The Pomeranian is a small toy breed of dog that originates from Europe. This breed has become increasingly popular since the 18th century and is now one of the most popular small dog breeds in the United States. They are known for being cute, lively, mischievous, and loyal. These are all attributes that make people keen to own one of these dogs as a loving pet. They are certainly the sort of dog you would choose if you wanted a canine companion rather than a guard dog to protect your property. Although most people are aware of what a Pomeranian looks like, there are many other facts about this breed that people do not know and that may surprise you. Here are 20 cool facts that you probably didn’t know about Pomeranians.
1. Pomeranians Were Originally bred from Large Working Dogs
As this is such a small breed of dog, it may surprise you to learn that they actually originate from large working dogs from the Arctic regions called the Wolfspitz. This name was later shortened to Spitz, which is a German word that means sharp point. This term was first used in the 16th century by Count Eberhard Zu Sayn when he was making reference to the sharp muzzle and nose of these dogs. It is now considered that the Pomeranian is a descendant of these dogs due to its sharp facial features. However, as it is much smaller, it is likely that many other breeds contributed to the Pomeranian. In fact, there has been effort focused on gradually reducing the size of the Pomeranian over the years.
2. They Originate from the Pomeranian Region of Europe…..Probably
Although Pomeranians are now a popular breed of dog internationally, they originally come from an area of Europe known as the Pomeranian region. This region covers a section of Central Europe that encompasses Germany and Poland and along the Baltic Sea. This is the area from which the Pomeranian dog takes its name. However, there is some opinion that although the region is credited with the origins of the Pomeranian, they may have originated elsewhere and they have simply taken their name from the region. One problem with identifying the exact origins of the breed is that proper documentation is lacking. The breed was not properly documented until they were introduced to the UK. One of the earliest written recordings that relates to Pomeranians is in the diary of James Boswell in 1764.
3. They Share Their Name with Several Other Species
The Pomeranian breed of dog is not the only species of animal known by this name as the name is used for many other species that are believed to have originated from the Pomeranian region of Europe. The Pomeranian Coarsewool Sheep is from this region and has a history dating back over 3,000 years. The Pomeranian duck, also known as the Pemmern duck, originates from the German Baltic sea coast and shares the same ancestors as the Swedish Blue Duck and the Shetland Duck. The Pomeranian goose is a breed of domestic goose that was developed by German farmers and is popular in Germany, Poland, and other Slavic countries in the Baltic region.
4. The First Pomeranian Breed Club was Established in 1891
Although there is evidence that the Pomeranian may date back as far as the 16th century, there was not a Pomeranian Breed Club until the end of the 19th century. The first breed club for Pomeranians was not established until 1891 in England. It was shortly after the founding of this club that breed standards were written for the first time. The first Pomeranian to be registered in the United States in the American Kennel Club was in 1898. However, the breed was not officially recognized in the United States until around 1900. This may seem surprising considering the history of the Pomeranian dates back to at least as early as the 16th century, but they were still a relatively new breed in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. Prior to this, the breed was more popular in European countries.
5. It is Classified as a German Spitz
Due to its origins, the Pomeranian is considered a German Spitz by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI). The term German Spitz is used to categorize a type of dog that consists of several breeds. These are the breeds that are believed to have originated from the original German Spitz. It is for this reason that an alternative name to Pomeranian that is used in some countries is Zwergspitz, which literally translates as ‘Dwarf-Spitz’. Other breeds that fit into this dog type are the Wolfspitz, the Grossespitz, the Mittelspitz, the Japanese Spitz, and the German Spitz Klein. All these breeds are similar in appearance as they share many characteristics but differ widely in the color variations.
6. These Tiny Dogs Are a Toy Breed
Dogs are classified into categories in accordance with their size. Pomeranians are small dogs that fit into the toy breed category. Throughout their history, Pomeranians have decreased in size and are now much smaller than their ancestors. A healthy adult Pomeranian will weigh between four and eight pounds and will measure between five and eleven inches at their withers. Although they are one of the smallest breeds of dog, they are sturdy and this means that they do not suffer from many of the health problems associated with small, frail breeds of dog. They sometimes appear larger due to the thickness of their coats. The exact categorization of the breed is dependent on its country of registration as each kennel club has its own standards. The UK Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, the New Zealand Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club and the Australian National Kennel Club all classify this breed in the toy group. The FCI classify the dog as a European Spitz and the UKC classify Pomeranians as a companion breed.
