Pomeranian Dog Temperament: A tiny dog with the heart of a lion
Are you here to learn more about the Pomeranian dog temperament and your life with a Pomeranian would be like? Then you're barking up the right tree.
Whether you're a novice dog owner or have owned dogs before, it's always good to learn more about the temperament of the dog you'd like to take the plunge with.
Walking around with a Pomeranian will almost certainly catch the attention of curious and captivated onlookers. With their stunning coats and intelligent, charming looks, the Pomeranian is usually the focal point of every party.
Their little fox-like faces seem to smile all the time and compliment their curious and outgoing temperament. In the following blog, we will look at their impressive history as herding dogs, their temperament and whether the Pom is everything you wish for in a good family dog. So, without delay, let's explore these fluffballs in more detail.
History of the Pomeranian
The history of the Pomeranian is long and exciting, but not all that it seems!
The small Pomeranian breed originated from Pomerania, a northern geographical area between Germany and Poland along the Baltic Sea. The region's name comes from the Slavic expression "po more, " meaning "land at sea".
Back then, the tiny Pomeranian wasn't all so little. Their ancestors were powerful and athletic arctic dogs pulling a sledge through snowy terrain. This Spitz group is home to dogs like the Husky, Alaskan Malamute and Samoyed, with standard features of pointing ears and long muzzles. Pomeranians also still have the double coat that keeps them warm in colder weather.
The Spitz-type Pomeranian was used to herd livestock on farms as well. Their weight came closer to 14kg back then, and they were capable and highly skilled working dogs. Some were even used as watchdogs.
Although the exact breed date is unknown, the first reference to a Pom is from a book by James Boswell from 1794. "The Frenchman had a Pomeranian dog named Pomer whom he was mighty fond of." All in all, there are many references to these types of dogs across Europe.
Poms grew in popularity when Queen Charlotte imported two pet dogs into the UK in 1767, which she called the Pomeranians. But her granddaughter, Queen Victoria, made the dogs fashionable. Queen Victoria founded a kennel and was interested in temperamentally developing this breed. In her lifetime, the size of the Pom fell by 50%, and they became popular lap dogs in British High Society. So one could say that the "real" birth country of the lap-sized dog is England.
The first breed standard was written in 1898 in the UK. In 1909 it was revised and specified further. A significant characteristic of the breed is their tail, perfect erect ears and intelligent expression.
There are a lot of colours in the Pomeranian breed. Accepted colours by the British Kennel Club would be Black, Blue, White, Orange, Cream and Chocolate. The Pom coat colour should be free from black or white shadings.
Pomeranian registrations in the UK 2023
In Q2 2022, 620 Pomeranians were registered with the UK Kennel Club. In the full year of 2022 2,582 Poms were registered which is not a huge difference to 2021.
Source: https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/2406/quarterly-breed-stats-toys.pdf updated March 2023
What is the Temperament of a Pomeranian?
A life with a Pom is always exciting.
The Pomeranian has an inquisitive temperament with a lot of energy and an open mind to life. Although they have been bred smaller to be lap dogs, their character is indeed that of a bigger dog. Nothing escapes the eyes of a Pomeranian, and they have the courage of a lion.
Pomeranians are very versatile dogs with huge personalities. They happily cuddle up with you as you quickly become their favourite person. Their curiosity makes them easy to train, and they thrive on challenges. However, Pomeranians also have a fiercely loyal and protective temperament. This can make them distrustful of strangers, and they can bark while deciding if they like your guests.
Socialisation is crucial in the puppy stage. During that time, your Pom learns to deal with other dogs, cats and children. Good socialisation will lead to a well-behaved and balanced Pom, who will not react nervously to unknown situations. Conversely, skip the socialisation stage, and your Pom will be distrustful of strangers and harder to handle in overwhelming situations.
Daily walks are enough to keep this dog happy. They're small and don't eat much, so they don't need to burn large amounts of calories. However, due to their high energy, it's a good idea to tire them out with some play at home. Poms love walks. Their curious nature loves to explore new smells and areas around them. Whilst they do love the cuddles, daily walks with you are the highlight of their day.
The Pomeranian is a very vocal dog and has a lot to say. They will alert you if someone is near your door or they are unhappy with a situation or want something. Due to their size, they're a breed that can live in a smaller apartments. But their loud bark can annoy your neighbours, so think twice if that's something you can deal with or invest all your time in teaching them to stop barking on command.
The Pom sees itself as being larger than they actually are. This can sometimes lead to situations where they overestimate their own capabilities. Examples would be chasing after larger dogs or jumping from areas too high for them. They're not shy around other dogs and are good watchdogs as they want to protect you. Their watchdog role in your household will be taken very seriously, accompanied by their barking sound.
They were traditionally understood as difficult dogs for children, often lacking the patience that needs to be displayed for little ones. Today, the Pom has been bred to be kinder and more open. Regardless, children should always be taught to be mindful around a Pom and never hurt them.
Pomeranians are, in general, better suited to older children. A Pom that hasn't been appropriately socialised will not react kindly to foolishness. Furthermore, smaller children's clumsiness can lead to Pom injuries.
The Pomeranian coat should be brushed regularly to avoid knots and matting. If you feel you can't keep up with a daily brushing routine, a short-haired toy dog could be a better option. They shed moderately, so if you're overly houseproud, you should also re-think your intention to get a Pom. There are dog breeds that shed less than a Pom.
Due to their small size, don't leave your Pom alone in your garden. They can quickly be snatched as they can be perceived as prey by larger flying animals.
