|Size:||Extra Small (Under 10 lbs.)|
|Lifespan:||Long (12 to 15+ years)|
Pomeranians, also known as the Dwarf Spitz or Pom, are intelligent, affectionate, and fluffy little dogs, unmistakable for their golden, poofy coats. Pomeranians were bred as companions and watch dogs in Victorian Prussia, and are close cousins to the Northern European sheep-herding Spitz family. Pomeranians are typical lap dogs and make good apartment and city pets, although they can be demanding and yippy (but not usually emotionally needy). Pomeranians are happy with just a daily walk--indoor play will take care of most of their energy--and are easily trained. Poms can be temperamental or high-maintenance, however, and can also get snappy with small children. Pomeranians make perfect companions for retirees and the elderly and are increasingly trained as hearing assistance and therapy dogs.
Michaelangelo, Emile Zola, and Mozart all famously owned Pomeranians, and more recently, Pom owners include celebrities Nicole Richie and Sharon Osbourne, and athletes Sasha Cohen and Maria Sharapova.
Pomeranians are lively, affectionate toy dogs, usually weighing between 3 and 7 pounds. Poms are easily bathed and groomed, but their long, poofy coat needs to be brushed often and sheds constantly. Don't judge a book by its glamorous, privileged cover, either--underestimating the care needs and demands of a Pomeranian is the number one reason that most end up in shelters. Pomeranians are popular with city dwellers: they make perfect family pet in an apartment, are natural (and portable) lap dogs, love to play and go for walks, but are generally reserved with strangers (and strange dogs). Care in all aspects is generally minimized with toy dogs: cost, mess, shedding, grooming, and training. Poms can easily be taught to use pee pads or a litter box. As the AKC mentions, it's always easier to control a ten-pound dog than one ten times its size. Depending on how they are raised, Pomeranians are generally good with kids, seniors, and strangers (although due to their tiny size, children under 6 should always be supervised around a Pom). Common health problems include overheating, heart and autoimmune disease, and eye infections. Poms need to have their teeth cleaned regularly, and can become excessive barkers.
For more information on Pomeranian ownership and care, check out the American Pomeranian Club.