Breeds

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AKC standards for Pomeranians

The American Kennel Club establishes standards of various dog breeds, including the Pomeranian. Before the American Kennel Club recognizes a breed, the breed has to have certain characteristics, referred to as standards of the breed, that remain stable generation after generation. Breed standards serve several functions.

A dog owner buying an American Kennel Club recognized breed of dog knows how big a puppy will be when it grows up. All puppies start out small, but a Pomeranian owner knows he or she will end up with a dog that weighs in at seven pounds or less. Breed standards also predict temperament, and the owner of a Pomeranian puppy knows the grown dog will be playful, energetic and extroverted.

The American Kennel Club establishes standards of the breeds it recognizes for several reasons. First, breed standards document what the breed is supposed to look and act like. Dogs bred for generations to look exactly the same are reliable dogs. If you get a Pomeranian puppy, you know you can count on your full-grown Pomeranian to weigh less than seven pounds. Without standards of the breed, Pomeranians could eventually weigh as much as bulldogs! Pomeranians are also known for their playful, intelligent personalities.

Another benefit of having standards for different breeds of dogs is to encourage good breeding practices. Dogs in the toy group are notoriously fragile, and restricting the weight of the Pomeranian to seven pounds maximum helps prevent the breed from getting too heavy and risking injury to bones and joints.

The American Kennel Club knows that it matters and that is the reason for the establishment specific standards for each of the breeds it recognizes. The American Kennel Club requires that certain characteristics of a breed be stable for many generations of dogs before it recognizes a breed. Thus, a puppy buyer can predict how big or small a grown dog will be and what kind of temperament it will have. According to the American Kennel Club, a Pomeranian puppy, for instance, will weigh no more than seven pounds and have a perky, energetic personality.

Setting standards for breeds encourages good breeding and helps weed out qualities that might be bad for the dog's health. Take, for instance, the size of the Pomeranian. The Pomeranian is fragile, and its weight should be restricted. Setting a standard for the Pomeranian's weight discourages breeders from breeding heavy dogs.

The standard of the Pomeranian breed is thorough and precise, covering every part of the dog from the nose, which must be dark, to the high, plumed tail, lying straight and flat against the back. The Pomeranian's face has small ears, dark eyes and short muzzles. Proportion is important when judging the standards of a Pomeranian. The height of the dog, from its elbows to its withers, should be roughly equal to the height dog from the ground to the elbows. The dog's shoulder blade and upper arm should also be roughly equal in length. The Pomeranian has a soft undercoat and a long, roughly textured outer coat, which settles in feathers on the backs of the legs and in a frill around the shoulders and chest. A dog can be disqualified from competition if it has a soft, flat, or open coat.

All colors, patterns and color combinations are to be judged the same, and any color of coat is permissible under the standards of the Pomeranian breed. The most frequently shown Pomeranians have coloration patterns that include black and tan, brindle and parti-color. The black and tan Pomeranian dog has light patches above the eyes, on the muzzle, throat, chest, legs, feet and under the tail. The brindle-coated dog has a gold or red base with black cross stripes. A parti-color dog is white with patches of other color and a white blaze on the forehead.

The American Kennel Club also sets standards for a Pomeranian's temperament, so owners know what to expect from their dog's personality. Pomeranians should be confident, inquisitive, intelligent and pleasant, with a commanding presence. Pomeranian breed information is available to anyone who wants to breed Pomeranians or just wants to know more about the breed.

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