by Gary Allison
The Pomeranian is a favorite among the toy groups. Its endearing fox-like face and comically poofy coat are almost irresistible. However, the Pomeranian is not for the traditional quiet, clinging lap dog. The most independent of the toy breeds, the Pomeranian does not cling to its owners.
This little (3 to 7lbs) guy's claim to fame is his giant personality. These active toys are notoriously animated, inquisitive and busy. So, if you are looking for a big clown in a little body then the Pomeranian is the dog for you. His antics will keep you entertained as well as attract attention. And although independent, their fierce loyalty makes them great companion dogs.
Ideal for those living in small spaces, Pomeranians make great apartment dogs. They don't need much exercise and spend most of their day taking naps. However, be prepared to keep them entertained while they are awake. Pomeranians are chock full of energy and they need to be entertained or they can develop behavioral problems and destructive habits. They are notorious chewers although with proper stimulation this behavior can be taken care of with a few chew toys left lying around.
Worried about how this tiny little dog will fare with your other household pets? No need. As long as they are properly socialized they get along with other dogs as well as cats.
However, please consider your neighbors' sanity before committing to more than one Pom. They are vocal dogs (females less so than males) and when in groups the chorus of yapping can become a bit much.
Although they are cuddly and loveable, Pomeranians require a lot of attention. Along with their entertainment needs, the soft, thick undercoat and coarser outer coat need to be groomed daily or else they develop painful mats and tangles. They also shed constantly so be prepared to become well acquainted with lint rollers and a pet hair specific vacuum. The undercoat also makes Pomeranians unsuitable for warmer climates if they will be spending extended periods of time out of doors. Their voluminous coats count for about 50% of their apparent size and they are prone to overheating.
Surprisingly, these tiny dogs make great watch dogs. They have a classic case of big dog trapped in tiny body. They are cocky and commanding and rarely back down from anything. Their resounding warning bark can be heard far and wide although its tiny size does not manage to come off as much of a threat. They tend to be reserved with strangers and can bark excessively at new people. It is a good idea to start obedience training early and teach your Pomeranian to bark a few times as an alert but then to 'be quiet for heaven's sake'.
A note of caution: this little dog is all personality and your baby's cute little personality quirks can easily become inappropriate behaviors if they are not loved with a firm hand.
These little tricksters need to know that there owner is the boss or they will not listen. They can become demanding, pushy, and snappy if they are allowed free behavioral reign. And while these dogs make good companions for elderly people, they should be closely monitored around very young children. However, they are fine around older, well behaved children.
Pomeranians are also prone to certain physical ailments. Early tooth loss can be a problem so while it is tempting to spoil them with canned food and table treats, the main part of a Pomeranians diet should be comprised of dry dog food to keep the teeth and gums in good condition. You should also make sure that your vet gives your dog regular teeth cleanings. Skin problems and eye infections can also be problematic especially as your Pomeranian ages.
But don't let these potential problems deter you. When making your breed decision, keep in mind that every breed of dog comes with its own caveats, and with the right mix of discipline and love their delightful natures can flourish.