- Height: 10 to 15 inches
- Weight: 7 to 38 pounds
It’s often assumed that a crossbreed will combine the best of two or more breeds, but genetics don’t always work that way. The manner in which genes combine and express themselves is not always subject to the breeder’s control — even less so when two different breeds with such disparate sizes and temperaments are crossed.
That’s why you can’t always predict how big that cute puppy will eventually become. It would be difficult, though, for a Pomsky not to be charming.
Because the hybrid is relatively new, there frankly aren’t enough data to predict which aspect of the parents’ temperaments will be dominant. Both of his parent breeds can be affectionate and playful, although the Pomeranian is more likely to be a one-person dog. The Siberian Husky, on the other hand, tends to have a more independent nature. What you get depends on both nature and nurture.
A Pomsky can be a fun-loving playmate for children — preferably kids who are are at least 6 years old. Because some Pomskies can be extremely small, younger children should be supervised carefully any time they are with a pup as small as a Pomsky. If they accidentally fall on or drop the dog, they could hurt him. Adults and children alike must watch their feet when a Pomsky on the small side is around; it’s easy to accidentally step on him.
Pomskies typically require a moderate activity level that can be adaptable to their owner’s lifestyle. They need a short to moderate walk or active playtime each day, like any dog. If the dog’s overall health is good (your veterinarian can help determine that), a Pomsky can often be athletic enough to participate in such dog sports as agility, nose work, obedience and rally.
Pomsky puppies are adorable, and it’s one of the reasons they’re so popular. Cute puppies sell, and that makes the Pomsky a favorite of commercial breeders. There are breeders who are working to make the Pomsky a recognized breed, but as of yet the dogs are few in number and sell for big bucks — think $2,500 to $5,000.
If you do choose to buy one, select a breeder who has done the health testing to help ensure that her puppies won’t carry the genetic diseases common to both Pomeranians and Siberian Huskies. And while there are no guarantees in life, it may help minimize the possibility of certain big veterinary bills in the future.
Other Quick Facts
- The size of a Pomsky can vary dramatically, from toy size to medium size. Like their parent breeds, the dogs can come in many different patterns and colors, such as grey/white, brown red, blue merle, blonde and more.
- A Pomsky typically has a soft, fluffy, silky coat, prick ears and a furry tail that swishes over the back.
- The Pomsky is usually bred from a Siberian Husky female and a Pomeranian male. Breedings are usually done through artificial insemination because of the size difference in the two breeds.
The History of the PomskyPomsky breeders have formed the Pomsky Club of America, with the goal of achieving a recognized purebred dog. This can take years, however, and will not be accomplished any time soon.
People have been crossing types of dogs for millennia in the attempt to achieve a certain look, temperament or working ability. That’s how many well-known purebreds, including the Affenpinscher, Australian Shepherd, Black Russian Terrier, Brussels Griffon, Doberman Pinscher, German Wirehaired Pointer, Leonberger and more, originally got their start.
But crossing two breeds over and over does not a breed make. To achieve consistency in appearance, size and temperament, breeders must select the puppies with the traits they want and breed them over several generations for the traits to become set.
Crossbreeds such as Pomskies have become popular over the past 10 or 20 years as people seek out dogs that are different from the everyday Yorkie or Poodle. It’s also often claimed that crossbreeds are hypoallergenic or have fewer health problems or will carry the best traits of each breed, but this just isn’t true.
Whatever his breed, cross or mix, love your dog for what he is: a unique and loving companion.
Pomsky Temperament and PersonalityPomskies tend to be sweet, funny dogs who are secure in the knowledge that they are the cutest thing on four legs. Because they are hybrids, their personalities can vary, but their parental breeds share many characteristics so we can make some predictions.
These dogs can often be vocal. Combine the barking tendencies of the Pomeranian with the howling skills of the Husky and you’re likely to get a dog who will “talk” to you with insightful moans and groans plus high-pitched barks or even howls.
The typical Pomsky is moderately active. His exercise needs can be met with a daily walk or indoor or outdoor play. He usually won’t run you off your feet the way a Siberian might, but if you’re an active person he can typically keep up with you — as long as he doesn’t have underlying medical conditions that would prevent him from participating in vigorous exercise.
A well-socialized Pomsky can be a great companion for families whose children are at least 6 years old. At that age, children should be capable of understanding how to handle the dog so they don’t hurt him and how to interact appropriately with him. It’s important to recognize that not every Pomsky loves kids, and not every child knows how to interact with dogs, so supervision is always a must.