7. Their Coats Need a Lot of Care
One of the most recognizable features of a Pomeranian is their coat. They have a thick, textured, double coat that comes in more color variants than any other breed of dog. The most common colors are orange, black, cream and white. However, other color variations include spotted, black and tan, brown and tan, brindle, brown, red, blue, sable, merle, and many combinations of these colors. Other notable features of their coats include a fringe of feathery hair on their hindquarters and a highly plumed tail. Owners of this breed must take care of their coat and it is recommended that they are brushed daily. This is because of the coat’s thickness and the constant shedding. However, their coat is not difficult to groom and will take only minutes each day. Grooming is important to prevent matting as this can lead to discomfort and health problems, such as irritation of the underlying skin. Regular grooming will also maintain the quality of the coat and improve the appearance of a Pomeranian. It is also recommended that Pomeranians have their coats trimmed every one to two months.
8. Queen Victoria Owned a Pomeranian
Ever since the 18th-century, there have been many members of the royal family who have owned a Pomeranian. One of these was Queen Victoria who became famous for having an exceptionally small Pomeranian. The fact that the royal kept one of this breed as a pet helped to increase their popularity in both the UK and abroad. It also created a trend at that time to opt for smaller dogs rather than larger breeds, which had previously been the more popular option. During the lifetime of Queen Victoria, the size of the breed decreased by half. It is believed that Queen Victoria’s dog was called Windsor’s Marco. Queen Victoria is often credited as influencing the breed as it is today. She opened a large breeding kennels and brought in smaller Pomeranians from abroad to breed with her own dogs and this led to the much smaller Pomeranian we know and love today.
9. Queen Charlotte Also Owned a Pomeranian
Queen Charlotte was the Queen-consort of King George III of England and the grandmother of Queen Victoria. When she moved to England from mainland Europe in 1767, she brought with her two Pomeranians. This is thought to have sparked interest in the breed during the 18th century. Her dogs were called Mercury and Phoebe and were the subject of much interest. Phoebe and Mercury were even depicted in paintings by the famous artist Sir Thomas Gainsborough. The paintings are evidence of how the breed has changed over the years as the dogs in the paintings are much larger than the modern Pomeranian breed. It is estimated that the dogs in the paintings weighed somewhere between 30 and 50 pounds. Other royals who have owned a Pomeranian include King George IV of England and Josephine de Beauharnais, the wife of Napoleon I of France.
10. Two Pomeranians Survived the Sinking of the Titanic
There are examples of Pomeranians that have had a significant role in historic events. These include the two Pomeranian dogs who survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic when it hit an iceberg in 1912. In total, only three dogs survived the tragedy and two of these were Pomeranians. One of these was the pet of Elizabeth Barrett Rothschild who escaped in lifeboat number six. The other was a Pomeranian called Lady who was owned by Miss Margaret Hays. Both the dog and her owner escaped to safety on lifeboat number seven. This event made these two of the most famous Pomeranians in history.
11. Pomeranians Consistently Rank in the Top 20 Most Popular Dogs in the United States
Pomeranians have remained popular throughout the 20th and 21st centuries and is consistently ranked in the top 20 most popular breeds of dog by the American Kennel Club. It was ranked in 10th position in 2010 but then dropped to 17th place in 2011. In both 2012 and 2013, it was ranked at number 19. The Pomeranian is particularly popular in cities in the United States. In Detroit and Orlando, it is ranked at joint tenth with the American Bulldog. In Los Angeles, this is the ninth most popular dog and the seventh most popular dog in Seattle. It is most popular in Honolulu where it is ranked in third position behind the Labrador Retriever and the German Shepherd Dog. The popularity of this breed in other countries around the world varies greatly.
12. It is Less Popular in the United Kingdom and Australia
The Pomeranian is not as popular in the United Kingdom and Australia as it is in the United States. It has consistently failed to achieve a ranking in the top 20 list compile by the Kennel Club of the UK. This is a little surprising as the Pomeranian has a long history in the UK compared to its history in the United States. However, it seems that this breed has now fallen out of trend with UK pet owners. Similarly, the popularity of this breed has seen a serious decline in Australia. In 1987, the breed was at its peak of popularity and there were 1,128 Pomeranians registered with the Australian National Kennel Club. By 2008, there were just 577 dogs of this breed registered in Australia. However, this was not the lowest point of the Pomeranian’s popularity in Australia as in 2004, there were only 491 dogs registered.
13. Internet Sensation Boo is a Pomeranian
Of all the famous Pomeranians, Boo is probably the biggest hit of them all. Boo is the pet of Irene Ahn, who is an employee of Facebook. She set up a Facebook page for Boo and he became an Internet sensation. By March 2016, Boo had received 17.5 million likes on his Facebook page and is also the subject of four photo books. Chronicles books approached Boo’s owner to create the photo books after they realized that the dog had over 5 million Facebook fans. They knew that the books would be an instant hit. One of the reasons that Boo gained popularity so quickly was that singer Kesha took a liking to the dog and posted on Twitter that she had a new boyfriend and added a link to Boo’s Facebook page. Boo became the Official Pet Liaison of Virgin America in July 2012. In the same year, Boo was the subject of a death hoax after someone posted a RIP Boo message on Facebook and the false news of his death trended on Twitter. It was later confirmed that Boo was alive and well and it was simply a hoax doing the rounds on social media.
