About the Pomeranian

The Pomeranian is a cocky, animated companion with an extroverted personality. This compact little dog is an active toy breed with an alert character and fox-like expression. Today, the Pomeranian is a popular companion dog and competitive show dog. They can come in all colors, patterns, and variations although orange and red are the most popular.

The breed’s name originally came from the historical region of Pomerania (now present day Germany and Poland). Originally weighing nearly 30 pounds, the dog served as an able herder of sheep in its larger form. They were not well known until 1870, when the Kennel Club (England) recognized the so-called Spitz dog. In 1888, Queen Victoria fell in love with a Pomeranian in Florence, Italy, and brought the specimen back to England, influencing its popularity dramatically.

The Pomeranian is a compact, short-backed, active toy dog of Nordic descent. The double coat consists of a short dense undercoat with a profuse harsh-textured longer outer coat. The heavily plumed tail is one of the characteristics of the breed. It is set high and lies flat on the back. He is alert in character, exhibits intelligence in expression, is buoyant in deportment, and inquisitive by nature. The Pomeranian is cocky, commanding, and animated as he gaits. He is sound in composition and action.

Weight – is from3 to 7 pounds with the ideal weight for show specimens being 4 to 6 pounds. Any dog over or under the limits is objectionable; however, overall quality should be favored over size. Proportion – The Pomeranian is a square breed with a short back. The ratio of body length to height at the withers being 1 to 1. These proportions are measured from the prosternum to the point of buttocks, and from the highest point of the withers to the ground. Substance – Sturdy, medium-boned.

Head - in balance with the body, when viewed from above, broad at the back tapering to the nose to form a wedge. Expression – may be referred to as fox-like, denoting his alert and intelligent nature. Eyes – dark, bright, medium sized, and almond shaped; set well into the skull with the width between the eyes balancing the other facial features. Eye rims are black, except self-colored in chocolate, beaver and blue. Ears - small, mounted high and carried erect. Proper ear set should be favored over size. Skull - closed, slightly round but not domed. Stop - well pronounced. Muzzle – rather short, straight, free of lippiness, neither coarse nor snipey. Ratio of length of muzzle to skull is 1/3 to 2/3. Nose - pigment is black except self-colored in chocolate, beaver and blue. Bite - scissors, one tooth out of alignment is acceptable. Major Faults - Round, domed skull. Undershot, overshot or wry bite. Disqualification – Eye(s) light blue, blue marbled, blue flecked. 

Neck - set well into the shoulders with sufficient length to allow the head to be carried proud and high. Topline- level from withers to croup. Body - compact and well-ribbed. Chest - oval tapered extending to the point of elbows with a pronounced prosternum. Back - short-coupled, straight and strong. Loin - short with slight tuck-up. Croup is flat. Tail - heavily plumed, set high and lies flat and straight on the back. Major Fault - Low tail set.

Shoulders – well laid back. Shoulder blade and upper arm length are equal. Elbows - held close to the body and turn neither in nor out. Legs – when viewed from the front are moderately spaced, straight and parallel to each other, set well behind the forechest. Height from withers to elbows approximately equals height from ground to elbow. Shoulders and legs are moderately muscled. Pasterns –straight and strong. Feet- round, tight, appearing cat-like, well-arched, compact, and turn neither in nor out, standing well up on toes. Dewclaws– may be removed. Major Fault - Down in pasterns.

Hindquarters – angulation balances that of the forequarters. Buttocks are well behind the set of the tail. Thighs - moderately muscled. Upper thigh and lower leg length are equal. Stifles - strong, moderately bent and clearly defined. Legs - when viewed from the rear straight and parallel to each other. Hocks – when viewed from the side are perpendicular to the ground and strong. Feet –same as forequarters. Dewclaws– may be removed. Major Fault - Cowhocks, knees turning in or out or lack of soundness in legs or stifles.

The Pomeranian is a double-coated breed. The body should be well covered with a short, dense undercoat with long harsh-textured guard hair growing through, forming the longer abundant outer coat which stands off from the body. The coat should form a ruff around the neck, framing the head, extending over the shoulders and chest. Head and leg coat is tightly packed and shorter in length than that of the body. Forelegs are well-feathered. Thighs and hind legs are heavily coated to the hock forming a skirt. Tail is profusely covered with long, harsh spreading straight hair forming a plume. Females may not carry as thick or long a coat as a male. Puppy coat may be dense and shorter overall and may or may not show guard hair. A cotton type coat is undesirable in an adult. Coat should be in good and healthy condition especially the skirt, tail, and undercarriage. Trimming for neatness and a clean outline is permissible. Major Fault – soft, flat or open coat.

All colors, patterns, and variations there-of are allowed and must be judged on an equal basis.

Brindle–Dark cross stripes on any solid color or allowed pattern. Parti– White base with any solid color or allowed pattern.  A white blaze is preferred on the head. Ticking is undesirable. Extreme Piebald: White with patches of color on head and base of tail. Piebald: White with patches of color on head, body, and base of tail. Irish: Color on the head and body with white legs, chest and collar. Tan Points – Any solid color or allowed pattern with markings sharply defined above each eye, inside the ears, muzzle, throat, forechest, all lower legs and feet, the underside of the tail and skirt. The richer the tan the more desirable. Tan markings should be readily visible.