This dog may like everyone in the family but choose a single person as his favorite. He may or may not seek attention from visitors or strangers on the street. The Pomsky can get along well with other dogs and cats, especially if he is raised with them. But given that Huskies can have a high prey drive, you may get a dog who is fond of chasing after the family cat.
A Pomsky’s temperament depends on several factors, including the temperaments of his parents, the amount of socialization he receives and the particular genes he inherits. Say no thanks if a puppy’s parents won’t let you approach them, shy away from you or growl at you or if their puppies do any of those things.
If you train him with positive reinforcement techniques, showing him what you like by rewarding him with praise, play and treats, a Pomsky is likely to learn quickly. He can do well in fun dog sports such as nose work or rally.
Start training your puppy the day you bring him home. Even at 8 to 12 weeks old, he is capable of soaking up everything you can teach him. Don’t wait until he is 6 months old to begin training or you will have a more headstrong dog to deal with. If possible, get him into puppy kindergarten class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old, and socialize, socialize, socialize. However, be aware that many puppy-training classes require certain vaccines (such as kennel cough) to be up-to-date, and many veterinarians recommend limited exposure to other dogs and public places until puppy vaccines (including rabies, distemper and parvovirus) have been completed. In lieu of formal training, you can begin training your puppy at home and socializing him among family and friends until his puppy vaccines are completed.
If you are purchasing your Pomsky from a breeder, describe exactly what you’re looking for in a dog and ask for assistance in selecting a puppy. Breeders see the puppies daily and can make uncannily accurate recommendations once they know something about your lifestyle and personality. Whatever you want from a Pomsky, look for one whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized from early puppyhood.
What You Need to Know About Pomsky HealthAll dogs, whether purebreds, crossbreeds or mixes, have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that a mixed breed or crossbreed is 100-percent healthy and has no known problems or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the mixed breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.
Pomskies may be susceptible to the same health problems that affect both the Siberian Husky and Pomeranian. The nature of genetic variation makes this difficult to predict for a mixed-breed or hybrid dog. Please refer to the breed guides on Siberian Huskies and Pomeranians for an overview of some of the inherited diseases reported in these two breeds. They include heart disease, luxating patellas (knee dislocation), collapsing trachea, eye diseases, including juvenile cataracts, and skin problems.
Not all inherited conditions are detectable in a growing puppy, and it can be hard to predict whether an animal will be free of these maladies, which is why you must find a reputable breeder who is committed to breeding the healthiest animals possible.
They should be able to produce independent certification that the parents of the dog (and grandparents, etc.) have been screened for genetic defects and deemed healthy for breeding. At a minimum, ask the breeder to show evidence that both of the puppy’s parents have heart, eye and knee clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.
If a breeder tells you she doesn’t need to do those tests because she’s never had problems in her lines and her dogs have been “vet checked,” then you should find a breeder who is more rigorous about genetic testing. You may be purchasing a puppy solely as a companion, but that is all the more reason to make sure you are getting one from healthy parents — especially when you are shelling out several thousand dollars for your puppy.
Careful breeders screen their breeding dogs for genetic disease and breed only the healthiest and best-looking specimens, but sometimes Mother Nature has other ideas and a puppy develops one of these diseases despite good breeding practices. Advances in veterinary medicine mean that in most cases the dogs can still live a good life. If you’re getting a puppy, ask the breeder about the ages of the dogs in her lines and what they died of in the past.
Remember that after you’ve taken a new puppy into your home, you have the power to protect him from one of the most common health problems: obesity. Keeping a Pomsky at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to help optimize his lifespan. Make the most of your preventive abilities to help ensure a healthier dog for life.
The Basics of Pomsky GroomingA Pomsky has a double coat that is usually soft, fluffy and silky. Brush or comb the Pomsky coat with a bristle brush at least weekly to distribute skin oils and prevent or remove mats and tangles.
Bathe a Pomsky as needed. That might be weekly (if he spends a lot of time on your bed or other furniture), monthly or somewhere in between.
Does the Pomsky shed? You bet! He’s known as a heavy shedder. Twice a year he “blows coat” as it’s called, losing a great deal of hair so new hair can grow in. This period can last up to three months during each shedding season — typically spring and fall. Brushing him daily at this time will help to ensure that loose fur comes out when you want it to and helps to keep it off your clothing and furniture.
Other grooming needs include trimming his nails every few weeks, keeping his ears clean and dry and brushing his teeth regularly — daily if you can — with a vet-approved pet toothpaste. Small dogs can be especially prone to periodontal disease.
Finding a PomskyWhether you want to go with a breeder or get your dog from a shelter or rescue, here are some things to keep in mind.
