Long before the Pomeranian dog was common in Great Britain, this breed was to be met with in many parts of Europe, especially in Germany; and he was known under different names, according to his size and the locality in which he flourished. The title of Pomeranian is not admitted by the Germans at all, who claim this as one of their national breeds, and give it the general name of the German Spitz.

At Athens, in the Street of Tombs, there is a representation of a little Spitz leaping up to the daughter of a family as she is taking leave of them, which bears the date equivalent to 56 B.C., and in the British Museum there is an ancient bronze jar of Greek workmanship, upon which is engraved a group of winged horses at whose feet there is a small dog of undoubted Pomeranian type. The date is the second century, B.C.

It is now generally accepted that, wherever our Pomeranian originated, he is a Northern or Arctic breed. Evidence goes to show that his native land in prehistoric times was the land of the Samoyedes, in the north of Siberia, along the shores of the Arctic Ocean. The Samoyede dog is being gradually introduced into England, and good specimens can be frequently seen at the principal shows. The similarity between our large white Pomeranian and the Samoyede is too great to be accidental. And we are drawn to the conclusion that in prehistoric times a migration of the Samoyedes was made from their native land into Pomerania, the most eastern province of Prussia bordering on the Baltic Sea, and that these people took with them their dogs, which were the progenitors of the present race of Pomeranian or Spitz.

But in any case the Pomeranian dog, so called, has been a native of various parts of Europe from very early times. His advent into England has been of comparatively recent date, at least in any great numbers, so far as can be ascertained, since no ancient records exist on this question. Gainsborough, however, painted the famous actress, Mrs. Robinson, with a large white Pomeranian sitting by her side.

In Rees' Encyclopedia, published in 1816, a good picture of a white Pomeranian is given with a fairly truthful description. In this work he is said to be “larger than the common sheep dog.” Rees gives his name as Canis Pomeranius, from Linnaeus, and Chien Loup, from Buffon. From these examples, therefore, we may infer that the large Pomeranian, or Wolf Spitz, was already known in England towards the end of the eighteenth century at least. There are, however, no systematic registers of Pomeranians prior to the year 1870.

Even ten years later than this last date, so little was the breed appreciated that a well-known writer on dogs began an article on the Pomeranian with the words “The Pomeranian is admittedly one of the least interesting dogs in existence, and consequently his supporters are few and far between.”

The founders of the Kennel Club held their first dog show in 1870, and in that year only three Pomeranians were exhibited. For the next twenty years little or no permanent increase occurred in the numbers of Pomeranians entered at the chief dog show in England. The largest entry took place in 1881, when there were fifteen; but in 1890 there was not a single Pomeranian shown. From this time, however, the numbers rapidly increased. Commencing in 1891 with fourteen, increasing in 1901 to sixty, it culminated in 1905 with the record number of one hundred and twenty-five. Such a rapid advance between the years 1890 and 1905 is unprecedented in the history of dog shows, although it is right to add that this extraordinarily rapid rise into popularity has since been equalled in the case of the now fashionable Pekinese.

This tendency to advancement in public favour was contemporaneous with the formation of the Pomeranian Club of England, which was founded in 1891, and through its fostering care the Pomeranian has reached a height of popularity far in advance of that attained by any other breed of toy dog. One of the first acts of the club was to draw up a standard of points as follows:—

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APPEARANCE—The Pomeranian should be a compact, short coupled dog, well knit in frame. He should exhibit great intelligence in his expression, and activity and buoyancy in his deportment. HEAD AND NOSE—Should be foxy in outline or wedge-shaped, the skull being slightly flat, large in proportion to the muzzle, which should finish rather fine and free from lippiness. The teeth should be level, and should on no account be undershot. The hair on the head and face should be smooth and short-coated. The nose should be black in white, orange and sable dogs; but in other colours may be self, but never parti-colour or white. EARS—Should be small, not set too far apart, nor too low down, but carried perfectly erect like those of a fox, and, like the head, should be covered with short, soft hair. EYES—Should be medium in size, not full, nor set too wide apart, bright and dark in colour, showing great intelligence; in white, shaded sable, or orange dogs the rims round the eyes should be black. NECK AND BODY—The neck should be rather short, well set in. The back must be short and the body compact, being well ribbed up and the barrel well rounded. The chest must be fairly deep and not too wide, but in proportion to the size of the dog. LEGS—The fore-legs must be well feathered, perfectly straight, of medium length, and not such as would be termed “leggy” or “low” on leg, but in due proportion in length and strength to a well-balanced frame. Must be fine in bone and free in action. The hind-legs and thighs must be well feathered, neither contracted nor wide behind; the feet small and compact in shape. Shoulders should be clean, and well laid back. TAIL—The tail is one of the characteristics of the breed, and should be turned over the back and carried flat and straight, being profusely covered with long, harsh, spreading hair. COAT—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, 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 hock. COLOUR—All whole colours are admissible, but they should be free from white or shadings, and the whites must be quite free from lemon or any other colour. A few white hairs in any of the self colours shall not necessarily disqualify. At present the whole coloured dogs are:—White, black, brown (light or dark), blue (as pale as possible), orange (which should be as deep and even in colour as possible), beaver, or cream. Dogs, other than white, with white foot or feet, leg or legs, are decidedly objectionable and should be discouraged, and 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-colour. Shaded sables should be shaded throughout with three or more colours, the hairs to be as “uniformly shaded” as possible, 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. Where classification is not by colours the following is recommended for adoption by show committees:—1. Not exceeding 7 lb. (Pomeranian Miniatures). 2. Exceeding 7 lb. (Pomeranians). 3. Pomeranians and Pomeranian Miniatures mixed.

