Most people believe that there’s just one type of Pomeranian, regardless of size, shape, or other physical qualities. Therefore, there isn’t a throwback Pomeranian.
I will explain what a throwback Pomeranian actually is and the reasons why certain Poms are sometimes called throwback Pomeranians.
Pomeranians come in a variety of sizes, colors, cuteness, personalities and styles. This adorably tiny dog is loved because he can usually watch the world go by from the safety of his mother’s handbag or father’s pocket.
However, not every Pom is a tiny, fluffy ball of fur…and this is how throwbacks have become part of the Pomeranian breed of dog. While throwbacks are not common, they can pop up as a random member of a litter, especially the colored bloodlines.
How Big Can a Pomeranian Get?
The American Kennel Club (AKC) has officially designated a purebred Pomeranian’s size as being between three and seven pounds. However, it’s easy to find a big Pomeranian dog that is much bigger than the norm.
The term throwback Pomeranian is often used incorrectly to describe these big Pomeranian breed dogs. I personally don’t like the gimmicky terms “throwback Pomeranian” and “teacup Pomeranian” being used in association with my beloved breed. Another name for these bigger Pom dogs is Victorian Pomeranian.
These are the only three reasons why a dog might be large breed Pomeranian compared to the Pom breed standard:
- He’s overweight. It’s a normal problem for the Pomeranian breed of dog, and is even more likely in Poms that have bigger bones.
- He might be a mixed dog breed. You may own what looks like a purebred Pom but he could actually be part Pomeranian and the other part could be a bigger Spitz dog such as the Samoyed, Chow-Chow or Japanese Spitz, just to mention a few examples.
- Genetics. Big Pomeranian puppies are often observed in color breeding programs. Puppies from backyard breeders and puppy mills are often larger than the Pomeranian breed standard, owing to poor breeding practices.
What is a Throwback Pomeranian?
A throwback Pomeranian is a type of larger Pom dog genetically more similar to his ancestors (Spitz-type sled dogs), not only in size but also in behavior, compared to the Pomeranians running around today.
A dog’s traits are usually inherited from their parents (dam and sire) and there are genes they may receive from up to five generations.
Technically speaking, this term (or a breed of dog by this name) does not exist. Owners and non-preservation breeders seem to have latched onto this term to describe their big Pomeranian breed dogs. What some refer to as a throwback Pomeranian is merely a Pom that is larger than the Pomeranian breed standard size. The dog’s natural body structure is up to four times bigger than what is expected.
If you own a big Pomeranian, he may very well be a throwback. Any Pomeranian that’s defined as a throwback needs to be an adult that’s fully grown, is NOT overweight but is still heavier than 10 to 14 pounds. Large Pomeranians or throwback Pomeranian dogs are still considered to be purebred Poms; they’re simply bigger than the breed standard Pomeranians.
Throwback Pomeranian Size
There have been throwback Pomeranians that have been weighed at between 18 and 20 pounds… and that’s certainly big.
Before you can understand why people call certain Pomeranians “throwbacks,” it’s imperative that you look at their ancestors.
Pomeranian ancestors were medium to large Spitz dogs found in the arctic area. In Iceland, people used them as sled dogs, and they were also as herding and hunting dogs in the far north areas.
History tells us that they weighed 30 – 40 pounds (14 – 18 kgs) and were mostly a light color. Because of the tough physical work they did, they had plenty of muscles and were very strong. They coped in the below-freezing temperatures because of their thick double coats (today’s Spitz breeds still have these same coats). Despite working in a pack and with people, they’re still regarded as outside dogs.
The big ancestors of the Pomeranians had a similar look and size to the Keeshond. The Keeshond, Samoyed, the Pomeranian and other Spitz breeds all descended from those same dogs.
Interesting is the classification of the Pomeranian as a German spitz in FCI countries. As various offshoots began developing, the Pomeranian was bred down to a smaller size in a specific European region that used to go by the name “Pomerania,” (this area today is near the Baltic sea and covers parts of modern-day sections of Germany and Poland).
