November 7, 2022 - 9 min read

Vital stats

  • Breed type: Companion
  • Size: 6 - 14 inches
  • Weight: 3 - 9 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12 - 16 years


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  • Good with kids

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Pomeranians are descendants of the Spitz dog family from Iceland and Lapland.

Several hundred years ago, these dogs were brought to Pomerania, a historical region now split between Poland and Germany. As hard as it may be to believe, the Pomeranian's ancestors were large, powerful working dogs bred to hunt and pull heavy sleds.

But Pomeranians are very different from their modern-day cousins, like Siberian Huskies, Samoyeds, and Akitas. That's because breeders started downsizing certain Spitz dogs in the 1800s, ultimately arriving at the little toy dogs we know today.

A favorite of royalty, Britain's Queen Victoria played a large role in making Pomeranians one of the most popular and beloved toy dog breeds. (At one point, the queen kept 35 Pomeranians in the royal kennels!)

Known for their intelligence and playful nature, Pomeranians now make wonderful pets in the US and around the world. The American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1888.

Learn everything you need to know about Pomeranians with our in-depth guide.

How much does dog insurance cost for Pomeranians?

In 2022, the average cost to insure a Pomeranian was $38 per month—nearly identical to the average 2022 dog insurance premium across all breeds, which was $37. Learn more about insuring your Pom.

Pomeranian popularity

Pomeranians are quite popular. The American Kennel Club ranked them as the 24th-most popular dog breed in the US in 2021 and the fourth-most popular breed in the toy group. Pomeranians also seem to have a flair for fame, having won the favor of wildly dissimilar celebrities ranging from Paris Hilton to Keanu Reeves and David Hasselhoff. (Strange successors to Queen Victoria!)

Poms’ small size and manageable exercise requirements make them popular choices for people living in apartments and city environments. Pomeranians abound all around the US, but ManyPets has found the breed to be most popular in large states with many cities, including New York, California, Texas, and Georgia.

Poms’ small size and manageable exercise requirements make them popular choices for people living in apartments and city environments. Pomeranians abound all around the US, but ManyPets has found the breed to be most popular in large states with many cities, including New York, California, Texas, and Georgia.

Pomeranian training

Pomeranians are one of the easiest-to-train dogs in the toy group. They're highly intelligent pups who respond well to positive reinforcement and are eager to please. They also have a longer attention span than many other breeds.

They're a lively breed, however, and are sometimes stubborn about following instructions. When training your Pomeranian puppy, the key is to be consistent. Don't let them get away with anything.

Toy dogs like Chihuahuas and Shih Tzus tend to be even more independent and, therefore, more likely to disobey commands. These breeds often require more patience to train effectively.

Because of their intelligence, Pomeranians usually love learning new things. In fact, owners might find that they behave better when they’re being taught tricks or new behaviors.

But when you're training any puppy, patience is key. Pomeranians, in particular, can be quite sensitive. If you chastise them out of frustration, you might wind up taking some steps backward. Just try to make sure you’re feeling calm and relaxed before starting a training session, and never yell or lose your temper.

Breed bad habits

The most common challenge Pomeranian owners face is barking. This does make Pomeranians great at alerting their owners to strangers. But they’re chatty dogs who often bark at almost everything, which can cause issues with neighbors.

Even though Pomeranians are small dogs, they have large personalities and sometimes forget about their size. Poms can therefore be defensive when they feel threatened by other dogs or strangers, believing themselves to be the alpha in most situations. The confidence is admirable, but the results can be less than ideal for inattentive owners.

Pomeranian gender differences


Female Pomeranians are generally more territorial and cautious than males, which means they’re more protective of their families and can be wary of strangers.

On the other hand, they’re likelier than males to follow your commands without much fuss, which makes it easier to teach them new tricks.

Female size information

  • Height: 7–12 inches

  • Weight: 3.1–6.8 pounds

  • Length: 9–11 inches

  • Size: Small


Male Pomeranians tend to be more playful than females, and they require loads of attention. They can become distracted easily, seeking fun times instead of complying with instructions. Training males demands more patience than training females.

