If there was a Pokémon dog whose special power was “cute”, it could be modelled on the Pomsky.
Part cuddly toy and part cartoon character, the foxy furriness of the Pomsky is enough to melt many a heart and goes some way to explaining why they are a highly desirable dog.
Setting your sights on a particular breed purely because of their looks is not wise.
Remember you aren’t buying into a plush toy but a living, breathing being that’s packed full of personality and has the potential to be quite a handful.
The wise prospective pet parent finds out everything they can before indulging their inner need for a baby Pomsky.
So to help, here is a comprehensive guide to all things Pomsky:
Find out about the positives and the challenges, the characteristics and care that a Pomsky dog require.
Then make an informed decision about whether a Pomsky dog is right for you.
Let’s start right at the beginning and finding out exactly what is a Pomsky dog.
They are what are popularly known as a ‘designer dog’ breed or a hybrid.
This is the product of mating two purebred dogs but from different breeds.
In the case of the Pomsky this is a Siberian husky mother with a Pomeranian father.
Why a Siberian husky the mother, and not the Pomeranian?
This is because of the size difference.
With the mother being the larger parent, it means she can successfully carry and give birth to hybrid puppies.
If the smaller breed (the Pomeranian) was the mother, this could lead to her carrying puppies that were over-sized relative to her body and have difficulty giving birth.
There are a few reasons why hybrid dogs have taken off in popularity, including the Pomsky.
For a start, the resulting Pomsky puppies are a marvel of characterful cuteness, a kind of teddy bear with an inquisitorial expression all wrapped up in a fur rug.
Added to the mix is their size.
Huskies are a larger dog and their need for outdoor space means they aren’t suitable for many urban owners.
However, shrinking them down with the genes of pocket-sized Pomeranian creates a smaller dog with plenty of get up and go, which fits better into a modern lifestyle.
Another argument for creating designer dogs is something called ‘hybrid vigor’.
This is the idea that outbreeding two distantly related breeds helps to strengthen the collective gene pool.
In practical terms it’s hoped that weaknesses inherent in one breed will benefit from correction by the other breed’s genes.
However, be aware that this isn’t guaranteed to be the case and there’s nothing to stop the pup inheriting the worst of both breeds.
The rarity and popularity of the Pomsky mean that breeders can demand a high price for pups.
Be prepared to pay a significant amount, around $2,500 – 3,000, in order to obtain your dream pup.
However, be aware that a high price is no guarantee of obtaining a healthy, well-socialized pup so go into any transaction with a business head on and be alert for scams. [More of this later.]
If you want to buy a pup that will grow to a guaranteed size and weight, then think again about purchasing a Pomsky!
How big do Pomskies get?
Pomsky puppies can follow the genetic traits of either parent.
So Pomsky weight can vary from a dinky 5lb Pom or a strapping 60lb Siberian husky size.
In reality a Pomsky full size, when they’ve finished growing, is most likely to lie somewhere in between the two extremes.
On average, they weigh in around 20 – 30 lb., with the smallest being a nimble 15lb.
How big is a pomsky? The parent breeds range in height from a diminutive 20cm to a respectable 60 cm, so a pomsky will stand around 40 cm to the shoulder.
So what about the pomsky lifespan; How long do they live?
In truth, no one really knows.
Designer dogs are a relatively new phenomena and enough pomskies haven’t been around for long enough to have an accurate idea of their lifespan.
Some breeders cite around 15 years as an average pomsky lifespan, but it should be born in mind this is based on the pomsky being a smaller dog (which live longer) rather than any hard evidence.
OK so you’ve fallen for those teddy bear good looks, but what sort of personality is lurking inside that furry package?
Let’s take a look at the pomsky temperament so you can weigh up if this incurably inquisitive dog is a challenge you want to take on.
Two words often used to describe the Pomsky character are "free spirited".
This sounds wildly romantic until you realize that it is also a nice way of saying "stubborn" and "hard to train".
In part this comes from the Husky side, as this is a breed with a reputation of being willful in the extreme.
Now add to the mix that the Pomsky has an insatiable curiosity.
Here we have a recipe for of a dog that is driven to explore his environment (that is your lounge room and its’ cabinet contents and shelving) and won’t listen when you tell him to stop.
This is a perfect complement to the pet parent looking for a challenge, but not so great for the owner who wants a lapdog and a quiet life.
Other Pomsky information you need to be aware of is that they are energetic, dynamic little dogs.
This again derives from the Husky heritage and sledging history.
These dogs love to run, and dig, and escape…so don’t expect a docile, sleepy companion.
For those people with robust kids who want an active dog, then a Pomsky could be the perfect companion for long country walks.
But those who assume those teddy bear looks equate to a plush toy’s need for exercise as going to be sadly disappointed.
And last but not least when it comes to Pomsky temperament is knowing they are a proud dog.
They are cute and they know it. Indeed, their assumption of royalty means they like to be treated as such and enthusiastically embrace "Small dog syndrome".
The latter is where a small dog asserts himself because he’s allowed to get away with it.
Think the small dog that growls and won’t move off the sofa, or the dog that bites the mailman’s ankles and you have the idea.
This behavior is not only annoying, but potentially dangerous because a small dog’s bite still hurts.
To reduce the risk of a pomsky exhibiting small dog syndrome, it’s important for the pet parent to regard the dog with the same attitude they would a Rottweiler.
You wouldn’t tolerate a Rottie being badly behaved because of the potential to do serious harm.
Likewise, expect to spend time training and disciplining your pomsky so everyone understands their proper place and is safe.
Undeterred, you long for a Pomsky puppy.
