adapt.

You must also consider your household environment and schedule. Is your home noisy, with loud sounds or rambunctious activity that may upset a Porn and cause nervous or fearful behaviour? Are family members healthy enough to accept dog behaviour and activity?

Poms and Children

Often people have a preconceived notion that children and dogs are a great combination. While this may be true in some cases, it usually does not apply to Pomeranians and little people. Are the children in your home old enough to respect a dog as a living being and not see him as a toy?

The majority of responsible breeders and rescue groups will not place a Porn in a home with children under the age of seven A few impose this restriction it there are children younger than nine years old. The reason is that it‘s too easy for a small child to accidentally injure a tiny Pom by stepping on him, dropping him, or handling him too roughly. Additionally, some Pomeranians may not be tolerant of active, rowdy, children. The noise they make when running or playing can easily upset, overwhelm, agitate or frighten the sensitive Pom, who may react with nervousness, growling, or snapping.

But there are some families in which Poms and young kids can mix without problems. If the children are well-mannered and understand and abide by the proper guidelines for handling a small dog, and if the Porn is even-tempered and well-socialized, then the combination may work. Just remember: whenever children and dogs are together, they must be supervised constantly. Children should be taught how to play with the dog in a gentle manner, and parents should make certain that the dog is behaving appropriately around the children.

Introducing Kids and Dogs
  • Demonstrate with a stuffed toy how to safely and carefully handle a puppy. Have your children practice holding and petting the toy animal before you bring home a dog.
  • When your new dog and children meet for the first time, an adult should calmly hold the puppy while the kids quietly and slowly approach, one at a time. Allow the pup to smell the back of their partially closed hand first. Then they may gently pet him.
  • Children must not be allowed to handle a Pom roughly. Don’t let them pinch or poke him, or pull his tail, ears, or legs. Teach them not step on or drop the dog, or squeeze him tightly.
  • Never let your child hit the dog.
  • Instruct your children not to stare, bark, or growl at the dog, even if they are only playing. They should leave him alone while he is eating or sleeping, and avoid startling him. This can cause a dog to feel threatened, and he may react by growling, snapping, or biting. Never make a child solely responsible for a dog’s core, although they can and should help when they are old enough.
  • Show your children, by example, how to nurture and respect your Pom.

Poms and Seniors

Pomeranians can make good companions for retired or elderly persons because the breed loves receiving and giving attention and affection. Elderly owners need to make certain, before bringing home a Pom, that they are physically able to take the dog out to potty or change litter pans or papers, and to keep him groomed and exercised. Another consideration for older folks is the tendency for a Pom to get underfoot. Can they keep themselves from tripping over a small dog and falling, possibly causing injury to both? Poms are a long-lived breed; can provisions be made for their continuing care, should the dog outlive the owner?

Poms and Other Pets

As a sociable animal, most Pomeranians enjoy the company of other animals in addition to their human family. Like most companion animals, a Pom may get along with another pet better if they have been raised together. Additionally, some Pom owners report that their dog gets along well with other household pets such as birds and rabbits.

Cats and Poms can also live happily alongside each other. Preferably, the cat is dog-friendly or will choose not to play with or bother your Pom. In any situation where you are introducing one animal to another, careful supervision is necessary until you are sure that the cat and dog can be together without injuring the other.

Poms like playing with other dogs, particularly those of similar size and personality. However, some Poms prefer only the company of another Pomeranian. When placing a Pom pup or a rescue dog, many breeders and rescue coordinators favour placement in a home where there is already another Pom, as this breed tends to be happier when they are with a companion of the same breed.

In multi-dog households, the pack will form a hierarchy, determining among themselves who is the top dog and so on, down the ranks. To Nordic breeds, particularly those with a sledding background, such as the Pomeranian, pack order is important. Poms quickly sort out the order among themselves, and calm is kept in their pack, with all doggy members respecting their positions and getting along. This preference for orderliness extends to other dog breeds and sizes, as well.

Potential owners need to be extremely cautious about bringing home a Pom if there is a large dog already in the household. A big dog can accidentally cause serious injury or even kill a tiny Pom during rough play. If you want to adopt a Porn and already have a large dog, the larger dog should be calm, gentle-mannered, and friendly with other dogs. Before bringing home your Pom, if possible, try to arrange for the two dogs to meet in a controlled environment to see if they get along. After your Pom comes home and the two dogs begin to live and play together, be certain to always supervise their interaction.