Major Fault – Distinct white on whole foot or on one or more whole feet (except white or parti) on any acceptable color or pattern.

Classifications –The Open Classes at specialty shows may be divided by color as follows: Open Red, Orange, Cream, and Sable; Open Black, Brown, and Blue; Open Any Other Color, Pattern, or Variation

The Pomeranian’s movement has good reach in the forequarters and strong drive with the hindquarters, displaying efficient, ground covering movement that should never be viewed as ineffective or busy. Head carriage should remain high and proud with the overall outline maintained. Gait is smooth, free, balanced and brisk. When viewed from the front and rear while moving at a walk or slow trot the Pomeranian should double track, but as the speed increases the legs converge slightly towards a center line. The forelegs and hind legs are carried straight forward, with neither elbows nor stifles turned in nor out. The topline should remain firm and level with the overall balance maintained.

The Pomeranian is an extrovert, exhibiting great intelligence and a vivacious spirit, making him a great companion dog as well as a competitive show dog.

Even though a Toy dog, the Pomeranian must be subject to the same requirements of soundness and structure prescribed for all breeds, and any deviation from the ideal described in the standard should be penalized to the extent of the deviation.

Eye(s) light blue, blue marbled, blue flecked.

Approved July 12, 2011
Effective August 31, 2011
​-Health concerns-
 This is a list of the most common problems found in the breed. Remember, even the most conscientious breeder may have problems, however, since they are screening for genetic problems, you have a better chance of having a healthy puppy.

Luxating Patellas
Luxating patellas (knees that slip out of place) are the most common problem in the Pomeranian breed. The knees are graded according to the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals). Normal knees are, of course the most desirable, but Grades One and Two are more common and not unusual in toy breeds. Grades Three and Four may require surgery, sometimes early on in the dog’s life. Be sure to check the knees of any prospective puppy. One with higher grades at a young age will probably be a candidate for surgery.
OFA has forms to fill out on the grade of the patella's and both parents should have their results on file. Remember, only a “normal” result may appear in the database. Request to see a copy of the results from your breeder, when you are visiting your new puppy.

Hypothyroidism (low thyroid) is very common in the Pomeranian breed. Ask to see the results of the thyroid tests of the parents of the puppy you are considering. OFA has a registry for dogs who submit tests for thyroid.

Coat Loss Problems
There is a coat loss problem in Pomeranians called SHLS (Severe Hair Loss Syndrome). It is also known as Black Skin Disease. It occurs mainly in males. They may have profuse puppy coats with no guard hairs, which does not shed. When the puppy coat sheds, the coat does not grow back. Another version of the same condition happens at a later age, with a normal appearing coat that slowly starts to thin, starting at the back of the thighs and buttocks and moving up the back. Ask to see the parents of the dog you are buying. 

Collapsing Tracheas
Collapsing trachea is a common problem found in Poms. If your pom makes a honking noise or sounds like he is coughing up a hairball, the problem may be his trachea. It can be diagnosed with a x-ray and usually medication is prescribed to reduce coughing. This can be a life-threatening problem, so do not ignore it. 

Heart problems can range from very slight to life threatening. Some are impossible to diagnose until a sudden death occurs. Enlarged hearts are very common in toy breeds and can lead to congestive heart failure (CHF). Be sure to have your dog checked as he ages. Diagnosis before the problem becomes serious along with current medication can extend the life of Pomeranians with heart issues. 

Hypoglycemia can occur in young Pomeranians. It is more common in the very small or very active puppies. Be sure that your breeder gives you complete instructions on how to determine if your puppy is starting to develop hypoglycemia. It is a problem that the puppy outgrows as they mature. Adult hypoglycemia is a serious metabolic disorder. Dogs who have this should not be bred.
Some Pomeranians have idiopathic epilepsy. Idiopathic means that we don’t know what causes it. Liver problems, kidney problems, head trauma and other reasons may cause seizures. Idiopathic epilepsy typically occurs between 3-7 years of age and is thought to be inherited. Seizures can be very frightening to someone who has never seen one before and can manifest in many different ways. Look at the epilepsy website to gain a better understanding of the problem.
A Veterinarian who is trained to do CERF testing can check eyes for genetic problems. CERF (Canine Eye Registry Foundation) has a form and a database to check the parents of the puppy you are considering. To date. there have not been many eye problems found, but that may be because not many dogs have been tested. Ask to see the CERF results of the parents of the puppy.
Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCP)
Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCP) is a disorder of the hip joint conformation occurring in both humans and dogs. In dogs, it is most often seen in the miniature and toy breeds between the ages of 4 months to a year.

LCP results when the blood supply to the femoral head is interrupted resulting in avascular necrosis, or the death of the bone cells. Followed by a period of revascularization, the femoral head is subject to remodeling and/or collapse creating an irregular fit in the acetabulum, or socket. This process of bone cells dying and fracturing followed by new bone growth and remodeling of the femoral head and neck, can lead to stiffness and pain
Hip Dysplasia
Hip Dysplasia is a genetic disease that causes arthritis in the hip joint leading to pain and lameness. The arthritis is caused by an irregularly shaped hip socket that places additional wear on the joint. Dogs can be screened for hip dysplasia through x-rays submitted and read by the specialists at the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).