Unbelievable History of Pomeranians /Über die Pomeranian Rasse

Aktualisiert: 26. Mai 2020

It’s not often for dog breeds to have such a deep and rich history while also being one of the most iconic dog breeds of all time. Pomeranians certainly fit this bill and they show it in their actions every single day. You might have asked yourself a few times why a Pomeranian looks and acts the way they do.

The Land of Pomerania

Many, many years ago in a land bordering Germany, Poland, and the Baltic Sea, there was a place called Pomerania. While it’s still sometimes referenced today as a region located in Poland, it’s technically a historical region replaced by the popular Polish city Gdansk. The name Pomerania is a derivation of the Slavic term “po more”, which means “by the sea” or “on the sea”.

Now that you know the region where Pomeranians got their name from, it’s important to realize that modern-day Pomeranians are much different than what they used to be like. Hundreds of years ago, Pomeranians didn’t exist in the way we know them now, but they do have historical origins tied to some pretty hard working dogs that were often found in Pomerania.

Pomeranians come from a long line of Arctic work dogs that were often found in what’s known today as the Pomeranian region in Northern Germany and Poland. It’s hard to imagine our Pomeranians having a genetic link to strong, burly, Arctic working dogs that looked an awful lot like wolves, but it’s absolutely true!

Pomeranians are considered today as a toy breed amongst dogs, they have a genetic history linked directly to the much larger Wolfspitz or Spitz-type of dog, commonly known today as the German Spitz.

It’s often the case that Kleinspitz and Pomeranian dogs are mistaken for one another. However, these types of dogs have been determined to be two distinct breeds, therefore shouldn’t be considered the same breed of dog.

Pomeranian of Queens

The evolution of the Pomeranian really started to kick into gear once two of the most prominent members of the British royal family, Queen Charlotte and Queen Victoria, fell in love with these dog breeds. As a matter of fact, the first two Pomeranians ever purchased by Queen Charlotte goes as far back as 1767. That’s a long time ago!

These royal Pomeranians were named Phoebe and Mercury and were still of a size much larger than the Pomeranians we know today. Actually, these two “little” guys weighed somewhere between 30 and 50 pounds (or 14-23 kilograms), which is four to seven times the weight of modern Pomeranians!

Queen Charlotte loved her two Pomeranians so much that she would bring them along when she would be painted by the world-renowned artist Thomas Gainsborough.

Now, Queen Charlotte simply introduced Pomeranians into popularity when she bought Phoebe and Mercury, but never really promoted them or encouraged too much breeding. However, her granddaughter Queen Victoria had fallen so much in love with the Pomeranian breed that she set out to do what no one had done before.

If we truly want to look at the biggest influencer in the breeding of the modern Pomeranian, Queen Victoria is by far the greatest. She absolutely adored Pomeranians and owned more than most would ever see in a lifetime. As an avid Pomeranian enthusiast, she established the worlds largest Pomeranian breeding kennel at the time and turned up the breeding dial to 11.

Queen Victoria had always been a fan of the smaller Pomeranians, so she made it her mission to breed them down to a smaller size over generations of Pomeranians. One of her favorites was named Marco, who had a strong red sable coat and weighed approximately 12 pounds (or 5.4 kilograms).

With her famously small Marco, Queen Victoria featured him around social gatherings and shows alike, which produced popularity like no other. This started a so-called Pomeranian breed revolution resulting in breeders breeding down Pomeranians to similarly small sizes and showcasing them in dog shows around the world.

It’s been said that Queen Victoria had been so influential in the breeding of modern Pomeranians that she helped decrease their size by over 50%! These little guys and gals were so popular that she started to important different breeds of dogs with different colors to produce Pomeranians of a variety of color. That’s actually one of the main reasons Pomeranians have one of, if not the, largest varieties of color amongst all dog breeds.

Soon enough, Pomeranians became rather prolific all across Western cultures and had the first Pomeranian breed club established in 1891. This breed club standardized what made the Pomeranian breed unique compared to other dog breeds. This standard was later adopted in America by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1898 and then fully recognized in 1900.

As you can probably tell, Pomeranians became extremely popular all across Europe due to the rise of the breed in England. Thanks to Queen Charlotte and Queen Victoria of the British royal family, the world was gifted what we now know today as the Pomeranian.

Popularity in Amerika

The other Pomeranian’s name is unknown, but the owners were wealthy clothing business owners Martin and Elizabeth Jane Anne Rothschild. Apparently, the people on the lifeboat didn’t agree that taking the Pomeranian on what was a limited amount of space on the lifeboat. However, she managed to keep her Pomeranian hidden and sneaked it onto the lifeboat.

Pomeranians became so incredibly popular in such a short amount of time, they were even considered good investments. Can you imagine that?! If you owned a Pomeranian in the early 20th century, you could have traded them for large sums of money depending on the purity of the breed, color, size, and more. Unfortunately, this incentivized breeders to resort to mass amounts of Pomeranian inbreeding, resulting in health problems that still linger with Pomeranians to this today.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The world-renowned classical music composer had a Pomeranian named Pimperl and dedicated one of his famous arias after his Pomeranian.

Marian Kennedy

One of the Kennedys, Marian Kennedy, had a Pomeranian named Pomeria Buttercup.

Elvis Presley

Noone other than Elvis Presley gifted a Pomeranian to his mother so they could bond and enjoy each other’s company toward the end of her life. Once Elvis’s mother passed, Elvis adopted the Pomeranian right away. The Pomeranian’s name was Sweet Pea.

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