The Pomeranian, or "Pom", is a small, sturdy toy dog that descended from the sled dogs of Iceland and Lapland. It stands about 6 in. (15.3 cm) high at the shoulders and weighs from 3 to 7 lb (1.4–3.2 kg). It has a double-coat consisting of a short, fluffy, under layer and an abundant, long, straight topcoat that forms a ruff of stand-off hair on the neck and back. It also has a fringe of feathery hair on the hindquarters. Poms come in many different colors, such as red, cream, black, brown, orange, sable, blue, white, and multi-color sometimes referred to as parti-color. The Pomeranian's coat gives the appearance of being difficult to care for, but it is actually quite easy to maintain, and with a regular brushing, will stay in good condition.
The immediate ancestor of the Pomeranian is a larger dog which was used in Europe for sheep herding. Queen Victoria was the first to bring a smaller specimen from Italy to England in the late 19th century, and they became very popular. The Pomeranian makes a magnificent family pet, and they are hearty and strong despite their fragile appearance. Pomeranians have become one of the most popular of the registered dog breeds in America, and their popularity continues to grow.
The Pomeranian is related to the Spitz family, which are furry dogs from the blustery Arctic circle. They are renowned for their skills in carrying loads, hunting, and for their guard dog duties.
The Pom got its name from a small province called Pomerania in what is now eastern Germany. Back in the Renaissance era, the early German Poms weighed about 35 pounds, but they were highly desirable pets for the people who lived in continental Europe at the time.
Michelangelo had a Pomeranian who patiently watched him paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Isaac Newton had a Pom named Diamond. Mozart had a female Pom named Pimperl (to whom he dedicated an aria) and Chopin was so amused by his girlfriend's Pom that he composed the "Valse des Petits Chiens" for the pet.