One of a number of designer dogs, pomskies are a very recent breed that’s gaining in popularity thanks primarily to their photogenic appearance and prevalence on social media.
Because pomskies are technically a mixed-breed dog, there’s no breed standard for appearance or temperament, and it can be impossible to predict which parent breed pomsky puppies will take after the most. Ideally, pomskies resemble miniature wolves or small huskies, but some may look more like larger-than-normal Pomeranians in terms of shape and coloring. Even pomsky puppies born to the same litter may vary widely in appearance from one another, with some appearing more husky-like and others appearing more Pomeranian.
There isn’t a great variation in size, with adult pomskies coming in on the smaller end of medium-sized dogs at 10 to 15 inches in height and weighing between 20 and 30 pounds. Pomskies are larger than a purebred Pomeranian, who weighs less than 10 pounds, but still small enough to fit on a lap, unlike a full-grown husky. Some pomskies are bred with purebred Pomeranians in order to produce smaller dogs, although the breed is still new enough that the majority of pomskies are a 50-50 mix of husky and Pomeranian.
Pomskies have a thick double coat that, like their sled-pulling parent, makes them well-suited to colder climates. Some have shorter coats, while others have a longer, fluffier coat. Coloring often follows the typical black and white — or gray and white, brown and white, red and white or blue and white — pattern of a husky but can also be pure black, pure white or tan like a Pomeranian. Other, less predictable coloring patterns and combinations can also occur.
Pomeranians and huskies share a number of personality traits that usually get passed on to their hybrid offspring. These include intelligence, playfulness, confidence and an affectionate and loving nature. Both breeds also tend to be on the noisy side, with huskies being talkative and Pomeranians being prone to yipping. As a result, pomskies are typically vocal dogs who aren’t a good fit for someone with a low tolerance for noise, or for an apartment with thin walls and easily annoyed neighbors.
Pomskies also tend to be protective, which can increase their tendency to bark, especially around strangers. They do, however, make excellent watchdogs. They have a fiercely loyal streak, which means they may latch onto one member of the household as their primary person, although they generally tend to get along well with everyone. They can be skittish around small children, though, and may not be a good fit for families with very young kids.
Another trait that first-time owners aren’t often prepared for is that they can be quite willful and stubborn, making them difficult to train in spite of their high intelligence. They require calm and assertive leadership and a whole lot of patience. Because of this, pomskies aren’t a good fit for inexperienced dog owners, who may feel overwhelmed by and frustrated with the breed’s strong personality.
Pomskies have a lot of energy and need about an hour of daily exercise and play to stay fit and avoid boredom. They’re small enough that they can make good apartment dogs, provided they’re walked two or three times a day or provided ample opportunities to burn off their energy at a dog park. Otherwise, being let out to play in a fenced-in yard or engaged in a game of fetch several times throughout the day can satisfy their exercise needs. Providing them with puzzle toys and indoor activities can also prevent boredom-induced behavior problems and help them stay calm.
They can be prone to shedding throughout the year, and usually their coats will blow out once a year. They need to be brushed daily to keep up with the shedding, and living with one of these dogs will probably involve a lot of vacuuming or sweeping.
Pomskies share genetic predispositions to certain health issues with both of their parents. These include allergies and skin problems, patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, collapsing trachea, epilepsy and heart disease. They’re also prone to dental problems and need regular teeth cleanings and daily tooth brushing.
As pomskies have been around for less than 10 years, experts can only estimate their average life expectancy. But based on both of their parent breeds, it’s generally expected that healthy pomskies should live anywhere from 13 to 15 years.
Pomskies owe their existence to an internet meme. A 2011 Buzzfeed blog post went viral that featured images of Finnish Lapphund puppies, claiming they were Siberian husky/Pomeranian mixes. The internet lost its mind and the demand for pomsky puppies was sparked, with enterprising breeders moving quickly to make it happen.
Due to the size difference between Pomeranians and huskies, natural breeding between these dogs is unsafe, requiring pomskies to be brought into this world via artificial insemination. For this reason, pomskies are still fairly rare in the dog world and tend to be very expensive.
Unfortunately, some breeders resort to unsafe practices to produce more affordable puppies using parents who aren’t pedigreed and are more likely to pass on genetic predispositions to health issues. It’s best to be wary of offers for inexpensive or free puppies and to carefully research any breeders from whom you’re considering purchasing a pomsky. While the American Kennel Club doesn’t recognize the pomsky as a true dog breed, the International Pomsky Association allows reputable breeders to register puppies and certify that the parents are pedigreed and meet a high standard for health, temperament and appearance.
Pomskies are often surrendered to shelters and pet rescues by owners who are unprepared to deal with their excessive barking and willful personalities. If you think you would make a good parent for one but can’t afford the designer price tag, you may find one by searching shelters and rescue groups for both huskies and Pomeranians.