Pomeranian Breed Magazine - Showsight

Pomeranian Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.


Let’s Talk Breed Education!

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Official Standard of the Pomeranian General Appearance: The Pomeranian is a compact, short-backed, active toy dog of Nordic descent. The double coat consists of a short dense undercoat with a profuse harsh-textured longer outer coat. The heavily plumed tail is one of the characteristics of the breed. It is set high and lies flat on the back. He is alert in character, exhibits intelligence in expression, is buoyant in deportment, and is inquisitive by nature. The Pomeranian is cocky, commanding, and animated as he gaits. He is sound in composition and action. Size, Proportion, Substance: Weight - is from 3 to 7 pounds with the ideal weight for show specimens being 4 to 6 pounds. Any dog over or under the limits is objectionable; however, overall quality should be favored over size. Proportion - The Pomeranian is a square breed with a short back. The ratio of body length to height at the withers being 1 to 1. These proportions are measured from the prosternum to the point of buttocks, and from the highest point of the withers to the ground. Substance - Sturdy, medium-boned. Head: Head - in balance with the body, when viewed from above, broad at the back tapering to the nose to form a wedge. Expression - may be referred to as fox-like, denoting his alert and intelligent nature. Eyes - dark, bright, medium sized, and almond shaped; set well into the skull with the width between the eyes balancing the other facial features. Eye rims are black, except self-colored in chocolate, beaver and blue. Ears - small, mounted high and carried erect. Proper ear set should be favored over size. Skull - closed, slightly round but not domed. Stop - well pronounced. Muzzle - rather short, straight, free of lippiness, neither coarse nor snipey. Ratio of length of muzzle to skull is ⅓ to ⅔. Nose - pigment is black except self-colored in chocolate, beaver and blue. Bite - scissors, one tooth out of alignment is acceptable. Major Faults - Round, domed skull. Undershot, overshot or wry bite. Disqualification - Eye(s) light blue, blue marbled, blue flecked. Neck, Topline, Body: Neck - set well into the shoulders with sufficient length to allow the head to be carried proud and high. Topline - level from withers to croup. Body - compact and well- ribbed. Chest - oval tapered extending to the point of elbows with a pronounced prosternum. Back - short-coupled, straight and strong. Loin - short with slight tuck-up. Croup is flat. Tail - heavily plumed, set high and lies flat and straight on the back. Major Fault - Low tail set. Forequarters: Shoulders - well laid back. Shoulder blade and upper arm length are equal. Elbows - held close to the body and turn neither in nor out. Legs when viewed from the front are moderately spaced, straight and parallel to each other, set well behind the forechest. Height from withers to elbows approximately equals height from ground to elbow. Shoulders and legs are moderately muscled. Pasterns straight and strong. Feet- round, tight, appearing cat-like, well- arched, compact, and turn neither in nor out, standing well up on toes. Dewclaws may be removed. Major Fault - Down in pasterns. Hindquarters: Hindquarters - angulation balances that of the forequarters. Buttocks are well behind the set of the tail. Thighs - moderately muscled. Upper thigh and lower leg length are equal. Stifles - strong, moderately bent and clearly defined. Legs - when viewed from the rear

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straight and parallel to each other. Hocks when viewed from the side are perpendicular to the ground and strong. Feet same as forequarters. Dewclaws may be removed. Major Fault - Cowhocks, knees turning in or out or lack of soundness in legs or stifles. Coat: The Pomeranian is a double-coated breed. The body should be well covered with a short, dense undercoat with long harsh-textured guard hair growing through, forming the longer abundant outer coat which stands off from the body. The coat should form a ruff around the neck, framing the head, extending over the shoulders and chest. Head and leg coat is tightly packed and shorter in length than that of the body. Forelegs are well-feathered. Thighs and hind legs are heavily coated to the hock forming a skirt. Tail is profusely covered with long, harsh spreading straight hair forming a plume. Females may not carry as thick or long a coat as a male. Puppy coat may be dense and shorter overall and may or may not show guard hair. A cotton type coat is undesirable in an adult. Coat should be in good and healthy condition especially the skirt, tail, and undercarriage. Trimming for neatness and a clean outline is permissible. Major Fault - soft, flat or open coat. Color: All colors, patterns, and variations there-of are allowed and must be judged on an equal basis. Brindle - Dark cross stripes on any solid color or allowed pattern. Parti - White base with any solid color or allowed pattern. A white blaze is preferred on the head. Ticking is undesirable. Extreme Piebald - White with patches of color on head and base of tail. Piebald - White with patches of color on head, body, and base of tail. Irish - Color on the head and body with white legs, chest and collar. Tan Points - Any solid color or allowed pattern with markings sharply defined above each eye, inside the ears, muzzle, throat, forechest, all lower legs and feet, the underside of the tail and skirt. The richer the tan the more desirable. Tan markings should be readily visible. Major Fault - Distinct white on whole foot or on one or more whole feet (except white or parti) on any acceptable color or pattern. Classifications - The Open Classes at specialty shows may be divided by color as follows: Open Red, Orange, Cream, and Sable; Open Black, Brown, and Blue; Open Any Other Color, Pattern, or Variation. Gait: The Pomeranians movement has good reach in the forequarters and strong drive with the hindquarters, displaying efficient, ground covering movement that should never be viewed as ineffective or busy. Head carriage should remain high and proud with the overall outline maintained. Gait is smooth, free, balanced and brisk. When viewed from the front and rear while moving at a walk or slow trot the Pomeranian should double track, but as the speed increases the legs converge slightly towards a center line. The forelegs and hind legs are carried straight forward, with neither elbows nor stifles turned in nor out. The topline should remain firm and level with the overall balance maintained. Temperament: The Pomeranian is an extrovert, exhibiting great intelligence and a vivacious spirit, making him a great companion dog as well as a competitive show dog. Even though a Toy dog, the Pomeranian must be subject to the same requirements of soundness

