22 May, 2016
- Pomeranians were developed in the province of Pomerania from the ancient Spitz breeds of the far northern countries. The closest relatives of the Pomeranian are the Norwegian Elkhound, the Schipperke, the German Spitz, the American Eskimo Dog, the Samoyed, and other members of the Spitz, or Northern, group of dogs, all of which are characterized by their wedge-shaped heads, prick ears, and thick furry coats. Early Pomeranians weighed as much as 30 pounds.
Even in the early days of the breed, Poms were popular. Notable people who were said to have Pomeranian-type dogs include theologian Martin Luther, who had a Pom named Belferlein that he mentioned often in his writings; artist Michelangelo, whose Pom sat on a satin pillow and watched him paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; physicist Isaac Newton, whose Pom named Diamond reportedly chewed many of his manuscripts, and composer Mozart, whose Pom was named Pimperl and to whom he dedicated an aria.
In 1761, the appeal of Pomeranians moved to England when Sophie Charlotte, a 17-year-old Princess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (a neighboring province of Pomerania) married the English prince who was to become King George III. She brought with her a pair of mostly white dogs named Phebe and Mercury that weighed more than 20 pounds, which was standard at that time. Although they were popular in royal circles, the new breed didn’t catch on with the public.
All of that changed during the reign of Queen Charlotte’s granddaughter, Queen Victoria. During her 64 years as the Queen of England, Queen Victoria bred more than 15 different breeds of dogs. In her later years, she was especially fond of Pomeranians, which she first saw in 1888 during a trip to Italy. She fell in love with a sable and red Pom named Marco who weighed only 12 pounds. Today, many believe that he was the inspiration to breed smaller Pomeranians.
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