Early Pomeranian Material

Miss Hamilton’s Mafeking of Rozelle (Parti-Colour)
Miss Hamilton’s Pom “Koh-i-Noor”
Mrs Taylor’s Stockport Bobby (Parti-Colour)
Ch. Thunder of Erimus

The following article was originally published in 1879-1881 and was titled THE ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF THE DOG.It was re-published in 1985 under the title of THE CLASSIC ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE DOG by Vero Shaw.

Chapter XXVI, The Pomeranian:

The Pomeranian is admittedly one of the least interesting dogs in existence, and consequently his supporters are few and far between.He has not that delicate beauty of outline which belongs to the Toy class generally, and his unsuitability for field sports renders him perfectly useless as a sporting dog.The Pomeranian is certainly a foreign importation, but to what country the credit of his production is due is a matter of conjecture.Good specimens of the breed have appeared from time to time amongst us, which have been picked up in Germany, Belgium, France, and other parts of the Continent, but the dog appears to be claimed by no one nation in particular, though he certainly resembles the Esquimaux in outline.This breed is fairly popular in America under the title of Spitz dog, and we have seen a very good specimen imported into this country by a lady who had visited the United States.

As before observed, the virtues of the Pomeranian, whatever they may be, have failed to gain him many friends, and this is hardly to be wondered at when his good and bad qualities come to be weighed in the balance.Against a pretty coat, sharp and rather intelligent face, must be reckoned the snappish temper and lack of affection with which the Pomeranian is so generally credited.In fact, this breed looks far more intelligent than it really is, for it seems incapable of developing even an ordinary amount of instinct.As a guard to a house, however, if kept indoors, the Pomeranian is of some service, for his ears are keen, and an inclination to bark seems deeply rooted in the variety.On the other hand, though uncertain and treacherous in disposition, his courage is very much below the average, and a Pomeranian would sooner run than stand his ground any day.From this it may be surmised that as a vermin dog, which from his size and shape of head he might reasonably be expected to be, in some shape or other, a dog of this breed is worse than useless.Isolated specimens may on occasion do a little in the way of destroying rats, but we have seen many tried at all sorts of vermin, big and little, with the same result – an apparently irresistible inclination to get out of the pit as soon as possible, and leave their enemies to something which liked to kill them better.This experience is corroborated by almost every one who has seen the breed tried, and we do not believe any of their best friends take credit for a Pomeranian’s gameness or resolution in attack.

With reference to the earlier history of the breed mention is made to it in a work entitled “Cynographia Britannica,” by Sydenham Edwards, which was published in London in 1800, where we find that “the Pomeranian or Fox-dog” is thus described:-“He is of little value as a house-dog, being noisy, artful, and quarrelsome, cowardly, petulant, and deceitful, snappish, and dangerous to children, and in other respects without useful properties. He is very common in Holland, and there named Kees…There is a peculiarity in his coat: his hair, particularly the ruff around his neck, is not formed of hairs that describe the line of beauty, or serpentine line, but is simply a semicircle, which by inclining the same way in large masses give him a very beautiful appearance. Although his attachment is very weak, yet he is difficult to be stolen.”

The same writer alludes to the colour in the following words:-“Of a pale fallow colour, lightest on the lower parts; some are white, some black, but few spotted.”

