The Teacup Pomeranian: Separating Fact from Fiction

Thank you for stopping by our website to learn more information about teacup Pomeranians. Our goal is to provide you with factual information so that you can do your proper due diligence and decide which breed of new puppy is right for you and your family.  During the course of providing you with authoritative insights on this fascinating breed of dog, we are going to help you separate fact from fiction because there is a ton of misinformation floating around the internet.  As a point of clarification, teacup Pomeranians are often called a variety of different names that include, but are not limited to: (1) toy pomeranians, (2) micro teacup pomeranians, (3) teacup poms, (4) miniature pomeranians and mini pomeranians, along with many other variants.

Before we can go into a detailed discussion about the teacup Pomeranian, let us examine the history of the breed so that we can have the foundational understanding needed to analyze these itty-bitty, cuddly balls of fur.

History of the Pomeranian

The Pomeranian, also affectionately known as a Pom or Pom Pom, is a European breed descending from Icelandic sled dogs.  Their name originates from a central region of the continent called Pomerania.  Pomerania, which now falls with the modern nation-state boundaries of Poland, is a Slavic word that literally means “seacoast”.  Also known as a dwarf spitz, Pomeranians are descended from the larger German Spitz breed and were generally larger in size and proportions than the Pomeranians we see today.

Pomeranian popularity and recognition began to increase in the 1600s when various royal families added the breed to their families.  As we see today with the general hysterics and craziness that follows the Royal Family today (e.g. Kate Middleton’s pregnancy and birth), the common folk took a liking to the breed.  In the 1800s, Queen Victoria took ownership of a Pomeranian that was noticeably smaller than the average for this breed during this era.  This resulted in consumers demanding smaller Pomeranians and breeders obliged purchasers by breeding smaller Poms.  Wikipedia states that during the reign of Queen Victoria alone, the size of the breed shrunk by approximately 50 percent.  Her Majesty would influence another trend in 1888 when she adopted a red Pomeranian and that subsequently spurred interest and excitement in that coat color.

Breed Standard

teacuppomeranian

All pure breeds of dogs, including Pomeranians, should adhere to a certain standard when it comes to their physical markings and temperament.  If Pomeranian breeders did not work to preserve these characteristics, eventually the breed will gradually lose these breed-specific qualities that set them apart from other dogs.  In short, the breed standard represents the ideal that each new Pomeranian should grow to become and essentially embodies the “perfect” Pom. Breeders seek to preserve the qualities of the standard while also ridding the breed of negative qualities over multiple generations.

Physical Size and Measurements

As alluded to above, the Pomeranians of today are considerably smaller than the Pomeranians in existence back in the 1800s and even earlier.  With the preference for Pomeranians exhibited by European royalty and the manifestation of this fondness through the acquisition of a smallish Pomeranian by Queen Victoria while traveling through Italy around 1888, breeders began to work on decreasing the size and stature of the Pomeranian.

Today, Pomeranians are recognized as “toy breeds” by the various kennel clubs and associations tasked with documenting the genealogy of the breed.  The American Pomeranian Club and its members are responsible for delineating and preserving the breed standard for the Pomeranian.  They are referred to as “toy breeds” because Pomeranians now reach a weight of 3-7 pounds on average and the American Kennel Club cites a desired weight range of 4-6 pounds for show competition purposes. They should range from 8-11 inches in height.  An interesting quirk about the Pomeranian is that females are permitted to be slightly bigger than males.

Pomeranians meeting the breed standard should possess a compact body structure with a short back as opposed to an elongated one you see exhibited in offspring produced by backyard and inexperienced breeders.  They possess two coats which give them their unique appearance.  Their undercoat should be short and dense with the outer coat consisting of longer and rougher tufts.  Arguably their most distinctive feature is their voluminous tail which should rise considerably above its backside and lay flat across its back.

Head

When viewed from above the head should form a gradual wedge as it narrows from the back toward the nose.  The American Pomeranian Club states that the Pom should ideally possess a fox-like expression with dark eyes and perky, alert ears.  The Pom’s nose should be black in pigmentation unless “self-colored in chocolate, beaver or blue.”  If a Pom has light blue eyes or eyes containing blue flecks or marble aspects they are disqualified.

Body

The chest should be “oval tapered extending to the point of elbows with a pronounced prosternum” and the neck should be long enough to allow the animal to carry his head upright and proud. The line of the back should be straight and even from the withers to the croup (neck to the rump).  As mentioned above, each Pom must have a pronounced and strong tail with heavy plumage rising high above the back.  A low setting tail is a major disqualification.  Additionally, the distance from the withers (top of the shoulder) to the elbow and from the elbow to the ground should be equidistant.

Coat and Colors

The double-coated Pomeranian must have the fullness of the short, dense undercoat in combination with the stark and stout “guard hair” that grows through and towers above the undercoat.  This outer coat provides the ruff you see around the neck and frames the head.  Pom’s should also possess thighs and hind legs with heavy coats forming somewhat of a skirt around their body. Soft and flat coating is a major fault and not up to the breed standard. Poms require frequent bathing to maintain their lush, plush coat.

