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Pomeranian

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Pomeranian

The Pomeranian (often known as a Pom) is a breed of dog of the Spitz type that is named for the Pomerania region in north-west Poland and north-east Germany in Central Europe. Classed as a toy dog breed because of its small size, the Pomeranian is descended from larger Spitz-type dogs, specifically the German Spitz. It has been determined by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale to be part of the German Spitz breed; and in many countries, they are known as the Zwergspitz (“Dwarf-Spitz”).

The breed has been made popular by a number of royal owners since the 18th century. Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian and consequently, the smaller variety became universally popular. During Queen Victoria’s lifetime alone, the size of the breed decreased by half. Overall, the Pomeranian is a sturdy, healthy dog. The most common health issues are luxating patella and tracheal collapse.

More rarely, the breed can have Alopecia X, a skin condition colloquially known as “black skin disease”. This is a genetic disease which causes the dog’s skin to turn black and lose all or most of its hair. As of 2013, in terms of registration figures, since at least 1998, the breed has ranked among the top fifty most popular breeds in the US, and the current fashion for small dogs has increased their popularity worldwide.


Appearance

Pomeranians are small dogs weighing 1.36–3.17 kilograms (3.0–7.0 lb) and standing 8–14 inches (20–36 cm) high at the withers. They are compact but sturdy dogs with an abundant textured coat with a highly plumed tail set high and flat. The top coat forms a ruff of fur on the neck, which Poms are well known for, and they also have a fringe of feathery hair on the hindquarters.

The earliest examples of the breed were white or occasionally brown or black. Queen Victoria adopted a small red Pomeranian in 1888, which caused that color to become fashionable by the end of the 19th century. In modern times, the Pomeranian comes in the widest variety of colors of any dog breed, including white, black, brown, red, orange, cream, blue, sable, black and tan, brown and tan, spotted, brindle, and parti, plus combinations of those colors. The most common colors are orange, black, or cream/white.

The merle Pomeranian is a recent colour developed by breeders. It is a combination of a solid base colour with a lighter blue/grey patch which gives a mottled effect. The most common base colours for the effect are red/brown or black, although it can also appear with other colours. Combinations such as brindle merle or liver merle are not accepted in the breed standard. In addition, the eye, nose and paw pad are marshmallow color, changing parts of the eye to blue and the color on the nose and paw pads to become mottled pink and black.

Pomeranians have a thick, double coat. While grooming is not difficult, breeders recommend that it be done daily to maintain the quality of the coat and because of its thickness and the constant shedding, with trimming every 1–2 months. The outer coat is long, straight, and harsh in texture while the undercoat is soft, thick and short. The coat knots and tangles easily, particularly when the undercoat is being shed, which happens twice a year.


Behavior

Pomeranians are typically friendly, lively and playful. They can be aggressive with other dogs and humans to try to prove themselves. Pomeranians are alert and aware of changes in their environment, and barking at new stimuli can develop into a habit of barking excessively in any situation. They are somewhat defensive of their territory and thus may bark when they hear outside noises. 

Pomeranians are intelligent, respond well to training, and can be very successful in getting what they want from their owners. They are extroverted and enjoy being the center of attention, but they can become dominant, willful and stubborn if not well trained and socialized. The use of toys can be an effective tool in training Pomeranians to spend time alone.


Health

he life expectancy of a Pomeranian is 12 to 16 years. A well-bred dog on a good diet with appropriate exercise will have few health problems; and, if kept trim and fit, a Pomeranian is a sturdy dog. The breed does have similar health issues to many dog breeds, although some issues such as hip dysplasia are uncommon because of the Pomeranian’s lightweight build. 

Some health issues can develop as a result of lack of attention to grooming and teeth-, ear-, and eye-cleaning. With routine care, these problems can be avoided. They are prone to early tooth loss, and dry food is recommended. Poms are one of the breeds with the smallest average litter size, with various sources giving numbers of between 1.9 and 2.7 puppies per litter.


Common problems

Merle colored dogs may have mild to severe deafness, blindness, increased intraocular pressure, ametropia, microphthalmia, and colobomas. Merle dogs born from parents who are also both merles may additionally have abnormalities of the skeletal, cardiac and reproductive systems.

Luxating patella is another health issue in the Pomeranian breed. It occurs when, through either malformation or trauma, the ridges forming the patellar groove in the knee are not prominent and are too shallow to allow the patella to properly sit securely. This can cause the patella to “luxate” (jump out of the groove) sideways which will cause the leg to lock up with the foot off the ground. While the muscles are contracted the patella cannot return to the correct position. The initial pain is caused by the knee cap sliding across the ridges of the femur. Once out of position, the dog does not feel any pain caused by the slipped disc.

Tracheal collapse is caused by a weakening of the tracheal rings in the windpipe. It occurs when the rings that normally hold the shape of the windpipe collapse, closing the airway. The symptoms of a collapse include a honking cough that can sound similar to a goose honk, an intolerance to exercise, fainting spells and a cough that is worsened by hot weather, exercise and excitement. The tendency for episodes of tracheal collapse typically increases in frequency and severity as the dog ages.

In Pomeranians, a condition often called “black skin disease” occurs which is a combination of alopecia (hair loss) and hyperpigmentation (a darkening of the skin). Other names for this condition include woolly coat, coat funk, pseudo-Cushing’s disease, or severe hair loss syndrome. This condition affects male Pomeranians more than females, and may be inherited. Although most affected dogs show signs following puberty, it can occur at any age. Other conditions can mimic this condition including Cushing’s syndrome, hypothyroidism, chronic skin infections, and reproductive hormone disorders.

 

Another common disorder in male Pomeranians is cryptorchidism. This is when either one or both of the testicles do not descend into the scrotum. It is treated through surgical removal of the retained testicle.


Origins

The forerunners of today’s Pomeranian breed were large working dogs from the Arctic regions. These dogs are commonly known as the Wolfspitz or Spitz type, which is German for “sharp point” which was the term originally used by Count Eberhard zu Sayn in the 16th century as a reference to the features of the dog’s nose and muzzle. The Pomeranian is considered to be descended from the German Spitz.

The breed is thought to have acquired its name by association with the area known as Pomerania which is located in northern Poland and Germany along the Baltic Sea. Although not the origin of the breed, this area is credited with the breeding which led to the original Pomeranian type of dog. Proper documentation was lacking until the breed’s introduction into the United Kingdom.

 
Breed Information

Other names

Pom, Pom Pom, Deutsche Spitze, Zwergspitz, Spitz Nain, Spitz Enano, Zwers

Origin

Pomeranian 1 Germany

Pomeranian 2 Poland

Breed Group

Toy (AKC:1888)

Companion Breeds (UKC)

Size

Smallest

Type

Purebred

Life span

12-16 years

Temperament

Active

Extroverted

Friendly

Intelligent

Lively

Playful

Sociable

Height

7-12 inches (18-30 cm)

Weight

3-7 pounds (1-3 kg)

Colors

Black

Black & Tan

Blue

Brown

Gray

Orange

Red

White

Litter Size

2-5 puppies

Puppy Price

Average $1500 – $2500 USD

 

 
Source: Wikipedia

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