The term “throwback Pomeranian” is a very modern invention, which attempts to describe dogs similar to the Pom’s bigger ancestors that used to pull sleds. Those dogs were a Spitz-like variety and would weigh around 30 pounds. They’re related to both the Siberian Husky and the American Eskimo dog breeds.
When various breeds of dogs underwent genetic testing, one discovery was that many of Spitz dog breeds directly belonged to a group regarded as being the closest relatives to wolves and it’s assumed that they’re the oldest type of dogs known. This may be the explanation for the Pomeranian’s feisty demeanor.
Toward the end of the late 1880s, Queen Victoria herself loved the Spitz dog breed. However, she desired the dog to be a smaller version because of the incredible popularity among members of Royalty to own very small lap dogs. She decided to devise a breeding program that would decrease the size of the dogs in that time, and so they eventually turned into the cute little Poms we love and adore today.
The Queen has been given double credit for:
- Vastly increasing the breed’s popularity.
- Creating and pushing the popular trend toward owning small Pomeranians.
Large Breed Pomeranian Temperament
The large Pomeranians usually have the same temperament and behavior and hardly ever vary. A typical Pom already has some behavior that is like a throwback: behaving independently and always being alert to his surroundings.
You’ll find that most Poms love traveling and are very adaptable when they’re in new and different situations; a typical behavior demonstrated by the bigger Spitz dogs. The Throwback Pomeranians are just as adorable, sweet and loving as any other Pomeranian.
Health Problems of the Bigger Size Pomeranian
It’s widely believed that the bigger Pomeranian dogs don’t have issues with their health because of their body is bigger than that of normal Poms. Being a bigger dog often proves to be advantageous. Small Poms can easily suffer from injuries after they jump off the bed or couch because the floor is a long distance for them.
A large Pom dog will have a more solid body and often stronger legs which helps protect them from having such injuries. They usually enjoy activities that include jumping from heights, among others. The bigger Poms are a better dog for parents with young children because the dog can endure whatever the child does.
How To Know If a Big Pomeranian is a Purebred?
If you are concerned about your large Pom dog being a purebred or not, ask your vet about doing DNA testing to work out your large Pom dog’s lineage.
It’s Impossible for Throwback Pomeranians To Be Successful Show Pomeranians
The final Pomeranian throwback fact I’ll share is a specific negative about owning this type of Pomeranian. It’s impossible to successfully be involved in canine shows.
It’s because show Pomeranians should ideally weigh 4-6 pounds, whereas the majority of so-called throwback Poms is two or three times that weight.
As well as being over the breed standard size requirements, throwback Pomeranians usually lack the refined look of a Pomeranian show dog.
Some of the throwbacks will have flat coats, instead of the fluffy double coat of the dogs bred by preservation breeders. Throwbacks also often have bigger ears and a nose that’s longer and more like a fox, instead of a short, teddy-bear-style nose. Throwback Pomeranians usually occur in litters bred by breeders who do not show their dogs.
Hence the reasons why a throwback Pomeranian won’t be successful in the confirmation show rings.
Final Thoughts About Throwback Pomeranians
All of this just proves that the love of a Pomeranian breed of dog, regardless of whether he’s a throwback or a normal size and shape, is easy to see because his tail will wag, his face will smile and his eyes will watch you to see what you’re doing. It doesn’t take a lot for a dog to love a person.
Whatever size, shape, demeanor or personality Pomeranians may possess, they have the incredibly magical ability to look deep into your soul and melt your heart so completely that you couldn’t imagine life continuing on without this canine becoming a member of your family.
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References and Further Reading:
 Denise Leo “The Pomeranian Handbook”.
 Milo G. Denlinger “The Complete Pomeranian”.
 Kimbering Pomeranians “1891-1991”.
 E. Parker “The Popular Pomeranian”.
 Official Standard of the Pomeranian (AKC). American Kennel Club, 2011.
 Official English Kennel Club Pomeranian Breed Standard , 2017.