Pomeranian

History/Evolution:

A descendant of the Spitz family of dogs, the Pomeranian gets its name from the historical region of Pomerania (split today between Germany and Poland), where the Poms served as able sheepherders. The breed gained popularity after Queen Victoria brought one back from a trip to Italy, and a smaller-size Pomeranian then became more fashionable. Today the animated, fox-faced Pom remains a popular show dog and companion.

Size:

Tiny, 8 to 11 inches, 3 to 7 pounds.

Color:

Red, orange, cream and sable, black, brown and blue, brindle, beaver, white, and parti-color.

Temperament:

Extroverted, busy, and curious. Attentive and playful; reserved with strangers. Can bark a lot.

Energy level:

High.

Best owner:

Loving, gentle family/owner.

Needs:

Minimal daily exercise, but lots of attention; twice weekly brushing, training, supervision with young children, secure fenced yard.

Life expectancy:

12 to 15 years.