Living with the Pomeranian | Canines are canines. They are descendants, theoretically, from the wolf, but veered off as a species because of their desire to be a companion to man. The varying breeds possess many similar qualities despite the obvious differences between them. They are nonetheless all part of the same species, canis familiaris. But what is so fascinating about purebred dogs are the differences that have been purposefully bred into them in order to make them uniquely distinct. Each breed is unique, not only in how they look and in their abilities to do the jobs they were created to do, but also in the differentnuances of behavior, particular to their breed.
Pomeranians are “a cocky, commanding breed, buoyant in deportment and inquisitive by nature,” according to the newly revised Pomeranian breed standard. Those adjectives have been in the standard and handed down through breed standards for decades. The traits that make a Pom act like a Pom are not at all accidental, but the result of microscopic threads of DNA that are transferred through generations. It is because of the dedicated breeders who continue to create this breed to not only look like Poms but to act like Poms as well.
This breed was originally a much larger-sized dog from the Baltic region. They were bred for multiple purposes—protectors on boats, herding, and even as small sled dogs. Even though their size has been diminished 25%, their character has remained pure.
They continue to have a strong pack mentality, use their voices to warn, stand loyal to their owners,xprotect what they feel is theirs to protect, and have stamina and enthusiasm for what they are involved in well beyond what you would expect for their diminutive size.
Pomeranians contain a “joie de vivre” and transfer that attitude to all who are around them. They are natural-born comedians, are very busy dogs and, as a group, can amuse themselves for hours. Toys are at the center of the games they play, but not always a necessary ingredient. They can make a game out of just about anything or out of nothing at all. Chase games are a huge source of entertainment in the Pom community. One will appear to be “it” and then the roles will switch. They can go on like that until exhaustion sets in, and then it will be nap time for all.
Being and owner and living with any dog comes responsibility. Being an owner and living with a Pomeranian, there are the same responsibilities and more. Their small size requires that their safety is always taken into consideration. As with any tiny dog, their joints, limbs, necks, spines, and skulls are all very fragile. The most innocuous thing can prove deadly: a set of stairs, being left unattended on a couch, children roughhousing, large dogs, an erroneously thrown baseball or a ceramic floor can all be a recipe for a tragedy. Precautionary thinking ahead is mandatory.
Because of the double nature and harsh texture of the Pomeranian coat, grooming is less difficult thanmany of the other types of purebred dogs. Their type of coat is made for being out in the elements. It is an insulator and a protector against extreme temperatures, moisture, injury, and dirt. The double coat works to keep the skin surface dry, clean, and safe from insect bites and scratches, and it helps to keep body temperatures normal. Unless it is a soaking rain, most moisture is also held away from the dog’s body by the dense undercoat. The correct texture does not easily mat, and regular brushing will remove most dirt. Frequent nail trimming is essential for this breed. Being light on their feet as well as light in weight doesn’t lend itself to the natural filing down of their nails, so it is necessary to check the nails often for excess growth.
Teeth are another important concern for all dogs, but especially small dogs such as Poms. They havesmall mouths, small teeth, and small jaw bones. Food particles trap easily in the tiny crevices. They collect and harden into plaque, which is a bacterial breeding ground that can lead to gum disease, tooth loss, and then potentially to heart and kidney disease later on. Scrupulous cleaning, hard-chewing type foods, and treats are imperative to maintaining a healthy Pomeranian.
Though Poms are no longer pulling sleds, guarding flocks or protecting boats in the canals, it is the responsibility of the conscientious breeder to preserve what is the essence of the Pomeranian, what makes a Pom uniquely a Pom. Currently, they are mainly bred as companion animals, but the core of who they are as a dog has been handed down through the centuries. They do work well in obedience, agility, and in therapy dog capacities. Their “busy and inquisitive” nature likes to feel important and purposeful. They take themselves and their jobs as seriously today as their ancestors did hundreds of years ago, even if those jobs only consist of play time, nap time or lap time.
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