Neither the American Kennel Club nor the British Kennel Club recognise the toy teacup Pomeranian as a separate or distinct breed from the Pomeranian. Pomeranians belong to the toy dog group. Owners who choose a small dog advertised as a pocket teacup Pom may unknowingly support an unethical practice that uses sales gimmicks.
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The Pomeranian originated from the larger sled dogs of the Pomeranian region of Europe. What started as a sled dog evolved to a small lapdog to suit a family lifestyle and perhaps act as a status symbol. A wealthy class of Europeans, including Queen Victoria, promoted a breeding program in the 1880s that produced a smaller dog with longer fur. The modern Pomeranian sports a compact body with a plumelike tail that falls over the back and to the side.
Avoid breeders who purposely produced tiny Poms. In contrast to the breed standard Pom, the miniature dog from an unethical breeder may have bloodlines of two "runt" dogs. Select breeding that produces diminutive puppies does not warrant a higher price or claim to a special breed. A reputable breeder does not promote miniature, teacup or pocket teacup Pom sales.
The U.S. Pomeranian Breed Standard specifies a weight range from 1.36 to 3.18kg. The show ring would not allow a dog with a lower weight. An adult Pom stands 8 to 11 inches high at the withers.
A sturdy, healthy dog has a foxlike head, medium eyes and an alert expression. The Pom sports a coat that sheds little. Coat colours include brown, black, beaver, orange, cream blue, white parti-colour. A ruff of hair forms ont he back and neck. The compact body set on small feet has a fluid gait.
A Pomeranian with a low weight could face health problems. Underweight dogs may suffer from hypoglycaemia, a low concentration in the energy source known as glucose. Patellar luxation, an inherited disease, makes the Pom's kneecap slip. Entropion, another hereditary problem, causes the border of the eyelid to turn against the eyeball. Ulceration and scarring of the cornea may impair vision. Other health concerns include underdeveloped organs, thyroid problems, and a risk of internal and external infections.
A breed standard Pomeranian, full of energy, enjoys long walks and playtime with other dogs. In contrast, the more diminutive Pom needs shorter walks and avoids play with larger canines. The smaller, more fragile dog needs to keep warm. Take care to pick up your Pom gently.
While the more robust dog can stay alone for hours, the smaller Pom needs more human interaction. Keep dog food out and include a water dispenser. Exercise the dog in the morning. Arrange for a dog walker or someone to check on the smaller dog at noon.
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