They’re adorable, silly, and perfectly-suited for small-space living such as bachelor’s pads and apartments. Mixing the playfulness, extroverted, sociability, and highly active lifestyle of the Pomeranian with the outgoing, friendly, and super-alert nature of the Siberian Husky is surely going to result in a highly rambunctious hound that will never stop at craving for your attention. It’s their playful antics and adorable looks that will surely win the crowd. Sadly, first-time pet parents often base their decision on the designer breed’s cute looks rather than paying attention to its temperament. Most often find themselves overwhelmed and fully unprepared to meet the needs of these designer breeds. Regrettably for these Pomskies, many end up in rescue organizations or even shelters.
Before you make that decision to buy a Pomeranian Siberian Husky designer breed of dog, make sure you understand their unique characteristics and requirements for their optimum care. If you cannot commit to these basic requirements, then a Pomsky is not for you. This article should help you make that decision.
History of the Pomsky
The Pomsky, or Huskeranian to some, is a relatively new designer breed, barely a decade old, having been ‘designed’ in 2009 in the US through artificial insemination. However, it would take another 3 years before the first Pomsky litter was born in 2012, also in the US. Artificial insemination was the most viable approach to designing a breed. More specifically, it has to be the bigger Siberian Husky that needs to get pregnant and not the smaller Pomeranian.
When species breed both parents contribute half of their genes into the formation of the new cell which will soon form and develop into an offspring. And since the genes are what contain all the information about how a certain species is to develop, breeding essentially means you’ve got 50% of the characteristics of female Siberian Husky and 50% of the characteristics of the male Pomeranian. Unfortunately, there really is no telling what genetic information is contained in this 50/50 arrangement and how it will translate into the offspring.
That being said, it is a must that the Siberian Husky be the mother and the Pomeranian be the father because of the sheer difference in size. Having it the other way around may result in larger puppies for which the smaller Pomeranian’s reproductive organs may not be able to accommodate. This can endanger the puppies or, worse, even the Pomeranian mother.
The Pomsky Club of America was formed with the goal of producing a recognized purebreed. However, it will take many more years before this can be accomplished because of the large disparity between the two breeds. Puppies have to be carefully selected for the specific traits that Pomsky breeders need. A breed can only be called as pure if the characteristics or traits of the offspring are nearly uniform that they can already follow a very predictable pattern. It would take several generations before these traits are cemented into a purebred form. The good news is that the Siberian Husky and the Pomeranian have the same roots, belonging to the Spitz type of dogs.
There are also ethical concerns in the use of artificial insemination since it is generally not considered as being natural at all. This leads to a dog that is, to put it bluntly, made by man and not by the natural processes of reproduction.
Regardless, the Pomsky is being groomed as a leading contender for many companion dogs such as the Mini poodle and the Yorkshire Terrier. Based on its growing popularity in the US and Europe, it just might. For now, however, Pomsky breeders have to be very careful in their methods of selecting the best possible puppies for breeding. That means they have to look really deep into the lineage of both parents.
Who are the Parents?
Since a Huskeranian or Pomsky has a Siberian Husky for its mother and a Pomeranian for its father, it is important to understand the unique characteristics of these parent breeds.
The breed has been around for millennia, possibly as ancient as some 8,500 years ago. They were first bred by the Chukchi peoples who inhabited the harsh lands of the Chukchi Peninsula washed by the frigid waters of the Bering Sea. The Chukchis are Paleo-Siberian inhabitants of the ancient world. They have been using the Husky to help them in carrying their goods across the inhospitable Siberian tundra where the summers are very short. Even in these short days when the sun is shining, the landscape can still be formidable. This is where Huskies are valued. It’s highly resilient and very active. It loves pulling sleds loaded with the Chukchi’s goods.
During the Nome Gold Rush at the turn of the 20th century, Russian traders eventually introduced these dogs as sled dogs. Carrying gold recovered from the beach sands of Nome, Alaska, the Siberian Huskies were called by the local people as Siberian Rats because they were definitely smaller than the heavyweight dog in the area, the Alaskan Malamute. Nevertheless, because of their smaller size, they were faster, more agile, and more resilient than their bigger counterparts earning them a slot in many of the region’s sled dog racing competitions.
The Siberian Husky shares many genetic characteristics with other Artic dogs such as the Alaskan Malamute, Alaskan Husky, and the Chukotka sled dog. It is believed to be the direct descendant of the North Asian Taymyr wolf which is actually a subspecies of the grey wolf. Most scholars believe that dogs began splitting from their wolves ancestors some 11 to 16 millennia ago. However, recent studies show that the genetic split (term for mutation) may have actually occurred much earlier about 20,000 to 25,000 years ago. This is significant since more than a quarter (27%) of the genetic makeup of Siberian huskies as well as other Northern dog breeds can be traced back to the ancient population of Siberian wolves.
