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but called Iceland Dogs. All this goes to show that the variety originally came from the extreme North, and that the present variations have been produced by mating and selection from imported specimens.
Although many and great changes have taken place in nearly every variety of dog since "British Dogs" first appeared in 1880, there is no variety in which the changes have been so great as in the Pomeranian, or Spitz Dog. On many occasions, in the seventies and early eighties, the writer can remember them represented at some of our largest shows by one or two specimens, often by only one, and the first time that he judged this variety, for the Kennel Club at one of their early shows, the entries did not exceed six, whereas on the last occasion that he officiated for the same club, at the Crystal Palace, there were something like two hundred entries. This shows what can be done with one variety in less than twenty-five years. The value, too, of really good specimens has increased in even greater proportion. When the First Edition of " British Dogs" was published, ten pounds would have been thought a very big price to pay for a Pomeranian of even the highest quality. At the present time more than a dozen specimens could be named for which one hundred pounds would be refused by their owners. Even larger sums have been readily paid for high-class specimens within the last few years. There are probably fifty owners of Pomeranians now for every one that existed twenty years ago.
The greatest changes that have taken place in the breed have been in their size and colour; for whereas they were formerly produced in weight ranging from about 151b. to 251b. and more, and all sizes shown together, seldom even divided by sex, now they have classes for weight, colour, sex, etc., with endless subdivisions, into winners, open, limit, novice, maiden, and puppies, of each sex. And whereas at first the prevailing colour was white, with a few blacks occasionally seen; now there are black, brown, fawn, blue, sable, red, orange, and parti-coloured specimens to be found at most of the shows, and of almost every size, down to 31b. in weight. Toys of the variety, if of high quality, seem to be in constantly increasing demand, and are readily sold at high figures, so that for some time past they must have been very remunerative to breeders. In yet another direction is there a noticeable improvement—namely, in temperament. The old-time Pomeranian had a rather bad character and was undoubtedly snappish: shows and a closer association with man have not been without their good effect upon the Pomeranian in this respect.
Her late Majesty Queen Victoria was a warm supporter of Pomeranians, and kept a large number of them, as the writer has reason to know, having had the honour of a special invitation to visit the Royal kennels at Windsor Castle, and being one of the few persons before whom any of Her Majesty's dogs came to be judged on the occasions when they were exhibited at some of the London shows. Her Majesty did not go in for the largest sizes, nor for the very small ones. Those in the Royal kennels were mostly what would be called small medium in size, and of all sorts of colours, many of them white with markings; very few were whole- or self-coloured. One of the few exceptions to this rule was Marco, Her Majesty's special favourite and companion: he was red, somewhat of the shade usually associated with Chows.
At the present time Pomeranians are about the most popular variety coming strictly under the designation of Pet, or Toy, breeds; command the largest entries at all the principal shows in the kingdom, and not undeservedly, for they are very handsome, showy animals, with much vivacity and intelligence, greatly attached to their owners, and they make agreeable companions, house dogs, and pets. It is not advisable to use collars or chains for them, except for exhibition purposes, as they are likely to wear away the hair of the mane and frill, which form very ornamental features of this variety.
In mating for colour, although good whites have sometimes resulted from other colours, most of the best whites have been bred from the union of two white parents. Good blacks, blues, as well as browns, on the other hand, have often been bred from a black and a brown or blue; and some of the best browns have been produced in this way. Of course it is best, when possible, to ascertain the colours and sizes of the parents of the specimens intended to be bred from, as Pomeranians very frequently "throw back " to colours and sizes very different from those of their parents.
It must strongly be urged upon those proposing to take up the breeding of this popular variety that it is better to breed from medium-sized bitches, coming from a small strain, using a sire whose stock is known to be also small, than attempt to breed from two specimens of diminutive size, as some of the best Toys the writer has ever seen—and without exaggeration he has had thousands of the variety before him at one time or the other —have been produced in the way suggested. Besides, there is considerably less risk in breeding from the medium-sized bitches than from tiny Toys, to say nothing of the fact that the litter is more likely to be reared by the mother.
In the matter of breeding, a little experience and practice are better than any amount of theory, and there are some black strains that produce excellent browns and blues, as well as blacks; and there are blues and browns capable of bringing out good blacks, besides many charming shades of their own colours. These things can only be discovered by actual experience.
In choosing a puppy, more regard should be paid to the shape of head and body, length of back, set-on, carriage, and size of ears and tail, than to mere quantity of coat; but its texture and character are important, as a soft or silky coat, particularly if lying open, without much promise of undercoat, is a bad fault, and spoils many otherwise valuable specimens. Of course, with this, as with all long-coated dogs, a great deal can be done by careful grooming, for which a small dandy-brush, or a hair-brush with long, stiffish bristles, are better than a comb. Brush the hair from the back of the head straight down the back to the end of the tail, then straight down each side, chest, legs, and feet, taking care that no tangle, or matting, can be found in any part; then lightly brush the whole of the body coat upwards, the reverse way, when the dog's natural tendency to shake itself after brushing will cause the hair to lie in a natural manner.
