Underneath all the fur, Pomeranians have long pointy noses, tall ears, lean bodies and fairly long legs. They are related to Spitz dogs, the big breed of working dog that has worked on farms in Central Europe for generations.
These dogs get their name from their origin, Pomerania, the land that lies to the north of Poland and Germany along the Baltic Sea.
Poms are small and pretty because they were bred to live in aristocratic homes. Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, had one – they had similar hairstyles – and so did Queen Victoria.
Today, Poms live with stars including Lucky, whose mum, Jessica Alba, filmed Sleeping Dictionary in Kuching, and Jenny and Killer who live with David Hasselhoff from Baywatch and Knight Rider.
Poms were bred to live in luxury, and need a lot of expensive attention – from grooming to diet. Careless adoption is often a disaster, as people don’t realise how much work these little pets are.
They are certainly pretty! While golden and white Poms are popular, they come in lots of colours, from beige to black. There are also merle Poms that have an undercoat of one colour and a top coat of another, giving them a marbled effect.
Well bred and socialised Poms are happy, friendly and outgoing but they tend to be loud. They can’t be left alone in apartments or they become nuisance barkers.
Little bones mean they have to be handled carefully; Poms do not roughhouse well with children or bigger pets! They also need extra care after the age of eight or nine because of delicate hip joints.
When cared for properly, Poms can live up to 16 years, so they are a long-term addition to the family.