Siberian Huskies can grow up to 50 and 60 pounds for females and males, respectively and can typically last from 13 to 14 years. It’s a working dog that loves the outdoors, plenty of exercise, and socialization with other dogs, kids, and other people. It’s a highly intelligent breed, but they do have a streak of stubbornness in them that can make first-time owners give up their obedience training. They are the quintessential leader of the pack, requiring a stronger, more willful pet parent to show them who’s the leader. After all, they are the direct descendants of a special breed of grey wolf and this can still manifest in their sense of independence.
The Husky is one of the sturdiest breeds in the dog world. Its main problems are issues with its eyes and hip dysplasia. Its hardiness is believed to be what the Husky has inherited from the Taymyr wolf.
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Bubbly, cute, and affectionate, the Pomeranian is a direct descendant of the large working dogs that toiled the inhospitable climes of the Artic. Migration to Middle Europe introduced some of these Arctic dogs in the region where they were aptly called as Wolfspitz because of their sharp, pointed muzzles and ears. A region in present-day Germany and Poland known as Pomerania is credited with the miniaturization of the Wolfspitz, paving the way to what the world now knows as Pomeranian.
Not much is known about the breed until the 18th century when Queen Charlotte brought two of the dogs to England in 1767. The Poms, Phoebe and Mercury, were larger than modern-day Pomeranians highlighting the breed’s ongoing transition from their wolf-like ancestors into the miniature lap dogs we know them today. In 1888, Queen Charlotte’s granddaughter, Queen Victoria, established a breeding kennel of her own with Poms being her favorite. One of the most successfully and largely considered the progenitor of modern Poms is Windsor’s Marco weighing at only 12 pounds.
Because of the unexpected popularity of the small wolfish hound, Queen Victoria strived to make the breed even smaller. Today, a standard Pomeranian can weigh anywhere from 3 to 7 pounds, although it’s not unusual that some will grow bigger to Queen Victoria standards. It also grows up to 8 to 12 inches in height at the shoulder and can last at least 15 years.
Number 15 in AKC’s list of the most popular breeds, the Pomeranian is a favorite among the members of society’s upper echelons including the royalty that included England’s King George IV and Josephine de Beauharnais. By 1898, a Pom was already a member of the AKC until its official recognition 2 years later.
Spunky and bright-eyed with the endless curiosity of a toddler and the adventurism of a preschooler, the Pomeranian exudes with confidence for its diminutive size. It is always happy, highly adaptable, and very clever; a trait it obviously inherited from its wolf ancestors. It loves the attention whether it is performing a one-off show for the family or competing in a serious agility course. Those nimble feet and its wide-eyed innocence make the Pom a great little hound to have.
But this tiny bundle of joy does have quite some serious health issues. Tracheal collapse, dental problems, luxating patellas, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, progressive retinal atrophy, and skin and coat problems are just some of the major health concerns of a Pom.
There are several things in common between the Pomeranian and the Siberian Husky. They both belong to the Spitz class of dogs having pointed ears and muzzles, a thick coat, and a tail that either curls back or droops. They’re friendly, intelligent, and energetic, too.
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It is quite difficult to establish with absolute certainty the breed qualities of a Pomeranian Siberian Husky Mix since they have only been around for less than a decade. We really couldn’t establish with absolute certainty their lifespan as well as any other information that might prove useful when deciding to get a Pomsky or a Huskeranian. The facts that we’re going to share with you are based on the best available data. As such these may be subject to change with the addition of new information.
- Pomskies may weigh up to 15 pounds, although it is highly likely they can weigh no more than 10 pounds or as heavy as 38 pounds depending on whose trait for weight is stronger between the Pom and the Husky. If it’s the Pom, then expect the body weight to be on the lighter side; if the Husky, more on the heavier side.
- They may live up to 15 years, maybe more; although the minimum should be 12 years. This is quite difficult to establish since the first Pomsky came into being only in 2012.
- The Huskeranian can grow up to 15 inches, possibly more. Again it all depends on whose trait for height is more dominant.
- A Pomsky is like Forest Gump’s box of chocolates: you’ll never know what you are going to get. This is true for hybrids since there really is no sure way to determine which trait of each parent will be present in the offspring and whether these will be dominant or recessive. In other words, be prepared to face whatever challenges the Pomsky can bring.
- Siberian Huskies are sturdy; Pomeranians are not. When you combine the two, it is natural to think that one offsets the other. Sadly, this is not always the case. Again, it’s all about whose genes will be more dominant. If your Pomsky happens to inherit the hardiness of the Husky mother, then the only issues it may inherit are some eye problems and hip dysplasia. But if it’s the Pomeranian father that’s more dominant, expect health issues to be plentiful.
- The Pom is a one-person hound while the Husky has more independent streak. Mixing these two traits can be quite a challenge.
Things You Should Know
If you’re halfway into your decision to get a Pomeranian Siberian Husky mix it is important to take note of the following things.