Let's now have a look at some common Pomeranian Dog questions.
Are Pomeranians hypoallergenic?
This information might come as a big disappointment to allergy-suffering Pomeranian lovers. No, Pomeranians are not hypoallergenic dogs. That said, all dogs shed some level of dander that can cause allergic reactions, and there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. Dogs with a double-coat shed twice a year. Some claim that Pomeranians are better for people with allergies due to their seasonal shedding and small size.
If you are an allergy sufferer, we recommend enjoying the company of different Poms before you decide to bring one into your home. Regularly brushing the coat of your Pom can, for example, catch the dander before it ends up in your soft furniture and alleviate the problem. Also, make sure to have dog-free areas like your bedroom.
When is a Pomeranian full grown?
Poms are usually considered full grown when they're 1 year old. Some Pomeranians might continue to fill up until 16 months, but it's a bit unusual. Their average height range is around 18-24cm at the withers, and they can weigh anywhere between 1.5-3kg.
Genes will determine the final weight and height of your Pom. A good indication is to see both parents. Be mindful that you can go as far back as 5 generations and find attributes that can affect your Pom today.
Are Pomeranians aggressive?
No, they are companion dogs and haven't got an aggressive streak in them. However, any dog is capable of displaying aggressiveness in certain situations.
Pomeranians can be aloof with people and other dogs they don't know and bark as a result. A well-socialised Pom should never react aggressively. However, sometimes unknown situations or negative experiences can put them on edge, and they can be yappy or growling. If this is the case, contact a dog behaviourist to correct the behaviour. In most instances, training and patience will solve the issue of a growling Pom.
Pomeranian Temperament in a nutshell
Considered one of the most inquisitive and fiercely loyal breeds
Poms are not shy around other dogs and strangers
Reconsider, if you have very small, clumsy children as the Pom can be hurt easily and potentially nip.
Pomeranians tend to bark a lot
Will make a great watchdog with their great attention to detail
Potential health issues in the Pomeranian breed
As a new owner, you should be prepared to pay medical expenses associated with the breed. Therefore, always opt for comprehensive insurance.
As with many smaller breeds, Pomeranians have a longer lifespan than bigger dogs ranging between 12-16 years.
There are some Pomeranian-specific diseases that this little dog can be prone to. Of course, it doesn't mean that your dog will acquire these. But it's always important to be mindful of breed-related health issues.
Luxating patella: Orthopaedic issue than can become apparent in smaller dog breeds. It's a condition when the kneecap moves out of its normal position. If your little Pom starts limping or holding their leg up while walking, get it checked out by a vet.
Collapsed trachea: narrower airway that affects the windpipe and makes breathing harder. It affects many toy breeds like the Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahuas or Maltese. A lot of coughing, gagging and wheezing sounds can be a symptom.
Alopecia X or Black Skin disease: The X stands for "unexplained loss of fur or hair". It typically appears in Spitz dogs like the Pom, Chow Chow, Alaskan Malamute or Elkhounds. The skin where the hair falls out looks black, hence the name. It's believed to be hereditary.
Post Clipping Alopecia: Shaving a Pom causes hair follicles to be left on the skin, which signals not to re-grow the coat. Never shave your Pomeranian, as it will alter your Poms coat permanently. Follicles can be damaged, and the coat will not grow back as it was before.
Other diseases to be aware of:
Pomeranian Reverse sneezing
The more aware you are of these diseases, the higher the chances you can catch them early and contact the vet immediately. Like your child, be mindful of required vaccinations, risks, and hazards outside your home.
Many dog owners underestimate the danger in some pet toys and accessories that can worsen health issues when they innocently buy cheap products from the Far East. The linked article outlines the plastic and toxic dyes in dog products.
Avoid synthetic rubber playthings like chew bones or tug o' war ropes from dyed polyester; Swap out those harmful materials with eco-friendly pet products from hemp here at Hooman’s Friend. Breathable, eco-friendly and sustainable!
Pomeranian fun facts
On rare occasions, a litter with a throwback Pomeranian can be produced. What is a throwback Pomeranian? Pomeranians were arctic working dogs before they were bred to smaller lap sizes. At times, and this happens completely randomly, you can get a Pomeranian that weighs over 6kg and is larger than the breed standard.
This is a Pom whose sledge dog ancestors' genes are more dominant. They're basically "thrown back" to those early dogs and much bigger than your average Pom. Your Pomeranian is still purebred and has even certain benefits. Tiny Pomeranians can get injured easily when they leap off sofas or armchairs. A fall from a bed can be enough to cause a sprain or a pulled ligament. A throwback Pomeranian will be a lot less fragile in that regard. They're also better for smaller children!
"To follow soon"
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After reading our blog about the temperament of the ever-smiling Pomeranian, you're probably even a bigger fan of this toy dog breed. If you are looking for a purse-sized, good-natured and curious companion, this dog breed is for you. They're fun to be with and will brighten your day.
Socialise and invest your free time into training, and you will develop a well-rounded companion who will be a fantastic addition to your household.
Remember that the Pomeranian can have a vocal, protective and fiercely loyal temperament. Their small size and a lion's courage can sometimes cause some troublesome encounters. Stick with training and socialisation; your Pom should get used to strange and out-of-the-ordinary encounters.
Before you decide that the Pomeranian is your dog of choice, be sure you can handle their barking in an apartment-like setting. Either way, their huge personality will enrich your life, and they will quickly become your centre of attention (their favourite place to be).
Pomeranian Summary Info box
Tendency to drool
Tendency to bark
Tendency to dig