Owners need to be aware that, even though the Pom is small on the outside, inside his head he sees himself as a big, brave, protective dog. Because of this attitude, a Pom may challenge dogs of much larger size without even thinking about his own tiny stature. It is important to keep

your Pom from taking on such dogs. Socialize him so that he understands how to meet new dogs in new situations and keep a watchful eye on him so that you can intervene, should he decide to demonstrate for a strange dog just how tough he thinks he is.


Do you have an active social life at home? Or is your home life quiet with few interruptions? Either way, there is no household that doesn’t have an occasional knock on the door, whether it’ s a quick pizza delivery or a guest that plans to stay. If you are going to have a dog, it is important to understand how your dog might react to visitors.

Pomeranians make great therapy dogs because they love to be the centre of people’s attention. But they don’t get that way without training and socialization. You may not plan for your Pom to be a therapy dog, but you do need to plan for having periodic Visitors around him in your home.

Some Poms may take naturally to strangers, but many are described by their owners as reserved, stand-offish, or suspicious. Because the Porn is vigilant about watching and supervising his home territory, he is not likely to greet newcomers enthusiastically without first checking them out. Before they even come inside, he will alert you with loud, steady barking to let you know someone is at the door. Once you let your Pom know that a person is acceptable, or he becomes used to the return of frequent Visitors and stops barking his alert, he likely will expect to be the center of your guest’s attention as well. Or he may prefer to remain near his person without receiving any pats from your company. Some Poms enjoy being fussed over by friendly strangers, while quite a few others prefer to remain at a watchful distance. Whichever type your Porn is, remember to teach him how to meet and greet new people properly. Respect his choice to socialize with them or not.

A dog who has not been trained to be socially accepting may hide in fear and be miserable whenever visitors arrive. If he has not had any obedience training, he may jump up on your guest, bark at them non-stop, and make them wish they had never Visited your home.

Even if your Porn is well-trained and friendly with company, there are some people who do not like and do not want to be around dogs. These people may not continue to visit you, once you add a dog to your family. The reverse is also true. You may want to take your Pom visiting with you, but not everyone will appreciate a doggy guest. Ask before you take your Pom into someone else’s home. If you want to meet and hang out with other Pomeranian lovers and their dogs, look for a Pom-specific newsgroup or bulletin board on the internet.

Introducing a New Pet to Your Pack
  • The fur can fly when an existing pet meets a new furry member of the family. Start your pack off on the right paw together by following these steps when they first meet.
  • If you have a pet who will not accept or cannot get along with a new dog, don’t bring in a Pomeranian.
  • In households with multiple pets, introduce them one at a time to your new Pomeranian, starting with the alpha (head) dog or cat. Hold the existing dog on leash after placing your new dog in his crate, then allow them to sniff and look at each other while you supervise.
  • Once the initial excitement settles down and the existing pet has learned that the new dog is here to stay, it’s time to start getting them closer. Have two people present, so that each pet can be more easily controlled while they investigate each other. Until you are absolutely certain that the two animals can interact peacefully, never leave them alone unsupervised.
  • Never introduce a new pet at feeding time. Keep them separated while they eat.
  • Provide each pet with his own bowl, crate, and bed. Your existing pet needs to be confident that the newcomer will not deprive him of food or steal his prized toys. Without showing favouritism to one pet over the other, make sure that the older pet knows you still love him.
  • Don’t expect an older pet to accept your new Pomeranian overnight. Introduce them slowly over a period of one to two weeks. But don’t rush them into being best friends – acceptance may take longer.

Out and Active

If you are the type of person who spends all your free time in an active sport like cross country skiing, cycling, or canoeing, dreaming of having your dog at your side, then a Pom may not be the best choice for you. Because of his small size and possible orthopaedic or tracheal problems, high-impact or endurance sports are not best for this breed.

However, every dog needs regular exercise as part of his care, and because the Pomeranian is a high-energy breed, it is possible to include him in some of your recreational activities. Poms do like to be active with their people, so if you like to hike, walk, or travel to dog-friendly locations in your leisure time, then a Pom might be a good choice for a canine companion.

You needn’t rule out getting a Pom if you lead a sedentary lifestyle. A Pom loves to spend time cuddling beside you or in your lap when you sit quietly reading or watching television. His need for exercise can be met with regular walks, a run in the yard, or an indoor game of chase-the-toy. And an increase in physical exercise could be good for you, also. If you’re looking for an activity which allows both you and your Porn some playful exercise, consider getting involved with a competitive dog sport such as rally obedience or agility.

