What Are the Characteristics of a Pomeranian?

Pomeranians are friendly, curious dogs.
Pomeranians are friendly, curious dogs. (Image: George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

A member of the Toy group of dog breeds, the Pomeranian is a small, outgoing dog with a fox-like appearance. As they are not fond of rough play but do like attention, they can make good pets for older people who live alone but are not usually good pets for families with small children.

Physical Features

One of the smallest of the Toy dogs (at 3 to 7 lbs.), the Pomeranian has a wedge-shaped, fox-like head, a heavy coat and a lifted tail that comes over its back. Their coats are actually made up of an undercoat, which is soft and fluffy, and a top coat, which is long and straight. They can come in a variety of colors and color combinations including black, blue, red, sable, orange, brindle, cream and chocolate.


Pomeranians are high-spirited, bold, arrogant and inquisitive. They are loyal to their owners and territorial of their space and belongings. While they can get along with other pets in their household, including cats, they will often chase strange animals that wander into their yards or homes as those areas are considered their territory. They are active enough to enjoy daily walks but also nap enough throughout the day that they are fine living indoors, even in small spaces like apartments. Because of their independent nature, they will not respect or follow orders from anyone they think of as beneath them, so it is important that their owners are consistent with discipline and make it known right away that they are in charge.


One AKC study listed the Pomeranian as the 23rd most intelligent dog out of a study of 79 different breeds. They can learn commands and tricks as well as be trained to walk on a leash and go to the bathroom outside, but they must have constant reminders for all of these things to stick in their heads. Crate training should be applied when housebreaking them and the command not to bark must be repeated often if you wish to keep them from barking or yipping at every strange sound they hear or strange sight they see.

Longevity and Health

For the most part, Pomeranians are healthy dogs that can live up to 16 years. However, they can suffer from serious health issues regarding their teeth. If not cleaned and taken care of properly, their teeth can fall out while they are still young, or they can contract gum disease that can lead to a host of other issues. Pomeranians are also at higher risk of seizures than many other dog breeds, which they can get in conjunction with hypoglycemia or idiopathic epilepsy.

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