The Pomeranian breed originated in Lapland and Greenland, with the Spitz sled dogs. The dogs were imported to Europe through Pomerania, where they were bred to a smaller scale. Queen Victoria of Britain in the late 1800s contributed not only to the breed’s popularity but also to the development of the breed. The queen kept over 30 Pomeranians at one time and diminished the size of the breed beyond what earlier breeders had accomplished.
Pomeranians have inspired classical music and artwork over the years. They appeal as much to royalty and celebrities as to everyday people who admire the Pomeranian’s spunky personality.
It’s hard to believe it, but the tiny Pomeranian descended from the Spitz sled dogs in Lapland and Greenland. Before the Pomeranian was bred down to a smaller size, the larger dogs worked as shepherds. Indeed, it is not difficult to imagine today’s Pomeranian yapping around the edges of a herd of sheep.
Pomeranians got their name because they were imported into Europe through Pomerania, a land on the southern Baltic coast where present day Germany and Poland now sit. In Pomerania, the dogs were bred down closer to their modern-day size. It took many generations of Pomeranians to reduce the twenty-pound dog of the 19th century to the four to six-pound standard of the breed today. The Kennel Club in England recognized the breed in 1870, calling it the “spitz dog.” Traces of the Pomeranian’s lineage can be seen in its coat and color, which are reminiscent of the wolf spitz breed.
One of the best known Pomeranian owners in history was Queen Victoria of England, who ruled between 1819 and 1901. Queen Victoria first saw the dog as a girl, when her mother, Queen Charlotte kept one as a pet. Queen Victoria got Marco, a Pomeranian of her own, in 1888.
The English royal family had then, and has now, a keen interest in breeding horses and dogs. Queen Victoria applied this enthusiasm for breeding to the Pomeranian, at one time keeping 35 Pomeranian dogs. The monarch is credited with further reducing the size of the Pomeranian through her efforts. Her show Pomeranians – Fluffy, Nino, Mino, Beppo, Gilda and Lulu, competed in many dog shows and won at least two championships. According to her biographers, in 1901, from her deathbed, the Queen asked for her pet Pomeranian Turi, who was brought to her and remained at her side until she died.
Besides appealing to royalty, through the decades the Pomeranian has also been a favorite of a variety of artists and celebrities. Perhaps the most famous artist in history, Michelangelo, painted the Sistine Chapel with his Pomeranian at his side.
Actresses love Pomeranians. Kate Hudson has one; Cindy Williams who will always be remembered as Shirley in “Laverne and Shirley,” appeared in weight loss advertisements with her Pomeranian. And the best-known canine television star of the 1980s was Chester, who co-starred with his real-life owner Fran Drescher in “The Nanny.”
If you believe Sir Isaac Newton’s account of what caused his nervous breakdown, then you believe that a Pomeranian can drive a person mad. Newton’s Pomeranian, Diamond, upset a candle that burned some of Newton’s important work papers, and he had a nervous breakdown because of the stress.
Pomeranians inspire their owners. The composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart dedicated one of his arias to his Pomeranian and Chopin wrote a piece for a Pomeranian that belonged to his girlfriend.
Pomeranians aren’t just for royals and celebrities. This confident, intelligent, breed will make a great pet for anyone who loves small dogs and wants a loyal, attentive companion.