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By Vivianna Black

The origin and history of the Pomeranian

The Pomeranian is an iconic breed. Known for its fluffy fur and cute teddy bear face, this little pooch has stolen hearts all across the globe. But the origin of this compact cuddler and its shrinking size is too weird not to be true.

Pomeranians weren't always so pocket-sized. The influence of royalty had a hand in their miniaturization. Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian, and chose to breed that trait into the next generation. The trend she began shrank the Pom Pom by half over the course of her reign. She imported smaller Pomeranians from across Europe in a variety of colors. Other royals, such as the wife of Napoleon I of France and King George IV of England owned Pomeranians as well.

Pomeranians are believed to originally have been Arctic work dogs. Their name is derived from "Pomerania," a region found along the Baltic Sea. The breed as we know it is fairly new. It was in 1764 that this dog was mentioned in the diary of a writer named James Boswell.

"The Frenchman had a Pomeranian dog named Pomer whom he was mighty fond of." That is the first sentence mentioning Pomeranians ever recorded. The theme of nobles owning them continued throughout history, with a Pomeranian even being one of the three dogs that survived the RMS Titanic. The popularity of the breed would only continue to rise through the centuries, although it was only in 1898 that an owner registered the breed.

Since then, the Pomeranian has more or less stayed in the top 20 AKC dog breeds. By mid-century, Pomeranians were one of the most popular dog breeds in America, ranking #14 out of 155 registered breeds.

Recent years have seen a slight decline in their popularity. The temperament of the breed can be difficult for new dog parents. House training takes longer than for other breeds, so crate training is often recommended to manage it. Pomeranians are also a very vocal dog, with the need to bark at everything that sounds unfamiliar. This trait can be trained out of them with time and work, but it won't stop them from barking at a knock on the door.

The best person to own this breed is an elderly woman or man. Their companionship is nothing to scoff at. Small children should be careful when around them, as they have a tendency to snap and nip when nervous or uncomfortable. With a mind of their own, these dogs will start fights with much larger breeds if not properly socialized. Separation anxiety is also a common affliction, causing the dog not to eat and to cry loudly when the owner leaves.

Also, Pomeranians' shrinking has contributed to more health concerns. Allergies, hip dysplasia and epilepsy are just a few found in the breed. It takes a well-prepared owner to monitor their new puppy's health.

From giant snow dogs to cotton ball lap warmers, the Pomeranian has evolved drastically in a considerably short period of time. And though they might be prone to sickness, the companionship this breed offers could never be replaced. Their meteoric rise through the centuries has permanently made a mark in the history books and will continue to melt hearts far into the future.

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