If you’re wondering what defines a pomeranian, the American Kennel Club (AKC) has a strict definition of the breed. The AKC breed standard probably contains more details than you’ll ever need or want to know, unless you plan to have your pom compete in competitions. If this is the case then you should study the breed standard very closely!

Here’s a short summary of the breed standard.

Body Size and Shape

  • A Pom’s body length should be equivalent to its height in a 1:1 ratio.
  • Pomeranians should weigh 3 to 7 lbs, and the idea weight for show pomeranians is 4 to 6 lbs. The AKC breed standard says that “any dog over or under the weight limits is objectionable” but quality is more important than size.
  • Body should be compact and “well ribbed”
  • Tail should be heavily plumed, set high, and lie flat and straight on the back. A major issue is having a tail that’s set low.

Head and Face

  • Eyes should be “dark, bright, medium sized, and almond shaped.” Eyes that are light blue, blue marbled, or blue flecked are reasons for disqualification from pomeranian conformance competitions.
  • Muzzle should be “rather short, free of lippiness, neither coarse nor snipey.” The ratio of muzzle length to skull length should be 1/3 to 2/3.
  • Bite should be scissors, and having one tooth out of alignment is acceptable. Major issues include an undershot, overshot, or wry bite.
  • Skull should be slightly round but not domed. Major issue is a round, domed skull.
  • Facial expression should be fox-like, which denotes an “alert and intelligent nature.”
  • Ears should be small, mounted high on the head, and erect.

Fur and Coat

  • Poms have a double coat. The undercoat should be short and dense with harsh-textured guard hair growing through. This guard hair forms the outer coat. A major fault is a soft, flat, or open coat.
  • Any color coat is permitted.

Front Quarters

  • Shoulder blade and upper arm length should be equal
  • Elbows should be held close to body and not turn in or out
  • Shoulders and legs should be moderately muscled.
  • Feet should be round, tight, look cat-like, and turn neither in nor out

Rear Quarters

  • butt should be well behind the set of the tail
  • Upper thigh and lower thigh length should be equal
  • Major faults include knees turning in or out, or lack of soundness in the legs

Gait

  • While walking a Pom should have its head remain “high and proud”
  • Gait is “smooth, free, balanced, and brisk”

 Reference: AKC Pomeranian Breed Standard

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