The Pomeranian, or Pom, is a popular toy breed of dog. Bred down in size over generations to the current diminutive 3 to 7 pounds, he is descended from the Spitz family of dogs, which includes Nordic sled dogs. The Pom is available in all sorts of colors and patterns, but red or orange is the most common. Having a double coat -- a soft undercoat and a longer, harsher overcoat -- means this dog requires regular grooming in one style or another. Novice dog owners shouldn't try these techniques at home, however. A trip to the professional groomer is well worth it.
The Pom's hair is abundant everywhere except the head and front of legs, where it grows short and thick. An occasional bath and regular weekly grooming will keep this dog looking his best and provide a bonding experience with your pet, according to the American Kennel Club. Mostly you will concentrate on brushing to remove tangles and matting, but you can trim the hair by up to 1/4 of an inch if the ends look uneven or dried out. The long plume-like tail and hindquarters also benefit from some careful trimming to prevent soiling.
Nails grow fast and need to be trimmed with a nail clipper or nail grinder on a regular basis -- at least every two to three months -- to avoid overgrowth, which can lead to cracking and splitting. Teeth should be brushed daily and ears checked routinely to avoid buildup of wax and other debris.
Pomeranians can compete in the show ring as well as make good companion animals. If you plan to show your Pomeranian, the United Kennel Club advises that the breed should be "shown as naturally as possible." Beyond basic grooming, the organization allows the trimming of excess unruly hair on the feet, ears and around the anus.
Teddy Bear Cut
An adorable little Pomeranian named Boo has been dubbed the World's Cutest Dog, and this has made the Teddy Bear Cut for Poms very popular. Unfortunately, this cut requires shaving off the entire outercoat and significantly reducing the soft undercoat by up to 50 percent, which is all that remains in this cut and provides the soft plush look. Cutting the undercoat means he will never be able to have a full, natural Pomeranian coat again, since the fur will not evenly regrow the same way. So if you choose the Teddy Bear Cut, it needs to be maintained for life. It should be noted that while Boo has the Teddy Bear Cut, his constant companion -- and arguably even more adorable Pom friend -- Buddy does not.
The Lion Cut is a hybrid shave. The fur is shaved down almost to the skin on the entire body from shoulders to tail, while long hair is left around the neck and chest to create a "lion's mane" look. A bit of fur is also left on the tail. This cut needs to be touched up every few weeks to retain its shape, and will prevent the dog from having a full coat in the future.
Some breeders shave their Poms because they don't have time to keep up with regular grooming. However, this needs to be done with caution because if the undercoat is cut, it will never fully grow back again. In addition, this cut exposes the animal's elbows, removing its natural cushioning and potentially causing sores, irritation or allowing the development of possible allergies to carpeting material.