Category Archives: Personality & Temperament

Pomeranian Puppies: A Quick Buyer’s Guide

Looking at a litter of Pomeranian puppies can be exhilarating and stressful at the same time. They are all so cute and adorable, so how do you find the specific Pomeranian puppy that is right for you?

Choosing the right puppy might seem like a pretty straightforward decision. First you decide if you want a boy or a girl and work your way down to the cutest one, right?

No, no, no. That is all wrong.

First and foremost, you have to take a good, hard look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself some key questions. Only then can you being to find the right Pomeranian puppy. In this light, let us walk through some questions that might help make our most informed decision:

  1. Are you prepared for the commitment, time, training, grooming, and general expenses incurred, not only by a puppy, but for the rest of the dog’s life?
  2. Which breed suits your household’s personality best?
  3. Do you want to adopt a puppy from a shelter, or purchase a puppy from a reputable breeder?

When looking for the “best puppy fit”, research is of highest priority from the beginning of this process to its end. If you wish to adopt a puppy, be sure to do your research thoroughly; if you wish to find a reputable breeder, use all available resources to give yourself and your new puppy the greatest chance of success with one another.

After the above questions are addressed, options begin to switch to preferentiality. Care must be taken, from this point forward, to remain as objective as possible.

Once the appointment is set to view the litter (or puppies), prepare for assessment—from the large picture down to the smaller—from the cleanliness of the premises, to the appearance of the parents and the care they receive, to the litter’s socialization, as well as the openness and general helpfulness of the breeder or facility.

Observe Pomeranian Puppies on Location

After this, the next step is to meet the puppies and get an idea of their temperament. Remember that both physical and behavioral health contributes to deciding the best choice for you and your family:

  1. Watch for extremes—in behavior, as well as health. Making a decision to purchase stemming from the wish to rescue and protect a frightened or unhealthy animal is not usually the wisest one for the average household.
  2. Observe the overall physical health: energy level, alertness, well-fed, attractive coat, good gait, no unusual discharges or breathing abnormalities.
  3. Check sight and hearing with claps, and a rolling ball.
  4. Watch the interaction of the puppies with their littermates.
  5. Are there any telltale signs of their social skills (dominant and submissive posturing, loner or in the company of others).

From this group, the top few choices should be separated and observed individually, both by a male and a female adult, and a child under ten years of age, if possible. Though most puppies are going to be curious and playful with any person they come in contact with, you want to see how your child interacts with a Pomeranian.

  1. Stand a distance away and encourage the puppy to approach and observe its reactions, (willingly approaches, tucked tail, fear, urinating or non-interest)?
  2. Check over-sensitivity to sights and sounds. What is their response when startled?
  3. Do they “guard” their food or their toys? Test this by giving them food or chew toy then approach and touch.
  4. How do they respond to body handling (relaxed, aggressive, or fearful)?

Though these considerations help in choosing the right puppy for you, from the moment that the new part of your family arrives home, there will be a period of adjustment, with delight and joy, hesitance and challenges, on both sides of the puppy-owner roller-coaster.

The key to smoothing out this adjustment period is creating stability, normalcy and consistency in the routine of your new puppy.

Enjoy the ride! We hope this quick primer helps you decipher which Pomeranian puppies are a good fit for your home and which ones are probably best left to another family.

Reference:

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/choosing-puppy-litter (As of 12-1-13, 8:11 p.m. CST)

Pomeranian Lifespan: Do Teacups Live Longer?

 

On average, the Pomeranian lifespan can range from 12-16 years with some living to be 19 or older not uncommon.  The longevity of each individual dog will depend on numerous factors.  These factors can be broken down into two distinct categories: environmental and dog specific.

Some argue that the dog food we buy at various pet stores in America manufactured by large companies are actually shortening the lifespan of our pets and that we can actually lengthen the lifespan of our dogs by several years if we pursue alternative food options.

Environmental Factors Influencing Pomeranian Lifespan

One could put together an exhaustive and extensive list of environmental factors influencing the lifespan of your dog, but we will stick to the most important ones.

  • Healthy well-balanced diets
  • Exercise and routine veterinarian check ups, including preventative dental maintenance
  • Stress factors

Feeding your Pomeranian a healthy, well-balanced diet to ensure the proper ingestion of needed vitamins and minerals is essential. This will help provide your dog with healthy skin and hair and hopefully limit shedding and hair loss.  Additionally, proper diet is the singular biggest factor in ensuring strong bones that are so susceptible to breakage.

