It’s estimated that Americans own a total of 73 million dogs as pets. Worldwide, it’s said that households own more than 400 million dogs, although in the third world, of course, not all are kept as pets.
A small but growing number of those dogs are so-called “designer dogs,” cross-bred between two popular species. The labradoodle may be the best-known of these crosses, but the fastest-growing designer puppy species (in terms of popularity) is now the Pomsky, also known as the Pomeranian Husky.
What In The World Is A Pomsky?
Even the name sounds cute, and the first time you see one of these adorable pups, you’ll realize that a cute name is appropriate: for most people, it’s a case of love at first sight. This breed is a cross between a Pomeranian and a Siberian Husky and owners will tell you that Pomskies combine the best of both – at a steep price, of course. You will easily pay more than $1000 for one, and the cost can be much higher, often running to two or three thousand dollars.
The size and look of a Pomsky can vary quite a bit, because there arent any standards for the breed just yet. In general terms, the pup will end up weighing around the average of its parents’ size, most Siberian Huskies weigh between 30 and 50 pounds, and most Pomeranians come in under seven or eight pounds, so their cross will usually weigh in the neighborhood of 20-30 pounds.
The majority of Pomsky puppies have the facial appearance and bodily structure of a much smaller Siberian Husky, but with the “fluffy” appearance of their fathers. (They’re usually sired by the Pomeranian and carried by the female Husky, since it could be problematic for a small dog to carry puppies sired by a much larger one.) They have a long, silky coat and commonly have their mother’s coloring – a mixture of black, white and grey. Their narrow, alert faces with perky ears are a particularly enduring feature for anyone who’s seen them in person.
One of the reasons for the hybrid’s amazing growth in popularity is its disposition. Most of these “designer” pups are very smart, playful, friendly and loving with a gentle disposition. Families find that Pomeranian Huskies and children become fast friends and companions. In fact, homes with kids are best for these adorable puppies because they always want attention and always want to play. Just be sure to introduce the dog gently and slowly when there are children in the home, as (like its Pomeranian father) it can be a bit skittish until it gets used to its new environment. And if you have a cat or other household pet, that shouldnt deter you, these puppies get along very well with other animals.
A bored Pomsky may end up chewing up the rug or ripping the couch because he has so much pent-up energy, a child as a playmate is the perfect solution. The breed is easy to train because the dogs are so intelligent, and once they’re your friend, they’re loyal for life. That’s why they’re commonly used as therapy dogs for patients with autism, and also why some people consider them a good guard dog as well: their loyalty, along with their energy, their fearlessness and their loud barks make them ideal sentries.
Before you fall in impossible love with the breed by looking at pictures online, you should be aware of one startling fact: you may have not been looking at photos of real Pomskies. Many websites are using pictures of a different breed altogether, either a Siberian Husky pup or a Finnish Lapphund – because there arent that many pictures of the real thing available. Be sure that you’re actually looking at genuine photos, or even better, visit breeders or shops to ensure that youve actually seen the puppy you think you can’t live without.
Are There Drawbacks To Owning A Pomsky Puppy?
For many people, the price of this hybrid is certainly one drawback. However, there are several other things to consider before falling for “the most beautiful dog youve ever seen in your life.”
First, there is definitely a shedding issue to deal with when you own a Pomeranian Husky. This breed goes through two shedding seasons a year, each lasting nearly three months. During these periods, you may struggle to keep up with the cleaning, even though the dogs are rather small, they shed an incredibly large amount of long, thick hair.
The second potential drawback to be aware of is that these puppies usually have an excess amount of energy, to put it mildly. As mentioned above, that can often show itself in torn furniture and rugs, if you let the dog run free, you may also find big holes in your lawn and garden since the breed loves to dig. Thankfully, since Pomskies are easy to train, this can normally be dealt with pretty easily. Don’t let this potential problem scare you too much, these dogs can be safely left alone at home if you work during the day, as long as youve done some basic training and made sure to leave them plenty of toys to play with while you’re away.
The next concern isnt one you’ll usually face, but it’s still something to be aware of. If you’re buying a puppy who hasnt been born yet, make sure to ask the breeder whether it was bred between two Pomsky puppies. That inbreeding could cause the danger of a “throwback pup” – one that’s the size of an actual Siberian Husky. In that case, the birth could kill the mother. Always be sure to use a reputable breeder or pet center, rather than a puppy mill.
Finally, remember to temper your expectations. That cute little hybrid will grow, and grow, and grow, he probably won’t be as big as a Siberian, but he could be. In any event, remind yourself that you’re not going to have an adorable, tiny puppy for long, you’ll have an adorable dog who will still probably weight at least 20 pounds throughout his average lifespan of 13-15 years.
Where To Find A Pomsky?