The good news is that their lively personalities make them better than females at bonding and socializing with other dogs and humans.

Male size information

  • Height: 7-12 inches

  • Weight:  3.1-6.8 pounds

  • Length: 9-11 inches

  • Size: Small

Pomeranian breed health

Although Pomeranians are generally healthy dogs, they are prone to certain health conditions, including collapsed trachea and hypoglycemia. In 2022, the average ManyPets claim for Pomeranians was $561, but we saw claims as high as about $9,500.

Like all dogs in the US, Pomeranians are also at risk of contracting rabies, a viral disease transmitted through direct contact. Rabies is essentially always fatal in dogs; making sure your pup receives the Rabies vaccine on schedule, along with any required boosters, will protect them from the disease.

Life expectancy

Healthy Pomeranians are expected to live for around 12 to 16 years.

Common health problems

Pomeranians are prone to certain health problems, including:

  • Collapsed Trachea: This is a common problem in Pomeranians due to their small neck and windpipe. One contributing factor is when a leash regularly pulls on a dog's collar; Pomeranians should be walked in a harness to avoid putting pressure on the windpipe. An even larger contributing factor is weight. Overweight pets may have excessive fat around the neck, making it more difficult to breathe, which creates a high risk of tracheal collapse. Symptoms to look out for include coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Medication — or even surgery in extreme cases — may be required to treat your Pomeranian's windpipe and manage symptoms. It's also a good idea to speak to your vet about managing your pup's weight, which may help you prevent or manage the problem before it arises or worsens. Bear in mind this condition can also be genetically inherited. Buying your dog from a reputable breeder is crucial, as responsible breeders take steps to prevent heritable conditions from being passed on. If you're adopting your dog from a shelter, you'll want to gather as much information as possible. Asking for veterinary records is a good way to help you learn about health conditions you should be aware of.

  • Hypoglycemia: If your Pomeranian is experiencing sudden weakness, lack of appetite, seizures, or shaking, they may have hypoglycemia — 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.

  • Patellar Luxation (AKA Luxating Patella): A common condition that affects small breeds, patellar 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. Patellar luxation can usually be treated through some combination of weight management, limitations on exercise, and pain or anti-inflammatory medication. In 2022, ManyPets received Pomeranian claims for patellar luxation that ran as high as about $450. But treatment can be much more costly in severe cases that require surgery. Surgery for patellar luxation can cost anywhere from $1,500 - $5,000 per knee.

  • Reverse Sneezing: Paroxysmal respiration (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, a vet may prescribe antihistamines if it’s happening too often. 

  • Cataracts: Toy breeds like Pomeranians are at higher risk of developing cataracts — a condition where the eye becomes cloudy, reducing vision. This eye disease can be hereditary. Other potential causes include old age and diabetes. Spotting the signs early will give you the best chance of preventing or effectively managing the condition. In advanced cases, surgery may be necessary to remove your Pomeranian’s cataracts. In 2022, ManyPets received Pomeranian claims for cataracts that ran as high as about $4,600.

  • Black Skin Disease: Pomeranians are prone to black skin disease, AKA alopecia X, a condition that 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 linked to hormonal imbalances. The condition is painless, and there are no other symptoms associated with it, but treatments are available to regrow 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. This damages the surface and leads to corneal ulcers. In mild cases, options include prescription lubricants or even electrolysis, which involves passing an electrical current through the eyelash root to destroy it. Severe cases may require cryotherapy, in which the hairs are frozen and destroyed.

Vet tips for Pomeranian owners

"Pomeranians can be a breed that lives long, healthy lives," says veterinarian 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 colors and variants

Colors Available: Although Pomeranians are best known for their tan coat, there are many colors available, including black, white, red, cream, sable, brown, and blue.

Markings: Most Pomeranians have single-color coats, but they’re also available with black and tan markings.