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and structure prescribed for all breeds, and any deviation from the ideal described in the standard should be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Disqualifications: Eye(s) light blue, blue marbled, blue flecked.

Approved July 12, 2011 Effective August 31, 2011


W ith more coat than body, Pomeranians have quite an interesting history behind them. The Pomeranian, as we know it today, descended originally from the Spitz family of dogs in the frozen Arctic region of Iceland. These Spitz dogs were much larger than the modern Pom as evidenced by their primary purpose of pulling sleds, hunting and guarding. In Italy they were used to watch over their owner’s items. The Pomeranians would alert their owner of someone coming or attempting to stealtheir valuables. Spitz breeds mean a type of dog that has several wolf-like characteristics. For instance, small ears to help reduce the risk of frostbite. The insulating undercoat that is more dense than the guard hairs to trap the warmth and protect them from the heat. At some point in time, the Spitz was transported into Europe, most commonly

along the southern coast of the Baltic Sea. This particular Baltic region was called Pomerania, which now includes parts of present day Poland and Germany, and is where the Pomeranian name came from. Pommore or Pommern means “on the sea.” Canine historians also believe that this is the location that the breed was first downsized to about 30-40 lbs. Morespecifically Pomeranians are part of the German Spitzen group, a subgroup of the Spitz type, which is comprised of five different sizes of dogs. FCI and German historians consider the German Spitz to be the oldest breed of dog in Central Europe from which other breeds have been produced. This theory is substantiated by archaeological discoveries in Switzerland and throughout Germany. Pomeranians are the group’s smallest members. Prior to securing the breed name of Pomeranian, they were called by several other names: Fox Dog, Lulu, Pommer, Wolfsspitz German Spitz, Volpino and Spitz Dog.

An interesting fact—Germany did not accept the breed to be named Pomeranians until 1974. All five sizes were generically called the German Spitz. So many times, references are made about these “new” parti-colored or white Pomeranians. The original Pomeranians were white, black, brown and parti-colored. The red and orange colors were quite rare at that time.

Many people don’t realize that some of the first recorded pictures and paintings of the Pomeranian dog are of white and parti-colored Pomeranians. Many of the paintings and prints from the 18th century feature Pomeranians of various color and size. The Prince of Wales had a black and white parti Pomeranian, named Fino, that was painted in 1791. James Boswell and “Pomer” are the first known recorded reference in British Literature to the Pomeranian breed. Mainz and Manheim November 2, 1764. “The Frenchman had a Pomeranian dog named Pomer whom he was mighty fond of.” Queen Charlotte influenced the evolution of the breed when she brought two Pomeranians to England in 1767. Named Phebe and Mercury, the dogs were depicted in paintings by Sir Thomas Gainsborough. These paintings depicted a dog larger than the modern breed, reportedly weighing as much as 30–50 lbs (14–23 kg)but showing modern traits such as the heavy coat, ears and a tail curled over the back.

Toy Pomeranian with Child Greek tombstone from Alexandria, Egypt (about 3rd century B.C.)


shoulders with some of history’s greatest creative minds. Mozart dedicated one of his finished arias to his pet Pomeranian, Pimperl. Frédéric Chopin, inspired by his friend’s pet Pomeranian chasing his tail, wrote the song “Waltz of the Little Dogs.” When Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel, his Pom was sitting below on a satin pillow watching the action. While this Nordic breed has sled dogs, watch dogs and herding dogs behind them, they have been bred for many years for simple companionship. You will find that many Pomeranians today still carry many of the same traits as the breeds behind them. This little compact toy dog does not realize that it is such a small dog. Pomeranians are truly large dogs in a small dog body. They have a vivacious spirit with a foxlike expression. They are playful throughout the majority of their lives, but are also happy to simply hang out on the couch or in your lap. Their territorial nature will alert you to any unusual disturbance or intruders to your household. Pomeranians are very loyal to their people. They have a strong desire to please, but can remain stubborn should they see fit. They have been successful in obedience, rally, agility and many other events. Their social nature among themselves makes it easy and interesting to own more than just one.

