Pomeranians, also known as Poms, are beautiful.
They have dynamic personalities. And they can live just about anywhere people do. Pomeranians can make great apartment dogs!
These small dogs can get all of their exercises indoors.
As long as their home has adequate heating in the winter and cooling in the summer, and they get lots of love and attention, Pomeranians will do well spending most of their lives indoors.
What Makes Pomeranians Good Apartment Dogs?
If you have never had any experience owning a dog before, getting a Pomeranian is a great way to start.
Pomeranians have a number of highly desirable characteristics as apartment dogs.
Pomeranians Are Beautiful Dogs
Pomeranians were bred from Spitz dogs, sled dogs used in northern Germany.
Queen Victoria acquired an exceptionally small Spitz dog from Pomerania, and small Spitzes evolved into Pomeranians.
Future dog owners are often captivated by the tiny Pomeranian’s appearance. Erect, pointed ears and a long muzzle give Pomeranians a fox-like appearance.
They have richly feathered tail that lies flat on their backs. Their eyes are dark brown or black, large, round, alert, and expressive.
Like the Spitz dogs who were their ancestors, Pomeranians have thick, warm, double coats. An adult Pomeranian’s coat is long and fluffy. No other breed of dog comes in more colors.
Pomeranians may have coats of black, cream, white, or orange, or less often red, blue, sable, tan and black, tan and brown, spotted, parti, brindle, or combinations of these colors.
Pomeranian puppies, it is only fair to point out, aren’t equally attractive.
Pomeranian puppies are blind, deaf, and unable to walk. They weigh just a few ounces, as little as 100 grams.
They don’t begin to develop a covering of down until they start nursing.
Then they go through an “ugly puppy” stage as their skin color changes and their hair begins to come in. They don’t really “look like Pomeranians” until they are several months old.
Pomeranians Are a Manageable Size
An adorable ball of fur, a Pomeranian is full of personality but small enough to fit in a backpack.
Adult Pomeranians stand just 8 to 11 inches (20 to 28 cm) tall.
The American Kennel Club standard for Pomeranians prescribes that they should weigh no more than 7 pounds (a little more than 3 kilos).
Teacup Pomeranians, also known as “flyweight” Pomeranians, may weigh as little as 2 pounds (about a kilo).
Occasionally, there are “throwback” Pomeranians that weigh 12 to 18 pounds (5.5 to 8 kilos), but a reputable breeder will not let them have puppies.
Even these Pomeranians easily meet weight limits prescribed by any apartment complex that allows dogs of any size.
Pomeranians Are Smart
Psychologist Stanley Coren surveyed American Kennel Club obedience trial judges to get rankings of 110 breeds for his book The Intelligence of Dogs.
Coren measured working intelligence (how well a dog can do its “job”) and obedience intelligence (how easily a dog can learn a new command). Pomeranians ranked 23 out of 110, corresponding to “excellent” intelligence.
In practical terms, this means that you can teach a Pomeranian a new command in as few as five to as many as 15 sessions.
A Pomeranian will obey you the first time you give a command at least 85 percent of the time.
This means that once you have taught your Pomeranian to stay so they don’t run out into traffic, or sit to be nice to a visitor, or silence to stop barking, they will obey you nearly every time.
Pomeranians are smart enough to win obedience trial competitions. They can learn tricks.
If you make sure to give them lots of opportunities to meet different kinds of dogs, different kinds of people, and cats when they are two to four months old, they will be exceptionally friendly dogs throughout their lives.
Pomeranians Make Good Watchdogs
Pomeranians are very protective of their people. They bark at the first sense of danger.
They will let you know if someone breaks into your apartment if there is a gas leak, or if an earthquake is imminent. They are good watchdogs.
Pomeranians are too small, of course, to make good guard dogs the way a German Shepherd or a Border Collie might protect you.
Some Challenges When Keeping Pomeranians in Apartments
Everything about Pomeranians isn’t ideal for apartment living, although none of these problems should be a deal-breaker for adopting a Pom.
You just need to know about these issues in advance.
Pomeranians have a constant urge to vocalize.
They bark, and bark, and bark.
They are hyperaware of every scent, every sight, and every sound in your apartment, and they have to let you know that they have discovered something new.
All dogs bark, but people who have experience with other breeds of dogs say that Pomeranians take barking to a new level.
If you prefer a quiet canine companion, another breed of dog may be best for you.
Difficulty House Training
Pomeranians are notoriously difficult to house train. Their tiny bodies will fit under furniture, in drapes, behind doors, and under beds.
They will constantly find new places “to go.”
Housebreaking any puppy requires instant correction. The problem with Pomeranians is that you cannot correct what you do not see.
