Are you looking for a pint-sized canine companion with the cute looks of a teddy bear but an out-sized sassy character? If you are then the Pomchi could be just the dog for you.
These foxy looking dogs are a cross between two toy breed purebreds: the Pomeranian and the Chihuahua.
Like all hybrids or ‘designer dogs’ the final blend is a meld of the two breeds and each individual pomchi dog has their own personality and is very much their own dog.
One of the outstanding things about the pomchi dogs is their peppy character. Never was it more apt than to say of the Pomchi that they have a big personality in a little package.
This is in part down to both the parent purebreds being dogs that are renowned for knowing their own mind and acting upon it.
Again, the Chihuahua has an outsized personality and if the pomchi puppies take after this parent then they are going to be a confident, cocky little dog with the bravado of a Rottweiler contained in a pocket-sized canine companion.
Again, the Chihuahua is also an energetic dog who hasn’t been told that he’s tiny, and is happy to run, play, or take part in agility just like his bigger cousins.
Indeed, these character traits aren’t so different from the Pomeranian.
The fluffy looks of this small dog are deceptive because he’s descended from sledge dogs and has the ‘can-do’ attitude to match.
Indeed, one of the tags associated with the Pomeranian is “The dog who thinks he can.”
Blend the Chihuahua and a Pomeranian together in pomchies dogs and you have a dog that is confident enough to guard against intruders, intelligent, energetic, and loyal to his family.
Indeed, the Pomchi copes well with living in an apartment, as long as he gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
Both the parent breeds have a reputation for being barkers, so the bored Pomchi is likely to bark at the slightest noise (especially given his guarding instinct) and make you unpopular with the neighbors.
In order to have a well-adjusted adult it is essential to socialize the pomchi puppy.
While he is less than 18 weeks of age he must meet a wide range of different types of people: tall, short, bearded, men, women, and children, so that he is not wary of them as an adult.
Lack of social experience at this impressionable age can lead to anxiety and suspicion of strangers as an adult, which can result in snappiness.
Although he can’t go on the ground until he has completed his vaccinations, carry your Pomchi under your arm as you walk alongside a highway, visit the pet store, stop outside a school playground, so that he gets used to all manner of different sights, sounds, and smells.
This helps him to make a bombproof, well-adjusted adult who is less likely to be snappy or aggressive.
Be aware that the small size of a Pomchi can make them feel vulnerable if children play rough.
If the Pomchi feels threatened or is teased, they may become defensive and snap, therefore it is best to supervise children with a Pomchi (as indeed with any dog) at all times.
That said, when treated right they are unfailingly loyal to their family and can give the shy child a great deal of self-confidence.
The pomchi temperament makes training is a moot point.
They are an intelligent breed, but sometimes misuse their cleverness in order to get their own way.
Be firm but fair, and train your dog regularly and he will repay you with obedience (but not necessarily all the time as they are a strong willed breed.)
A pomchi full grown measures a height of 6 – 9 inches at the shoulder and weighs in at a maximum of 18 pounds.
The pomchi lifespan is around 12 to 18 years, with this impressive pomchi life expectancy meaning they should be a faithful companion for many years to come.
The breed comes in a variety of colors with the light brown pomchi being the most common variety.
The coat color largely depends on which of the parents dominates, with black pomchi arising when one parent is a black Pomeranian, with the white pomchi being a rarity and the fawn pomchi being the closest in color to this.
Pomchis as a rule are hardy little dogs, but some words of warning about the potential for health problems.
One idea behind creating hybrid dogs is to broaden the gene pool and reduce the risk of inherited disease, but sadly there is no guarantee things won’t go the other way and the Pomchi pup picks up problems from both parents.
Both the Pomeranian and Chihuahua are associated with certain inherited health conditions, which could be passed down and then show up in the Pomchi.
Whilst the Chihuahua is prone to liver shunts, seizures and weak windpipes; the Pomeranian can suffer from wobbly kneecaps, seizures, skin problems, and a weak windpipe.
Any one of these conditions could affect the pomchi adult’s quality of life or incur costly vet bills.
The full grown pomchi requires regular brushing to keep that magnificent coat knot free.
They have a double coat with a particularly plush fluffy undercoat which can quickly become choked with shed fur if it is not groomed out regularly.
This can be particularly uncomfortable in hot weather.
The pomchi adult has a delicate skin, so take whilst brushing.
In addition, use only a mild shampoo, such as a natural hypoallergenic product or an unfragranced baby shampoo, in order to avoid stripping the skin of its protective oils.
Another common pomchi issue is watery eyes.
They are prone to tear overflow which then spills down the cheeks and leaves a rust-colored stain on the fur.
Whilst this is not a problem for the pomchi black it can look unsightly on lighter coats such as the fawn or white.
To avoid the staining, wipe the eyes regularly and especially when you notice gloop in the corner of the eye.
In very cold weather the tears can irritate the skin.
To prevent this put a smear of petroleum jelly below the eye, to act as a barrier and protect the skin from chapping.
With regards to preventative healthcare be aware that even if you carry your Pomchi in public places, some viruses are extremely hardy and you can walk them into your home on shoes so vaccination is still essential.
Your pomchi needs regular deworming and parasite control, along with the requisite vaccinations.
Both the Pomeranian breed and the Chihuahua are prone to weight gain so be careful not to overindulge your pomchi and avoid overfeeding.
In addition, regularly make a point of feeling through that luxurious fur coat to check if the dog’s ribs are easy to feel or not.
You should be able to count your dog’s ribs without applying excessive pressure with your fingertips.
If there is a layer of fat between your fingers and his bones, your pomchi is overweight.
So is a pomchi the dog for you?
If you are new to dog ownership but are prepared to dedicate plenty of time to training, then a Pomchi will prove to be a peppy dog that is fun to have around.
If you don’t have a great deal of space then the Pomchi will be happy as long as he gets regular walks.
However, despite that plush coat this is a breed that feels the cold and is not suited to outdoor living.
In fact, if the weather is severe you may find your fur-friend shivering and it’s wise to equip him with a jumper or coat.
Know that your Pomchi does thrive on attention and loves company.
If you are out at work all day and your dog becomes bored hen there is a chance he’ll become a barker, much to the chagrin of your neighbors.
However, if you can lavish him with love and spend time occupying his mind, then the Pomchi does make a delightful pint-sized companion.
There are many words to describe the Pomchi, ranging for cute to stubborn, from sassy to loyal.
Dr Sarah Robinson attended veterinary school at Oklahoma State University receiving a D.V.M. in 2008. Sarah’s longtime interest is to help people to better communicate with their pet companions, and in doing so, to help them to strengthen their relationships with their dogs and cats. Sarah has published numerous articles on canine feeding in pet related magazines, veterinary journals and leading natural health web sites.