back as 1892. Regular classification was not provided until 1900 at New York. In 1900, the American Kennel Club recognized the Pomeranian and the American Pomeranian Club (APC) was formed. In 1909, APC was accepted as a Member Club of the AKC and became the designated Parent Club for the breed. The APC held their first specialty show in 1911 with an entry of 262 Pomeranians. The first Best of Breed winner was Ch. Banner Prince Charming Early American winners were finer in bone, larger in ear and usually weighed under six pounds. They had type and good coat texture, although they lacked the profuseness of coat in evidence today. When the Titanic sailed on its maiden voyage, there were three breeds of dog that survived the sinking of the Titanic on April 14, 1912. Two were Pomeranians. As Margaret stood waiting and holding her Pomeranian, James Clinch Smith passed by and jokingly commented, “Oh, I suppose we ought to put a life preserve on the little doggie, too.” Margaret Hayes survived with her Pom on lifeboat #7. A Pomeranian belonging to the Rothschild’s survived, possibly because it was bundled into Mrs. Rothschild’s bag, although Mr. Rothschild went down with the ship. It is interesting to note that Pomeranian type has stayed fairly consistent from the early 1900s to the Pomeranians you see in the ring today. As companion dogs, Poms make excellent friends and have rubbed

In 1873, the Kennel Club (England) was formed and the so-called Spitz dog was among the first breeds recognized. The first Poms shown at the time weighed nearly 18 pounds. In 1888, a Pomeranian named “Marco” was sent from Florence, Italy to become the beloved companion of Queen Victoria of England. Marco weighed 12 pounds. The Queen also imported a 7.5 pound, white female named Gena. The Queen’s love of the breed was clear to everyone who saw her with her dogs. Because the Queen was a popular monarch, the breed’s popularity grew as well. In fact, the Queen is credited for encouraging the trend toward the smaller Poms. At one time, Queen Victoria had 35 Pomeranians in her kennel and on her death bed, asked for her Pomeranian, Turi, to be at her side. EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY Pomeranians were shown in the United States in the Miscellaneous Class as far





Photos Courtesy of Derial Jas


STUDYING THE PAST by Charlotte Creed

F rom our early great Pomeranians to our most current greats, by studying our past we can become better breeders and stewards of the breed. Recently, several longtime Pomera- nian breeders and parent club offi- cers have been researching ways that we can better educate our breeders and judges on the most important characteristics of a Pom. The photos throughout this article are Poms dat- ing back to our early beginnings in this country through today. There has been a lot of discussion lately by Pom breeders who are see- ing Poms put up that go against our standard. A Pomeranian should have a beautiful, profuse coat, alert ex- pression, high ear set, almond-shaped eyes, high tail set, big tail plume, short back, and a beautiful profile standing and moving. It should NOT be long in back, low on leg or move with the head down. It should be balanced and move with head carried high, with a beauti- ful profile. It should be up on its toes, not down in pasterns. A Pomeranian should not be scissored down to look like a Bichon or another similar breed. We are not against trimming for a neat, clean outline, but many are severely trimmed off the rear—especially so that there is no guard hair. This is concerning not only in looks, but we don’t think it’s healthy for the coat. Remember, a Pom should have a profuse, harsh

outer coat and a big tail plume that is long, harsh, and straight, accentuat- ing its high-set tail. There is nothing more impressive than a plume that is set high with a canopy over the en- tire back. We are losing (or have lost) the big, harsh, correct coats of our early Poms. Soft coats are NOT cor- rect. We need to look to our past to try and recover some of the charac- teristics of the Pom that truly make it a Pomeranian. We believe that the breeders of today need to be reminded of the true char- acteristics of the Pomeranian that they should be breeding for, and that the new fanciers need to be properly mentored. Judges, as well, need to be reminded of the correct characteris- tics of the Pomeranian when judging and reward those that best meet the standard. If we all work together, we can breed and show better specimens. Breeders must be able to look at their Poms objectively, and hon- estly evaluate and weed out inferior specimens. All Poms are not show Poms. There are those that are fin- ishable, potential specials, specials, and then there are the truly great ones. You must develop an eye and then honestly evaluate your Poms. Remember, our goal should be for the betterment of the breed. We are the caretakers. I truly believe that everyone in- volved wants to breed and show the best, but sometimes we need to be

reminded of the true essence of the Pomeranian. It is easy to get caught up in TRENDS, but we must stop and think, “Is this the direction our Poms should go?” I believe we should always go back to the basics. Work hard, develop an eye, study your past (especially the greatest of the great breed- ers) and be honest with yourself. Older, successful breeders, share your knowledge with the new people and be good mentors; these new people are the future of the breed. Always seek to improve, but never lose the characteristics that make a Pom a Pom!

