These bright energetic dogs got their name from their place of origin, a province now located in Germany. The name Pomerania means "land by the sea."
Although tiny, with an ideal weight somewhere between three and seven pounds, according to the breed standard, this member of the Toy Group is actually related to heavier sled dogs of Iceland and Lapland. You can see their Nordic-breed heritage in their plush double coats and heavily plumed tail.
Pomeranians are very pretty, with their upright pointy ears and foxy faces, but it’s temperament that puts them center stage wherever they go. Supreme extroverts, the standard says they should exhibit intelligence and a vivacious spirit. They do well in all kinds of sports, including agility, and are exceptional therapy dogs. But, according to the American Pomeranian Club, they are especially well-suited to the conformation ring because of their self-possessed "look at me" cocky nature. This quality has placed them on the laps of some of the world’s most famous people and given them a unique niche in history. Consider, for example:
- A Pomeranian is responsible for one of the world’s most beloved pieces of music—Frédéric Chopin’s Minute Waltz. In fact, the real name of the composition is Valse du Petit Chien (Little Dog Waltz), and the story goes that a Pomeranian chasing her tail was Chopin's inspiration. In this video, a contemporary musician and her pet pay homage to the composer with their interpretation of his "Waltz in E Minor."
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart also owned a Pomeranian, Pimperl, to whom he dedicated an aria.
- A Pomeranian "supervised" the production of one of the world’s most famous works of art, the Sistine Chapel. Painter Michelangelo kept his pet Pom with him as he worked on his masterpiece from 1508 to 1512. The dog spent the long days lounging on a satin pillow, of course.
- Queen Victoria once had as many as 35 Pomeranians in her kennels. Her love for the breed made Poms the rage among the aristocracy.
- New York City's posh Waldorf-Astoria Hotel hosted the first American Pomeranian Club specialty show in 1911.
- Their popularity among the rich and royal may be why two Pomeranians found themselves traveling in style on April 15, 1912, accompanying first-class passengers on the doomed maiden voyage of the Titanic. The ship’s sinking took the lives of 1,500 people and at least nine other dogs. Miraculously, the Poms survived, proving there is no keeping these spunky little dogs down.