The Pomeranian Personality

Ask people what is so appealing about the Pomeranian, and the list of traits they name seems endless. Enthusiasts cannot sufficiently express in a few words the reasons they adore the Pom personality. Those who have Poms say the breed is addicting and often end up with two, three, or more. They tend to stay devoted to the breed for life.

No Lack of Self-Esteem

The Nordic Spitz-type dogs such as the Alaskan Malamute, Norwegian Elkhound, Siberian Husky, and Samoyed are all breeds that can be described as valiant. The Pom is no exception. In fact, the Pom does not realize that his stature has been shrunk from what it was centuries ago and considers himself no less mighty than his larger cousins.

Surprisingly ready to take on most anything that comes his way, this intrepid little dog is big of heart, long on confidence, and full of a strong sense of self-worth. These traits also help to make him bright, alert, and curious, with a keen intelligence that can lead him into trouble if he is bored. Because the Pom is quite conscious of just how smart and wonderful he is, he prefers to be the focus of attention, the star of the show.

What’s Mine Is Mine

Because of his preference for centre stage, the Pom can not only be a bit dramatic, he may also be jealous of attention that is focused on other pets, people, or activities. He may place himself between his owner and whatever is taking the focus away from him, then put on a show of his own, dancing around, smiling or “talking” with squeaks, hums, or cat-like sounds in order to regain your attention.

The need to control extends to his home and possessions, so the Pom may also be quite protective over his toys, bowls, bed, or li3ving space. This strong-willed dog also likes the day to go his way and can be quite manipulative at times. With such a strong personality and high energy level, the Pom does best when his busy little mind and body are directed into appropriate doggy activities. Without training and proper handling, it is possible that this pint-sized bully could try to take over your household.

The Downside of Dogs

Life with a dog is a rewarding venture, but it’s not problem free. If a Pomeranian is going to be your first experience in the company of canines, be prepared for extra responsibilities and limitations on your lifestyle.

  • Time commitment. Count on spending at least one hour, but usually two, every day caring for your dog. Having a dog may mean accommodating a schedule for them that’s not always convenient for you. Even when you are busy, exhausted, or sick, your dog still needs care.
  • Financial obligations. Regardless of how well you plan, dogs can cost more than you imagine, and surprise expenses can pop up at times when you can least afford them. When making financial decisions, your dog’s needs must come before your personal desires.
  • Legal concerns. State, county, and municipal laws and ordinances regulate dog ownership in regards to licensing, free-running off-leash dogs, and rabies vaccines. Some cities or developments may limit how many dogs can reside in one household. Owners who violate these laws may be forced to pay fines, have their dog confiscated, or have to cover damages or expenses caused by their dog.
  • Living with dogs is messy. Pomeranians shed, and you will have fur on your furniture and clothing. Count on cleaning up urine and vomit, and scooping the poop. Dogs leave nose prints on doors, track in mud and grass, and don’t put away their toys.
  • Continuing education. Keeping your knowledge about canine health and behavior current is a never-ending part of the iob, and training your dog to always mind his manners is a daily effort.
  • Constant supervision. You must always be vigilant to keep your dog safe and out of harm’s way. Know where he is and what he is doing at all times.On some days, dog ownership can be trying and tedious. However, this doesn’t mean it’s all right to trade in your dog for an easier ”hobby.” First-time owners should be aware that caring for puppies, sick, iniured, elderly, or special-needs dogs is not easy. Should the human-canine relationship get rough, it’s not acceptable to abandon your dog. A commitment to a Pomeranian is a commitment for life.

The Strong but Sensitive

Type Although he is independent, the Porn is an affectionate, loyal companion. Whether sleeping in bed with you, scampering at your side while you garden, or travelling on vacation, the Pom enjoys being with his people. Even though he loves your company, he is not a clingy dog. The Pomeranian is perceptive and intuitive, almost to the point of being uncanny. His keen awareness of his surroundings and his sensitivity to his person’s mood makes him a true friend who will stick by your side in good times and bad, responding to the needs of the moment. Despite all the friendship the Pom offers, he is selective when it comes to making friends, with a tendency to be reserved and suspicious when meeting new people. However, given the opportunity, he is usually happy to see repeat visitors who accept his special personality on his terms.

A Final Caution

Because the Pomeranian is such a popular dog, there are many people who breed and sell puppies just to make money, without a vigilant eye towards the health or temperament of these pups. Responsible breeders and rescue volunteers advise people searching for a Pom to be careful where they obtain a puppy, as many of these poorly-produced dogs are fearful, snappy, or downright neurotic. Additionally, careful observation has shown that nearly all of the Poms from second-rate breedings tend to develop luxating patellas, collapsing tracheas, or both.