Mrs. Vincent Matta holds Ch Dixieland’s Shining Gold, which she purchased from his breeder, Mrs. E. L. Tankesley. He was the sire of Ch Little Timstopper. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Tankesley.

1940’s—Mrs. Vincent Matta and Ch Moneybox Currency, by Ch Seal- ands Moneybox x Little Lady Lenora. Photo by Derial Jackson

Ch Little Timstopper

Ch Sealand Moneybox (Imported from England)

‘Money’ is the most famous stud dog in Pomeranian history, having sired 27 champions. This is a record for Poms and, perhaps, for any Toy dog. Never defeated in the show ring, he was still alive at 15 years of age. Owned by Mrs. Vincent Matta of Long Island City, New York.

Ch Moneybox Gold Coin and Ch Little Sahib, owned by Mrs. Vincent Matta.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR I began breeding Southland’s Poms in 1981. I started with the Bev-Nor line and was blessed to have had BISA, #1 Pom, #1Pom Bitch, Top-Producing Male and Female in the Nation, and the first male BT to ever win BISA BISS. I quit breeding around 1999, but assisted and men- tored Annette Rister of Majestic Poms for many years. Many im- portant Pom people in our his- tory shared their knowledge and mentored me, especially Bev Norris. I believe that we, as se- rious breeders, should study and learn from our past greats and pass this information on to fu- ture generations. I am presently still mentoring young people.

Ch Moneybox Currency, a famous son of Ch Sealand Moneybox and sire of many champions. Never defeated in his breed. Twice Best in Show all-breeds. Long record of Toy Group wins and Best of Breed at Westminster, two consecutive years. Bred and owned by Mrs. Vincent Matta, Long Island City, New York.

Ch Rider’s Sparklin’ Gold Nugget

Ch Toppers Little Corkie, BIS winner and sire of a number of champions, including the sire of the famous Ch Rider’s Sparklin’ Gold Nugget. Owners: Jack and Shirley Woodall.



W hen presenting semi- nars on the Pomeranian I begin by explaining that Pomeranian struc- ture is pretty easy to understand. The Pomeranian is a “four-square” short backed dog with structure typical of these traits. Think of a square within a circle.

The Pom should not have an eye that is not dark, as anything other than a dark eye will detract from the desired expression. The Pomeranian standard has a DQ for eyes that are light blue, blue marbled or blue flecked. The combination of these very dis- tinctive head traits is what gives the Pomeranian his beautiful “foxlike” expression. “Fox-like” does not mean the head should look like a fox, but should show the characteristics of intel- ligence and alertness.

• Double Coat with weather resistant texture • Sound legs with adequate angles to provide an endurance trot gait

THE HEAD The Pomeranian head is extremely important. When it is correct there is no way that the Pomeranian can be mistaken for any other breed. The Pom takes the Spitz wedge shaped head and prick ears and has evolved to have the broadest wedge shape as well as the shortest muzzle to skull proportions of the Nordic/Spitz breeds. The ideal ratio is a 1 / 3 muzzle to 2 / 3 length of skull. The ears are important as they give the Pomeranian a distinctive look and expression. The standard calls for prick ears to be small and high set. You will see many ears that are large but I do not recall ever seeing ears that are too small. We currently have a problem with wide set ears that are wide and set more to the side of the skull rather than on top of the skull as the standard requires. The final head trait that makes or breaks a beautiful expression is the eyes. Eyes should be almond-shaped, dark and medium in size. Dark is extremely important to the breed.


The Pomeranian with correct coat has the longest and fullest coat of the Spitz breeds. We want a double coat with a short dense undercoat of a some- what softer texture and a long harsh outer coat or guard hair. This harsh guard hair will stand up through the undercoat and should be harsh enough to provide resistance to weather.

The Pomeranian is measured from withers to ground and prosternum to point of buttocks. Measuring on the table with your hands is key due to the abundant coat on the Pom. It is impor- tant to look for sound legs with correct angles balanced in the front and rear. There are three things that make the Pomeranian unique. These are breed specific characteristics. 1. The Head, 2. The Coat and the way it is presented, 3. The Tail and the Tail Plume. First we will discuss the family of origin to put the Pomeranian in context and then we will discuss each breed specific characteristic in detail. The Pomeranian is part of the Nor- dic/Spitz family that includes the Alas- kan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Kees- honden, American Eskimo, Samoyed as well as many others and share Nordic/ Spitz traits including: • Wedge Shaped Head • Prick Ears • Tail over the Back


Trimmed (above) & Untrimmed (below)

THE TAIL AND TAIL SET The Pomeranian’s tail set is very high and when combined with the cor- rect flat croup, it will give a carriage right on top of the back and as tight as possible. When the tail is set properly there will be a “shelf” behind as well. Combined with the long hair forming a plume, the tail and set provides another very specific breed trait. Our standard emphasizes this characteristic in three different places so look for a high tail set and reward it. Our standard does list a low tail set as a major fault.