Breed Variants: There are three variations of the breed based on their size and weight: “standard,” “miniature,” and the larger “throwback.” (Officially, the American Kennel Club’s breed standard only recognizes “Pomeranian,” grouping all variants together.)

Caring for Pomeranians


Although they have a lot of energy, Pomeranians are small dogs, requiring no more than 30 minutes of walking per day. Walking them more than this can damage their joints, particularly in puppies.

They can run surprisingly quickly for such small dogs, so recall training is important to keep them safe, as is putting them on a leash when necessary—and remember to use a harness!

In colder states like Minnesota or Maine, you’ll need to be careful when walking your pooch. Large, thick-coated dogs like Huskies can tolerate extremely low temperatures. But small dogs like Pomeranians are likely to suffer if you keep them outside for too long in temperatures under 44 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the temperature dips below 21 degrees, your Pom might experience frostbite or hypothermia after a very brief time outside. 

You’ll also need to be cautious in hot states like California or Texas, where temperatures often reach over 100° in summer. Walking your dog too long in conditions above 68 degrees will increase the likelihood of heat stroke, especially in toy breeds like Poms. Going for a walk with your pooch early in the morning or when temperatures have cooled in the evening can help you avoid this.

Pomeranians have double coats, giving them some extra protection against cold weather. But their thick fur can make hot climates unbearable, so they may be best suited for states with more moderate temperatures.


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 iron-rich meat like liver. 

Pomeranians are small dogs with small and sensitive digestive systems. Therefore, it may be best to spread their food across 3 to 4 smaller meals per day. Since they’re active dogs that tend to burn calories quickly, this feeding schedule will also help them retain energy throughout the day.

It can often be difficult for owners to craft a healthy diet on their own, so speaking to a vet to get advice will ensure their dietary needs are being met. A vet can also monitor their weight. As small dogs, changes of just one pound can create health risks for Pomeranians. 


Although the amount of sleep your Pomeranian needs will depend on their daily activity, adult dogs need around 12–14 hours of sleep per day. Puppies need significantly more: 18–20 hours will help with growth and development.

Healthcare tips 

“Pomeranians can seem like they’re full of energy, but it’s important not to try to overcompensate with long walks,” says Dr. Ronngren. “They don’t have particularly strong joints, so overwalking can cause long-term problems.”

Dr. Ronngren 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 for a check-up a couple of times a year or whenever you have a concern. This proactive approach can help your pet lead a long and happy life.”

Pomeranian temperaments

Pomeranians are playful dogs. They’re sociable, affectionate, and love to be around their owners.

How good are Pomeranians with kids?

Pomeranians are great pets for families with older children. But since they’re small and delicate, 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, barking at loud noises or any disturbance.

How affectionate are Pomeranians?

Although Pomeranians tend to be cautious around strangers, they’re known for being affectionate with their owners. They quickly become attached (demanding lots 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 aggressive when frightened by strangers or other dogs, especially if they aren’t socialized from an early age.

How friendly are Pomeranians with other dogs?

When Pomeranians are socialized properly as puppies, they tend to be friendlier toward other dogs. However, females are likely to be more cautious or aggressive, as they’re usually more territorial than males.

Will Pomeranians tolerate other pets?

Although they can be territorial, Pomeranians can get along with other toy dogs or even cats if introduced at 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 due to separation anxiety.

Pomeranian coats 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.

How often to groom

Pomeranians should be groomed every four to six weeks to maintain a healthy coat. This includes trimming, bathing, and blowing their coat dry. Their coat should also be brushed every two days to prevent tangling and matting. 

Hypoallergenic or not?

No, Pomeranians are not hypoallergenic. Since 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 sounds

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 become constant if your Pom is not trained well. They may also issue a sharp, loud bark if they feel threatened by a stranger or want to warn you of danger. Providing enough exercise and attention and refraining from yelling 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 their owners’ time and attention, they require minimal care and walking compared to many other dogs.