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Pomeranian Size

Standard Pomeranian Size

When people wonder about accurate Pomeranian size and comparison, you will find that many sources only list the standards of the AKC.

While this is an excellent, reputable and well recognized kennel club, their standards are not the only accepted nor expected size standards. Additionally, many Poms fall outside of what the standard calls for. 

If you look at the world as a whole, their are 4 top canine clubs that dominate the standards of purebreds:
  • The AKC
  • The KC
  • The CKC (Canadian Kennel Club)
  • The FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale)
According to the AKC (American Kennel Club), the range for the Pomeranian breed standard is 3 - 7 lbs ( 1.36 - 3.175 kg). This is for a full size Pomeranian that is done growing (after age 1). Some Poms will weigh less than this and some will weigh more. There are reasons for both cases....And we will discuss that.
cute little Pomeranian
Cuzco, 2.5 years old
Photo courtesy of owner: Nathalie Orrego 
The Kennel Club (KC) standard of England stipulates a smaller range without much room for variation: 4 - 5.5 lbs. (2 to 2.5 kg) for females and 4 - 4.5 for males (1.8 to 2 kg). As you can see, they are not to fall as small as those in the United States.

The Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) not to be confused with the American Continental Kennel Club, sets a standard size that is the same as AKC: 3-7 lb (1.36 -3.17 kg) with 4-6 lbs. (1.81 -2.72 kg) being considered ideal.

The 4th club that we mentioned above is the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) Standard with over 80 member countries from all over the world. Per the FCI, it is not weight that sets the standard, it is simply height: 20 cm (+ or - 2 cm) from floor to shoulders (withers). The 20 cm is a tad shorter than the low number on the range of the AKC's 8 - 11 inches (20.32 - 27.94 cm). Poms are actually referred to as Toy Spitz per the FCI, and those that are taller than the 18 to 22 cm are then classified as Miniature Spitz. 

Those who are concerned about this issue may wish to learn more about Miniatures, teacups or Toys, expected Growth and Age.
Want to hear something neat? For 5 years we followed the growth rates of 247 Pomeranian puppies. These were Poms from both at-home breeders and those living with families across the US, Canada and the UK. We checked in at 8 weeks, 4 months, 6 months and at 10 months old. At those time frames, we estimated the Pom's adult weight. We were accurate between 85 & 90% of the time within a 1/2 lb. range. We finally compiled all of our data, exported it into charts and have this in the new, improved Print Edition of the PetPom Book.
Growth Spurts

Pomeranian puppies are just mere ounces when born. When healthy and ingesting enough nutrition, newborns will gain weight each day. Those who have a litter are urged to mark the pups as to not confuse them if they are of similar color....And to weigh them each day....Usually done on a small kitchen scale. This is to ensure that there is indeed a change each day.

The majority of growth will occur from birth to 9 months of age. From 9 months to 1 year, there may be a slight increase of weight, perhaps a pound or so....And the Pomeranian will continue to grow in height until just about 1 year. When the weight begins to maintain, the Pom still grows in height and length....And this is why adult Poms will have a sleeker, fox like look than the more rounded looking puppies.
There is no reason to worry about a Pom being too large when he is a puppy and it is normal to have some 'puppy fat'. Puppies should be fed a high quality food for growth during this time, as it is essential to good health. No matter what a Pom's size, providing daily exercise is also an important aspect of keeping this breed healthy. This includes walks (at pace that is brisk for the Pomeranian), play time and a bit of cardio. 
Pomeranian compared to Chihuahua size
Smaller Poms

Body structure and bone structure does vary, and some dogs will be less than the low end of the standard of 3 pounds (1.36 kg). It is very important to note that having a Pom that is smaller than 3 pounds (fully grown) does not make that dog a "Teacup".

A Toy or Teacup is not a recognized breed nor an accepted variation: any Poms purposefully bred to be much smaller than the standard are done so in a dangerously unhealthy way...
And will be susceptible to a huge range of health issues

The AKC or any other reputable dog kennel club does not recognize a variance for the Pomeranian. For some breeds, this is true...For example the Poodle is recognized in 3 different sizes: Toy, Miniature and Standard. However, for the Pom, there is only one:...3-7 pounds. The words "Miniature", Teacup", "Toy" or any other that imply that the dog is a special variety are misleading.

So, how do we get Pomeranians that are smaller than expected? This can happen for several reasons. First of all, a reputable breeder can always have that 1 puppy that is considerably smaller than the rest of the litter every now and then. This is normal and expected with a toy breed dog.

Those who have a smaller dog must take extra care....harness instead of collars, not jumping to prevent slipped kneecaps and/or hip dysplasia...a close eye on blood sugar levels, etc. While all Poms may need a layer of clothes in cold weather, tiny ones especially need this. Whenever it falls below 68 degrees Fahrenheit, at least a soft sweater should be put on when going outside.

Unfortunately, there are also breeders who strive to produce puppies that are smaller than the breed standard. This is dangerous. These puppies will have brittle bones and be much more prone to health issues such as collapsed trachea, luxating patella, hip dysplasia, hypoglycemia and more. They will have a harder time regulating body temperature....and some are so tiny that they do not make it past the newborn stage (1-7 weeks). 
Larger Poms

Just as some litters will sometimes produce a pup that is smaller than average, some will produce Pomeranians that are larger than average. The biggest factor is this is genetics....It is not just the parents (dam and sire) that determine the Pomeranian size, genetics from at least 5 generations can come into play. A large Pom may not be overweight, he may simply be larger in bone structure. It is PERFECTLY normal for a pet Pomeranian to be 8, 9 or 10 pounds (see below). 

Another factor is what is known as a Throwback Pomeranian. This breed, before being bred down in size, were medium to large sized sled dogs.... Pure white in color and known as Spitz dogs. Every now and then, a Throwback can occur, where the dog will look similar to its ancestors. There have been Poms, not overweight, that have weighed over 20 pounds....And they would fall into this category.
15 pound Pomeranian
Leo, 15.5 pounds at 1 year, 8 months
Photo courtesy of Eleni Elias
20 pound Pomeranian
Seamus, 20 pounds at 10 months
Photo courtesy of Anna Marrs
Worrying about Size

Those who purchase this breed do so for many reasons...And one of those reasons is to have a small, toy breed dog. Therefore, as the puppy grows, many owners worry if their dog is growing too large. Do keep in mind that it is completely normal for there to be rapid growth spurts from birth to 6 months....late bloomers may have big jumps up to 9 months old. A Pom's growth slows around 10 months and he finishes growing to adult size by 12 to 15 months old.

If you are thinking about purchasing a Pom puppy, doing so from a reputable breeder will help ensure that you have a dog that fits into the 3-7 pound size range. 

If you already have a Pom that is larger than the standard, unless your dog is overweight (which really only happens once in a while with older adult/senior Poms). there is no need to be concerned. Many people purposefully seek out big Poms. They are easier to take care of in some respects and are sturdier and therefore less prone to injury and issues related to a dog's small size.

The most important thing to remember is that the love and bond you have with your dog is much more important than body mass if he/she is healthy. 
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