Both Husky and Pom are intelligent breeds so it is expected that their offspring, the Pomsky, will be intelligent, too. Unfortunately, this does not automatically translate to easy trainability. The Husky’s sense of independence is strong and will never bow down to a self-conscious pet owner who lacks the confidence to be the leader of the pack. It will bully you around since the Husky is bred in the harshest environments where the weak has no place. The Pom, on the other hand, is very playful that it treats almost everything as a game.
Training should begin in earnest the moment your Pomsky pup arrives home. You’ve got to be its leader and not the other way around. Like all pets, positive reinforcement and knowing the essentials of training can go a long way.
Depending on the size and activity level of your Pomsky, you can either increase or decrease its calorie intake. Both breeds are highly active dogs so they do need calories to sustain their energy levels. More importantly, however, are proteins as they need to build and develop their muscles. Always strive for high quality dog diets. If you can give them high quality raw food, then so much the better.
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Being highly active dogs in their respective breeds, the Pomsky will require moderate levels of physical activities. Thirty to 60 minutes of casual walking on a daily basis should be fine for a Pomsky, although if there is more Siberian Husky in the mix, then you’ve got to ramp up the exercises. Running, hiking with your dog, and jogging should be fun. But if there is more Pom in your Huskeranian, then 30 minutes of intense playtime in the backyard should suffice.
Mental stimulation is also important. Being intelligent as they are, they need interactive or puzzle games to keep them sharp and keep away from canine boredom. Both can have destructive tendencies and these can be mitigated if you can keep your Pomsky relaxed and focused.
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Poms love the attention that they get. They’re one of the world’s quintessential lap dogs or companion dogs. Royalties, socialites, and celebrities love to bring them in their affairs, dressing them up in fancy clothes and adorned with lavish accessories. Huskies don’t mind the attention, but they do love hanging out with their family’s kids.
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This can be tricky since we cannot be absolutely certain which trait will come out as dominant. Regardless, early socialization can help establish the foundation for a socially-friendly Pomsky. You may want to have it enrolled in a puppy class or even be brought to the dog park where it can socialize with other dogs. Having people in your home definitely helps.
Daily brushing is a must for your Pomsky; that is if you want to retain the health of its soft double coat. Otherwise, tangles and mats can develop a lot faster than its parents. Huskeranians are also known for being heavy shedders so get ready with the deshedding tool. Weekly bathing is also recommended, although once-monthly bathing should be fine if your Pomsky happens to be ‘well-behaved’.
Since the hybrid is relatively new we have dearth of information as to what health issues a Huskeranian may face. What scientists think is that there could be a mix of the various health issues that the two parent breeds typically face.
A Husky’s main problems are issues of the eyes and hip dysplasia. A Pomeranian’s health concerns are more numerous, sad to say. These can include collapsing trachea, patellar luxation, Legg-Carve-Perthes disease, cataract, progressive retinal atrophy, elephant skin, genetic alopecia, patent ductus arteriosus, growth hormone abnormalities, and thyroid disease, among others.
Even if you do manage to trace the lineage of your Pomsky, there’s still no telling whether these diseases will manifest or not.
The Pomsky is perfect for individuals who:
- Can devote at least 30 minutes of exercise and engaging play time every day
- Knows the basics of canine obedience training and has the perseverance to follow-through
- Has all the right qualities of a pack leader
- Can accept full responsibility for however the Pomsky will turn out to be
- Doesn’t mind increased vocalization
The Huskeranian is not for individuals who:
- Don’t like cleaning up pet hair from their furnishings and other surfaces
- Don’t have time for training, socialization, playtime, and exercise
- Don’t like visiting the vet on a more frequent basis because of the uncertainty of health issues
- Don’t like dogs that either howl or bark excessively
- Doesn’t like the idea of having a dog that he clearly doesn’t have any idea what it will turn out to be
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Pomskies are sweet, bordering on clownish. They love the attention and they have this rather conceited belief that they’re the cutest 4-legged creatures on the planet. They’re quite vocal, too. Try combining the wolf-like howl of a Husky with the barking proficiency of a Pom and you’ve got a really loud mix.
Pomskies that are socialized early on tend to be great with kids as well as other pets. The Husky has a strong prey drive, however, so you can expect your Pomsky to chase your household cat. Depending on the size of the Pomsky, kids younger than 6 years old should never be allowed to pet the dog as young kids still don’t know how to properly handle these small hounds.
The temperament of a Pomsky largely depends on how you nurture it as well as the socialization that it has received so far in its life. As such early socialization and obedience training are absolute musts for these dogs especially since they’re relatively new and not much is known about their temperaments as a hybrid. Majority of the things we know are speculations based on our understanding of their individual parents.
The Pomeranian Siberian Husky Mix is a new hybrid that promises to deliver all the fine qualities of a large wolf-like working dog with the cute and lovable attributes of a toy lap dog. Whether or not this will become a purebred in its own right only time can tell.
- Pomsky, Vetstreet