The American Pomeranian Club states that “all color, patterns, and variations there-of are allowed and must be judged on an equal basis”.  But there is a little confusion within their language because there are explanations regarding specific colors, patterns and undesirable traits. For example, the official language pertaining to tan coat colors reads:

Tan Points – Any solid color or allowed pattern with markings sharply defined above each eye, inside the ears, muzzle, throat, forechest, all lower legs and feet, the underside of the tail and skirt. The richer the tan the more desirable. Tan markings should be readily visible.

The American Kennel Club recognizes 23 different color descriptions and nine marking descriptions. Click the following link to see if Pomeranians shed.

Pomeranian Personalities and Temperaments

When many people think of Pomeranians they think of these tiny, yappy dogs with outlandish tufts of hair seemingly shooting out from their body like a spectacular 4th of July fireworks extravaganza. The attitude and demeanor of a Pomeranian is such that it tends to split people into two separate camps: either you love them or hate them.  If you own one, you love it and if you know someone who owns one you may hate it!

The reason this dichotomy often exists with Pomeranians is that they are tremendously possessive and loyal toward their owner and also very jealous and territorial of anyone or thing that comes in between it and the affection-giving owner they cherish.  It is quite understandable how the owner of a Pomeranian will feel excited and overjoyed with the yapping of their little canine pal as he or she uses this behavior to demonstrate their love and affection for their human owner.  However, this behavior can be very off-putting to others, even other family members since these dogs can isolate their connection to a singular individual.

Additionally, they may find the presence of other animals particularly offensive and react negatively towards them.  Please follow the link for additional information about the temperament of a teacup Pomeranian.

The American Pomeranian Club says:

He is alert in character, exhibits intelligence in expression, is buoyant in deportment, and inquisitive by nature. The Pomeranian is cocky, commanding, and animated as he gaits. He is sound in composition and action. The Pomeranian is an extrovert, exhibiting great intelligence and a vivacious spirit, making him a great companion dog as well as a competitive show dog.

Unfortunately, many people have been exposed to some of the more negative aspects of the Pomeranian temperament and personality problems arising from owners who have not done a very good job of training their animal.  We will discuss this issue elsewhere. In the meantime, you may want to read about the relationship between Pomeranians and children.

Thanks for the history lesson, Chief. Can we talk about teacup Pomeranians now?

Fair enough. Here is the thing.

The “teacup Pomeranian” is a myth and misunderstanding.  There really is no such thing as an official breed of dog called a “teacup Pomeranian”.  And professional breeders of Pomeranians do not breed teacup versions.

Now, there are breeders peddling teacup Pomeranians on the internet.  These little guys are ultra tiny and weigh as little as 1-2 pounds.  But, most of the breeders of these tiny dogs are not professionals, do not know what they are doing and are merely looking to profit from the popular trend in smaller designer dogs.  So you need to be very careful!

Wait a minute.  I know what you are thinking.  You see big Pomeranians all the time – you just want the smaller, cuter version.  You say, “Give me a damn teacup!”

There are two sources contributing to this confusion:

  • Changes and evolution in the breed standard for weight
  • Impact on breed by backyard breeders and puppy mills

The first breed standard for Pomeranians was written in 1891 and it lacked a specification for size and weight.  Remember, up until 1888, Pomeranians were much bigger than they are today and public desire for a more diminutive version increased.  It wasn’t until the adoption of the amended breed standard in 1950 did we first see any mention of weight.  To complicate matters, the English Pomeranian Club had two different weight classes up until 1915.  Poms were divided into those that were under 8 lbs. and those over 8 lbs.

Thus, the genetic lineage of the breed is predisposed to being much larger than its current size and it is further exacerbated by the institutionalized breeding of sanctioned Poms larger than 8 lbs.

However, the biggest source of confusion about teacup poms and the public’s desire for miniature Pomeranians is due to the rise of puppy mills and backyard breeders.  Pomeranians exhibiting the breed standard are generally incapable of producing larger litters and usually produce 1-3 offspring. Consequently, breeding Pomeranians that meet the breed standard in a manner that is economically viable is difficult, if not impossible.  In order for breeders to turn a profit, they tend to produce larger variants of the breed so that the females can produce more puppies; more puppies equal more money.

The untrained buyer is unaware of the fact that many of these Pom puppies are the offspring of mixed-breed parent(s). So, while the uneducated buyer might “ooooh” and “awww” at the site of the “Pomeranian” in the strip mall pet store, they may never know that they have been deceived for a fast buck!

If you see an ad on the internet or somewhere else by a teacup Pomeranian breeder claiming to have “teacup Pomeranian puppies for sale,” you need to be suspicious and wary that they may simply be trying to take advantage of your ignorance.

You will not know until your puppy is 6-8 months old when your little guy reaches maturity as to whether or not he truly is a teacup.

Final Verdict

If you truly want a teacup Pomeranian, you need to look around and find a reputable breeder who has been doing this for a while.  You want to see a legitimate track record and shy away from fly-by-night operations.