This section is from the book "A History And Description Of The Modern Dogs Of Great Britain And Ireland. (Non-Sporting Division)", by Rawdon Briggs Lee. Also available from Amazon: A History And Description Of The Modern Dogs Of Great Britain And Ireland, Non-Sporting Division.
This dog has from time to time been known and recognised under many different names, as the Spitz, Loup-Loup, Pomeranian, Wolf dog, Fox dog, and may be by others. There is little doubt that he more nearly approaches in appearance, and in a certain shyness which occasionally prevails in some specimens, such semi-domestic animals as the dogs of the Arctic regions, including the Samoyedes and the smaller varieties of the Esquimaux, than any other of our European dogs. One of the Samoyedes owned by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales very much resembles a white Pomeranian excepting in coat, which on the first-named is comparatively short as compared with that of the other.
The Pomeranian, or Spitz dog, as it was until quite recently called, was no doubt originally brought from Pomerania, a country which lies on the shores of the Baltic Sea; when he first became acclimatised with us there is nothing to show; that he has been one of us for a great number of years there is no doubt whatever.
Amongst the earliest writers who have described the variety must be noticed the author of the "Sportsman's Cabinet" (1803), who gives the animal a bad character, as he does most other varieties of the canine race that are not used for sporting purposes. Assuredly the Pomeranian is not a sporting dog. The "Sportsman's Cabinet" says: "The dog so called in this country is but little more than 18in. or 2oin. in height, and is distinguished by his long, thick, and rather upright coat, forming a most tremendous ruff about the neck, but short and smooth on the head and ears. They are mostly of a pale yellow or cream colour, and lighter on the lower parts. Some are white, some few black, and others, but very rarely, spotted; the head broad towards the neck, and narrowing to the muzzle; ears short, pointed, and erect; nose and eyes mostly black; the tail large and bushy, and invariably curled in a ring upon the back. Instances of smooth or short coated ones are very rarely seen. In England he is much more familiarly known by the name of fox dog, and this may originally have proceeded from his having much affinity to that animal about the head; but by those who in their writings describe him as a native of Pomerania, he passes under the appellation of the Pomeranian dog.
"In general opinion as a house dog he is held in but slender estimation, being by nature frivolous, artful, noisy, quarrelsome, cowardly, petulant, deceitful, snappish and dangerous with children, without one prominent property of perfection to recommend him. This breed is common in Holland, and has occasionally been introduced as a hieroglyphic by the caricatured partisans of the House of Orange (in opposition to the pug) to ridicule the patriots in their political disputes. The largest of these dogs are used for draught purposes in different countries, and it may with well-founded reason be presumed that to these or a race somewhat similar may be attributed Took's account of dogs in his view of the Russian Empire".
The account in question describes the usual Esquimaux as they are used for drawing sledges, and which have been and still are found so useful by Arctic explorers.
Until within the past half dozen years or so, the White Pomeranian was the only variety known to any great extent in this country, and this was a pure white dog some 20lb. or so in weight. He did not bear a great reputation for amiability, and his best friends could not say that he was anything more than snappish and particularly ill - tempered with children and with strangers. A few years ago there was a mad dog scare in New York, and in some quarters the origin was said to be traced to the Spitz dogs, a great many of which were destroyed without any proof being forthcoming either one way or the other. Still, I do not think it was altogether on account of their ill-temper that they have never popularised themselves in this country, but white specimens of excellence were most difficult to produce, especially when accompanied by dark hazel eyes and a perfectly black nose. Fawn or fallow marks on the ears were continually appearing, and red noses were far more common than black ones. Then there was the difficulty in washing and in getting them up for show, in which latter respect white dogs are always more troublesome than coloured ones.
R. D. Blackmore in one of his charming stories introduces a pretty character in Bardie with her "Pomyoleanian dog," and the novelist must, in so agreeably alluding thereto, have held a better opinion of the Pomeranian than do the majority of people.
Classes have been provided for the variety at early shows, but they were, as a rule, badly filled, and continued to be so until recently. Still, in the first volume of the "Kennel Club Stud Book," they are allowed a classification, and no fewer than forty-three dogs and bitches are entered, a large majority of which have no pedigree whatever, nor is anything said as to their being bred abroad. These early Pomeranians were, I take it, in the hands of private individuals, who took no trouble to keep records of the puppies so far as either sire or dam was concerned. After the shows of the sixties, in most cases the Pomeranians had to compete in the variety classes, and perhaps the most notable dog, and the handsomest of his day, was Mr. J. Fawdrey's Charlie, indeed, I do not recollect having seen so perfect a white specimen since his day, excepting perhaps Miss Creswell's Little Snow, winner at a recent show of toy dogs held at Westminster.
A great change has, however, been recently brought about in the Pomeranian so far as this country is concerned; the whites have had their noses put out of joint, their places being more than supplied by the black specimens, and others fawn or pale red in colour, chocolate or brown, and occasionally these hues are diversified by parti-coloured specimens. I do not believe that all these Pomeranians of different colours recently produced, have sprung from one stock, whatever may have been the case a hundred or more years ago. Most of these charming black, or red, or chocolate specimens are much smaller than the original whites, 41b. and 61b. weight each being not unusual, and moreover these "toys" are not snappish and ill-natured, their temperament and disposition being more what one likes to see in a companionable dog.