Guide to Pomeranian Breed Standards – Checklist Template


by James Bennett


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CharacteristicsIdeal StandardDisqualificationsMet (✓/✗)
Weight3 to 7 pounds (ideal 4 to 6 pounds)
ProportionBody length to height ratio 1:1
Head ShapeBroad at the back, tapering to the nose (wedge)Round, domed skull
EyesDark, bright, medium-sized, almond-shapedLight blue, blue marbled, blue flecked
EarsSmall, mounted high, carried erect
NoseBlack pigment (except chocolate, beaver, and blue)
BiteScissorsUndershot, overshot, wry bite
ToplineLevel from withers to croup
Tail SetHigh, lies flat and straight on the backLow tail set
ForequartersStraight legs, well laid back shouldersDown in pasterns
HindquartersBalanced angulation, strong stiflesCowhocks, knees turning in/out, lack of soundness
CoatDouble coat, dense undercoat, harsh outer coatSoft, flat, or open coat
ColorAll colors, patterns, and variations allowed
GaitSmooth, free, balanced, brisk
TemperamentExtrovert, intelligent, vivacious

Note: This table is designed to help assess a Pomeranian according to the breed standard. Check the appropriate column (Met (✓/✗)) for each characteristic to indicate whether the dog meets the ideal standard, has a disqualification, or has a deviation from the ideal standard.

Key Terms

Key TermDescription
Almond-shaped eyes This refers to the shape of the Pomeranian’s eyes, which should be medium-sized, dark, and bright. Almond-shaped eyes are slightly elongated, with gently curved upper and lower eyelids that give the appearance of an almond. This eye shape contributes to the breed’s fox-like expression and alert nature.
Angulation Angulation refers to the angles formed by a dog’s bones and joints, particularly in the forequarters (shoulders and front legs) and hindquarters (hips and rear legs). Balanced angulation in a Pomeranian’s hindquarters is important for proper movement and efficient gait. The angles in the hindquarters should match those in the forequarters to ensure a harmonious movement.
Bite A dog’s bite refers to the alignment of its upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed. It is an important aspect of a breed’s standard, as it can impact the dog’s ability to eat, breathe, and function properly.
Body length to height ratioThis refers to the proportion between the length of the dog’s body (measured from the prosternum to the point of buttocks) and the height of the dog (measured from the highest point of the withers to the ground). In the case of Pomeranians, this ratio should ideally be 1:1, meaning the body length and height are equal, giving the breed its characteristic square shape.
Cowhocks Cowhocks refer to a conformation fault in a dog’s hind legs, where the hocks (the joint between the lower thigh and rear leg) turn inward, causing the lower legs to turn outward. This condition can affect a dog’s gait and overall soundness. Cowhocks are considered a major fault in Pomeranians and should be avoided.
Domed skull A domed skull refers to a rounded, convex shape of the top of a dog’s head, similar to the shape of a dome. In Pomeranians, a domed skull is considered a major fault, as the ideal head shape should be slightly round but not domed.
Double coatA double coat refers to a dog’s fur, which consists of two layers: a dense, short undercoat and a longer, harsh-textured outer coat. In Pomeranians, the double coat is an essential feature, providing insulation and protecting the dog from harsh weather conditions. The coat should be abundant and stand off from the body, with a ruff around the neck, framing the head.
Fox-like expression The term ‘fox-like expression’ is used to describe the Pomeranian’s characteristic facial appearance, which resembles that of a fox. This expression is created by the combination of the breed’s head shape, almond-shaped eyes, erect ears, and muzzle shape. The fox-like expression is considered a desirable trait in Pomeranians, as it denotes their alert and intelligent nature.
Gait A dog’s gait refers to its pattern and style of movement. In Pomeranians, the ideal gait is smooth, free, balanced, and brisk. When moving, the dog should maintain its high head carriage and overall outline. Proper gait is essential for a Pomeranian’s overall health and ability to function as a show dog and companion.
Hindquarters The hindquarters of a dog refer to the rear portion of the animal’s body, including the hips, thighs, and rear legs. In Pomeranians, the angulation of the hindquarters should balance that of the forequarters, and the buttocks should be well behind the set of the tail. Properly structured hindquarters contribute to a strong and efficient gait.
Prosternum The prosternum is the forward-projecting part of the sternum (breastbone) in a dog’s chest. In Pomeranians, the chest should have an oval, tapered shape, extending to the point of elbows with a pronounced prosternum, which adds to the breed’s overall structure and appearance.
Round In the context of the Pomeranian breed standard, ’round’ typically refers to the undesirable shape of the skull. A round or domed skull is a major fault in Pomeranians. The ideal head shape should be slightly round but not domed, with a broad back tapering to the nose, forming a wedge.
Scissors bite In a scissors bite, the upper incisors (front teeth) closely overlap the lower incisors, with the upper incisors touching the lower incisors’ outer surface. This type of bite is considered the ideal for Pomeranians, as it helps promote healthy teeth and gums, and allows for efficient biting and chewing. An undershot bite (where the lower jaw protrudes in front of the upper jaw), an overshot bite (where the upper jaw protrudes in front of the lower jaw), or a wry bite (where one side of the jaw is misaligned) are considered major faults for this breed.
Strong stifles Stifles are the joints in a dog’s hind legs that correspond to the human knee. Strong, moderately bent, and clearly defined stifles are essential for a Pomeranian’s overall soundness and ability to move efficiently. Weak or poorly structured stifles can affect a dog’s movement and stability.
Vivacious Vivaciousness is a term used to describe a Pomeranian’s lively, spirited, and energetic temperament. Pomeranians are known for their extroverted personalities and great intelligence, which make them engaging companions and competitive show dogs. Their vivaciousness is an essential aspect of their breed standard.
WithersThe withers are the highest point of a dog’s shoulder blades, located where the neck meets the back. In Pomeranians, the height at the withers is an important measurement for determining the ideal body proportion (1:1 ratio of body length to height).

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