In the “Sportsman’s Cabinet”, published 1804, this breed is termed the Pomeranian or Wolf-dog, and the colour is referred to as being “mostly of a pale yellow or cream colour, and lightest in the lower parts; some are white, some few black, and others, but very rarely, spotted.”The similarity of this description to the one given above renders it more than probably that the two ere by the same hand, more especially as both works were published at so brief an interval.According to the latter authority the following was the pleasing method of breaking Pomeranians to harness adopted in Kamtchatka:-“As soon an the puppies are able to see they are thrown into a dark pit, where they are shut up until they are thought able to undergo a trial.They are then harnessed with other seasoned dogs to a sledge, with which they scamper away with all their might, being frightened by the light and by so many strange objects.After their short trial they are again confined to their gloomy dungeon, and this practice is repeated until they are inured to the business of drawing, and are obedient to their driver.From this moment begins their hard and miserable course, only alleviated by the short recreation the summer affords them.As in this season they are of no service, nobody cares about them, but they enjoy a perfect liberty, which they principally employ in assuaging their hunger.Their sole nutriment consists of fish, which they watch for all this time by the banks of the river, and which they catch with the greatest cunning and dexterity.When they have plenty of this food, like the bears, the devour only the heads and leave the rest behind.”In the opinion of the latter writer the character of the dog is superior to that given him by Sydenham Edwards, assuming that the two authors are not identical.In the “Sportsman’s Cabinet” Pomeranians are said to possess an “instinctive sagacity of giving infallible notice when storms are approaching by scratching holes in the snow, and endeavoring to shelter themselves beneath it.By these and many other good qualities the Kamtchadale dogs by far outbalance the casual mischiefs they do in the occasional petulance and perverseness.”Further on the writer remarks:-“He bites most severely, and always with greater vehemence in proportion as he is less resisted, for he most sagaciously uses precautions with such animals as attempt to stand upon the defensive; and is admitted to be instinctively a coward, as he never fights but when under the necessity of satisfying his hunger or making good his retreat.”

In the “Naturalist’s Library,” edited by Sir William Jardine, Col. Charles Hamilton Smith, who is responsible for most of the canine information, remarks that “these dogs are white, white-and-brown, or buff.”Thus showing that the white colour was becoming more popular amongst us.This latter is by far the favourite and most common colours in the present day; though some authorities (with whom, however, we disagree) rather favour the fawn or lemon-colored dogs.It may, however, be taken as a rule that, whatever the colours is, the dog should be “whole” coloured, not pied, as patches are universally objected to in Pomeranians.

As regards shape the “Cynographia Brittanica” says:-“Head broad towards neck, and narrowing to the muzzle; ears short, pointed, and erect; about 18 inches high; is distinguished by his long, thick, and rather erect coat, forming a ruff around the neck, but short on the head and ears; the tail large and bushy, curled in a ring on the rump, instances are few of short-coated ones.”This description very closely resembles that of the modern Pomeranian which certainly appears to have benefited less from the fostering influence of the attention of its admirers than any other breed.

Amongst the supporters of this breed may be mentioned the names of Mr. R. Oldham of Manchester, Mrs. Senden of Streatham, Mr. Enoch Hutton, Mr. Fawdry, and Mrs. Mayhew.

The dog we have selected is Mr. J. Fawdry’s Charley, who has been successful at most of the principal shows throughout the country.He was born 1877, and scales 18 lbs.Charley’s measurements are:-Nose to stop, 1 30/4 inches; stop to top of skull, 3 ½ inches; girth of forearm, 5 inches; girth of pastern, 3 ¼ inches; height at shoulders, 16 inches, height at elbows, 10 inches; height at loins, 15 ½ inches; height at hock, 3 ½ inches.

The subjoined engraving, by a German artist, gives a most correct impression of a Pomeranian engaged in the congenial task of protecting his master’s wagon.The black dog is to our mind an admirable specimen of the breed, and one which displays the chief characteristics of the Pomeranian to a marked extent.

The points of a Pomeranian are not numerous, and the dog may be described as follows:

Skull – Wide and flat and foxy-looking, tapering towards the muzzle, which is very fine.

Jaws – Rather wide at base, but snippy towards nose.

Ears – Fine and pricked.

Eyes – Dark, not too full, and almond-shaped.

Chest – Rather wide.

Body – Short and cobby-looking.

Legs – Stout, and placed well under the body.

Feet – Round and small.

Coat – Rather coarse, and very dense all over the body, especially on the lower side of the neck.It is long all over the body, but short on the head, with some feather on the forelegs.

Tail – Bushy, and curled over the back.

Colour – White or black.As before stated, some permit lemon or other shades, but the two former are certainly by far the most preferable. Parti-coloured dogs are much objected to.

General appearance – An active, sharp-witted dog, capable of enduring fatigue, and giving every indication of hardiness and activity.


Head, shape of skull: 5

Muzzle: 5

Ears: 5

Body and legs: 5

Coat: 10

Colour: 15

General appearance: 5

Total: 50


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