The presentation of the coat gives the breed specific look. There should be enough length to give the Pom a “round all over” shape or think of cir- cles. The correct length of coat and cor- rect moderate trimming the Pomerani- an will look round from the side, round from the front, round from the back and round from the top. Trimming has gone through many trends over the past decades but today you will see dogs that are trimmed rather well. When you see a dog that is over trimmed, it will lose the round look, or the circles, from various angles. Too much guard hair, or outer coat, will be trimmed off to the point where you cannot evaluate the texture of the guard hair.


Pomeranian structure should be sound. The Pomeranian was a working and herding Nordic/Spitz breed that was bred down to its current small size. The standard desires a well-angulated shoulder with the rear balancing the front. The legs should be straight and the feet are round, tight and arched which allows the Pom to stand well up on its toes. The Pomeranian should

have a ground-covering gait and move- ment should not be busy or ineffective. Even though a Toy dog, the Pomer- anian must be subject to the same requirements of soundness and struc- ture prescribed for all breeds, and any deviation from the ideal described in the standard should be penalized to the extent of the deviation. PROCEDURAL ITEMS The Pomeranian needs a gentle touch during exam but feel free to feel under the coat to examine what the actual structure of the Pomeranian is like. Please evaluate the expression and ear set on when the Pomeranian is on the ground. This can be done on the down and back. I hope this has proved helpful in terms of judging the Pomera- nian and placing proper emphasis on breed-specific traits.




I n my fourteen years in the breed, I have been involved in many aspects of the Pomeranian, from breeding to exhibiting to serving on the Board of Th e American Pomeranian Club and representing the club as its AKC Delegate. For the past few years I wondered what was next for me and how can I better serve the breed I love. With encouragement from judges and fellow breeders, I took the next logical step and applied to judge Pomera- nians, so now I am a permit judge with several exciting assignments ahead of me. Th is, along with recent trips to Europe to learn more about the breed and its origins, has forced me to see the breed from a dif- ferent perspective, one that will hopefully positively influence its future. We must remember that Pomera- nians are Spitz-type dogs that came from Northern Europe and were originally sled dogs that were bred down to the three to seven pound dogs we see today. Several important facts come from this that we should remember when judg- ing the breed. While some people will say that toy dogs need only move well enough to get to the food bowl, their original function dictates that movement is indeed important. “Even though a Toy dog, the Pomeranian must be subject to the same requirements of soundness and struc- ture prescribed for all breeds.” Th ey should have “good reach in the forequarters and strong drive with the hindquarters, dis- playing e ffi cient ground covering move- ment that should never be viewed as ine ff ective or busy.” Pomeranians should double track, but as they move faster their legs should CONVERGE slightly toward a center line. In the FCI countries, Poms are judged alongside all of the other and larger, Spitz-type breeds, including the Akita, so a poorly moving dog will not be competitive. One of the most important aspects of the Pomeranian is probably the most obvious… the coat. It is a double-coated

breed and should have a soft undercoat with a dense, HARSH outer coat for protection and warmth. While coat tex- ture can vary with age and even coat color, an adult should not have a soft coat and should not be overly trimmed. “TRIMMING FOR NEATNESS and a clean outline is permissible.” Further, the revised breed standard allows any coat color, pattern and variation thereof to be shown and all should be judged on an equal basis. When it comes to judging dogs of color against the more common oranges, always try to choose the best dog, no matter the color. Th e tail is very important. Like the larger Spitz breeds, if a Pom were sleep- ing outside in the snow, it would require a long, plumed tail to adequately cover and protect its face and help to warm the air that is breathes, so a long, heavily- plumed, straight tail, set high and flat on the back, is desirable. PROBABLY THE MOST OBVIOUS… THE COAT.” “ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF THE POMERANIAN IS

Balance is important, too and this relies on the correct proportions. Th e correct ratio of body length to height is 1:1, measured from the prosternum to the point of the buttocks and from the withers to the ground. Also, when look- ing at the headpiece, the ratio of length of muzzle to skull should be ⅓ to ⅔ ; not too snipey, but not too Chow-like either. Ears should be small and set high and “proper ear set should be favored over size.” Eyes should be “dark, bright, medium sized and almond shaped.” Th e only disquali- fication in the breed is light blue, blue marbled or blue flecked eyes. When examining the Pomeranian, it is important to really put your hands on the dog and feel the structure, as the coat and trimming can cover up a lot. Th e important thing is to be gentle, as big, strange hands can be frightening for the small dogs, especially when examining the bite. Exhibitors will appreciate your really going over their exhibit, so feel free to check for bone or angulation, feel the chest or skull or tail or any reference points you need to see if proportions are correct. Pomeranian exhibitors usually have a brush or comb handy, so allow a few seconds for them to neaten their dog when your examination is complete. Th e Pomeranian has a long history and it is important to remember that in judg- ing the dogs that will determine its future. Pomeranians are a happy, fun, yet still noble breed. Enjoy your time in the ring with them. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Geno Sisneros has been exhibiting in the sport of purebred dogs for the past 14 years and has bred multiple group win- ners, Best in Show and Best in Specialty Show winners under the Castile prefix and consistently keeps dogs near the top of the rankings as an owner handler. He was recently approved as a permit judge in his breed, Pomeranians.


