Pomeranians are small dogs with a strong sense of playfulness. They are popular dogs. However, they aren’t necessarily a good choice for every dog owner. If you want something similar, you should know there is a wide range of dog breeds similar to the Pomeranian, meaning you won’t be short on options when you look for them.
1. American Eskimo Dog
American Eskimo Dogs have a somewhat misleading name. Generally speaking, if a dog breed’s name mentions either a place or a people, it is natural to think those things are connected to said dog breed’s origins. The inclusion of “American” in American Eskimo Dog is reasonable. In contrast, the inclusion of “Eskimo” is not. To be fair, the American Eskimo Dog’s origins aren’t 100 percent clear. Still, they descend from small, white-furred spitzes often found in German-American communities, meaning their likeliest ancestors are white-furred German Spitzes and their white-furred relatives.
The U.S. WWI Centennial Commission says a wave of anti-German sentiment swept over the country because of the First World War. That had a wide range of consequences. One example is how German-Americans changed their German-sounding names to English-sounding names. Something similar happened to things connected to German culture. Hamburgers became liberty sandwiches, while sauerkraut became liberty cabbage. The somewhat misleading name of American Eskimo Dogs was an intentional decision to distance these dogs from their origins.
In any case, American Eskimo Dogs look much the same as their probable relatives. That is a huge selling point because most people consider small, white-furred spitzes adorable-looking. Better still, American Eskimo Dogs come in standard, miniature, and toy, meaning you can choose the size you like the most instead of settling for the sole available option. Besides this, American Eskimo Dogs have a fair amount going on in their heads. These dogs are intelligent but independent. Moreover, American Eskimo Dogs get along well with their family members but are much more reserved towards strangers. Still, everything should work out so long as you remember to provide them with the necessary activity, training, and socialization.
2. Finnish Lapphund
When you think about domesticated animals, chances are good you aren’t going to think about deer. After all, most of them remain wild despite our extensive interactions with them since prehistoric times. No one can say for sure why things turned out the way they did in this matter. Common speculation ranges from their skittishness to their ability to just straight-up die from stress.
With that said, there is a notable exception to this rule in the form of reindeer, which people semi-domesticated in Fennoscandia and Russia. That means reindeer herding is a thing. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that means reindeer herding dogs are a thing. The Finnish Lapphund Club of America says their dog breed served that role for the Sami people of Northern Fennoscandia. Specifically, these dogs originated as a mix between guard dogs and hunting dogs.
Later, when the Sami became more sedentary to focus on reindeer herding, these dogs changed along with their human masters. The Finnish Lapphund took a serious hit when the 20th century introduced modern transportation methods to the region. Fortunately, there were enough interested individuals to save it before it got into too much trouble.
Regardless, the Finnish Lapphund is a smart, energetic, and friendly animal. Despite that, it makes a surprisingly decent watchdog because it likes to bark whenever it sees something unfamiliar. Supposedly, this is because the barking made it easy to distinguish the Finnish Lapphund from wolves. Unfortunately, the modern version makes for a poor guard dog. Its instinct is to flee from threatening situations rather than stand its ground. Still, the Finnish Lapphund is a wonderful companion, particularly for people who enjoy the outdoors even when it is cold outside.
3. Finnish Spitz
The Finnish Spitz is another Finnish dog breed. In its case, it was a hunting dog. However, the Finnish Spitz wasn’t a hunting dog of Finnish nobility. Instead, it was a hunting dog of Finnish commoners, meaning it played an important role in ensuring that its human masters remained well-fed. In pre-modern times, that was a huge boon because food scarcity was a constant concern for the overwhelming majority of the population. Like the Finnish Lapphund, the Finnish Spitz started declining by the late 19th century and early 20th century but interested individuals recognized its potential in time to save it from a slow extinction.
In any case, the Finnish Spitz is what you would expect based on its role. For instance, it tends to get along well with other dogs, but it tends to be unreliable around small animals it sees as prey. Cats can go either way, but these dogs have better chances of getting along with cats when people raise them alongside the latter. Similarly, the Finnish Spitz needs a lot of regular activity. As a result, you shouldn’t get one of these dogs unless you can satisfy this requirement. At the very least, the Finnish Spitz needs one or two long walks daily.
4. German Spitz
The German Spitz is related to every dog breed on this list. In some cases, that is because of shared ancestry; in other cases, that is because those dog breeds descend from it. With that said, you can make an argument that the German Spitz is closest to the Keeshond on this list. According to Animal Wised, the FCI says the German Spitz is a dog breed with five varieties. Three of the five varieties have names based on their sizes. Meanwhile, the other two are the Keeshond and the Pomeranian. Other kennel clubs sometimes see these varieties as separate dog breeds.