So now it’s essential to find a healthy, well-adjusted pup and avoid the cruelty of puppy mills at all costs.
Unscrupulous breeders are often clever at concealing how poorly they care for their dogs, so it’s essential to be alert for tell-tale signs that should warn you off buying from that individual.
Remember, you may look on it as ‘rescuing’ a puppy from a mill, whereas in reality another will be bred to take its place.
The only way to end this dastardly trade in canine misery is to not by their ‘product’.
Ways to differentiate a genuine caring breeder from a puppy mill include:
The Pomsky is a unique dog and is already acquiring a certain mystique.
For example, many people wonder, "Are pomskies non allergenic?" Sadly this is not the case.
Thinking about it logically, neither parent breed is hypoallergenic or less likely to trigger allergies, and so neither is their combined offspring.
Another coat concern is, “Do Pomskies shed a lot?” This is more tricky to answer.
The Pomsky has a soft, puff-ball coat that is dense and great insulation against the elements.
The good news is they only shed twice a year, the bad news is that each of those sheds lasts for around 90 days.
In other words, expect your Pomsky to shed heavily for half the year, but be perfect for the other half.
Your Pomsky will benefit from regular brushing, in order to condition the coat by spreading natural oils over the surface.
Be sure to watch out for matting, especially in areas where furred skin rubs against furred skin, such as behind the ears, in the armpits and groin.
Pomsky require little bathing, and their coat is largely self-cleaning except under exceptional circumstances (such as a mud bath!)
In common with many smaller dogs, one special area to highlight is dental care.
The Pomeranian parent is a breed prone to dental tartar which can cause gum inflammation and premature loosening of the teeth.
The simple way to overcome this and invest in the long term dental health of your Pomsky is by regular tooth brushing.
Dental care isn’t as onerous as it sounds and is a fun way to bond with your dog.
The trick is to use doggy toothpaste, flavored with something yummy tasting like beef or yeast.
Most dogs love the taste, which means they think it’s great that you want to rub it around the inside of their mouth.
Getting off on the right paw means thinking ahead and providing for you new Pomsky puppy’s needs.
Here are some suggestions:
You want to enjoy your Pomsky without having to worry about him barking at visitors or growling at strange dogs.
Both his parent breeds are strong-minded, so be aware that when your pomsky sets his mind to something he’s going to be difficult to dissuade.
This is why early socialization is essential, so that he grows into a well-adjusted, confident adult.
Socialization begins before you pick up the puppy; by sourcing a breeder savvy about the need to have your pup meet a range of different people, dogs, and noises.
Hopefully your breeder raises each litter in the house so that they are used to the hubbub of the home, along with vacuum cleaners, washing machines and noisy children.
Now continue this good start when you take the puppy home. Invite in friends and neighbors to visit the new addition.
Have the guests give him a treat so that he associates visitors with good things and will welcome them in the future.
Once your Pomsky is vaccinated, take him out and about so he hears traffic, school children, and dogs barking, and once again takes it all in his stride.
Make everything fun by praising his boldness and giving treats when he allows strangers to pet him.
This investment in time will mean your pup grows into a friendly adult who doesn’t lunge at other dogs in the park and doesn’t growl at your guests.
Although the Pomsky is small to medium-sized, he still should needs to be trained.
You should expect him to respond to your commands and be obedient.
Not to do so will results in a strong-willed dog running out of control, possibly harming himself, and making your life a misery.
Basic commands such as "Sit", "Stay", "Look", "Leave it", and "Come", will put you in control of most situations.
But teaching them shouldn’t be a drag, indeed it should be fun.
Reward-based training is the order of the day, which means praising your dog when he follows a command so that he’s eager to repeat the behavior in order to earn another treat.
Be aware that older training methods based on dominating the dog and using punishment, are outdated and counterproductive.
Instead, use modern methods which encourage the dog to think for himself about what you’re asking him to do.
This is called reward-based training and is highly effective, without the need for shouting or harsh punishment.
A crate with a bed, some toys, and a bowl of water inside, becomes the dog’s den.
It is his safe place where he goes to sleep and once inside, you know he’s safe.
Crate training is easy and involves scattering treats in the bed so the dog links the location to good things.
Feed him in the crate, with the door open, and once he is comfortable with this, shut the door for a few seconds and then open it again.
Praise the Pomsky when he’s calm in the crate.
If he barks while inside, wait for a gap between barks to let him out, so that you are rewarding the silence, rather than the barks to be let out.
Crates are a great boon when it comes to potty training, and also knowing the dog can’t get into trouble while you are out.
That said, never use the crate as a prison and do not leave the dog in the crate for long periods of time.
Start as you mean to go on and potty train your Pomsky pup from when you bring him home.
Pop him onto the designated toilet spot, and praise him when he obliges.
Take a puppy out to the spot after he’s eaten, when he’s just woken up, before bedtime, and every half an hour in between (when he’s awake).
Prevent accidents indoors by watching him like a hawk and taking him out the moment he starts sniffing around as if to toilet.
For those times when you can’t watch him constantly, pop him in the crate.
If he does ‘go’ inside, don’t tell the puppy off.
This will only make him fearful of you.
Instead, clean up the mess and deodorize thoroughly so he doesn’t have a mark to go back to.
And finally, chose your breed wisely and make sure the active mind of a pomsky fits with your expectations of such a cute dog.
Also, resist the temptation to breed your Pomsky with another Pomsky.
The puppies inherit characteristics from both parent breeds which could mean an over-sized husky-like puppy in the womb of a dog too small to give birth naturally.
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.