Breeder ana Exhibitor
Pomeranian - Cost of a Puppy
In dog, as in club, circles we find always the "praiser of past times," and when he speaks-it is usually a "he "-the modest novice is silent.
Perhaps when a sporting or large breed is in question this silence may be the " better part of valour," but in the case of the Pomeranian an answer is possible. The present-day Pomeranian is the outcome of a skill and patience in breeding that almost amounts to an exact science, and his forefathers of a few generations back cannot be mentioned in the same breath with him. In Pomeranian miniatures, as specimens under seven pounds weight are termed, we have the daintiest, most alert, and beautiful of toy dogs. The breed is one that offers the difficulty, and, at the same time, intense fascination of breeding for colour. White, black, beaver, cream, chocolate, orange, sable, shaded sable, red, fawn, blue, grey, and parti-colour are all admissible, provided that whiles are free from lemon markings, blacks, blues, browns, and sables from white, and that parti-colours have their colours distributed evenly in patches. Shaded sable must be shaded throughout with three or more colours, without patches of self-colour, and oranges should be self-coloured throughout, with, if possible, no light shading.
The general appearance of a good Pomeranian should be that of a cobby little dog, with a fox-like head, tiny prick ears, and plumy tail, turned well over the back and carried flat. He should be the personification of alertness, intelligence, and activity. To go into details, the skull should not be too round, the muzzle should be fine, the teeth level, and the " stop," or break in profile between occi-put and muzzle, should not be over-defined, though it should exist.
The ears should be small, erect, and well-carried. The hair on them, as on the head, should be close and smooth.
In black, white, and black - and - tan dogs
The body should be compact, the back short, the chest deep but not too wide, and the barrel nicely rounded. The neck should be somewhat short and well set in, adorned with a heavy mane and frill. The shoulders should be clean and laid well back.
The legs should be straight, strong, yet fine in bone, and exactly proportionate to the body, so that the dog is neither " leggy " nor too low. The thighs and forelegs should be profusely feathered. The feet should be small and compact.
The tail, so characteristic of the breed, has been described, and much of the beauty of the animal depends upon this point.
The Pomeranian should possess two coats -a dense, soft under-coat, and an over-coat of long, straight hair covering the whole frame, forming a thick frill of absolutely stand-off straight hair round the neck and fore part of the shoulders and chest, and, as in the collie, beautifying the hind quarters with long hair, or " feathering." Upon the texture and density of the under-coat depends the valued " stand-off " appearance of the over-coat. A glance at the illustrations will exemplify what is desired.
The Kennel Club has now divided the breed into two classes, Pomeranian miniatures, which must not exceed seven pounds, and Pomeranians, which includes specimens over that weight. In large shows classes are often given also for the various colours; the miniatures are decidedly the more fashionable and popular of the two classes.
The Pomeranian is a hardy, healthy little dog if sensibly treated, devoted to its owner, a good house dog, and an active and handsome animal. It possesses the drawbacks of an excitable disposition and a barking propensity which is at times annoying. But what dog, or person, is faultless? In any
Mrs. Dyer's white Pomeranian (miniature), Afon Bols, a winner of many first prizes, and a charming specimen of the breed
Mrs. Charles Wrigley's black Pomeranian, Champion Young
Nipper, the unbeaten winner of nine championships and over 100 firsts, cups, specials, and medals case, its undeniable beauty atones for many errors.
The history of the Pomeranian is interesting for two reasons, one being the rapid rise in popularity of the breed. The original Pomeranian, or Spitz dog, as he was often called, was a somewhat coarse, and, from a fancier's point of view, decidedly uninteresting animal, usually white in colour, and anything from twelve to twenty pounds in weight. He was credited with a short temper, and was so little of a favourite that the first Kennel Club show, in 1870, saw but three benched, and even in 1881 the largest entry was but fifteen, and in 1891 there were no entries. Since 1891, however, progress has been rapid, and, from an entry of fourteen in that year, we come to such an entry as that at Cruft's in January, 1911, of two hundred, and at a club show in 1910, of nearly six hundred. The Germans claim him as one of their national breeds under the generic term of Spitz dog, but the type is akin to many dogs found in other lands, such as the Samoyede of Siberia, the Lulu of France, the Volpino of Italy, the Keeshond of Belgium, and the quaint Chow-chow of China. His race is, therefore, one of antiquity and fixed type.
A Triumph of Breeding
The second reason is that the Pomeranian is an example also of the triumph of the breeder in producing what might easily have been thought impossible, and that there is yet a field for adventure in certain of the coloured varieties, notably the blues, shaded sables, and oranges. The first named is rare but lovely, the second is the most difficult to breed perfect in blended shadings without a harsh line, and the oranges, though more brilliant than formerly, are apt to degenerate, as a well-known breeder remarks, into a type that is not Pomeranian type.
The feeding of Poms should be in principle the same as that of other dogs; that is to say, meat should enter into the daily dietary. but the amount will depend upon the size of the animal. The remarks that have been made upon this subject in previous articles apply in this breed, modified merely by commonsense. A Pom has but a small frame on which to grow and support a dense coat, and this cannot be done on an innu-tritious diet. As regards toys, meat does not make puppies grow big, as many assert. It may make a dog slightly heavier, for meat makes bone, but the chances are that the meat-fed dog will be a cobby, compact little fellow, and the farinaceous-fed puppy a ricketty weakling, possibly longer of back and certainly poorer of substance. A toy requires bone as truly as a terrier, though it is a fine bone, not a coarse one, and disappointment awaits those who deny any breed of dog its proper diet, which is always a certain amount of sound flesh of some sort.
Exercise is as essential to small dogs as to large ones, though, again, not to the same extent. Poms, even miniatures, are active little creatures, and a daily walk, or, failing that, a good romp, is necessary. One of the most famous of miniature Pom champions recently accompanied his owner up Mount Snowdon without turning the proverbial hair.
The grooming of Poms is, as might be guessed, another important daily task for their owners. Special brushes can be bought, and care must be taken to brush the wrong way of the coat. No trimming of any sort is allowed, and should not be attempted by exhibitors.
As a speculation, the breeding of the miniature varieties is profitable; good small specimens fetch high prices, whether for show purposes or merely as companions. Size and colour will be the two chief factors in determining price. A nice puppy as a companion dog can be had from about five guineas. The writer would advise the prospective buyer of a companion puppy to seek a small kennel rather than a large one, especially if it is known that the dogs are house-reared and pets; it will be found, as a rule, that such dogs are more intelligent, affectionate and interesting. For a dog intended for show purposes, of course, there will be more choice in a large breeder's kennels. Prices for such puppies may easily approach three figures, especially if the puppy or dog has already won ring honours. Some of the most famous of modern kennels are those of Miss Ives, Mrs. Hall-walker, Mrs. Langton Dennis and Mrs. Claude Cane.
In conclusion, as a toy, the Pom has few rivals, for he is hardier than the Japanese spaniel, more active than many other small breeds, and admits of an infinite variety of colour for those who value this attractive point in their dog.