Studying the Past

From our early great Pomeranians to our most current greats, by studying our past we can become better breeders and stewards of the breed.

Recently, several longtime Pomeranian breeders and parent club officers have been researching ways that we can better educate our breeders and judges on the most important characteristics of a Pom. The photos throughout this article are Poms dating back to our early beginnings in this country through today.

There has been a lot of discussion lately by Pom breeders who are seeing Poms put up that go against our standard. A Pomeranian should have a beautiful, profuse coat, alert expression, high ear set, almond-shaped eyes, high tail set, big tail plume, short back, and a beautiful profile standing and moving. It should NOT be long in back, low on leg or move with the head down. It should be balanced and move with head carried high, with a beautiful profile. It should be up on its toes, not down in pasterns.

A Pomeranian should not be scissored down to look like a Bichon or another similar breed. We are not against trimming for a neat, clean outline, but many are severely trimmed off the rear—especially so that there is no guard hair. This is concerning not only in looks, but we don’t think it’s healthy for the coat. Remember, a Pom should have a profuse, harsh outer coat and a big tail plume that is long, harsh, and straight, accentuating its high-set tail. There is nothing more impressive than a plume that is set high with a canopy over the entire back. We are losing (or have lost) the big, harsh, correct coats of our early Poms. Soft coats are NOT correct. We need to look to our past to try and recover some of the characteristics of the Pom that truly make it
a Pomeranian.

We believe that the breeders of today need to be reminded of the true characteristics of the Pomeranian that they should be breeding for, and that the new fanciers need to be properly mentored. Judges, as well, need to be reminded of the correct characteristics of the Pomeranian when judging and reward those that best meet the standard. If we all work together, we can breed and show better specimens.

Breeders must be able to look at their Poms objectively, and honestly evaluate and weed out inferior specimens. All Poms are not show Poms. There are those that are finishable, potential specials, specials, and then there are the truly great ones. You must develop an eye and then honestly evaluate your Poms. Remember, our goal should be for the betterment of the breed. We are
the caretakers.

I truly believe that everyone involved wants to breed and show the best, but sometimes we need to be reminded of the true essence of the Pomeranian. It is easy to get caught up in TRENDS, but we must stop and think, “Is this the direction our Poms should go?” I believe we should always go back to the basics. Work hard, develop an eye, study your past (especially the greatest of the great breeders) and be honest with yourself. Older, successful breeders, share your knowledge with the new people and be good mentors; these new people are the future of the breed. Always seek to improve, but never lose the characteristics that make a Pom a Pom!

  • I began breeding Southland’s Poms in 1981. I started with the Bev-Nor line and was blessed to have had BISA, #1 Pom, #1Pom Bitch, Top-Producing Male and Female in the Nation, and the first male BT to ever win BISA BISS. I quit breeding around 1999, but assisted and mentored Annette Rister of Majestic Poms for many years. Many important Pom people in our history shared their knowledge and mentored me, especially Bev Norris. I believe that we, as serious breeders, should study and learn from our past greats and pass this information on to future generations. I am presently still mentoring young people.

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