These two breeds German Spitz and Pomeranian are very similar at first glance. This is due to the fact they share the ancestors and come in pretty much the same colors.
However, they are very different. In this article, I will show you the main characteristics that put a clear distinction between the two.
German Spitz vs Pomeranian
Both breeds originated in Germany and share a common ancestry. It is believed they have existed for more than 6,000 years and served early hunters and gatherers. However, they became popular only in the 18th century.
The two breeds are closely related and are similar in many ways. In fact, Pomeranians that don’t compete at dog shows look much more like German Spitz. This is a result of poor breeding choices, where the important breed characteristics are neglected. The Pomeranians start looking like their relatives – German Spitzes.
History of the Breeds
Pomeranians come from the famous Pomerania region. This includes parts of today’s Germany and Poland. However, they were refined as a breed when they arrived in the United Kingdom. They were much bigger at the beginning and were used as working dogs.
Through careful selection and breeding, we now have the toy breed that is much different than the Pomeranian from a century ago. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1888.
German Spitz was also imported into the United Kingdom in 1970s. This led to protest amongst the Pomeranian breeders and people who presented their dogs in shows. That is why in 1984 the kennel club had to intervene and has set up a separate register for this breed.
When it arrived at the United States, this breed was named the American Eskimo. Up until now, several other breeds have been developed from the German Spitz breed.
Color and Texture of the Fur
Both breeds have a double coated fur. But there is a difference between the length and density of the undercoat and overcoat.
Pomeranians have a short and dense undercoat and a long overcoat. This makes them look fuzzy and fluffy. The hair on their back and neck is made out of rough hairs.
Their tail is short, stands high and is covered with long set of hairs. It sits flat on their back and the buttocks are set behind the tail.
The color of their fur varies and can be white, black and brown, which are the most common ones. But they also come in red, orange, cream, blue, sable and combination of these colors.
For dog show purposes, it is very important for the Pomeranian not to have white on one or more feet. Unless it is all white or has multi-colored coat.
Generally, the German Spitz doesn’t have as much fur as the Pomeranian. Their undercoat is soft and fluffy, while the overcoat is made of harsh, straight hairs. Their tail is curled over to one side and forms a ring shape.
German Spitz can have all the colors of the coat as its Pomeranian relative, but the rules are somewhat harsher when it comes to dog shows and competitions. Most commonly, they are found in white, black, cream or gold, but their coat may vary in color, as well.
Although all the markings are allowed, they cannot participate if they have a so-called “butterfly pigment”, no matter the original color of their coat. Unlike the Pomeranians, this breed doesn’t require special trimming.
Appearance, Height and Weight
As mentioned, Pomeranians are a toy dog breed. They are usually around 13 to 28 centimeters (5 to 11 inches) high at withers and 20 to 31 centimeters (8 to 12 inches) to the shoulder. They weigh about 1.9 to 3.5 kilograms (4.2 to 7,7 pounds).
For show specimens, there are somewhat strict rules that require them to weigh between 2 to 3 kilograms (4 and 6 pounds).
German Spitzes come in two different sizes. The first one is small – “Klein” variety – which is between 23 and 29 centimeters (9 and 11.5 inches) to the shoulder. The other one is medium – “MIttel” variety – which is between 30 and 38 centimeters (12 and 15 inches) to the shoulder.
There are no specific guidelines as to how much this breed should weigh. It is important, however, that the dog’s weight is in proportion to its size.
The other difference that is easily spotted is the shape of their head and muzzle. The Pomeranians have a muzzle that is 1/3 of their skull. Their ears are small and erect but are most often hidden in their fluffy fur.
On the other hand, German Spitzes have a head that is shaped like a broad wedge and flat on the top. The muzzle is around ½ of the skull and is significantly longer when compared to the Pomeranian. The ears are shaped like a triangle and visible, as they are set high on the head.
Character and Personality
These are both dog breeds that make great family pets. However, their personalities are different. That is especially important to keep in mind when choosing the right training techniques, methods and approach to teach them all of the basics.
Pomeranians are energetic little firecrackers. They enjoy spending their time around people and are very intelligent. On the other hand, they do get to be stubborn and may need some more work to learn how to become a part of your family.
They love being active and you must make sure you spend enough time with them and create a stimulating environment to allow them to be happy. With the right care, they can live up to 16 years.
The German Spitz is a breed that is somewhat calmer and doesn’t express much aggression and nervousness. However, this doesn’t mean they are quiet. They will often bark and inform you about someone approaching to your home.
They can live long and happy lives and don’t require any special treatment or amusement. However, you should make sure you spend enough time with your dog, as this breed is known to become destructive if left alone for longer periods of time.
These breeds come from the same ancestors, but they differ in size, shape of the head, muzzle, weight and height. They both make for a nice family dog and all they need from you is some time, patience and love.