An Untrimmed Pomeranian


Per the AKC Breed Standard: “Trimming for neatness and a clean outline is permissible.” For the purpose of showing how over-trimming can appear to make the adult Pomeranian shorter, taller, and smaller; we have used the center top dog in different states of trim. (Only the coat of the over-trimmed dogs below have been altered in these photographs.) Acceptably trimmed adult dogs are showing “long harsh-textured guard hair” in the top row.

Sculpting, in the manner of a Poodle or Bichon, is incorrect. The Pomeranian coat should be big enough for a proper evaluation. Guard hair that has been cut off is incorrect as the standard states: “long harsh-textured guard coat”… “abundant outer coat”… “A cotton type coat is undesirable in an adult.”

*Underlined text is direct from the standard.

Acceptably Trimmed Adult

Over-Trimmed Adult

Acceptably Trimmed Adult

Acceptably Trimmed Adult Front, Side & Tail

Acceptably Trimmed Adult Front/Bib

Acceptably Trimmed Adult Tail & Skirt

Sculpted Adults

Sculpted Adult Front, Side & Tail

Sculpted Adult Front/Bib

Sculpted Adult Tail & Skirt




I t would seem that in the Pomeranian ring, the most controversial subject is trimming. Breeders, judges, handlers, and exhibitors all have an opinion, and all have their own style of trimming. Let’s look at why the Pom is trimmed the way it is—or should be. First of all, we need to remember that the Pomeranian is a member of the Spitz family, and all of those breeds, the Samoyed, the Keeshond, the Finnish Spitz, etc., have a common coat type; harsh outer guard hairs, coarse to the touch, and shorter, softer under- coat. This type of coat is, unfortunately, as hard to trim as it is to find. The Pomeranian also has the same basic body type as its larger cousins. As with most Spitz breeds, Poms are not over-angulated. The AKC Breed Standard is explicit about body shape; “compact, short-backed” (not short on leg). It is important to keep this round shape in mind when judging the breed. If the legs are mounted correctly, i.e., nicely set under the body in front and not covering too much ground behind, the Pom is well on its way to fit into that shape. The “fads” of trimming Poms, as in many other breeds, come and go. The newest, and probably the scariest fad, is the idea that a Pomeranian outline should resemble a triangle. The shape of a Pom is the very essence of the breed. It is a circle. Some may see the Pom as a square within a circle, but the Pomeranian outline, standing and/or moving, is definitely not a triangle. A far greater concern with promoting this triangle shape is that it encourages a body type that suggests the dog should cover more ground. The one thing we do not want to encourage is a Pom with a straight front or over-angulated rear. The shape of the Pomera- nian is basic to the breed, and it is round.



The Tail: Another very important characteristic in this breed is the tail; “heavily plumed, set high and lies flat and straight on the back.” It is mentioned in the Standard twice this way. It is also mentioned in the Coat section of the Standard: “Tail is profusely covered with long, harsh spreading straight hair forming a plume.” Good tails and tail sets are hard to find and hard to breed, but a beautiful tail contributes greatly to the overall shape of the dog. To check the tail set, you should be able to put your hand flat against the “pin bones” of the dog and not feel the tail protruding into your hand. A low tail set is a major fault. It ruins the outline and appears as an afterthought, protruding past the circular outline. A common mistake is to trim all the hair from around the tail, exposing the tail bone and ruining the outline. The tail should be the “finish” and main part of the outline. The Pants: Keep your pants on! Again, this is an important characteristic of the breed. Some people feel that trimming pants off too high or above the hock, or at odd 45-degree angles, shortens the body. But the pants, properly blended into the body coat, with the help of a long, full tail, contribute to the circular shape and outline we are trying to present. The pants give the dog “finish” to the shape, so why cut them off? Keeping the pants on often