Poms require consistent crate training to get good results.
Not Great with Children
Pomeranians are possessive of toys, their favorite places, and their favorite people.
They will become upset when children invade their space or examine their toys.
They will want at least to join a child being told a story while sitting on their parent’s lap.
Kids who don’t understand their Pomeranians boundaries may be growled or nipped at.
“Small Dog Syndrome”
Pomeranians are often described as subject to a “small dog syndrome,” a kind of Napoleon complex.
Small dogs often attempt to compensate for their small stature with an aggressive personality.
Failure to train your Pomeranian will result in disobedience to important commands, exercising territorial aggression, jealousy over food, snapping, growling, and biting.
It is extremely important to start training your Pom as a puppy to avoid these tendencies.
Nothing makes a Pomeranian happier than curling up in her owner’s lap.
Most people who own Poms are only too happy to provide their dogs with lots of attention.
The attention you give your Pom can become problematic, however, when you give attention to other dogs or your cat.
Your Pomeranian’s devotion to you will know no bounds.
Unfortunately, your Pom will also become anxious when you have to leave home for the day to go work or you have to dash down to the store for shopping.
You must establish yourself as the leader of the pack, keeping your dog feeling secure at all times.
In the process of growing a long, full, colorful, beautiful adult coat, a growing Pomeranian will shed all of its hair several times in its first year of life.
Then as an adult, a Pomeranian will continue to shed—a lot!
To keep shedding and dander under control, you will have to find a balance in your dog’s grooming schedule.
You will want to make sure your Pom gets sufficiently frequent shampooing to prevent tangles and to keep up with shedding.
But you will also want to make sure that you do not bathe and shampoo your Pomeranian so often that they develop dry skin and shed dander.
You need to understand from the outset that hair care products designed for humans are too harsh for Pomeranians.
Be sure to invest in the grooming tools and products you need for Poms, or find a good groomer from the get-go.
The Bottom Line
Pomeranians aren’t for everybody.
But if you have time to devote to your dog every day, and you invest time in training your Pom from puppyhood, a Pomeranian can make a great apartment pet,
Choosing a Pomeranian for Your Apartment
Should you get a rescue Pomeranian or buy a Pomeranian puppy from a breeder?
Recycled Pomeranians and Schipperkes and Pomeranian Rescue can help you find an older puppy or adult Pom to adopt as your own.
Keep in mind that there can be any number of reasons a family gives up their Pomeranian for adoption. Excessive barking is a common problem.
You will get better results by adopting a Pomeranian puppy that has spent its entire life with a well-informed, caring breeder, who has been training it to become a lovable, agreeable pet from its first day of life.
Who sells Pomeranian puppies?
Chances are that you can find a Pomeranian breeder at least in your state, if not in your hometown or city.
Count on making several trips to the breeder’s facility to get to know your puppy before you buy. Insist on meeting the parents.
See if the puppy takes to you. Double-check health history.
Even if you fall in love with a Pomeranian puppy at first sight, take time to get to know them before you take them home.
Frequently Asked Questions About Living with Pomeranians in Apartments
Are Pomeranians hypoallergenic?
Pomeranians are not hypoallergenic. They have long coats, and they shed all the time.
They are not suitable apartment dogs for owners who have dog allergies.
When will my Pom be fully grown?
Pomeranians reach full maturity faster than larger breeds, usually when they are one year old.
Will Pomeranians bite?
Pomeranians almost never bite out of aggression. However, they will nip at you out of play if they are not trained properly.
Poms who were removed from their mother too soon after weaning are the most likely to have this problem as adults.
Pomeranians must be trained not to bite to be accepted in apartment life.
What is the Pomeranian lifespan? How long can we expect our Pomeranian to be with us?
Pomeranians usually live to between 12 and 16 years.
The oldest Pomeranian on record, lived to the age of 21 years and 8 months.
I can’t decide between getting a Pomeranian and getting a Shih Tzu. Which is better as an apartment dog?
Both Pomeranians and Shih Tzus are active, friendly, affectionate dogs toward their owners, but Pomeranians are louder and more boisterous.
Pomeranians bark more. Both breeds have long, lustrous hair that needs regular combing, but Pomeranians shed more.
Both breeds are best suited for older people who have time for them all day every day.
A designer dog made by crossing a Shih Tzu and a Pomeranian, known as a Shirahian, can have characteristics of either breed.
These designer dogs may be quiet like a Shih Tzu or loud like a Pomeranian. There are also Pomeranian-Chihuahua, Pomeranian-Shih Tzu, Pomeranian-Poodle, Pomeranian-Yorkshire Terrier, and Pomeranian-Corgi mixes, among others.
These hybrid dogs may have temperament and personality like either parent.
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