Exercise and dental/medical check ups are just as important for canines as they are with humans.  If you do not exercise your Pomeranian you run the risk of cultivating a host of physical and behavioral problems.  Pomeranians are extremely vulnerable to dental issues and tooth decay/loss.  You absolutely must keep close tabs on this part of their health as it will have a domino effect once they start losing their teeth.  This will result in an inability to eat certain types of foods and potentially compromise their health.

Stress destroys humans and dogs.  Pomeranians can be stressed out with a lot of noise and activity in their living domain.  Besides their inability to handle Pomeranians with the care they need to prevent injury, the noise and activity level of y0ung children stresses Pomeranians very much and this can lead to a degradation of their health. Other things that may stress your dog are other pets and animals and frequent visitors.

Dog Specific Factors Influencing Pomeranian Lifespan

Like human beings, each dog is a complex living organism and some of us have stronger bodies and systems capable of keeping us alive longer.  Some of us are genetically predisposed to certain health conditions or diseases and what not.  The same can be said of our furry canine friends.

Here are some dog specific factors that impact the lifespan of your Pomeranian:

  • Females live longer than males (anywhere from a year to two years longer)
  • Smaller dog breeds tend to live longer than bigger dog breeds (but there are caveats)
  • Genetics and health conditions will cause some dogs to die prematurely

Above it states that smaller dogs tend to live longer than bigger dogs because it is believed that larger bodies require more energy and effort to produce the biological necessities to ensure life.  Does this mean that a smaller Pomeranian will live longer than a bigger Pomeranian?

If we are talking about standard Pomeranians, I have seen no evidence that suggests normal dogs meeting the breed standards have any life expectancy advantage as a result of being a smaller size.  We are talking about incredibly small dogs in general so any difference in size is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things.

The next logical question that follows is whether or not teacup Pomeranians live longer than their regularly sized brethren.

Do Teacup Pomeranians Live Longer than Regular Pomeranians?

The anecdotal evidence overwhelmingly suggests that teacup Pomeranians have a shorter life expectancy.  There are many reasons why a teacup Pomeranian may die sooner than a regular Pom. Let us a take a look at the following reasons:

  • Smaller size makes them more susceptible to injuries, broken bones and accidental deaths
  • They are generally the product of litter runts being bred and as such possess inferior breeding lines
  • Teacups possess weaker immune systems

If you are thinking of buying a teacup Pomeranian you must understand that you are making more than just a financial investment and commitment.  And given the fact that you are more likely to visit the veterinarian for health issues than had you purchased a normal sized Pomeranian, that investment can add up.  However, you and your family is making an emotional investment. With a shorter life expectancy you are essentially bringing pain and sadness into your home earlier than had you purchased a regularly sized Pomeranian and that is something you may want to consider.

Please note that many breeders of teacup Pomeranians argue that lifespans of responsibly bred and raised dogs can live as long as regular Poms.

Dissecting the Pomeranian Temperament

Though there will be some variances depending upon each individual dog, there are some themes we should expect when it comes to the Pomeranian temperament. They can be borderline schizophrenic in that they may alternate between being stubbornly independent and annoyingly dependent and clingy with their owner.

If you do not show your dog that you are the “alpha” it is very easy for them to ignore you and do whatever it is that they want to do. Conversely, if you are overly indulging with your puppy as it develops he may grow to be incredibly clingy and possessive. While this can be incredibly cute at times, there is a line where it can be disruptive to the entire household. In extreme circumstances, the possessive Pomeranian temperament can even wreak havoc on marriages and familial relationships where the dog demands so much attention and impedes the ability of other humans to approach their owner.

There are numerous websites on the internet providing colorful, adjective-filled descriptions of the Pomeranian temperament. Let’s take a look at a few and see what they have to say.pomeraniantemperament

The American Pomeranian Club (APC) would be a logical first stop. The APC says this:

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

The American Kennel Club was a little more subdued and brief with their description:

Pomeranians are very intelligent dogs that love to please. Because of their outgoing temperaments, they can be very good family dogs with the right training. Due to their small size they don’t require much exercise, but are an energetic breed that needs attention from their people frequently. They possess a thick double coat, which needs to be brushed on a regular basis.

DogBreedInfo.com had arguably the most interesting and appropriate description of their temperament. It was also the most lengthy.

The Pomeranian is a proud, lively little dog. It is intelligent, eager to learn, very loyal to its handler and family. The Pom is a wonderful companion and show dog. The breed’s docile temper and affectionate nature endear it to many. It is alert, inquisitive and active: one of the most independent of the toy breeds, it needs a firm, gentle hand. Its liveliness and spirit make it well-liked by persons who do not usually care for toy dogs.
Pomeranians may be picky eaters. If they are properly introduced they usually get along with other dogs and household animals without any problems. Poms make good little watchdogs. Teach this dog early that it may bark a couple of times when the doorbell rings or when there are visitors, but then to keep quiet. Be very consistent about this. Poms have a delightful nature and do not cling to their handlers.
This happy pup is good at learning tricks. Pomeranians need to see their owners as boss or they will become very demanding. If you allow your dog to tell you when and where to do things than you have a potential problem on your hands and you may not even realize it. It is not cute or smart, [it is an expression of] dominance and will lead to bigger problems in the future if it has not already. There are a very high percentage of Poms that fall victim to Small Dog Syndrome, human induced behaviors where the dog believes he is pack leader to humans.
This can cause many varying degrees of behavior problems, which are NOT Pomeranian traits, but behaviors brought on by the way they are treated by the humans around them. Behaviors include, but are not limited to separation anxiety, becoming willful, nervous, bold and sometimes temperamental, not hesitating to attack much bigger dogs. Guarding behaviors and excessive barking as they try and tell THEIR humans what THEY want them to do. They can become reserved with strangers, barking at them excessively, and sometimes growling, snapping and biting. Because most humans treat this tiny canine in such a manner that the dog does not see them as pack leader, they are not recommended for children. However, if a Pom is given rules to follow, limits as to what it is allowed to do, daily pack walks and a calm, self-assured pack leader who displays confident assertion towards the dog, this can be a well-rounded, mentally stable, trustworthy, wonderful family companion. Because of its size, it can make a good companion for an elderly person.

One breeder writes:

Most Pomeranians are very gregarious, they love being around their people and will be your constant companion. They are very loyal to their owners and tend to pick their favorite people, but they can and do make good family pets as well. They have a medium energy level, but being small dogs it is pretty easy to give them adequate exercise even in an apartment with a few brief leash walks daily or playtime in fenced-in back yard.

I could have simply regurgitated and summarized these statements and passed them off as my own, but I felt it was beneficial to provide you with an assorted sampling of offerings so that you could get an idea of the type of dog you are dealing with when it comes to the Pomeranian temperament.

 

Pomeranians and Children

Pomeranians and children do not mix.  You should avoid purchasing a teacup Pomeranian for a variety of reasons if you currently have children under the age of 13 or are planning on having children.  Additionally, if you frequently have children in your home for whatever reason, we strongly encourage you to seek an alternate breed.

First and foremost, Poms are small dogs with relatively brittle bones and a body structure that is susceptible to serious injury with any sort of rough play.  Many children are incapable of fully understanding or comprehending how vigorous their level of play or interaction is with a tiny animal.  And frankly, Children can be oblivious to their surroundings and consequently step, jump or sit on a tiny Pom and gravely injure it.

If you have children, then you are fully aware of the above arguments.

Also, children are loud, disruptive and filled with quick movements.  This can often result in elevated stress levels within your dog and this combination of fear and stress may result in the biting of a child.  Given the propensity for children to be rather tactile and hands-on with dogs, your dog will be repeatedly picked-up and handled, maybe even fought over in a tug-of-war between two sparring siblings.  All of this handling can easily lead to the dropping of your dog or in the dog leaping out of the arms of one of your children with the resulting landing causing broken bones and internal bleeding.

If you have your heart set on the Pomeranian and have children/or are planning on having children, it can be quite difficult to heed this advice.  Your heart is kind of set on this particular dog.  But, you have to do what is in the best interest of your dog and family and introducing a Pomeranian to this sort of environment is simply not wise.

In the event that you choose to ignore this advice (which, I am sure some of you will), then it is incumbent upon you to ensure that your children are thoroughly trained and given strict rules on how they should interact with the family puppy.

But, let me caution you one more time.  Imagine a situation where one of your children accidentally causes your dog to get injured, perhaps fatally.  Do you really want that on your conscience?  Do you really want your child to suffer through the guilt of knowing that their actions resulted in the death of the family dog?

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