A potential dog-owner surfing the internet, in search of a sweet little dog that will capture a family’s heart, is sure to come across delightful photos of the newest, cutest puppy on the market – the Pomsky. They are adorable, diminutive bundles of fur often with piercing blue eyes, and coats with a white background and variegated markings ranging in color from pale caramel to dark brown and grey-black. But if this is your first venture into the world of dog ownership, you would be wise not to let your heart overcome your better judgment. Take a moment to find out more about what it would mean to own a Pomsky, a very recent introduction to the list of dog varieties.
The responsibilities of owning a Pomsky
If you have been the primary caregiver for a dog in the past, you may have a reasonable idea of what welcoming a Pomsky into your family may involve. Otherwise, stop now and consider what your duties will be once you bring that Pomsky puppy home.
- Pomsky puppy training, including toilet training, socialization and command response
- Providing suitable food three times a day at the puppy stage and at least daily thereafter, as well as constant adequate drinking water
- Facilitating vigorous exercise at least once daily, probably more often
- Regular brushing of the Pomksy’s coat
- General hygiene, including bathing when necessary
- Recurring medical and dental care, including expensive visits to the vet
- Making alternative and potentially costly care arrangements, such as a boarding kennel, if you plan even a weekend away without your Pomsky
Of course, Pomskies in general, just like most other dogs, reward you for all this effort and expense with unconditional devotion, companionship and even unexpected side benefits like improving your health and well-being. Yet sadly, many people who acquire a pet dog for the first time consider only the advantages to themselves and forget about the sometimes onerous obligations.
This is why many dogs are abandoned as soon as the first novelty and cuteness wears off, swelling the numbers in animal rescue centers in January in particular. Not all deserted animals find a new home and many end up being euthanized. A Pomsky, like any pet, is not just for Christmas but for life.
A Pomsky is a cross between a Pomeranian and a Siberian Husky (or Pomeranian Husky mix), the result of breeding which aims for a lively but smaller and more manageable version of the husky. The husky is an undeniably attractive dog, but not really suited for life as a domestic pet, leading to this attempt to create a mini husky.
There is no such thing as a registered Pomsky breed, since it is a hybrid of two pure breeds, a type of mixed breed sometimes referred to as a ‘designer dog’. So ‘Pomsky’ is not a variety acknowledged as a breed by any national kennel club, and this includes the American Kennel Club.
In almost every case, a first generation cross Pomsky will be the offspring of a Pomeranian sire (father) and a Siberian Husky dam (mother). This is to avoid complications at the time of the birth, since the resulting crossbred pups would be too large for a tiny Pomeranian female to carry and deliver safely.
A first generation cross should have a predictable size, but other physical and character traits are difficult for breeders to guarantee. The goal is to create a perfect blend of the Siberian Husky’s strength, stamina and intelligence and the Pomeranian’s diminutive charm and elegance. Sometimes a first generation cross will be mated in the second generation with a purebred Pomeranian or Siberian Husky, to create a multi-generation cross in an attempt to emphasize a particular genetic attribute, but the results can be random.
Choose your Pomsky breeder carefully
Because Pomskies do not belong to a registered breed there is little regulation that breeders must follow. Trustworthy breeders will be happy to give information about a puppy’s parents’ breeds (or cross breed), their external appearance (even supplying photos), weights and temperaments. You can then make reasonable assumptions about the sort of adult dog your Pomsky puppy is likely to become. Less scrupulous breeders are not so forthcoming with this data, however, and may even be evasive about whether the animal they are selling you is a 50/50 hybrid or a multi-generation cross.
Many Pomsky breeders are aiming at the impulse purchase pet market, and are really puppy farmers rather than ethical breeders. They may not have taken enough care to ensure that the Pomsky puppy’s parents were completely healthy and free of defects and diseases, increasing the risk of eye and hip problems in their offspring. This kind of puppy farm business has only one aim – maximum profit – and the animals they own may not be properly fed or cared for.
The Pomsky Club of America has a list of approved breeders and a very rigorous process for becoming one. Purchasing your Pomsky puppy from one of these breeders would be a good decision.
What does a Pomsky look like?
A Pomsky puppy may resemble its Pomeranian parent at first, but as it grows older it assumes more of the husky characteristics, unless it is a multi-generation cross with a much higher concentration of Pomeranian genetics than the standard 50 percent. It is almost impossible to say what the appearance of a typical Pomsky is because the breed has not yet been stabilized. Some of them have the pointy ears and long, wolf-like face of a husky, while others have the flatter face and rounded ears of a Pomeranian. A thick, furry coat is probably the only certainty.
The Pomsky’s coat
Genetics and breeding also play a part in determining what color a Pomsky’s coat will turn out to be, so you may need to specify your coloring preferences when consulting a breeder, or even choose your puppy from a litter so you know what you are getting. Husky-dominant genes will produce darker colors in the black-grey-brown part of the spectrum, dappled with white, while a higher rate of Pomeranian heredity can produce a pale caramel or even lighter coat.