helps to make the tail set look better as well. An overly scissored body coat, and a short, low tail set, is offensive to this beautiful, full-coated breed. Forequarters: “The coat should form a ruff around the neck, framing the head…” This should indicate that the ruff, again, contributes to that rounded appearance. The chest, as well, blends into that ruff, creating a “finish.” There should never be breaks or obvious angles in the outline. The ruff fits into the chest, and the feather on the back of the legs should be a soft transition from the legs into tiny feet. They should not be trimmed up, leaving a part of the legs or feet exposed. The outline should always be soft, blending from one part to the next. In conclusion, I would say that there appears to be three ways to trim the Pomeranian: Badly, i.e., the dog is trimmed in a manner that leaves too much coat in the wrong places, detracting from the correct outline; Over Trimming, removing too much coat to the point that the harsh outer coat cannot even be detected, destroying the correct outline; Trimmed Correctly, leaving sufficient coat to evaluate the double coat and tidying up where necessary to accen- tuate the correct outline.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR A native of Brookfield, Nova Scotia, Christine purchased her first Pomeranian in 1970. She has bred, owned, and shown Poms for more than 40 years. Under the Chriscendo prefix, Christine and her husband, John, have finished almost 150 Champions in Canada and the US, with more than 200 BIS wins—the majority owner-handled. The Chriscendo dogs have consistently won in the ring, and have contributed to the breed in breeding programs in countries all over the world, including Canada, US, Denmark, Thailand, China, Korea, Brazil, and Australia. Christine and her husband, who retired as a professional handler in 2000, continue to breed and show their dogs. They maintain a small breeding program at their home in Nova Scotia.


Levi going over broad Jump


P omeranians are one of the best- kept secrets in the world of dog sports. Th eir original use as herding dogs, before they were bred down in size, means that many of them still retain the same instincts that make Border Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs so responsive to training. Poms have shown these abilities since the early days of Obedience competition. In 1943, Pomeranian Georgian’s Betty UDT (Utility Dog Tracking) was actually the top Obedience dog in the United States. Her picture in the April 1944, National Geographic Magazine shows her holding a dumbbell that must have been meant for a much larger dog. Since then, with many Toy breeds competing in Obedience, dumbbells, gloves and articles have been made that will fit these smaller dogs and Poms are participating in all sports where they are allowed. Most people think of Pomeranians as cute little lap dogs, but when allowed to show their stu ff , they are much, much more.

Among recent top OBEDIENCE Pom- eranians is OTCH Gidget’s Cinnamon Prince UDX8 OM3 VER RE TDI. “Levi” was the first Pom to earn UDX3, UDX4, UDX5, UDX6, UDX7, UDX8; and the first to attain the OM1, OM2 and OM3. (A Utility Dog Excellent title requires earning qualifying scores in the Open and Utility classes at the same trial on 10 dif- ferent occasions. Th e Obedience Master title requires the dog to achieve a specified number of points based on high scores.) Levi was also the first Pom to achieve the United Kennel Club’s Obedience Cham- pion title. As a therapy dog, Levi visited nursing homes, making life better for people who needed the joy that a dog can bring. His call name, Levi, was not always heard correctly, though. On one occasion, an Obedience judge was overheard telling someone, “And she calls him ‘Flea Bite’! Isn’t that cute?” Can they do Obedience? Pomeranians have brains! RALLY is sometimes called “Obedi- ence with signs.” Th e dog and handler

complete a course designed by the judge; moving from one sign to another, they per- form the skill required by that sign. Rally became an AKC titling sport on January 1, 2005. On that weekend, 3 Pomeranians became among the first dogs to receive the AKC Rally Novice title. By November of 2005, there was a Rally Advanced Excel- lent Pomeranian, the highest level title available in Rally other than added num- bers on the end of the RAE. Can they do Rally? Pomeranians can read the signs! AGILITY is a natural venue for Pom- eranians. Th eir love for running and exploring pays o ff when they find the joy of jumping, climbing and racing around a ring. CH MACH15 Carleez Boom Boom Boom MXB5 MXS5 discovered this joy early on. In addition to his breed cham- pionship, “Boomer” has run more than 100 miles at the AKC Master level since 2008, qualifying more than 80% of the time. Th ose runs were on grass, mud, rub- ber and turf. Can they do Agility? Pomera- nians have legs!