Also keep in mind that dogs bred strictly as companions and for their appearance may be less similar in breed personality traits than some other breeds which are bred for specific functional characteristics. For example, a herding breed like the Border Collie will have similar personalities because they have been bred to perform the same function. But Pomeranians who have been bred for company and cuddling tend to have a broader range of personality traits-and differences.

“Once you have a breed that has been bred more for cuteness and companionship, their temperaments and personalities may be so varied that you can’t really state that they have a personality that is unique to the breed,” says Pom enthusiast Mary Felkins, ”When it comes to Poms, I have found their personalities to be very different from each other. In my opinion, they have a temperament that may be more environmentally induced.

”I feel that it’s more for what the Pom looks like that draws most people to the breed, and sometimes we tend to overlook a temperament or personality that might not be as adorable as the dog himself,” Felkins illustrates. ”However, most well-cared-for small dog breeds are going to have similar personalities. And because people treat Poms differently –more child-like and nearly always kept indoors-Poms tend to be more people oriented.”

Putting Together A Pomeranian

All breeds have a recognized description and the Pomeranian is no exception. The official standard of this breed begins with a general description of his appearance and moves on to describe his various parts as well as his motion and personality.

At a Glance

The opening to the official Pomeranian breed standard used to be short, summarily noting the dog’s overall shape and look, with an even shorter reference to character. Today’s introduction provides a condensed but complete description of everything Pom shape, size, fur, personality, and more.

Once defined as ”cobby” and ”closely-coupled,” these terms have been changed to the more easily understood terms of ”compact” and ”short-backed,” presenting a picture of an energetic dog in a small, well-built, and well-balanced package. The coat is harsh and soft, or fluffy without being airy, at the same time. This combination results in fur that is thick, luxuriant, and full-bodied. While fur on the tail is different, it is lush and feathery, carried gracefully on the back. Heavy emphasis is placed on summarizing the ideal Pom character since these dogs serve as companions. Poms should exhibit intelligence and have a bright appearance, keenly aware of and curious about their surroundings, but generally happy in disposition. While cheerful in nature, the Pom is not a pushover, but a dog that should possess a compelling presence. The perky personality should carry into the walk, showing liveliness in a dog that is sure-footed and fit, regardless of size.

Standards to Breed By

The dictionary defines ”standard” as a model, approved by an authority source, used as a foundation against which other representations are compared. This is true when applied to the breed standards for all pure-bred dogs. The American Kennel Club explains that the studious comprehension of a breed should start with that breed’s standard.

These standards are prepared by people with a long history and experience in their breed, and describe what the perfect specimen of that dog should be. This description covers structure, movement, type, and temperament. Since no dog is perfect, the standard is used as a template for breeding and judging the ideal dog, and for producing future generations of healthy, happy companion animals.

Three Dimensions

Most breed standards give an ideal weight range to describe the size of a dog, and the Porn is no exception. They may be as tiny as 3 pounds (1.35 kilograms), or as ”large” as 7 pounds (3.15 kilograms). The ideal Porn should weigh in at between 4 and 6 pounds (1.8 and 2.7 kilograms), a median that strives to keep the breed the same size over passing generations.

Without the weight guidelines, Pomeranians could revert back to the larger size of their ancestors from which they were bred down to today’s Toy size. It is also possible to go too far in the other direction and breed dogs who are minuscule. Producers of Poms that do not breed with an eye toward the standard may offer puppies who grow to be a ”huge” 12 to 18 pounds (5.4 to 8.1 kilograms), or as tiny as 2 pounds (.9 kilogram). The standard clearly states that dogs who are too small or too large should not be considered for showing, much less breeding.

More importantly, however, the size section places greater emphasis on judging, as a whole, a Pomeranian who has many outstanding traits, such as expression, gait, and coat combined, rather than on size alone.

The dimensions detailed in the standard define a dog whose back is slightly shorter in length than the dog is tall. The Pom’s frame should be medium, neither too fine nor too heavy, with the legs and head being proportionate to the size of the body. Although this is a toy dog that may appear fine and fragile, touching the frame beneath the fur should reveal a body that has substance.

Despite a standard that describes the size and substance of the body, different breeders and judges may interpret this description as different ideals. As a result, fanciers describe two types of Pomeranians. The teddy-bear type is rounder, with a more open face, and may have a shorter muzzle. This type also has heavier bone structure. A foxy type is a Porn that is more like the original, pointy Spitz appearance, with a longer muzzle, tighter facial features, and lighter build.

