Pomeranian

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Know about Breed: Pomeranian

Pomeranian

 Basic information:

  • Life expectancy: 12 – 16 years
  • Height: 20 cm (Adult)
  • Mass: 1.9 – 3.5 kg (Adult)
  • Colors: White, Black, Grey-shaded, Tan, Brown, Orange
  • Temperament: Friendly, Intelligent, Sociable, Extroverted, Playful, Active
  • Origin: Germany, Poland

Overview:

  • Pomeranians are the tiniest of the Spitz, or Nordic, breeds, but they have the courage of much bigger dogs. A perennially popular breed, the Pom weighs less than 7 pounds, but you won’t often find him in a puppy purse. That’s because Pomeranians think big. They know they have four feet and prefer to use them, just as larger dogs would.
  • Everything about the Pomeranian is bright: his eyes, his temperament, and his intelligence. Though he’s very fond of his family and delighted to get some lap time, he’s also a busy little guy. You’re more likely to find him trotting around your house on an important mission than snoozing on the sofa.
  • The Pom’s activity level makes him an ideal pet for someone who wants a small dog with the personality traits of the full-size sled and herding dogs from which this breed originates. Because he’s tiny, he can probably get enough exercise indoors, but he’s happiest when he gets to go on long walks, chase leaves, and play with other small dogs. He is athletic and frequently participates in dog sports such as agility, freestyle, obedience, rally, and tracking. Because of his diminutive size, he is suited to life in an apartment, but he is just as at home on a ranch or estate. However, he’s far too tiny to live outdoors. He needs to live inside with his family.
  • Pomeranians have a profuse double coat that needs regular brushing but are otherwise easy to care for. And, make no mistake, Poms bark. It may not be deafening, but it can be annoying and difficult to stop, even with training. As with many small dogs, Pomeranians may be harder to housetrain.

Personality:

  • The Pomeranian has a proud and glamorous appearance with a personality to match. He’s an extrovert who is clever and lively. It’s hard to appear in public with a Pom and not attract attention. The adorable little dogs with the dark, almond-shaped eyes and alert, happy expression are tiny but intrepid. They have a take-charge temperament and tend not to be fearful of strangers or other animals.
  • For more than a century, the Pom has had a well-deserved reputation for being a great watchdog. He may weigh only a few pounds, but he views himself as absolute guardian of his home and family.
  • The perfect little Pom is calm and easy to live with. He enjoys sitting in your lap and giving kisses. He is busy but doesn’t bounce off the walls. That said, Poms do like to bark. Start early and be consistent if you plan to teach him the “No bark” or “Quiet” command.
  • Poms may look like toys, but they are not good pets for young children. They are too delicate to be handled roughly, and they prefer the company of adults.

Health:

  • Tiny dogs often come with big health problems, and the Pomeranian is no exception. Most Poms live long, healthy lives, but they can be affected by many of the health problems common to toy dogs, such as a collapsing trachea, which causes respiratory problems and makes wearing a collar difficult. A collapsing trachea occurs when the cartilage in the windpipe becomes weak and causes the trachea to lose its normally tubular shape. This makes it difficult for the dog to breathe. Poms can have dental problems, and their kneecaps sometimes slip out of place, a condition known as luxating patellas. Ask your veterinarian to examine your dog’s knees regularly, especially if you notice him limping or hopping while running.
  • As with many breeds and mixes, the Pomeranian can suffer from a hip problem called Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. This condition causes a reduced blood supply to the head of the rear leg bone, which causes it to degrade. The first sign of Legg-Calve-Perthes, limping, usually appears when a puppy is 4 to 6 months old. The sooner it’s caught and treated, the greater the chances the dog will have a full recovery. Legg-Calve-Perthes can be treated with surgery to remove the head of the leg bone, after which the puppy can have a normal life.
  • Eyes can be another trouble spot for Poms. Progressive retinal atrophy, tear duct problems, and cataracts are among the eye conditions that can occur in the breed. A heart defect known as patent ductus arteriosus can also occur. Poms also suffer from a number of conditions that can cause them to lose their coats, including thyroid disease and growth hormone abnormalities.
  • Some Pomeranians develop a coat condition that goes by many names: black-skin disease, genetic alopecia, elephant skin, severe hair-loss syndrome, or just “that coat problem.” Hair loss occurs over most of the body, and, as you can imagine, a bald Pomeranian is a sorry sight! In some cases, the condition responds to treatment.

Grooming:

  • Pomeranians have what is called a double coat. The undercoat is soft and dense; the outer coat is long and straight with a course texture.
  • Thanks to their small size, Pomeranians are easy to groom, even with all that coat. Brush the coat a few times a week to prevent mats or tangles. Use a medium to harsh slicker brush that will get down to the skin without hurting the dog.
  • You may have heard that Poms don’t shed. Forget that. They do. Luckily, they are small enough that the amount of hair they lose is negligible. If you brush your Pom regularly, shedding shouldn’t be a big issue.
  • Bathe a Pom every couple of months or more often as needed. If you use a gentle dog shampoo, you can even bathe a Pom as often as once or twice a week if you want.
  • The rest is basic care. Trim the toenails every week or two. They should never get long enough to clack on the floor. Brush teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good dental health and fresh breath.