Different varieties of the same dog breed are a good thing. If you want a somewhat bigger dog, you can get one. Alternatively, if you want a somewhat smaller dog, you can get that instead. All German Spitzes are people-pleasers with a fair amount of reliance on human companionship. They tend to be clever, curious, and courageous, which is a pleasing combination of characteristics for a lot of people. Given that, it is no wonder that German Spitzes have spread so far.
5. Indian Spitz
For instance, Paws India states that Indian Spitzes are descendants of German Spitzes. In short, the British brought over German Spitzes during their rule of the Indian subcontinent. Initially, these dogs struggled a bit because of the change in environments. Over time, people bred them to become more heat-resistant, meaning they have some notable differences from their ancestors.
It is interesting to note that the Indian Spitz was particularly popular in the 1980s and 1990s. Essentially, the Indian government implemented restrictive rules on the import of dog breeds. As a result, Indian dog enthusiasts dedicated more of their attention to Indian dog breeds. Indian Spitzes are one of the Indian dog breeds that benefited from this trend, though to be fair, they do have much to recommend them. After all, they have retained their lovable nature, meaning they remain an excellent choice for a canine companion.
6. Japanese Spitz
Japan is home to several kinds of spitzes. Some of these spitzes have ancient roots. For example, the Akita is a formidable hunter of Northern Honshu that was around during the age of the samurai. Likewise, the Shiba is a somewhat less formidable hunter of Central Honshu that was around during the same period. Under these circumstances, the Japanese Spitz stands out because it is a relatively new dog breed. Daily Paws says it descends from white-furred German Spitzes, which arrived in Japan via Northeastern China. Japanese Spitzes had their dog show debut in 1921, which says much about their age compared to their counterparts.
Unsurprisingly, Japanese Spitzes are also popular like their ancestors. Their positive characteristics make them a good choice of companion for people of every age. Of course, you should still supervise them when they are interacting with young children because you should always supervise dogs under said circumstances. Young children don’t automatically know how to safely interact with dogs. Meanwhile, dogs don’t necessarily have the patience to put up with such interactions. Adult supervision is a sensible precaution to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.
As mentioned earlier, the FCI considers the Keeshond one of five varieties of German Spitzes. With that said, it is easy to see why other kennel clubs consider it a separate dog breed. After all, the Keeshond originated in the Netherlands, which is a separate country even though Dutch and German are related languages. The resemblance becomes very clear when you note the resemblance between Dutch and Deutsch, which would be the German for “German.”
Besides this, it helps that the Keeshond took on distinct roles in its homeland. National Purebred Dog Day says these dogs can trace their existence to a few centuries back. As such, the Dutch used them as barge dogs, meaning they did double duty as guard dogs and companion dogs. The Keeshond even took on a political significance in the late 18th century. At that time, there was a clash between the Orangists and the Patriots, who supported and opposed the rule of the stadholder respectively.
These dogs were a symbol of the Patriots, which became very awkward when the Orangists won because of foreign intervention. Keeshond numbers plummeted for a time, particularly since people were replacing their barges with bigger boats. Luckily, it became yet another dog breed saved by the timely intervention of local dog enthusiasts.
If you aren’t satisfied with either the Pomeranian or dog breeds similar to the Pomeranian, you might want to consider getting a designer dog. Essentially, these are dogs created using two purebred dogs of different dog breeds. Designer dogs became popular in the late 20th century because people wanted dogs that combined the best characteristics of more than one dog breed. Of course, designer dogs have their issues. In particular, they are unpredictable mixes of their parents, thus making it even more important that you get to know the exact dog you are interested in.
Generally speaking, it is very easy to tell what a designer dog is supposed to be. For instance, the first part of Pomsky makes it clear that it is part-Pomeranian. Meanwhile, the second makes it clear that it is part Siberian Husky. These dogs can be very likable so long as you are prepared for their incredible activity needs. If you like living a more sedate lifestyle, you might want to look elsewhere.
Samoyeds are suspected relatives of the various spitzes on this list. Supposedly, some spitzes made their way from what is now Russia to Northern Europe and Central Europe. As a result, the Samoyed’s resemblance to its suspected relatives becomes unsurprising in this context.
Like the other dogs on this list, Samoyeds are cheerful animals. That is good because these dogs are famous for their perpetual smiles. Said expression is a product of the upturned corners of their mouth, which have a more practical function by preventing their drool from coming out. Out in Siberia, that would have prevented the face of these dogs from becoming coated in ice. Samoyeds are also very active dogs. Originally, they were sled dogs that also did other jobs such as guarding and hunting.
10. Volpino Italiano
Germany was in constant contact with Italy throughout the medieval era. Depending on the period, they were under the same government because the Holy Roman Empire sometimes extended far beyond the borders of modern Germany. As such, the ancestors of the German Spitz made their way to the Italian peninsula, where they gave rise to the Volpino Italiano. These dogs received their name because they resembled foxes. Other than that, they are also notable for being bigger than Pomeranians, which is good if you think the latter is too small.