Pomeranian, or "Pom", is a small, sturdy toy dog that
descended from the sled dogs of Iceland and Lapland. It stands
about 6 in. (15.3 cm) high at the shoulders and weighs from 3
to 7 lb (1.4–3.2 kg). It has a double-coat consisting of
a short, fluffy, under layer and an abundant, long, straight
topcoat that forms a ruff of stand-off hair on the neck and back.
It also has a fringe of feathery hair on the hindquarters. Poms
come in many different colors, such as red, cream, black, brown,
orange, sable, blue, white, and multi-color sometimes referred
to as parti-color. The Pomeranian's coat gives the appearance
of being difficult to care for, but it is actually quite easy
to maintain, and with a regular brushing, will stay in good condition.
The immediate ancestor of the Pomeranian
is a larger dog which was used in Europe for sheep herding. Queen
Victoria was the first to bring a smaller specimen from Italy
to England in the late 19th century, and they became very popular.
The Pomeranian makes a magnificent family pet, and they are hearty
and strong despite their fragile appearance. Pomeranians have
become one of the most popular of the registered dog breeds in
America, and their popularity continues to grow.
The Pomeranian is related to the Spitz family,
which are furry dogs from the blustery Arctic circle. They are
renowned for their skills in carrying loads, hunting, and for
their guard dog duties.
The Pom got its name from a small
province called Pomerania in what is now eastern Germany. Back
in the Renaissance era, the early German Poms weighed about 35
pounds, but they were highly desirable pets for the people who
lived in continental Europe at the time.
Michelangelo had a Pomeranian who
patiently watched him paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Isaac
Newton had a Pom named Diamond. Mozart had a female Pom named
Pimperl (to whom he dedicated an aria) and Chopin was so amused
by his girlfriend's Pom that he composed the "Valse des
Petits Chiens" for the pet.
In 1761, 17-year-old Charlotte
from a neighboring province of Pomerania traveled to England
and married Prince George III. She was the first to bring Poms
to England. They were mainly white dogs and most weighed over
20 pounds. The granddaughter of Queen Charlotte was Victoria
and she was a devoted dog fancier. When her husband (Prince Albert)
suddenly sickened and died in 1861 at the age of 42, the saddened
Queen grew even fonder of her gentle pets. She raised more than
15 different breeds of canines in her lifetime, and in her later
years, her attentions were particularly focused on the Pomeranian
The beloved Queen made a trip to
Italy in 1888 and while there she purchased a sable red Pom named
Marco and brought him back to England. Marco weighed only 12
pounds and today, many dog historians point to him as being the
instigator of the desire to breed smaller Pomeranians. Marco
went on to compete under the Queen's name in many dog shows and
won many honors. Victoria also bought three other Poms on the
same trip to Florence in 1888. The most famous next to Marco
was a cute little female named Gina. She also became a champion
at London dog shows.
Spurred by the Queen's kennel of
Poms, English dog fanciers began breeding even smaller Poms,
and when the adult dogs began to hit below eight pounds they
were called Toy Pomeranians. In 1888 the first American Pom was
entered into the American Kennel Club's stud book, and in 1892
the first Pom to be shown in America was entered in a dog show
in New York.
The Pom is a very lovable dog,
is excellent with children and can be trained to do many tricks.
A full-blooded toy Pomeranian pups can command hefty prices for
their masters, but they have such desirable qualities that most
owners consider it money well spent. The Pomeranian owes its
genetic makeup to a diverse group of sledding, hunting, and herding
dogs that sprang from northern Europe, commonly lumped together
as the Spitz. Its relatives, the Samoyed, the Norwegian Elkhound,
and a number of other breeds certainly have proven their worth
as workers, companions, and pets.
The Samoyed's look very
much like the American Eskimo Dog. They are perky, dependable
playmates, often wearing "smiles" on their faces. They
are full of fun, and love nothing more than an afternoon of frisky
activity in the snow. They are active and alert, indoors and
It takes a brave dog to track a
moose, and that's what Norwegian Elkhounds did for thousands
of years. Over the thousands of years it has existed, the Norwegian
Elkhound has looked just as it does now. Nature made him strong
and clever, so he could be a good hunter. His thick, soft, gray
coat can stand the cold and snow of Norway. His noble, playful
ways have made him a beloved friend.
The Keeshond (KAZE-hond),
sometimes known by the unflattering name of "over-sized
Pomeranian" is a happy dog by nature. They are extremely
affectionate. When a Keeshond joins the family, he looks forward
to being an important part of it. He loves children and will
gladly play games and bounce around with them.
and drawings presented here came from the American Kennel
Club (AKC) and other sources on the Internet. More information
can be found on Pomeranians at the AKC website by clicking