Pomeranian Breed

Pomeranians are known for their animated and lively nature, as well as their outgoing and adorable personalities. With an average lifespan of 12 to 16 years, these charming dogs trace their origins back to the Spitz family in the icy landscapes of Iceland.

Originally larger in size, their ancestors were bred for tasks such as herding, sled pulling, and guarding. In Italy, Pomeranians were employed to keep a watchful eye over their owner’s possessions, alerting them to any approaching individuals or potential theft attempts.

The Spitz breeds are characterized by their wolf-like features, including small ears to mitigate frostbite risks and a dense undercoat that provides insulation against cold weather by trapping warmth and shielding them from harsh elements.

These breeds found their way into Europe, primarily along the southern Baltic coast. The region known as Pomerania, now spanning parts of present-day Poland and Germany, lent its name to the Pomeranian breed. “Pommore” or “Pommern” translates to “on the sea.”

It’s believed that in this area, the breed was downsized to about 30-40 lbs, marking the beginning of the Pomeranian as we know it today. Specifically, Pomeranians are part of the German Spitzen group, one of the Spitz types consisting of five different sizes. German Spitz is considered one of the oldest breeds in Central Europe, with Pomeranians being the smallest members. Before being officially recognized as Pomeranians in 1974, they went by various names such as Fox Dog, Lulu, Pommer, Wolfsspitz German Spitz, Volpino, and Spitz Dog.

Notably, references to “new” parti-colored or white Pomeranians often overlook the fact that these colors were present in the original breed. Red and orange colors were rare during that time. Historical records, including paintings from the 18th century, depict Pomeranians of various colors and sizes. The Prince of Wales, for instance, owned a black and white parti Pomeranian named Fino, painted in 1791.

In British literature, James Boswell’s mention of a Pomeranian named “Pomer” in 1764 marks the earliest recorded reference to the breed. Queen Charlotte’s introduction of two Pomeranians, Phebe and Mercury, to England in 1767 further shaped the breed’s evolution. Paintings by Sir Thomas Gainsborough depicted larger dogs, weighing up to 30–50 pounds (14–23 kg), but exhibiting modern traits like a heavy coat and curled tail.

The Kennel Club (England) recognized the Spitz dog, including Pomeranians, in 1873. The breed’s size decreased over time, with early show dogs weighing nearly 18 pounds. Queen Victoria’s affection for Pomeranians, evidenced by her ownership of 35 of them, popularized the breed further. Her importation of Marco and Gena from Italy in 1888 contributed to the breed’s smaller size trend.

Early American History

Pomeranians made their debut in the United States show circuit as early as 1892, appearing in the Miscellaneous Class. It wasn’t until 1900, at a New York event, that they were officially classified. That same year, the American Kennel Club granted recognition to the Pomeranian breed, leading to the formation of the American Pomeranian Club (APC).

In the early days, American Pomeranian champions tended to exhibit finer bone structures, larger ears, and typically weighed under six pounds. Although they possessed the desired breed type and good coat texture, they lacked the abundant coats commonly seen today.

Remarkably, among the survivors of the Titanic tragedy on April 14, 1912, were three dogs, two of which were Pomeranians.

Renowned for their companionship, Pomeranians have befriended some of history’s most illustrious minds. Mozart dedicated one of his arias to his beloved Pomeranian, Pimperl, while Frédéric Chopin drew inspiration from a friend’s Pomeranian for his “Waltz of the Little Dogs.” Even during Michelangelo’s work on the Sistine Chapel, his Pomeranian remained close, perched on a satin pillow below.

Though historically associated with sled dogs, watch dogs, and herding dogs, Pomeranians have long been bred primarily for companionship. Despite their diminutive size, these compact toy dogs possess a spirited nature and a fox-like expression.

Playful throughout their lives, Pomeranians also enjoy lounging on the couch or in their owner’s lap. Their territorial instincts make them vigilant watchdogs, quick to alert their owners to any potential disturbances. Known for their loyalty and desire to please, Pomeranians excel in obedience, rally, agility, and other events. Their social nature makes them ideal for multi-dog households, adding vibrancy and intrigue to the pack dynamic.