If you're not a Pom fan, the question isn't whether Pomeranians bark, but whether they ever stop. If you love Poms, you realize your little pal is yapping -- uh, voicing -- his concerns, alerting you to danger and protecting you. That's his story and he's sticking to it.
This high-spirited, confident, adorable little dog is related to the Northern spitz breeds, such as the keeshond and the Samoyed. The Pom's ancestors were medium-sized canines weighing about 30 pounds, but since modern-day Pomeranians weigh between 4 and 7 pounds, they've downsized considerably. When full-grown, Poms stand between 8 and 11 inches high at the shoulder. The breed comes in a variety of colors.
If you're looking for a tiny watchdog, the Pom fills the bill. He's a naturally protective little guy who isn't afraid of much. That's not necessarily a good thing, as he'll easily try to take on a dog 10 times his size. You'll know if someone's at the door, if the phone rings, if there's a squirrel in the yard -- you get the gist. He'll likely need lessons in being a quiet doggy.
It's likely you'll need to train your Pom to quiet down. From puppyhood, let him know gently but firmly that incessant barking isn't tolerated. A well-trained Pom should shut up when you say, "No bark," or use a similar term. As with many little dogs, housebreaking the Pom can be a challenge. Consistency, patience and praise when he does the right thing eventually gets him there, at least the majority of the time. In inclement weather, you might be forced to put out the newspapers for him, but you really didn't want to go outside, either.
Poms don't need a lot of exercise, making them good companions for apartment dwellers. While they can work out as family dogs, Poms aren't a good choice for people with young children because of their extremely small size. What your Pom does require is loads of daily attention. He thrives on it, because he loves his person more than anything. His thick coat requires regular brushing. Because little dogs often develop dental problems -- the result of a full set of canine teeth crammed into tiny mouths -- start brushing your Pom's teeth in puppyhood. When out for a walk, don't let him off the leash. "For their size, they are amazingly fast and have no comprehension of the danger of cars or other animals," according to the American Pomeranian Club.
- George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images