Briefly describe the origins and original functions of The Pomeranian. Drawing on your understanding of animal communication and general behaviour, describe how the genetic modifications and modern housing may have compromised the welfare of this breed.
The Pomeranian breed of dog is part of the Spitz family and as such has genetic relations to breeds such as the Siberian husky, the Samoyed and the Alaskan malamute. The dog was traditionally much larger than those seen today, weighing closer to 35 pounds as opposed to the modern average of only 5 pounds. The Pomeranian has been utilised for hundreds of years as a guard dog due to its remarkable hearing and alertness (and invariably bringing attention to anything they perceive as unusual, due to their territorial defensiveness). The modern Pomeranian breeds have descended from the sled dogs of the Arctic Circle, having been renowned for their hunting abilities and their capacity to carry loads. The name Pomeranian comes from the old German province of Pomerania, and is indicative of the dog’s popularity in continental Europe throughout the 18th century (Cunliffe, 1999).
The popularity of these breeds has led them to be selectively and intensively bred for purposes beyond their original uses. Their benefits, which were once utilised as they were and at their most effective, whilst still existent within modern breeds, are largely dormant due to continuous breeding and efforts to reduce the size of the dog. This effort to keep up with fashion has increased whilst the modernisation of society has largely decreased the common need for guard and work dogs (Cunliffe, 1999).
Whilst the popularity of the dogs has stayed constant, genetic modification and discerning breeding practices have not been beneficial for the breed, having left the modern Pomeranian breeds rather more vulnerable genetically than their ancestors. The medical problems that can be attributed to this level of genetic manipulation are numerous,...