This section is from the book "Toy Dogs And Their Ancestors", by Neville Lytton. Also available from Amazon: Toy Dogs And Their Ancestors: Including The History And Management Of Toy Spaniels, Pekingese, Japanese, And Pomeranians.
There should be two coats, an undercoat and an overcoat; the one, a soft, fluffy undercoat, the other, a long, perfectly straight coat, harsh in texture and covering the whole of the body, being very abundant round the neck and fore part of the shoulders and chest, where it should form a frill of profuse, standing-off, straight hair, extending over the shoulders. The hind quarters should be clad with long hair or feathering, from the top of the rump to the hocks"
The colours allowed are white, black, blue or grey, brown sable, shaded sable, orange, red, fawn, parti-colours, beaver, and the original cream colour, which I wish was more common.
The Club says: "Whites must be quite free from lemon or any other colour. A few white hairs in any of the self-coloured dogs shall not necessarily disqualify. Dogs other than white, with white or tan markings, are decidedly objectionable, and should be discouraged. They cannot compete as whole-coloured specimens. In parti-coloured dogs, the colours should be evenly distributed on the body in patches; a dog with white or tan feet or chest would not be a parti-coloured dog. Shaded-sables should be shaded throughout with three or more colours, the hair to be as uniformly shaded as possible, and with no patches of self colour. In mixed classes, where whole-coloured and parti-coloured Pomeranians compete together, the preference should, if in other points they are equal, be given to the whole-coloured specimens"
Oranges must be self-coloured throughout, and by the standard, light shadings are not now allowed. In this I differ again from the standard, as I think them very desirable and quite right. The face should be lighter than the body, and so should also be the shadings.
The bone should be extremely light and fine. Pomeranians weigh very light for their size. Three and a quarter to one and a half pounds is a good weight Silky, flat, or curly coats are not allowable.
A Pomeranian's coat should always be brushed up the wrong way when groomed.
These dogs are divided into Pomeranians and Pomeranian Miniatures - that is to say, over seven pounds to fourteen pounds and under seven pounds.
The Pomeranian as at present bred in England is a violently excitable, even hysterical animal, and the noisiest of all breeds. It is of the utmost importance that puppies should be firmly checked at once in their barking propensities, or they will become intolerable to live with. If a dog has a fit of hysterics, screams, and foams at the mouth on being rebuked, do not excite yourself. Everybody knows that hysteria in human beings becomes aggravated if indulged, and the same is the case with dogs. Treat him like a screeching parrot. Put him in a basket in a dark place and don't fuss over him, and you will be surprised at the rapidity of his recovery. In bad cases give a sedative.
When the pups are small, people are amused at their pretensions to be dangerous, big dogs, and often encourage their rages and furious barking till the habit has become ingrained, and they will rush indiscriminately at a neighbour or friend. There is nothing so annoying as a dog which stands for hours yapping at nothing with piercing shrillness.
An acquaintance of mine kept a Pomeranian which used to bark itself into hysterics every time anybody called, so that she was within a little of requesting her friends to keep away from the house. I induced her, however, to scold it instead of comforting it, and in a week the dog left off having hysterics and only barked in a maddening way all the time the visit lasted! The owner could have easily stopped this, too, had she not been so weak-minded
You can be weak-minded with Toy Spaniels without suffering too much, but if you are weak-minded with a Pomeranian he will lead you a "dog's life," and alienate all but your deafest friends! Do not breed from very hysterical specimens.
The Pomeranian appears one of the very few show breeds which has not been spoiled by some outrageous exaggeration of points. The only thing I would say as to this in connection with them is to ask breeders not to get them too small, and to avoid mean and narrow heads. They are not naturally a very small breed, and type is lost when they become too tiny. The great point is that they should be very fine in bone, delicately made, and show quality. The present standard of points was drawn up in 1891, so it is only eighteen years old.
E. Topsell, in 1607, wrote as follows:
"Nowadays they have found another breede of little dogs in all nations besides the Melitoean dogs, either made so by art as inclosing their bodies in the earth when they are whelped so as they cannot grow great by reason of the place, or else lessening and impayring their growth by some kind of meat or nourishment. These are called, in Germany, Brachen Schofhundle and Gut-schen Hundle, and in Italian, Bottolo.1 Other nations have no common name for this kind that I know. Mar-tiall made this distich 2 of a little French dog, for about
Lyons in France there are store of this kind and sold very deare, sometimes for ten crownes and sometimes for more. They are not above a foote or halfe a foote long and always the lesser the more delicate and precious. Their head like the head of a mouse, but greater, their snowt sharpe, their ears like that of a cony, short legs, little feete, long taile, and white colour, and the haires about the shoulder longer than ordinary is most commended. They are of pleasant disposition and will leape and bite without pinching, and barke prettily, and some of them are taught to stand upright, holding up their forelegs like hands to fetch and carry in their mouths that which is cast unto them."
1 Bottolo: An ugly, quarrelsome little cur. - Barretti's Dictionary.
2 "Delicias paruae si vis anderecatellce Narranti brevis est pagina tota mihi."
Greek Design, 400 b.c.
Topsell refers to these as a new breed in addition to the Melitei, but the vases show that the dogs described had existed for twenty-four centuries as Melitei, and I think the fact was that what we now call Maltese dogs co-existed with the "Pomeranian," which by that time had spread to all nations, and was no longer peculiar to Malta.