Choosing a Pomsky BreederFinding a good breeder is a great way to find the right puppy. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy and will without question have done all the health certifications necessary to help screen out the genetic diseases common to Siberian Huskies and Pomeranians. He or she is more interested in placing pups in the right homes than in making big bucks.
Avoid breeders who simply say that their breeding stock is “vet-checked” but have no up-to-date documentation on the parents from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or the Canine Health Information Center.
It’s also wise to avoid breeders who only seem interested in how quickly they can unload a puppy on you and whether your credit card will go through. And bear in mind that buying a puppy from websites that offer to ship your dog to you immediately can be a risky venture, as it leaves you no recourse if what you get isn’t exactly what you expected — or don’t receive a puppy at all from a fly-by-night scammer. Put at least as much effort into researching your puppy as you would into choosing a new car or expensive appliance. It will save you money in the long run.
Another thing to know is that the Pomsky’s size is variable. Beware of breeders who promise their pups won’t grow to be more than 5 to 7 pounds. Not only is that unlikely, given the size of the typical Siberian Husky (35 to 60 pounds), it’s also a signal that the breeder may be producing unhealthy runts who may have a shortened lifespan.
Many breeders have websites, so how can you tell who’s good and who’s not? Red flags include puppies always being available, multiple litters on the premises, having your choice of any puppy and the ability to pay online with a credit card. Those things are convenient, but they’re almost never associated with reputable breeders. Internet scams involving dog sales abound. If you’re offered a Pomsky at a low, low price, remember the adage that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Whether you’re planning to get your new best friend from a breeder, a pet store or another source, don’t forget that equally wise adage “let the buyer beware.” Disreputable breeders and facilities that deal with high-volume breeders can be hard to distinguish from reliable operations. The puppy you buy should be raised in a clean and loving home environment, be checked by a veterinarian, dewormed, vaccinated and well socialized to help give him a healthy, confident start in life.
There’s no 100-percent-guaranteed way to make sure you’ll never purchase a sick puppy, but researching the crossbreed (so you know what to expect), checking out the facility (to identify unhealthy conditions or sick animals) and asking the right questions can reduce the chances of heading into a disastrous situation. And don’t forget to ask your veterinarian, who can often refer you to a reputable breeder, rescue organization or other reliable source for healthy puppies.
The cost of a Pomsky puppy often is based on a pup’s coat and eye color. Some colors are more popular than others. Cost can also vary depending on the breeder’s locale. Don’t shell out thousands of dollars for a pup if the breeder can’t show you up-to-date health certifications for both parents.
Before you decide to buy a puppy, consider whether an adult Pomsky might better suit your needs and lifestyle. Puppies are loads of fun, but they require a lot of time and effort before they grow up to become the dog of your dreams. And with an adult, you know what you’re getting in terms of size.
An adult Pomsky may already have some training and will probably be less active, destructive and demanding than a puppy. With an adult, you know more about what you’re getting in terms of personality and health and you may be able to find adults through breeders or shelters. If you want to adopt a dog, read the advice below on how to do that.
Adopting a Dog From a Pomsky Rescue or ShelterThere are many great options available if you want to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. Here is how to get started.
1. Use the Web
Sites like Petfinder.com can have you searching for a Pomsky in your area in no time flat. The site allows you to be very specific in your requests (housetraining status, for example) or very general (all the Pomskies available on Petfinder across the country). AnimalShelter.org can help you find animal rescue groups in your area. That said, Pomskies are not yet widely available so it may not be possible to find one this way.
2. Reach Out to Local Experts
Start talking with all the pet pros in your area about your desire for a Pomsky. That includes vets, dog walkers and groomers. When someone has to make the tough decision to give up a dog, that person will often ask her own trusted network for recommendations.
3. Talk to Rescue Groups
Networking can help you find a dog that may be the perfect companion for your family. Most people who love Pomskies love all Pomskies. That’s why enthusiasts have rescue organizations devoted to taking care of homeless dogs. A Pomsky breeder’s network can help you find a dog that may be the perfect companion for your family. You can also search online for Pomsky rescues in your area.
4. Key Questions to Ask
You now know the things to discuss with a breeder, but there are also questions you should discuss with shelter or rescue-group staff or volunteers before you bring home a pup. These include:
- What is his energy level?
- How is he around other animals?
- How does he respond to shelter workers, visitors and children?
- What is his personality like?
- What is his age?
- Is he housetrained?
- Has he ever bitten or hurt anyone that they know of?
- Are there any known health issues?
Puppy or adult, take your Pomsky to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot problems and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues.