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.
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.