This vivacious and interesting breed the Pomeranian has strongly caught the fancy of the country is nothing more or less than a pocket edition of the old-fashioned Spitz, a dog always popular with the Germans.
The Pomeranian derives its name from the province of Pomerania, in the north of Germany. Here these dogs are very numerous, being, in fact, the house dog of that country, and are there bred to a state of perfection. The ancestors of the Pomeranian’s are undoubtedly related to the Samoyede and the Esquirnaux. They both present a foxy head, prick ears, curled tail, and a marked similarity in coats. What the Germans did was to take the material at hand and reduce it in size by careful selection and in-breeding, so as to make them more acceptable as house pets. This has been done slowly. The old-fashioned Wolf Spitz or Wolf Sable, a direct descendant of the Esquimaux, weighed from 20 to 50 pounds. Thirty years ago the Pomeranian of the show bench weighed from fifteen to twenty-five pounds. Today dozens of them are benched weighing well below five pounds, and all have the beauty, the vivacity, and the marked characteristics of their early ancestors, the same foxy head and ears, the short back, and the enormous coat of their seventy-five pound Arctic brethren.
The old-fashioned twenty-pound Pomeranian or Spitz dog was usually white or sable in color. Today they range in color from all shades of black to black-and-tan, orange, and tri-color.
There is today no more popular pet dog than the Pom. They are very intelligent and faithful, as well as more active than most toys, and their diminutive size, vivacious manner, and wonderful coat and coloring is always sure to attract attention, particularly that of the fair sex.
The Pomeranian inherits from his rugged northern ancestors a sturdy constitution. They are more easily raised than most breeds, while their popularity makes them profitable.
During the period that breeders were devoting themselves to bantamizing the Pomeranian no attention was paid to color. Sires were selected for their size alone. Beautifully colored puppies, however, appeared from time to time, and this has prompted many breeders to turn their attention to color breeding. While no fixed principle has been arrived at, a point has been reached whereby some colors can be produced at will. Orange sires and black or chocolate bitches produce usually chocolate puppies. Chocolate sires and orange or sable bitches produce pure orange puppies. The blues are descendants of the blacks, but blue parents seldom have blue puppies unless there is more blue behind them. Orange and sable parents do not produce blue puppies. After birth puppies frequently change their colors, black puppies becoming blue, and blues frequently turning into blacks and beautiful shades of sable.
In selecting puppies, look for small size, light bone, prick ears, short backs, and thick, heavy coats. The following are the standard description and points of the breed, as laid down by the Pomeranian Club, and which have been adopted by other clubs:
APPEARANCE.-The Pomeranian in build and appearance should be a compact, short-coupled dog, well knit in frame. His head and face should be foxlike, with small, erect ears that appear sensible to every sound; he should exhibit great intelligence in his expression, docility in his disposition, and activity and buoyancy in his deportment. 15 HEAD.-The head should be somewhat foxy in outline, or wedge-shaped, the skull being slightly flat (although in the toy varieties the skull may be rather rounder), large in proportion to the muzzle, which should finish rather fine, and be free from lippiness. The teeth should be level, and on no account undershot. The head in its profile may exhibit a little “stop,” which, however, must not be too pronounced, and the hair on head and face must be smooth or short-coated.
EYES.-The eyes should be medium in size, rather oblique in shape, not set too wide apart, bright and dark in color, showing great intelligence and docility of temper. In a white dog black rims round the eyes are preferable.
EARS.-The ears should be small, not set too far apart nor too low down, and carried perfectly erect like those of a fox, and, like the head, should be covered with soft, short hair. No plucking nor trimming is allowable.
NOSE.-In black, black-and-tan, or white dogs the nose should be black; in other colored Pomeranians it may more often be brown or liver-colored, but in all cases the nose must be self, not particolored, and never white.
NECK AND SHOULDERS.-The neck, if anything, should be rather short, well set in, and lion-like, covered with a profuse mane and frill of long, straight hair sweeping from the underj aw and covering the whole of the front part of the shoulders and chest, as well as the top part of the shoulders. The shoulders must be tolerably clean and laid well back.
BODY.-The back must be short and the body compact, being well ribbed up and the barrel well rounded. The chest must be fairly deep and not too wide.
TAIL.-The tail is a characteristic of the breed, and should be turned over the back and carried flat, being profusely covered with long, spreading hair.
COAT.-Properly speaking, there should be two coats, an under and over coat, the one a soft, fluffy undercoat, the other a long, perfectly straight and glistening coat covering the whole of the body, being very abundant round the neck and fore part of the shoulders and chest, where it should form a frill of profuse standing-off, straight hair, extending over the shoulders, as previously described. The hindquarters, like those of the Collie, should be similarly clad with long hair or feathering from the top of the rump to the hocks. The hair on the tail must be, as previously described, profuse and spreading over the back.
COLOR.-The following colors are admissible: White, black, blue or grey, brown, sable, shaded sable, red, orange, fawn, and parti-colors.
The whites must be quite free from lemon or any color, and the blacks, blues, browns, and sables, from any white. A few white hairs in any of the self-colors shall not absolutely disqualify, but should carry great weight against a dog.
In parti-colored dogs the colors should be evenly distributed on the body in patches; a dog with a white foot or a white chest would not be a particolored. Whole-colored dogs with a white foot or feet, leg or legs, are decidedly objectionable, and should be discouraged, and cannot compete as wholecolored specimens.
In mixed classes-i. e., where whole-colored and parti-colored Pomeranians compete together-the preference should, if in other points they are equal, be given to the whole-colored specimens.
Shaded sables must be shaded throughout with three or more colors, as uniformly as possible, with no patches of self-color.
Oranges must be self-colored throughout, and light shadings are allowed, though not desirable.