A descendant of the spritz dog family originally from Iceland and Lapland: Pomeranians made their way to Pomerania — today split between Poland and Germany — several hundred years ago. Although they were initially large working dogs, bred for the purpose of pulling sleds and hunting, they were sized down in the 1800s to become little toy dogs.
A favourite of royalty — Queen Victoria had a large influence on Pomeranians becoming one of the most popular and loved toy dogs. Today, they make great pets and are known for their intelligence and playful nature.
Find out everything you need to know about Pomeranians with our in-depth guide.
How much does Pomeranian insurance cost?
In 2022 the average cost to insure a Pomeranians was £479.70 which is just slightly above ManyPets average dog insurance costs for all breeds which is £466.78.
Pomeranians are highly intelligent, making training relatively easy. They are a lively breed, however, and can sometimes be stubborn when it comes to following instructions. When training your puppy, the trick is to be consistent and not let them get away with anything.
In general, Pomeranians are considered to be one of the easiest dogs to train in the Toy Group. They are smart dogs that are eager to please and respond well to positive reinforcement. They also have a longer attention span than many other breeds.
Toy dogs like Chihuahuas and Shih Tzus tend to be more independent and, therefore, more likely to disobey commands. These breeds often require more patience to train effectively.
Breed bad habits
Although it’s great for alerting you to strangers, the most common challenge Pomeranian owners face is barking. They are chatty dogs who often bark in a high pitch at almost everything, possibly causing issues with neighbours.
Even though Pomeranians are small dogs, they have large personalities and can sometimes forget about their size. Therefore, if not trained or socialised properly, Pomeranians can be defensive if they are frightened by other dogs or strangers.
Pomeranian gender differences
Female Pomeranians are generally more territorial and cautious than males, meaning they are more protective of their family and can be unsure of strangers.
They also tend to be more intelligent and likely to follow your commands, making it easier to teach new tricks.
Female size information
Height: 18-30 cm
Weight: 1.4-3.1 kg
Length: 24-28 cm
Male Pomeranians are generally more playful than females and require a lot of attention. As a result, they can become distracted easily, and seek to have fun rather than comply with instructions. Training, therefore, requires more patience than it does with females.
Their lively personalities also make them better at bonding and dealing with other dogs and humans.
Male size information
Height: 18-30 cm
Weight: 1.4-3.1 kg
Length: 24-28 cm
Pomeranian breed health
Healthy Pomeranians are expected to live for around 12 to 16 years.
Although they are generally healthy dogs, potential health problems Pomeranians are prone to include:
A collapsed trachea — A common problem in Pomeranians due to their small neck and windpipe: a collapsed trachea can be a result of wearing a collar and pulling on the lead. However, the main contributing factor to the severity of the condition is weight. Overweight pets may have excessive fat around the neck, making it more difficult to breathe, which causes a bigger issue with tracheal collapse. Symptoms to look out for include difficulty breathing, coughing, and wheezing. Pomeranians should therefore be walked in a harness to avoid putting pressure on the windpipe, causing it to collapse. The condition can also be inherited, so buying a dog from a reputable breeder will reduce the possibility of it being passed on. Medication, or surgery in extreme cases, may be required to manage the windpipe and speaking to your vet to manage your pup’s weight will also alleviate the problem.
Hypoglycaemia — If your Pomeranian is experiencing sudden weakness, lack of appetite, seizures, or shaking, they may have hypoglycaemia — a condition caused by a drop in blood sugar levels. This is often seen in small toy breeds and is usually a result of a poor diet or lack of food.
Patella luxation — A common condition that affects small breeds: patella luxation is when the kneecap slips out of place and then pops back in. If your Pomeranian is experiencing this problem, you may notice them sometimes running on three legs, or skipping. Although it doesn’t usually require treatment, surgery may be required if the case is serious.
Reverse sneezing — Paroxysmal respiration - or more commonly known as reverse sneezing - is a condition in which dogs quickly pull air in through the nose. This is usually caused by allergies or air pollution like smoke. Although it isn’t usually serious, if it’s happening often, a vet may prescribe antihistamines.
Cataracts — Toy breeds like Pomeranians have a higher risk of developing cataracts: when the eye becomes cloudy, reducing vision. This eye disease can be hereditary, as well as caused by old age or diabetes. Spotting the signs early will give the best chance of solving the issue, or surgery may be possible to remove cataracts.
Black skin disease — Also known as alopecia x, Pomeranians are prone to black skin disease, a condition which causes hair loss. Once the fur falls out, the skin can become hyperpigmented and darker due to air exposure — hence the name. Although the definite cause of the disease is unknown, it’s likely to be linked to hormonal imbalances. The condition is painless, and there are no other symptoms associated with it, but treatments are available to re-grow the hair for cosmetic purposes. However, there may be an underlying cause of hair loss, so it’s best to take your pooch to the vet for a check-up.
Distichiasis — Distichiasis occurs when long eyelashes (common in Pomeranians) poke into the eye, damaging the surface leading to corneal ulcers. In mild cases, lubricants can be prescribed, or electrolysis can be performed, which involves passing an electrical current through the eyelash root to destroy it. Severe cases may require cryotherapy — freezing the hair follicles to destroy them.
