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Pomeranian vs Chihuahua: What’s the Difference? (With Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Pomeranian vs Chihuahua

If you are looking to purchase a small dog for a small apartment, you have several options, but two of the best are the Pomeranian and the Chihuahua. These tiny dogs are well suited to living in a small apartment or home and can get their exercise indoors, so there is no need to worry about city traffic or other dangers.

Please keep reading if you would like to learn a little more about these two breeds and which one might be better for your home. We’ll compare size, temperament, lifespan, trainability, and more to help you make an informed purchase.

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Visual Differences

Pomeranian vs Chihuahua side by side

A Quick Overview

  • Average Height (adult): 6-11 inches
  • Average Weight (adult): 4-8 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12-16 years
  • Exercise: 30 – 60 minutes per day
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Usually
  • Trainability: Highly intelligent but strong-willed
  • Average Height (adult): 6-9 inches
  • Average Weight (adult): 2-4 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10-18 years
  • Exercise: 15 minutes per day
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Family-friendly: Yes, but not with small children
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Trainability: Highly intelligent but can be stubborn

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Pomeranian Overview

Pomeranian Looking Up
Image Credit: Pickpik

The Pomeranian is a small breed with a big personality. It has a double coat with a big frill over the chest. It’s available in over two dozen colors, but the color most common is orange. It’s a miniaturized version of an Arctic sled dog and is several hundred years old. It gets its name from its place of origin, an area that is now Poland and Western Germany. Queen Victoria helped to popularize the dog in the late 1800s.


The Pomeranian is an extravert and is extremely outgoing and enjoys being in the company of humans. It can suffer from separation anxiety quite quickly if you leave it alone a lot. It’s very smart and makes an excellent companion. It’s high energy and intelligence make it perfect for the show dog circuit, but it requires an owner who knows how to take charge.

They make great watchdogs and get along well with family members. Their small size makes them well suited to all apartments and homes, and they will also get most of their activity requirements just running after you as you do your daily activities.


The Pomeranian is incredibly intelligent and enjoys spending time with people, so training sessions are a great time to bond. Your dog should respond well to positive reinforcement using praise and treats to get and keep their attention and to reward them when they get something right. They respond best to short and specific words and can usually learn a new command in a few weeks.

Keeping training sessions short (10 -15 min) will help keep them interested and holding the sessions at the same time each day will get your pet into a routine they expect.

pomeranian puppy eating
Image Credit: aonip, Shutterstock

Health and Grooming

The Pomeranian has a thick double-cot that will require frequent brushing to remove particle contaminants and tangles. If the dog were larger, it would require a significant effort, but since the Pomeranian only weighs about eight pounds, it should be moderately easy to get the necessary brushing accomplished.

Most experts classify the Pomeranian as a healthy animal, with only a few concerning genetic health conditions. These health problems include hypoglycemia, luxating patella, hypothyroidism, and dental problems.

Suitable For

The Pomeranian is suitable for small apartments, families with older children, and the elderly. They make great companions and excellent watchdogs.

Chihuahua Overview

Tea cup Chihuahua
Image Credit: RaeElizabethPhotography, Shutterstock

The Chihuahua is another tiny dog with a big personality. It also has a long history and may reach back to the Aztecs in Mexico. It became popular with Americans in the 1800s, and today you can find them in many popular movies.


The Chihuahua is an extremely alert dog that will make a great watchdog. It barks quite a bit, but you can lessen the behavior with early training or puppy school. Many owners describe them as self-important and confident. They can be very determined when they want something and try to trick you and carry out complex schemes.


The Chihuahua is intelligent and capable of carrying out multistep tasks but are also strong-willed and stubborn. It can be difficult to train if it has other things on its mind, so you will need to find a way to keep it focused on your training session. Once again, you will want to keep the sessions to only 10 or 15 minutes and use positive reinforcement in the form of treats and praise. If you can keep your dog interested, it should learn the tasks in only a week or two.

playing Chihuahua
Image Credit: kamilpetran, Shutterstock

Health and Grooming

The Chihuahua is available in two coats, a smooth coat and a longhair variety. Both are easy to maintain, and the smooth coat only requires occasional brushing, while the long coat will require brushing about once a week. You will also need to trim the nails every few weeks or when you hear them clicking on the floor. Brushing all dogs’ teeth with dog toothpaste is also a good idea to help prevent tooth decay.

Some health conditions are similar and many small breeds, and in the Chihuahua, we see luxating patella, dental disease, obesity, and kidney stones all top the list of Chihuahua ailments. Despite these and quite a few other genetic conditions, it’s considered a healthy dog with a long lifespan.

Suitable For

The Chihuahua is well suited to cramped living quarters and city life. It’s perfect for someone that lives alone and can devote plenty of time to their happiness.

Which Breed is Right for You?

Both dogs make excellent pets and companions with long lifespans and relatively few health problems. Both dogs are similar in many ways and choosing one over the other may be more difficult than you think. Both tend to bark, jump, and run around the home quite a bit, so be sure you are ready for that.

The Pomeranian is a little more forgiving if you have something more important to do than tend to them, but only a little. Its higher energy level will require more daily exercise than the Chihuahua, and they don’t live quite as long. The Chihuahua can be much more stubborn and demanding but usually takes care of its activity requirements playing tricks on family members. It’s less jumpy and will allow you to carry it or keep it on your lap to stay near you and bask in your attention.

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We think the Pomeranian is the better choice for an inexperienced pet owner but feel either would make a great pet for anyone that doesn’t have children under ten years old or large dogs that might injure them. We hope you have learned something new about these unique pets and have found the answers to any questions you had. If you have found it helpful, please share this Pomeranian versus Chihuahua shootout on Facebook and Twitter.

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Featured Image Credit: (L) Trent Pickering, Unsplash | (R) Candice Legge, Shutterstock

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