A Look Back at the Pomeranian

The Pomeranian dog breed was as beloved in 1916 as it is today.

By Dog World Eds. | July 9, 2012

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From the Archives of Dog World: Enjoy this all-access pass to dog history from the pages of the longest published dog magazine. This content remains in its original form and reflects the language and views of its time. Health and behavior information evolves and only the most current advice should be followed.

The Pomeranian, as his name implies, doubtless originated from Pomeria, a northern province of Germany. About 40 years ago the first specimens of this dog breed were brought to England. At the time they were mostly white, with an occasional Wolfe-sable. All of these specimens were large weighing from 20 to 40 pounds and closely resembled the German Wolf-spitz and the Samoyed and Esquimaux dog breeds, all having many characteristics in common, such as the foxy head, pricked ears, curled tail dense fur-like coat and cobbiness.

From Pomeria or Pomerania these dogs were brought into middle Germania, France, Italy and Holland. In Germany they were called Spitz, while in France and Italy they were called Lulu and Volpino respectively and in Holland Keeshound. This dog breed has been cultivated in all of these countries, but it is in England where it became the most cultivated and perfected, and bantamised from the original 20 to 40 pound dog to the now miniature from 3 to 7 pounds with an occasional exceptionally tiny mite of 2 pounds and under.

The Pomeranian's colors, tho mostly white and Wolf-sable at first, have been cultivated, until now we have them in white, black, blue, chocolate, orange, cream brown, tan, fawn, parti-color, sables, orange-sable, and wolf-sable with all possible shadings of the orange, cream, wolf-sable and the orange-sable, in fact all the colors of the rainbow. The Pomeranian is in fact the Duchess, the Point lace, the diamond, and the pearl of the dog family, the butterfly of gorgeous and exquisite coloring. There is no other dog bred with the stamp of aristocracy and peacock pride so gloriously blended that it is really hard to call them simply a dog for they stand out distinctly alone from all the other dog breeds as tho they were another animal, enduring the name of dog because we fail to place them rightly. Pomeranians are just a little perky call of pride wonderfully fluffy on steel springs that walk on their toes like a dancing master, the only big thing about it being its heart and love for its owner, and its true undying devotion.

The Pomeranian dog breed has found much favor in the United States of late years and has in fact become the Toy dog. It is safe to say that most of the best Pomeranian specimans in England have been imported to this country so that today the best specimens in the world will be found here.

The chief points for Pomeranian breeders to aim for are diminutiveness, small bone, short cobby body, foxy head flat skull, small ears and heavy harsh standoff coat with large plume carried straight flat over the back. As to colors the favorite colors in England are the different shades of Sable, while in the United States the favorite colors have been the blacks and oranges but the sables are now making their presence felt and will no doubt become very popular in a short time.

The Pomeranian Standard
As approved By The Pomeranian Club of America

Appearance--The Pomeranian in build and appearance should be a compact, short-coupled dog, 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 department.

Head--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
--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
--Should be small, and carried perfectly erect or pricked, like those of a fox, and, like the head, should be covered with soft, short hair. No plucking or 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 parti-colored and never white.

Neck and Shoulders
--The neck, if anything, should be rather short, well set in, and, lionlike, covered with a profuse mane and frill of long, straight, glossy hair, sweepinp from the under jaw and covering the whole of the front part of the shouledrs. 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.

Legs
--The forelegs must be perfectly straight, of medium length, not such as would be termed either “leggy” or “low on leg”, but in due proportion in lenth and strength to a well-balanced frame, and the forelegs and thighs must be well feathered.

Tail
--The tail is a characteristic of the breed, and should be well twisted right up from the root tightly over the back, or lying flat on the back slightly to either side, an dprofusely covered with long hair, spreading out and flowing over the back.

Coat
--Properly speaking, the Pomeranian should have two coats, an under and overcoat, the one a soft fluffy under coat and the other a long, perfectly straight and glistening coat, covering the whole of the body, being very abundant round the neck and forepart of the shoulders and chest, where it should form a frill of long, flowing 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 hocks. The hair on the tail must be, as previously described, profuse and flowing over the back.

Color--
The following colors are admissible: White, black, blue, brown, black and tan, fawn, sable, red and parti-colors. The whites must be quite free from lemon or any color, and the blacks, blues browns, black and tans and reds free from white. A few white hairs in any of the self colors shall not disqualify, but are undesirable. In parti-colored dogs the colors should be evenly distributed on the body. Whole colored dogs with a white foot or feet, leg or legs, are decidedly objectionable and should be discouraged, and cannot compete as whole-colored and parti-colored 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.

N.B.—Where classification by weight is made the following scale, passed by the club as the most suitable division, should be adopted by Show Committee: One, not exceeding 8 pounds (Toys); 2, exceeding 8 pounds. Where classification by color is made the following should be adopted: One, black; 2, white; 3, brown; 4, blue; 5, any other color.

Excerpted from Dog World magazine, December 1916, Vol. 1, No. 12. For back issues of Dog World, click here.

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