History of the breed
With their beautiful, soft faces and piercing eyes its easy to see why this latest breed of designer dog is becoming a popular choice with potential dog owners. Crossed between the wolverine features of the Siberian Husky and the toy-like Pomeranian, on paper the Pomsky ticks a lot of boxes.
These designer crossbreeds, with Husky mothers and Pomeranian fathers, were first introduced around 2009 in America with the first litter born in 2012. The internet had already gone wild with anticipation as rumours of a brand new mix of dog hit the news sites. In 2017, the Pomsky was believed to be the most popular new designer dog of that year and their star has been on the rise ever since.
The mix of Husky and Pomeranian is an interesting one and brings with it unique characteristics from each side. The ancient Husky, originally bred as dogs for the Siberian Chukchi tribe, were very much a part of the family and helped in everything from transportation to keeping children warm at night, snuggled up in bed. They are, of course, well know for their power and strength in pulling sleds with unswerving loyalty and determination.
The small Pomeranian traces its origins back to the northern regions of Poland and Germany. Though classed as a small dog, the Pomeranian is descended from the larger Spitz and can still vary in size from toy to medium. Poms have increased in popularity over the centuries thanks to the fashion for owning smaller breeds and due to their famous royal owners such as Queen Victoria. Lively and intelligent, the Pomeranian is generally playful but can carry a chip on its shoulder and a determination to prove himself against other dogs.
Thanks to their mixed heritage, Pomskies can vary greatly in shape growing to small or medium size dogs and, like their parents, come in a vast array of colours and patterns. Typically they will have a beautiful soft, silky coat and tail which requires a fair amount of weekly and at times even daily maintenance throughout the year. They are also prone to shedding thanks to their double coat and twice a year will get rid of their winter and summer hair.
In terms of their health and specific breed-related issues the jury is still out, as the breed is still so new. However, there are some known health issues to consider when taking on a Pomsky including bone and dental problems, an Alopecia-type skin disease and eye issues, usually inherited from the Husky side. Another potential difficulty to bear in mind is hip dysphasia, again from the Husky parent. Pomskies are also prone to suffering from allergies so getting a full DNA score and breeding history is always a good idea. These dogs generally weigh between 20 and 30 pounds and live between 13 and 15 years.
Temperament and training
Although predicting the personality of individual puppies is almost impossible, knowing as much about each parent as you can will certainly help. Despite the unknown quantity of dealing with crossbred dogs, most people will tell you just how much fun and how playful the Pomsky is. With their highly inquisitive nature and often extrovert personality they make excellent family pets, even rubbing along well enough with other animals in the house if introduced early. Those following their father’s side of the genes may develop a protective streak and have a fierce ‘prey drive’ requiring a strong hand around other animals and pets. Pomskies love to be the centre of attention and entertain, though naturally this can get them into trouble. The fast mind of the Pomsky will very quickly work out what behaviour wins your affections and how to get their own way. The good news for beleaguered owners is that the breed is fairly easy to train if started early enough and done consistently. This will probably include gently addressing persistent barking which can be a characteristic in some of this breed.
The Pomsky is considered to be fine with children though, as mentioned above, may become a little over protective of family members and become aggressive to outsiders. They will generally get a lot of joy from playing both physically challenging and mentally stimulating games with all members of the family and greatly enjoy being part of the ‘pack’.
Pomskies, while strong-willed, love to please and can be trained quickly though the earlier the better. Professional trainers recommend a general obedience course, coupled with positive reinforcement. Puppies quickly become bored and distracted so several 15-20 minute sessions throughout the day will work more effectively than an hour-long one. If you’re looking to potty train your bundle of fur, then start at around six weeks. The training may take several weeks to sink in but once the Pomsky gets something, it tends to stick.
Although often described as the perfect apartment dog, in terms of day-to-day activity levels, the breed is considered to be a pretty busy dog needing plenty of physical exercise, at least 30-40 minutes a day. Daily walks and trips to outside spaces are a necessity to satiate their desire to play all the time.
A bored Pomsky is a frustrated Pomsky so mentally challenging toys and games are a must. Failing to keep a Pomsky active and challenged can lead to a lot of whining, chewing of furniture, excessive barking and trying to escape. Thanks to their Siberian roots, Pomskies are great diggers so shoring up escape routes is also worth doing.
Like buying any dog, though in particular when buying a crossbreed as new as the Pomsky, getting the right breeder is essential. Finding someone who operates with the highest standard of care is crucial. Most legitimate breeders will be part of an officially recognised group and have the full physical history of both sets of parents. They should be checked over by a vet prior to leaving the breeder’s home and be fully vaccinated, wormed and microchipped.
The ups and downs of Pomskies as pets
You will have a friend for life with the Pomsky and get all the physical exercise you could ever need. Their charming looks and loyal ways are bound to win the hearts of all the family. Consider though that high maintenance coat, the hours of brushing and sweeping up of shed fur. Trained early enough the barking and howling probably won’t be a problem but older adoptees may not make you quite so popular with the neighbours.
All in all a fun, versatile and engaging part of the family and well worth the hard work.