Front to Back and In Between

The Porn standard repeatedly notes the balance and proportion the breed should have, starting with the head. Although two facial types exist, the muzzle is defined as somewhat short, but it is also clear that despite the breed’s foxy face, a Pom should not have an excessively elongated nose lacking in substance beneath the eyes. The face should be enhanced with a look that is bright, inquisitive, and engaged-alert.

Head shape should curve gracefully but shouldn’t be so round that the skull resembles the cupola of a capitol building. Poms with such a domed head are not considered acceptable for showing or breeding. If an imaginary line were drawn from nose to eyes to ears, it would form a triangle, defining an ideal, wedge-shaped head.

Ears are tiny and set on the top of the head, and the eyes should be dark, luminous, and slightly elongated at the corners, rather than round. Nose and eyelids are black, but dogs who are darker brown or grayish have noses to match. For a breed that may be prone to dental problems, a correct bite is important. Teeth should close together like blades on a pair of scissors. While it isn’t critical if a single tooth is misaligned, teeth that do not align correctly can be a serious problem.

As befits a toy dog, the Pom’s back is compact as is the neck, which is positioned so that the head is carried erect, contributing to his alert look. Despite his body’s tiny size, the Pom’s ribcage should feel substantial (not thin or fragile), as well as widely set and moderately deep.

At one time, the Pomeranian’s tail was curled tightly over the back like his Nordic ancestors. But as the breed evolved, the tail gradually uncurled. The tail on today’s Pom is full and feathered, but lies open on top of the back.

Getting Around

Front legs that point neither in nor out are set into shoulders that are balanced in proportion, emphasizing the proud carriage of the breed. Feet are tiny and arched, as if the dog is standing on his toes. The ankle area should not be weak or ”sag.” The rear legs are balanced with those in front, with the hip behind the tail. Back legs are also straight and well built, with portions being at a 90-degree angle to the floor. Like front legs, back legs are also strong, without weakness.

The Porn should appear animated and lively when walking briskly. Movement should appear fluid, without bounce or unnecessary motion. Legs should reach effortlessly for the next step, with front and rear legs moving in smooth harmony. As in many breeds, the front and rear feet on diagonal sides should meet underneath the centre of the body. The Pomeranian should look as balanced in motion as in still profile.

A Coat of Many Colours

Like all of his Nordic relatives, the Pomeranian has a heavy double coat. First is an undercoat which, as the name implies, is the somewhat hidden fur beneath the more obvious exterior coat. This undercoat should be shorter, very thick, and plush to the touch. The fur of the outer-coat is longer, without curl or wave, and should have body. Although the undercoat is what makes the outer-coat fluff away from the dog’s body, the exterior fur – the guard hairs – should have substance of their own. The quality of the fur should help protect the dog from inclement weather. The coat should never appear dull; rather, it should have a natural sheen. Fur should be the longest and most dense around the neck, shoulders, and chest. Coat length on the legs is much shorter, but is still dense, with some feathering. On the tail, the fur is much longer, but not as thick, and should flow with the lay of the tail. A Pom should never have fur that lies flat or is too soft from lack of body. The under or outer-coats should also not be too thin or sparse-an open coat-which is a fault in appearance, feel, and purpose.

Many people are used to seeing the Pomeranian in warm or pale orange to red shades. But in actuality the breed has many colours, all of which are permitted in the show ring. Solid colours incorporate varying shades of orange, cream, sable, black, rich brown and / or pale beaver, and blue, a rare grayish shade. Mixed colours include the black and tan pattern, where pale brownish highlights occur on the nose, chest, neck, and eyebrows, and brindle, which is darker striping found on a medium shade dog. Additionally there are Parti Poms, which are primarily white with the addition of areas of other solid colours in places like ears, tail, legs, and so forth. A show quality Parti should have white down the centre of the face.

Colours of the Pom


  • Orange
  • Cream
  • Sable
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Blue


  • Black & Tan
  • Parti

Personality Plus

As a companion dog, possibly the highest requirement of the Pomeranian is personality. The breed’s standard is very clear that this dog should be sociable, smart, and full of “joie de vivre”. This combination is largely responsible for the Pom’s prized position as best friend and dog show winner. Overall, the standard defines a dog that, despite its diminutive size, should possess the physical, emotional and behavioural stability, and stamina of its larger cousins.