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The early type of a Pomeranian was that of a dog varying from 10 lb. or 12 lb. weight up to 20 lb. weight, or even more, and some few of about 12 lb. and over are still to be met with; but the tendency among present-day breeders is to get them as small as possible, so that diminutive specimens weighing less than 5 lb. are now quite common, and always fetch higher prices than the heavier ones. The dividing weight, as arranged some ten years ago by the Pomeranian Club, is 8 lb., and the Kennel Club has recently divided the breed into two classes of Pomeranians and Pomeranians Miniature.

As a rule the white specimens adhere more nearly to the primitive type, and are generally over 8 lb. in weight, but through the exertions of many breeders, several are now to be seen under this limit.

The principal breeders of this colour in England to-day are Miss Hamilton of Rozelle, Miss Chell, Miss Lee-Roberts, Mrs. Pope, and Mrs. Goodall-Copestake. The first two whites to become full champions under Kennel Club rules were Rob of Rozelle and Konig of Rozelle, both belonging to Miss Hamilton of Rozelle.

More black Pomeranians have been bred in England than of any other colour, and during the last fifteen years the number of good specimens that have appeared at our great exhibitions has been legion. There do not seem to be so many really good ones to-day as heretofore; this is explained, perhaps, by the fact that other colours are now receiving more and more attention from breeders. A typical small black of to-day is Billie Tee, the property of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Mappin. He scales only 5-1/2 lb., and is therefore, as to size and weight as well as shape, style, and smartness of action, a good type of a toy Pomeranian. He was bred by Mrs. Cates, and is the winner of over fifty prizes and many specials. To enumerate all the first-class blacks during the last thirty years would be impossible, but those which stand out first and foremost have been Black Boy, King Pippin, Kaffir Boy, Bayswater Swell, Kensington King, Marland King, Black Prince, Hatcham Nip, Walkley Queenie, Viva, Gateacre Zulu, Glympton King Edward, and Billie Tee.

The brown variety has for a long time been an especial favourite with the public, and many good ones have been bred during the last ten years. There are many different shades of browns, varying from a dark chocolate to a light beaver, but in all cases they should be whole-coloured.

An admirable example of the brown Pomeranians is the incomparable Ch. Tina. This beautiful little lady was bred by Mrs. Addis from Bayswater Swell ex Kitsey, and scaled a little under 5 lb. She won over every Pomeranian that competed against her, besides having been many times placed over all other dogs of any breed in open competition.

The shaded sables are among the prettiest of all the various colours which Pomeranians may assume. They must be shaded throughout with three or more colours, as uniformly as possible, with no patches of self-colour. They are becoming very popular, and good specimens are much sought after at high prices. Mrs. Hall-Walker has been constant in her devotion to this variety for several years, and she possesses a very fine team in Champions Dainty Boy, Dainty Belle, Bibury Belle, and in Gateacre Sable Sue. Mrs. Vale Nicolas also has recently been most successful with shaded sables. Ch. Nanky Po, over 8 lb., and Champions Sable Mite and Atom bear witness to this statement. Her lovely Mite is a typical example of a small Pomeranian of this colour. He was bred by Mr. Hirst, by Little Nipper ex Laurel Fluffie, and scales only 4-1/4 lb. Mention should also be made of Miss Ives' Dragon Fly, Mrs. Boutcher's Lady Wolfino, Miss Bland's Marland Topaz, Mr. Walter Winans' Morning Light, and Mr. Fowler's May Duchess.

The blues, or smoke-coloured Pomeranians, have likewise their admirers, and among those who have taken up these as a speciality may be mentioned Miss Ives, Mrs. Parker, Mrs. Loy, and Miss Ruby Cooke.

Another colour which has attained of late years increasing popularity in England is orange. These should be self-coloured throughout, and light shadings, though not disqualifying, should be discouraged. The principal breeder of the orange Pomeranian to-day is Mr. W. Brown, of Raleigh, Essex, who has probably more specimens in his kennels than any other breeder of this colour. Tiny Boy, The Boy, and Orange Boy are his best, and all three are approved sires. Mrs. Hall-Walker is an admirer of this colour, and her Gateacre Philander, Lupino, and Orange Girl are great prize-winners. Miss Hamilton of Rozelle has for many years bred “oranges,” and has given to the Pomeranian Club, of which she is President, two challenge cups for Pomeranians of this colour. Mrs. Birch also is a lover of this hue, and possesses such good dogs as Rufus Rusticus and Cheriwinkle.

There is still another variety which bears the name of parti-coloured. As the name implies, these dogs must be of more than one colour, and the colours should be evenly distributed on the body in patches; for example, a black dog with a white foot or leg or chest would not be a parti-colour. As a matter of fact, there have been bred in England very few parti-coloured Pomeranians; they seem to be freaks which are rarely produced. It does not follow that by mating a black dog to a white bitch, or vice versa, a parti-coloured will be necessarily obtained; on the contrary, it is more likely that the litter will consist of some whole-coloured blacks, and some whole-coloured whites. Miss Hamilton's Mafeking of Rozelle, and Mrs. Vale Nicolas's Shelton Novelty, are the two most prominent specimens at the present time, although Mrs. Harcourt-Clare's Magpie and Mr. Temple's Leyswood Tom Tit were perhaps better known some time ago.

Among toy dogs this particular breed has enjoyed an unprecedented popularity; the growth in the public favour among all classes has been gradual and permanent during the last fifteen years, and there are no signs that it is losing its hold on the love and affection of a large section of the English people. His handsome appearance, his activity, and hardihood, his devotedness to his owner, his usefulness as a housedog, and his many other admirable qualities will always make the Pomeranian a favourite both in the cottage and in the palace.