A Pomsky’s soft, fluffy coat is subject to moderate fur shedding, like both its parents and especially the Pomeranian, but this potential nuisance can be kept in check with regular brushing outdoors.
How big is a Pomsky?
A breeder intending to create a Pomsky will probably choose a smaller than average Siberian Husky for the mother, hoping to keep the resulting progeny small. As a guideline, you can probably expect a fully-grown Pomsky to weigh about half of the combined weight of its parents. A female Siberian Husky can weigh anything from 35 to 50 pounds, while a male Pomeranian usually tips the scale between 3 and 7 pounds.
As an example, suppose that the Pomeranian sire weighed 6 pounds and the Siberian Husky dam weighed 40 pounds. Their combined weight is 46 pounds, so the breeder would be crossing his fingers and hoping for a litter whose individual members would achieve an adult weight of around 23 pounds each, or at least stay in the range of 19 to 28 pounds. Heavier puppies are likely to grow into larger adult dogs, and vice versa, but it would take many, many generations of breeding before it was possible to predict with any accuracy the genetic outcome in terms of features like adult weight.
The adult height of a Pomsky will usually fall in the range 10-15 inches, slightly less than half the combined parents’ size range of 20-22 inches for a female husky and 7-12 inches for a male Pomeranian. But don’t buy a Pomsky puppy thinking that you are guaranteed a manageable, medium-sized pet. This lack of consistency, because Pomskies have been around for such a relatively short time, is one of the main reasons why it will be a long time before they become a registered breed.
What color are a Pomsky’s eyes?
A Pomsky’s eyes tend to favor the Siberian Husky genes, and many Siberian Huskies have bright blue eyes, even as adults. However, although many Pomskies are born with these dazzling blue eyes, they may not stay that way once they are past the puppy stage. So, don’t choose your Pomsky puppy based on its eye color.
What is a Pomsky’s temperament like?
Purebred Pomeranians and purebred Siberian Huskies are both intelligent dogs. Huskies tend to be energetic, loyal and hard-working, while Pomeranians are friendly, loving and playful. You can expect to see a combination of these attributes in your Pomsky, although it is likely that one or more of them may be more dominant. Pomeranians, for example, can be stubborn, and also nervous when in the company of young children. Pomskies therefore need firm and confident handling, and respond well to reward-based training. Responsible owners will not neglect their pet’s education.
Reputable breeders, like the ones endorsed by the Pomsky Club of America, will fully inform themselves of the character traits of both parents before using them in a Pomsky breeding program. Amateur or backyard breeders, on the other hand, may simply rely on convenience. They, or someone they know, may happen to own a Pomeranian, while there is a Siberian Husky living conveniently nearby. This is not the sort of chance parentage you want for your Pomsky. Buy from a trustworthy, professional breeder who has invested some time into researching and sourcing parents with desirable temperaments.
Caring for your Pomsky
As already discussed, owning and caring for a Pomsky is not a trivial matter. It is time-consuming, a constant commitment which lasts throughout your pet’s life of 13-15 years. In addition to the duties of daily feeding, you will need to provide your Pomsky with companionship and the opportunity for vigorous exercise at least once every day. This could involve playing ‘fetch’ with a ball or stick in the yard for a protracted session, or going for a run in a nearby park. Its working dog, husky ancestry means that just hanging around the house or garden all day will not provide a sufficient level of activity, and may lead to your dog finding an outlet for his energy in destructive behavior.
Veterinary expenses should be factored in before you decide whether or not you can afford to own a Pomsky. Even assuming you have a perfectly healthy, disease-free dog, you will need to visit the vet at least once a year for things like vaccinations, a general check-up and dental care. This dental treatment includes plaque removal and cleaning to prevent decay and tooth loss which can be a problem derived from Pomeranian parentage. Ask your local vet to give you an estimate of annual costs for a healthy dog before you commit to buying your Pomsky, and be aware that you may need to at least double this figure if your dog has the slightest ailment that needs treating.
Since Pomskies are now a sought-after hybrid, demand has outstripped supply, and you can expect prices to start at not less than $1000. Depending on the breeder you choose, your price point may be more likely to be in the region of $2000. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of having your puppy delivered to you, or going to collect it, since the nearest reputable breeder may be a long way from where you live.
Choose your Pomsky puppy wisely, after making sure that you and your family are ready for the responsibilities of dog ownership and that your home is prepared to receive the new family member. It’s best to be clear, too, about your motives for wanting a Pomsky in particular. Because the Pomsky is not a purebred animal, you will not be able to enter him (or her) in a high-level dog show with categories for single breeds anytime soon. Nor will you be able to predict exactly what kind of dog he will grow up to become. Instead, plan to love your Pomsky for what he is – a devoted companion who will not stay a cute puppy forever, but who will never outgrow his loyalty to you.