14. Many Celebrities Own a Pomeranian
As they are such a cute breed of dog, Pomeranians have become very popular amongst celebrities. There are many famous people who own a Pomeranian and are often photographed by the paparazzi out and about with their delightful pets. Some of the celebrities who own a Pomeranian include Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Hilary Duff, LeAnn Rimes, Eva Longoria, Kelly Osborne, Gwen Stefani, and Fran Drescher. These celebrities often post pictures of themselves and their pets on their social media pages and some of the dogs have become minor celebrities in their own right.
15. Pomeranians Feature in Books and Movies
Pomeranians are a cute and loveable breed of dog, so it is little wonder that they have featured in so many books and movies. One of the most famous dogs from literature is a black Pomeranian called Duchess that features in ‘The Pie and Patty Pan’ book written by famous children’s author Beatrix Potter. Another is Bunty Rogers who features in the Australian book ‘My Trip by Bunty’ written by Hunter Rogers in 1964. In terms of movies featuring Pomeranians, there are many. Some of these include ‘Secret Life of Pets’, ‘Dumb and Dumber’, ‘Killer Bud’, ‘Harlem Nights’, ‘Hounded’, ‘Chasing Papa’, ‘Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure’, and ‘Titanic’. The latter reflects the true events in history involving the survival of two Pomeranians when RMS Titanic sank. Furthermore, you may also see Pomeranians popping up on television series, including reality shows such as ‘The Real Housewives’ franchise.
16. Alopecia X is a Common Condition Amongst Pomeranians
Compared to many other breeds of dog, there are very few health conditions to which the Pomeranian is prone. However, there are still some health problems of which Pomeranian owners should be aware. One of the health problems associated with this breed is a condition called Alopecia X. It is also known as ‘black skin disease’. This is a genetic disorder that leads to their skin turning black. The second symptom associated with this health condition is the loss of hair. While some dogs with Alopecia X will only lose some of their hair, it can result in total hair loss. This condition is often known by alternative names, such as coat funk, woolly coat, severe hair loss syndrome, and pseudo-Cushing’s disease. There are sometimes other reasons why a Pomeranian suffers from hair loss, such as hormonal disorders.
17. There Are Two More Common Health Problems Associated with Pomeranians
There are also two further common health problems associated with Pomeranians. These are luxating patella and tracheal collapse. The patella is the kneecap and a common problem for Pomeranians is that the ridges that form the patella are too shallow to allow it to sit securely and it can jump out of joint. This is caused either by malformation or trauma. Tracheal collapse is caused when the tracheal rings are weakened. This weakness causes them to collapse and this blocks the airway. This becomes more common as the dog gets older. Common symptoms include coughing and fainting.
18. 1926 was the First Time a Pomeranian Won the Toy Group at Westminster
There have been some landmark moments in the history of Pomeranians and one of these occasions was when a Pomeranian won the Toy Group for the first time at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. This event was in 1926 and the triumphant winner was a Pomeranian called Glen Rose Flashaway. Not only was it the first time a Pomeranian had won the Toy Group, it was the first time this breed was a winner of any group. There was a long wait to see a Pomeranian win the Best in Show prize from Westminster Kennel Club, however. It wasn’t until 1988 that a Pomeranian won this title for the first time and it was a dog called Great Elms Prince Charming II who achieved this.
19. They Need Very Little Exercise
One possible reason why this breed is so popular is that they need very little exercise. This means they will appeal to people with busy lives that do not have time to exercise a dog regularly or those who live in apartments in cities and have limited access to open outdoor spaces for dog exercising. It is also an appealing feature to dog lovers who have mobility issues as they want the companionship of a dog but do not have the physical capacity to exercise them regularly. The recommendations for this breed in terms of exercise are to simply take then on a short walk daily or to allow them to run around in an enclosed space. Despite needing very little exercise, they are very lively creatures who are constantly active and who thrive on attention.
20. They Have a Long Life Expectancy but Produce Small Litters
Pomeranians stand out against other breeds as they are a dog of extremes. On the one hand, they have one of the longest life expectancies of all the dog breeds as they can live for around 16 years. On the other hand, the produce a much smaller litter than most other dog breeds. The usual number of puppies produced in a single litter of a Pomeranian is between two and three pups. Some will even produce just one puppy. This means they are one of the least profitable breed options for dog breeders, especially if payment to the stud is one of the litter or they are planning to keep one of the litter themselves.