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.
What is a Throwback Pomeranian Dog?
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 its 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 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 sometimes 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.
A large Pomeranian or a throwback Pomeranian dog is still considered to be a purebred Pomeranian; they’re simply bigger than the breed standard Pomeranians. Officially there is only one Pomeranian breed.
The term “throwback Pomeranian” is a very modern invention, which attempts to describe dogs similar to 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.
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 all Poms are tiny dogs and cute balls of fluffy fur…and this is how throwback Pomeranian dogs have become a part of purebred Poms. While throwbacks are not common, they can pop up as a random litter member, especially the colored bloodlines.
Throwback Pomeranian puppy is often used incorrectly to describe these big Pomeranian breed dogs. Another name for these bigger Pom dogs is the Victorian Pomeranian.
I don’t like the gimmicky terms “throwback Pomeranian” and “teacup Pomeranian” being used in association with my beloved breed.
Throwback Pomeranian Facts
- Throwback Pomeranians are larger than the breed standard size and genetically similar to their ancestors, Spitz-type sled dogs. The term “throwback” is a modern invention and does not officially exist as a dog breed.
- Factors contributing to the size of your Pom include genetics, background/breeding history, diet/exercise routine, and potential mixed breeding with other large Spitz breeds like American Eskimo Dogs or Samoyeds.
- Throwbacks typically weigh between 18-20 pounds - more than double the size of normal Poms - but have similar temperaments regarding being independent yet loving companions.
- Throwback Pomeranians are usually less expensive than show-sized Pomeranian puppies due to their availability.
- These pups look cute when young but not as much as adult dogs compared to the show-sized Pom.
- Throwbacks are often sourced from backyard breeders and cost less than preservation breeders.
- Breeding throwback Poms is more straightforward than breeding the smaller ones for shows, and they may be better suited for parents with young children because their bigger size helps protect them from injuries.
- The lifespan of these dogs is typically 12-15 years if given proper care.
- DNA testing can help determine whether your large Pom dog is purebred; they descended from medium to large Spitz dogs found in arctic areas that were used as sled dogs, herding and hunting animals before being bred down by Queen Victoria into the small lapdogs we know today.
- Throwbacks cannot compete successfully in conformation shows since they do not meet size requirements (4 - 6 lbs) nor possess a refined look compared to other show-quality specimens.
Why is My Pomeranian so Big?
A Pomeranian puppy is usually big because of genetics. There are a number of factors that can contribute to your Pom dog's size, such as its background and breeding history, how healthy it eats, and exercises every day.
Three Reasons Why a Dog is a Large Breed Pomeranian
- 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 American Eskimo Dog, Samoyed, Chow-Chow or Japanese Spitz, just to mention a few examples.
- Genetics. Big Pomeranian puppies are often observed in color breeding programs. Pomeranian puppies from backyard breeders and puppy mills are often larger than the Pomeranian breed standard, owing to poor breeding practices.
Throwback Pomeranian Size: How Big Can a Pomeranian Get?
There have been throwback Pomeranians that have weighed between 18 and 20 pounds… and that’s certainly a giant Pomeranian. The world's biggest Pomeranian weighs up to 20 pounds, which is more than double the size of normal Pomeranians.
Large Breed Pomeranian Temperament
The large Pomeranians usually have the same temperament and behavior and hardly ever vary. A typical Pomeranian puppy already has some behavior that is like a throwback: behaving independently and always being alert to his surroundings.
You’ll find that most Pomeranian puppies 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 puppy.
Throwback Pomeranian Price
Throwback Pomeranians usually cost less than breed standard-sized Pomeranians due to their availability in comparison with show-sized Pomeranian puppies, which makes them desirable for people who want something cute and fluffy and don't wish to be on long breeder's waiting lists.
These pups are cute and fluffy baby Pomeranian puppies, but they are not as cute at one year old. These dogs aren't as cute and fluffy as the show-sized Pomeranian when older.
Breeding Throwback Pomeranian Puppies
Is easier than breeding the smaller show-sized Pomeranians. The pups when very young still look cute to the uneducated eye, but as they mature these dogs get bigger and bigger, long-nosed, long-backed, have long legs, are big-eared, lack head and leg coats, and very often have low tail sets.
Tiny Pomeranian dogs are not an economically viable breed for puppy mills and backyard breeders. Most "Pomeranians" sourced from these types of outlets seem to be something completely different from the show 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 their body is bigger than that of normal Poms.
Being a bigger dog often proves to be advantageous. A tiny dog like a small Pom 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 help protect them from having such injuries. They usually enjoy activities that include jumping from heights, among others.
The bigger Poms are better dogs for parents with young children because the dog can endure whatever the child does.
Throwback Pomeranian Lifespan
What is the lifespan of a throwback Pomeranian? A Pomeranian's lifespan depends on many different factors including environment, diet, and genetics but they are typically known as a long-lived dog breed that averages 12-15 years with proper care.
For a throwback Pom, the average lifespan would be slightly higher than that of other breeds due to their lack of inbreeding and health problems.
How To Know If a Big Pomeranian is a Purebred?
If you are concerned about whether your large Pom dog is purebred or not, ask your vet about doing DNA testing to work out your large Pom dog’s lineage.
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 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, 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).
When various breeds of dogs underwent genetic testing, one discovery was that many 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 the Royalty to own very small lap dogs.
She decided to devise a breeding program that would decrease the size of the dogs at 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 Pomeranians.
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 for an oversized Pomeranian 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 are 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 throwback Pomeranians 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 conformation show rings.
Final Thoughts About Throwback Pomeranians
All of this just proves that the love of a Pomeranian dog, regardless of whether he’s a throwback or normal size and shape, is easy to see because his tail will wag, his face will smile and his eyes will watch you 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.