Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Pomeranians: the most honest dog breed review you'll ever find about Pomeranian temperament, personality, and behavior.

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Pomeranian dog breed

Pomeranian Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em

Pomeranian Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2016

The AKC Standard says the Pomeranian is "buoyant in deportment... inquisitive by nature... cocky, commanding, and animated."

That he is. Vivacious and spirited, bold and brash, the typical Pomeranian thinks he's "hot stuff."

He is a sharp-eyed busybody who must check out every sight, sound, and activity and preferably tell you what he thinks about it. He is delightfully alive and aware of everything going on around him.

Keenly alert to approaching strangers, the Pomeranian requires early socialization so that he doesn't become sharp or shrill.

Most are fine with other pets -- it is a tribute to their amiability that male Pomeranians can often run and play together with little or no bickering. Some Poms, though, are bossy and will attempt to chase strange dogs, regardless of size.

The Pomeranian is very bright and will look directly at you, cocking his head attentively. BUT he is not inclined to take orders from anyone whom he views as below himself in importance. Don't allow him to become possessive of his food or toys, and control barking from day one.

This proud, self-possessed little breed won't meekly submit to mischief or rough handling and is not a good choice for children.

If you want a dog who...

  • Is very small and "spitz-like", with pricked ears, foxy face, a thick coat, and curled tail
  • Is vivacious and spunky, bright and attentive
  • Is delightfully alive and aware of everything going on around him and keenly alert to approaching strangers
  • Is usually fine with other pets

A Pomeranian may be right for you.

If you don't want to deal with...

  • The fragility of toy breeds (see below)
  • Suspicious yappiness toward strangers when not socialized enough
  • Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
  • Barking
  • Regular brushing and combing
  • Heavy shedding
  • Housebreaking difficulties

A Pomeranian may not be right for you.

But you can avoid or minimize some negative traits by
  1. choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
  2. or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
  3. training your dog to respect you
  4. avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy

More traits and characteristics of the Pomeranian

If I was considering a Pomeranian, I would be most concerned about...

  1. Unstable temperaments. Pomeranians are a dime a dozen, and most of them are bred and offered for sale by people who don't have the slightest idea of how to breed good-tempered dogs. Obedience instructors and behavioral consultants see LOTS of Pomeranians with neurotic behaviors, including biting, sharpness, extreme fearfulness, moodiness, and general nastiness.

  2. Fragility. Too many people acquire a toy breed puppy without understanding how incredibly fragile a toy breed is. You can seriously injure or kill a Pomeranian puppy by stepping on him or by sitting on him when he's curled under a blanket or pillow, where he frequently likes to sleep. And Pomeranians can seriously injure or kill THEMSELVES by leaping from your arms or off the back of your sofa. A larger dog can grab a Pomeranian and break his neck with one quick shake. Owning a toy breed means constant supervision and surveillance of what's going on around your tiny dog. Pomeranians must always be kept indoors, in a safely fenced yard, or on-leash -- they are just too easy to injure when not under your complete control.

    If you have small children, I do not recommend a Pomeranian. There are just too many Poms who won't tolerate any nonsense. And there are too many Poms who feel overwhelmed by the loud voices and quick movements that children can't help making -- and stress and shyness (even defensive biting) may be the result.

  3. Suspiciousness. Standoffish by nature, Pomeranians need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds. Otherwise their natural caution can become suspiciousness, which are difficult to live with and could even lead to defensive biting.

  4. Mind of their own. Pomeranians are not a submissive or sissyish breed. They are very bright, but they have an independent mind of their own and can be manipulative. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.

    To teach your Pomeranian to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Pomeranian Training Page discusses the program you need.

  5. Barking. Pomeranians are often too quick to sound the alarm at every new sight and sound. You have to be equally quick to stop them. If you work all day and have close neighbors, Pomeranians are not a good choice for you. For the same reason, Pomeranians should NEVER be left outside in your yard, unsupervised. To make matters worse, some Poms have high-pitched barks that can set your teeth on edge.

  6. Grooming. To keep their thick coat free of mats, Pomeranians require regular brushing and combing, and occasional trimming of straggly hairs.

  7. Heavy shedding. Pomeranians are one of the heaviest shedding of the toy breeds. Frequent vacuuming will become a way of life.

  8. Housebreaking. Toy breeds are almost always difficult to housebreak. It is so easy for them to sneak behind a chair or under a small table, and it takes only a few seconds for the deed to be done. The results can be hard to see. When you don't see it, you don't correct it -- and so the bad habit becomes established. If you hope to housebreak a toy breed, consistent crate training is mandatory. Pomeranians should not be loosed in the house for many months, until their small internal organs become strong enough for reliable control.

book cover To learn more about training Pomeranians to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book,
Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.

It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Pomeranian the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.

Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Pomeranian puppy. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.

If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Pomeranian might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.

book cover Once you have your Pomeranian home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.

My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.

Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.

Please consider adopting an ADULT Pomeranian...

When you're acquiring a Pomeranian PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.

But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Pomeranians who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!

Save a life. Adopt a dog.

Adopting a Dog From a Dog Breed Rescue Group

Adopting a Dog From the Animal Shelter