“Pomeranians can be a breed that live long, healthy lives,” says Dr. Kirsten Ronngren, DVM MRCVS.
“However, they do come with a few commonly diagnosed conditions that owners should be educated on so they can be on the lookout for clinical signs. For example, keeping your Pom at a healthy weight can be a massive help if they do suffer from tracheal collapse.”
“If you suspect your pomeranian has symptoms of a disease common to its breed, contact your vet immediately: the earlier it's addressed, the easier it can be to manage.”
Pomeranian colours and variants
Colours available: Although Pomeranians are best known for their tan coat, there are many colours available, including black, white, red, cream, sable, brown, and blue.
Markings: Although most Pomeranians have single-colour coats, they are also available with black and tan markings.
Breed variants: Although only the standard Pomeranian is considered pure, there are three variations of the breed based on their size and weight: standard, miniature, and throwback.
Caring for Pomeranians
Although they have a lot of energy, Pomeranians are small dogs, so they require no more than 30 minutes of walking per day. Walking them more than this can damage their joints, particularly in puppies.
Despite being small dogs, they can run surprisingly quickly, so recall training or putting them on a lead when necessary is important to keep them safe.
Protein-rich foods like chicken or turkey will provide your Pomeranian with the best nutrients. There should also be a balance of vegetables, carbohydrates like white rice, and organs like the liver.
As Pomeranians are small, their digestive systems are also small and sensitive. Therefore, it may be best to spread food over 3 to 4 meals per day. As they are active dogs that tend to burn calories quickly, this will also help them to retain energy throughout the day.
It can often be difficult for owners to build a healthy diet on their own so speaking to a vet for advice will ensure dietary needs are being met. A vet can also monitor weight — as little dogs, a change of just 1 pound is significant and could propose health risks for Pomeranians.
Although the amount of sleep your Pomeranian needs will depend on the activity during the day, adult dogs need around 12-14 hours of sleep per day. However, puppies need more — 18-20 hours will help growth and development.
“Pomeranians can seem like they’re full of energy, but it’s important not to try to overcompensate with long walks,” says Kirsten. “They don’t have particularly strong joints, so overwalking can cause long-term problems.”
Kirsten also advises regular check-ups for Pomeranians. “There are a lot of health issues with Pomeranians that can be easily dealt with if spotted early enough. Try to take your pet to the vet at least 1 - 2 times per year. Anytime for regular health checkups and when you have a concern. This proactive approach can help your pet lead a long and happy life.
Pomeranians are playful dogs, making them great pets for families with older children. They’re sociable, affectionate, and love to be around their owners.
How good are Pomeranians with kids?
Pomeranians are small and delicate, so they may not be appropriate for families with young children; picking them up and dropping them can easily break their bones. They’re also easily provoked and bark at loud noises or any disturbance.
How affectionate are pomeranians?
Although Pomeranians tend to be cautious of strangers, they are known for being affectionate with their owners. They become quickly attached, demanding a lot of attention and dislike being separated.
How territorial are Pomeranians?
Pomeranians are very territorial and protective of their owners. This means they often bark at strangers and can turn to aggression if frightened by strangers or other dogs — especially if they aren’t socialised from an early age.
How friendly are Pomeranians with other dogs?
If Pomeranians are socialised properly as a puppy, they tend to be friendlier towards other dogs. However, females are likely to be more cautious or aggressive, as they are usually more territorial than males.
How much will Pomeranians tolerate other pets?
Although they can be territorial, Pomeranians can get along with other toy dogs or even cats if introduced from an early age.
How much attention do Pomeranians need?
Pomeranian puppies require lots of attention, and shouldn’t be alone for long periods of time, whereas adult dogs can be left for around 6-8 hours. If alone for too long, Pomeranians may pace or become destructive.
Pomeranian coat and grooming
Pomeranians have a double coat: the undercoat is soft and fluffy, and the outer coat is long, straight, and harsh in texture. Due to their thick fur, they are prone to matting and require a good amount of grooming to promote good health and hygiene.
Coat type: Long
How often to groom: Pomeranians should be groomed every 4 to 6 weeks to maintain a healthy coat. This includes trimming, bathing, and blowing their coat dry. Their coat should also be brushed every 2 days to prevent tangling and matting.
Hypoallergenic or not?: No, Pomeranians are not hypoallergenic. As they have a double-layer coat, they shed a lot, meaning dander present in their fur can spread around the house, causing a reaction in people who are allergic.
Pomeranian bark sound
Pomeranians are vocal dogs and usually bark in a high pitch at anything and everything — especially other dogs and strangers.
The bark of a Pomeranian is often described as a yap, which can be constant if not trained well. They may also do a sharp, loud bark if they feel threatened by a stranger or want to warn you of danger. Providing enough exercise, attention, and avoiding shouting at your Pomeranian can help reduce excessive barking.
Frequently asked questions about Pomeranians
Are Pomeranians high-maintenance dogs?
Although Pomeranians are social dogs that enjoy time and attention, they require minimal care and walking compared to other dogs.