Pomeranians have been THERAPY DOGS for years, with no credit given other than in the hearts of those on the receiving end of all that love. AKC has just recently begun to realize that the training and work that goes to make a Th erapy Dog should have o ffi cial recognition. Th ese dogs go into nursing homes and hospitals and schools, not only o ff ering love, but also assisting in many ways. Th ey listen to children read aloud, walk beside some- one using a walker, or respond to someone who is trying to form a command: “Sit.” One Pom would always lick out her tongue when anyone blew into her nostrils, perfect for Speech Th erapy. Can they be Th erapy Dogs? Pomeranians have hearts! Th en there is COURSING ABILITY. While Lure Coursing trials and titles are reserved by AKC for sighthounds, a simi- lar type of trial has recently been opened to all breeds. Pomeranians were not slow to get into this sport. On March 31, 2012, UCH, UAG1, URO1, UCD Rone’s Bjorn to Fly CA, RA, RATN RATI CGC became the first AKC Coursing Ability titled Pomeranian. “Mikko” also has 7 legs out of the required 10 for the Coursing Ability Advanced title. Additionally, Mikko is titled in UKC Agility, Rally and Obedience, as well as in AKC Rally and Barn Hunt. Th is 5 ½ lb. dog is learning to do weight pull, too. And in his spare time, Mikko participates in Conformation, needing just one more major for his breed Championship. Are they able to do Coursing? Pomeranians cut to the chase! One of the newest titles in AKC (we have several lately!) is for BARN HUNT. Most people think of this as a terrier sport, but it is open to all breeds. Th e AKC does not actually sanction Barn Hunts, but it does recognize Barn Hunt titles from the Barn Hunt Association. Th ere are at least 5 Pomeranians working in Barn Hunt tri- als now and they love hunting through and over bales of hay to find the very bored rat waiting in a cage. Can they do Barn Hunt? Pomeranians know critters! In addition to AKC titling sports, Pom- eranians are participating in K9 Nose- work, Flyball, Dock Diving, Weight Pull and Back Packing. In K9 NOSEWORK, the dog performs as a search dog might when looking for drugs, but in a controlled trial situation. Starting with “hides” of specific scents in a box cho- sen from a number of other boxes, the dog progresses to more di ffi cult searches. Pomer- anian PTE MN EC URO1 Second Chance Ted E. Bear BN RE was the 3rd dog over all in the country to attain the UKC Master

Mikko races in a Coursing Ability Test. Photo © Lois Stanfield

Boomer Jumps. Photo © Phyllis Ensley Photography

Kanga gets ball from box. Photo © Walter Wrobel


Kanga jumps. Photo © Walter Wrobel

Ted searches containers. Photo © Robin French

Ted alerts to bag on table (exterior) Photo © Robin French

Levi running with dumbbell.

Nosework title. For an Exterior search, Ted found a bag on the picnic table and lay on top of it to indicate his find. To pass the Master Vehicle search, “Ted” had to find 4 hides on 7 cars and trucks while ignoring 2 distrac- tions (beef jerky!) and do it in less than 8 minutes. Ted did his first search in 3 min- utes, 28 seconds and his second in 4 minutes, 30 seconds. Th at second search was among 4 large pickup trucks, one large, unwashed and smelly horse trailer and 2 mini-vans. Th ere were three “hides” on the second search, one on the horse trailer and one on the front and one on the back of the same pickup truck. His handler thought there could not be two hides on the same vehicle, but she trusted her Pom’s nose. Can they do Nosework? Pomeranians have noses! FLYBALL is sometimes called “drag racing for dogs.” Th is is a team relay e ff ort, with 4 dogs going over 4 jumps, catch- ing a ball that pops out of a spring-loaded box and racing back over the jumps again. Second Chance Kanga ONYX is currently rated #6 in Flyball Pomeranians. His retired “brother,” Second Chance Pippin FDGCh MBDCh Iron Dog AXJ still holds the #1 spot for Flyball Poms. ( Th ere is yet a 3rd Pom doing Flyball from that household, Second Chance Alfie FM MBDX. All were

rescues.) If you have heard the loudest bark- ers ever, all in full voice at the same time, you may have heard the excitement that dogs feel as they anticipate their turn to run. Can they do Flyball? Pomeranians love to race! ABOUT THE AUTHOR When I was very young, my grandmother had a black Pomeranian and I adored “Tot- ty.” Fast forward to 1987, when I decided to get a dog with which to do Obedience compe- tition and selected a Pomeranian. Since that time, when I tell people why I got a Pom, they blanch, turn silent and back away. (“Maybe it’s catching!”) But my ignorance proved bliss, since all of my Poms have enjoyed Obedience work and have done well and I enjoy training and showing them. When Rally came along, I found it an interesting counterpart to Obedience and began training for that as well, becoming a Rally judge as soon as that was possible. I was able to judge the fi rst AKC Rally titling class in the state of Texas on January 7, 2005, at a cold, windy outdoor trial south of Houston. In addition to judging, I showed and titled my own four Pomeranians during that year and my Ti ff any became the fi rst RE and then the fi rst RAE Pomeranian. In March of 2013, I was honored to be one of the judges for the fi rst

AKC National Rally Competition in Tulsa, OK. I continue to train and show my current three Pomeranians and one Papillon in both Obedience and Rally, sports which I fi nd to be complementary to each other. In addition to training, showing and judging, I founded and run Second Chance Poms, a 501c3 Pomeranian Rescue group in south Texas. I am also on the Board of Directors of the American Pomeranian Club. Besides AKC Rally, I judge UKC and ASCA Rally and Obedience. I do Pet Th erapy with two of my current dogs and am a Tester/ Observer for Th erapy Dogs, Inc.

Barbara McClatchey. Photo © Springfield Photography



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