For any one wishing to take up Pomeranian breeding as a matter of business, blacks, browns, and blues are the best to go in for. The aim should be to get them as small as possible, while not losing the characteristics of the breed. There is evidently room for small whites, and great success will attend those who can bring out dogs of that colour of from 41b. to 51b. weight. Such would be beautiful little creatures, and much sought after, provided they were well proportioned, and pocket editions of their larger brethren.
Pomeranians are going on well, and breeders need have no fear about finding willing purchasers at paying prices for as many first-class specimens as they can produce. They must, however, be of high quality, as the great demand of recent years has brought forward a supply of second and third raters which will not command high figures or reflect much credit on their breeders.
In general build, and coat more especially, the Pomeranian should somewhat resemble the rough-coated Collie, with the difference that the head, which should have a flat skull, should be shorter, ears smaller and carried perfectly erect, and the tail curled up from the root, tightly over the side, or lying flat on the back, and of course very fully furnished with long, straight hair. He should be a compact, cobby dog, well proportioned in build, with a short back, standing on straight limbs, and possessing a profuse coat of long, perfectly straight, glossy hair all over his body, forming a mane and frill round his neck and chest of longer hair, with fore legs feathered behind, and thighs heavily coated, but hind legs not feathered below the knee joint. He should be bright and intelligent in expression, exhibit much buoyancy and activity in disposition, and should not exceed 251b. in weight, smaller specimens being much more valuable. At the larger shows Pomeranians are generally classified as follow: not exceeding 81b. and over 81b. in weight.
Colour is a matter of taste. Pomeranians may be procured pure white, black, brown, blue, sable, red, orange, and shades and combinations of most of these colours. Just now shades of brown and blue are most popular, but there are good specimens to be seen of nearly all the colours above named, and of almost all sizes, from large medium to the tiniest Toys, so that there is abundant choice.
The specimens selected for illustrating this chapter (Figs. 113 and 114) have often been before the writer, and taken many prizes. Park Swell is one of the best of the large-sized whites that have
been produced within the last ten years. He is a son of Park Masher, and is much the better of the two, but both are very typical, and carry excellent coats of pure white and of good texture. They were first shown by the late Mr. John Duckworth, of Accrington, and sold by him to Mrs. Riley, of Brighton. They were seen a good deal in the largest shows, and must have taken a great number of prizes.
Blue Jacket (Fig. 114) belonged to Miss Ives, of Stockport, a young lady who has made a speciality of this colour, and probably owns the largest number of winning specimens in the possession of one owner. He was of medium size, and good, sound, slate-blue colour, well proportioned, and of excellent type, and a winner of many prizes in keen competition. Blue Jacket had the credit of possessing the faculty not only of reproducing his own colour in his descendants, but of being the sire of many Toys of high quality when suitably mated.
As already stated, in selecting a puppy, especial attention should be paid to the head. The fox-like head is correct, and that combined with a short body and dark eyes. The ears in a young puppy are not erect, and therefore ear-carriage cannot be taken into account. At birth the ears of Pomeranian puppies droop, and it is not until they are from three to six months, or even older, that the erect carriage is assumed. This is largely influenced by the teething process, and puppies that suffer much at such a period not infrequently carry their ears irregularly. In black puppies, as in other self-colours, it is not unusual to find a little white on chest; frequently this is moulted out with the casting of the first coat.
The following is the description of the breed as drawn up by the Pomeranian Club, and revised by that body in 1901 :—
Appearance.—The Pomeranian in build and appearance should be FlG I14._ToY Pomeranian Ulue a compact, short-coupled dog, well Jacket. knit in frame. His head and face should be fox-like, with small,
erect ears that appear sensible to every sound; he should exhibit great intelligence in his expression, docility in his disposition, and activity and buoyancy in his deportment.
Head.—The head should be somewhat foxy in outline, or wedge-shaped, the skull being slightly flat (although in the Toy varieties the skull may be rather rounder), large in proportion to the muzzle, which should finish rather fine and be free from lippincss. The teeth should be level, and on no account undershot. The head in its profile may exhibit a little "stop," which, however, must not be too pronounced, and the hair on head and face must be smooth or short-coated.
Eyes.—The eyes should be medium in size, rather oblique in shape, not set too wide apart, bright and dark in colour, showing great intelligence and docility of temper. In a white dog black rims round the eyes are preferable.