It’s easy to find posts on Craig’s List, Facebook or other sites where people are offering Pomsky puppies for sale. Beware. In most cases like this, there’s no guarantee that the pup wasnt bred improperly, wasnt produced at a puppy mill, or isnt even a real Pomsky.
The best choice is always to seek out a specialty dog breeder in your area (if you’re in a remote location, you may have to travel some distance) who actually breeds Pomeranian Huskies and can walk you through every step of the process. It may be more expensive than just “picking up a dog” from someone on Facebook, but it’s much safer in the long run.
Special Care And Requirements of Pomskies?
Fortunately, there aren’t too many special requirements to be concerned about when caring for a Pomsky. A regular healthy diet, as you would feed any other dog, will be just fine. Just be sure there’s plenty of extra water and high-quality dry food available as well, since the pup’s energy level will always leave him hungry and thirsty.
As you’ve learned by now, regular exercise is important for this hybrid breed, and you won’t have to worry too much about making sure your Pomsky puppy gets enough. His natural desire to play and run will probably have you feeling that you’re the one who’s being exercised, just from trying to keep up with him. Remember, however, that if he doesn’t get enough opportunities to work off his energy, he could turn those impulses into something more destructive to your house or garden.
No worrisome medical conditions have been associated with these dogs, so regular vet appointments and shots should be more than enough to keep yours in top shape. There’s just one thing to be aware of in the medical area: Pomeranians are susceptible to large buildups of plaque on their teeth, so their hybrid offspring are also prone to this issue and should have regular dental checkups. Also, don’t neglect regular brushing of your pet’s coat and visits to the groomer, since the shedding problem mentioned earlier can quickly turn into a nightmare if your dog’s coat isnt paid enough attention.
Training a Pomsky Puppy
The best way to train a Pomeranian Husky is to follow the same steps as you would for any very intelligent pup. Smart dogs usually relate well to positive, reward-based training, if you try negative, punishment-based training your Pomsky puppy may very well give up or act out.
Start the training early, and begin with the most important commands like sit, stay, heel and come. Lots of praise, play, rewards, and treats (at first) will quickly deliver the message that he’s done well. Because this is a breed that loves to learn and please, it shouldn’t take long at all for the training to stick, positive reinforcement works extremely well with Pomskies. After the key commands have become second-nature to your dog, it will be much easier to work on obedience commands like “no!” or “stop!” since you will have established the pup’s respect for you. During that process, always try to provide an “alternative answer” for the dog, for example, if you are trying to get him to stop chewing on the drapery, offer a chew toy as a substitute and then praise and reward him for making the “right” choice.
Potty training is no different than with other small breeds. It’s best to begin with crate training, using a crate that’s of adequate and comfortable size, near people, and away from heat and cold. The Pomsky should be kept inside when it’s time to sleep or eat, eventually he’ll start to fidget and whine. At that point, take him out of the crate and to the area where you want him to relieve himself, giving positive reinforcement when he goes properly. It should only be a few months before you have a fully house-trained pup.
These hybrid dogs also have a tendency to bark loudly, cry or whine when they want attention. An owner’s first reaction might be to immediately respond and comfort the puppy, but that will only reinforce the behavior since he’ll learn that crying or whining will bring you to his side. Instead, let him fuss for a while before reacting so he learns that’s not the proper way to ask for attention. Meanwhile, spend more quality time with your pet when he’s not crying, since the calls for your attention usually mean he’s not yet comfortable with the environment in your home. As he grows more used to his surroundings, and learns that he can’t command your presence by acting out, you’ll end up with a well-adjusted, happy Pomsky.
The last issue could be nipping or biting. As with any dog, the Pomeranian Husky loves to play, romp and frolic – and biting is often part of that play. A great way to teach limits is to have your pup play with other small, intelligent dogs. Their interaction can get rough at times, and they may bite each other during the course of their play, once your Pomsky has been bitten or nipped himself a few times during these sessions, he’ll quickly learn the ramifications of biting and will be much less likely to nip or bite on his own.
Will I Own A Valuable Hybrid Dog?
That all depends on what you consider valuable. To most people, if you spend more than a thousand dollars on something, it’s valuable – and by that measurement, your Pomsky will certainly be valuable. However, you should also realize that what you’ll have is not a “recognized” breed of dog by the American Kennel Club or other authorities. No designer puppy is. Recognition comes after a long and complicated process, including the introduction of a third breed in the hybrid-creation process. Eventually, Pomeranian Huskies will be bred with yet another type of dog. Thirty years after that breeding is successful, the new “designer” dog breed will finally be recognized and will probably be even more valuable.
To most, that won’t really matter, the important thing is that youve adopted a gorgeous, loving, intelligent hybrid dog who will provide you with many years of friendship and fun.