The Pomeranian (often known as a Pom or Pom Pom) is a breed of dog of the Spitz type, named for the Pomerania region in Central Europe (today part of northern Poland and eastern Germany). Classed as a toy dog breed because of its small size, the Pomeranian is descended from the larger Spitz type dogs, specifically the German Spitz. It has been determined by the Federation 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 17th 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 50%. Overall, the Pomeranian is a sturdy, healthy dog. The most common health issue is Luxating patella. Tracheal collapse can also be an issue. More rarely, the breed can suffer from a skin condition colloquially known as “black skin disease”, or alopecia ex. This is a genetic disease which causes the dog’s skin to turn black and lose all or most of its hair. The breed is currently among the top 15 most popular in the USA, and the current fashion for small dogs has increased their popularity worldwide.
Pomeranians are small dogs weighing 1.9–3.5 kilograms (4.2–7.7 lb) and standing 5.0–11 inches (13–28 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 Guard hair (top coat) forms a ruff of hair on the neck and back, 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.5 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, plus combinations of those colors. The most common colors are orange, black or cream/white.