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Pomeranian Temperament 

Pomeranian in several poses
Karma, 6 months old
Photo courtesy of owner: Trena Cornejo
Are All Poms the Same?

It is fair to say that Pomeranian temperament is the same for all Poms? In general, the answer is yes. Why? Because the Pomeranian breed began as a large Spitz type dog many centuries ago. Over time, they were bred down to the Pomeranian breed that we know of today. While there are teddy bear faced Poms and standard fox faces, they are the same dog.

During this process, certain traits were instilled into the bloodlines....some so strong that they are simply part of the breed's personality.

Pomeranian temperament is similar to how some breeds are instinctively hunters....some are watch dogs....And the Pom is special is their own way as well! 
Pomeranian Temperament

One thing to keep in mind is that this breed is a lap dog. Does this mean that your Pom will want to sit in your lap all day? No, but they like to be close.
This is a term meaning that the Pom is a dog that is small (technically a toy size) and is meant to be an inside dog that loves to be in the company of their human family members. Socialization is important.

When it comes to the Pomeranian it almost seems wrong to use the word "owner". This is because the Pom is very loving, very loyal and just loves to spend time with their owner. It is for this reason that we often use the term "human family member".

Being an inside dog does not mean that the Pomeranian will not want to explore outside! While they should have protection from the cold during extreme weather, they do love to run around.

After being inside for the majority of the day, you will find that your Pom will enjoy being brought outdoors to run and play. They generally like to see new things, explore new places and find new scents.

While they do enjoy independent play, they also need interaction with humans. Things work smoothly if an owner keeps a schedule. This is because they have an amazing inner time clock.

They will know when it is time to eat, time to be groomed, time for teeth cleaning, etc. If it is time for something and nothing happens.. and no one comes to get them...they can become distressed....And that is when excessive barking or destructive behavior can occur.

It is best to try your best to have set times to brush them, perform dental care, clip nails, offer them their meals and even have a set sleeping time.

Speaking of sleep, Pomeranian temperament often causes this breed to want to sleep with their owner. This comes form the calm that they feel when close to their owner and the safety that they feel. They love to be played with and given attention during the day...
But when night time comes, they do love to rest aside the person that they love.

One must be careful about this issue especially when their Pom is a puppy. They are very tiny and one may roll over the pup by accidental while sleeping...

Or the Pom can fall off of the bed! Another element to keep in mind is that once this is allowed, it will be very hard to then change things and have the Pomeranian sleep in his or her own doggie bed.

Some people have a misconception regarding barking and small dogs. The Pom is generally not a barker. They will bark sometimes to get attention if they are left alone to their own devices for too long....And they will alert their owner to any strangers that approach....However, in general they are not the "yappers' that some seem to think tiny dogs are! 
Pomeranian with child
Max, with Kiera
Photo courtesy of The Seneng Family
The Right Environment

Due to their size, they do well in just about any home...whether an apartment in a high rise or on a sprawling farm. While they can be trained on pee pads, they do much better when brought outside.

Some owners worry about bringing them out in cold weather. This is a valid concern. Despite their fur, you will want to protect them against harsh cold weather. This can easily be done by putting doggie clothes on them. Most easily adapt, particular if it is only left on when it is time to go out in the snow or nice. Dog boots are also very helpful at those times.

What you can also expect with this breed, in general, is that they are intelligent and are eager to please (these traits were instilled over generations of breeding for the purpose of creating perfect lap dogs)... this includes both house training and for learning commands. 

As with most dogs, it is repetition and positive reinforcement that will allow them to be successful. In regard to housebreaking, an owner should choose 1 area to be the designated bathroom area. This should be the only place that the Pomeranian is brought to at each bathroom time. 

One should have the Pom on harness and leash, stand in the center of the area and allow the dog to find just the "perfect" exact spot to do their business.
Pomeranian standing serious
Tim, Photo courtesy of owner: Susanne (from Denmark)
When the owner then praises the Pom and gives positive reinforcement such as a small treat, training will go well.

This breed often does accept other household pets; however they do best with a dog of the same size (toy)....If not another Pom, then a Maltese, Shih Tzu, toy Poodle or other that will not intimidate them. 

Some get along with cats just find...and some do not. It is best to test this ahead of time before bringing the 2 together to live in the same home. This can be done by allowing them into 1 room and observing behavior. If they stare at each other in frozen positions, this often means that a fight is about to ensue.  

While one may wish for them to become best friends, it is a good sign if they ignore each-other.... this means that neither sees the other as a threat.
Pomeranian Temperament with Children

Many wonder if this breed matches well with households that have children, especially young ones. There are several aspects to this question. 

First, size comes into play and there are 2 sides to the coin regarding this. 
The small size (3 to 7 pounds as a full grown adult) is a benefit to those who are looking for a toy sized dog who will not intimidate young ones....Children can easily pick up the dog, take him or her for walks without being dragged by a large dog... The size of the Pom can be a good thing! 

On the other side of the coin, being a toy dog equals being rather fragile. Very young children who are not used to handling a dog will need to be coached very carefully in regard to picking up, walking with leash (and harness, not collar!) and other activities that could cause potential injury if done too rough. This is not a breed that can be a "rough and tumble" type pet who can be wrestled with, etc during play.

Jealousy can set in, but this is true when people bring in any pet to an environment that has children. The Pomeranian may see little ones as "brothers and sisters" as opposed to owners... and this can sometimes cause behavioral issues such as nipping, not listening to commands, acting jealous for the attention of the adults, etc. This can usually be avoided if, from day one, ALL humans make it clear that they are the alphas, above the puppy or dog.

This can be done by having all people in the household do the feeding. This can be split up...For example, son gives breakfast, mom gives dinner, dad gives treats. Whenever everyone is leaving the house, all humans should exit first and then the dog. When entering, all humans should enter first and then the Pom. 
These may seem like little things, but in the eyes of a canine, they are clear messages about who is in charge and where everyone is in regard to rank. This can avoid any negative behavior and make for a happy, calm home. 
Excellent Companionship Traits

If you are looking for a best friend... a tiny, fluffy dog that wants to accompany you for walks, go for car rides, to run errands,... someone to cuddle adorable little dog that will be happy to just sit near you (or ON you!) and be there for you as much as you are there for them.... then the Pomeranian is for you! 

Their temperament makes them one of the most loving dogs in the world.

Do keep in mind that this is the type of dog that requires an owner to care for them....This is includes proper grooming, proper feeding, providing the right amount of exercise, giving baths and clipping nails....All of the elements that keeps them clean and healthy. 
cute Pomeranian on sofa with cat
Chloe, with kitty Sidney
Photo courtesy of owner: Karen
Have you read this month's Topic of the Month? You'll always find something new in the Pomeranian blog.
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