• Pomeranian.co.nz

Why Pomskies are such a bad idea

Updated: Aug 22, 2020

By Jenny Ryan

Did you know that in 2010 there were no Pomskies? This "breed" has cropped up in the last decade as the profit from online sales of "designer dogs" has exploded across the western world. It is recognised nowhere as "breed" except in petshops and online site selling dogs for profit.

And Pomskies sound like such a good idea. An adorable little dog who looks like a Husky that stays the size of a Pom? What's not to love? And everyone knows about "hybrid vigour" so they'll naturally be healthier than a pedigree Husky or Pomeranian, right?

I mean, that's why they cost so much, isn't it? Because I'm getting two pedigree breeds instead of one?

About that...

A Pomsky is a cross between a purebred Husky bitch and a purebred Pomeranian sire and can only be achieved through artifical insemination (to breed a Husky sire to a Pom dam would kill her). Both these breeds are the result of centuries of selective breeding to produce dogs for two diametrically opposed purposes. One is a lap dog, the other is a high-energy working dog. One is small, yappy dog, content to sit on a lap all day, the other is bred to run all day in a pack with a high prey drive and reputation for being difficult to train and destructive behaviour when bored. And it likes to howl. A lot.

So, you breed these two completely different temperaments and physiques so you can get something that sounds cute, is pretty enough to sell for a lot of money online as a puppy and you're going to get what you see on Instagram - an insanely adorable Husky the size of a Pom.

Or maybe you'll get a yappy Pom the size of a Husky. Your cute new pup could just as easily grow into a 25kg dog that wants to run 100 kms a day and thinks your house is a chew toy. Maybe you'll get a Pom-sized dog that looks like a cute Husky and has the same high prey drive. Or you get a small dog who can't run as much as his brain tells him he wants to. Or a lonely, anxious dog who pines for his non-existant packmates? How much fun is a high-shedding dog who howls as often as a Pom barks. The neighbours will love that.

All of these incompatible traits translate into stressed dogs. Stressed dogs chew and howl and often become reactive and bite people. It is cruel to create a breed of dog and then doom it to a lifetime of anxiety it cannot escape, because it looks cute but is hard-wired to do things unaccepable in a house pet.

For every cute Pomsky you see on Facebook or Instagram, there are 10 others out there that didn't win the genetic lottery of combining two incompatible breeds, with owners wondering what they let themselves in for.

The other myth about these breeds is the idea that crossbreeds are healthier than purebred dogs. Well, I've worked in a vet clinic and let me tell you, 95% of the clients any vet clinic sees are "crossbreds". No vet clinic in the world is going broke because crossbred dogs are so healthy they don't need to see a vet.

The biggest lie with designer breeds, however, is the fallacy that the Pom and the Husky used to create this "cash-cow" litter were healthy dogs to start with.

There is no responsible, purebred Husky or Pom breeder on Planet Earth who would knowingly hand over a quality, health-tested breeding dog or bitch to a "for-profit" breeder planning to produce "Pomskies".

Registered breeders go to extraordinary lengths to prevent their precious bloodlines falling into the hands of backyard "for profit" breeders for all the reasons stated above. They understand the issues these dogs suffer from and do their best to prevent contributing to the problem. Papered dogs are sold with neutering contracts, breeders screen potential owners as best they can and the healthiest and soundest dogs they breed, they keep for their own breeding programs.

Huskies and Poms that wind up in Pomsky puppy mills are usually dogs bought under false pretences. They are dogs sold as pets because they are not sound enough to continue a purebred line. They will have faults that preclude them from showing, are not good examples of the breed standard or a propensity for the very health issues the slick Pomsky breeders claim they are free of. So you end up with a pup from a poor quality Husky and and poor quality Pom being mated to create a poor quality hybrid.

Offspring carry half the genes from each parent, good or bad. If you are breeding from dogs with slipping patellas (common in Poms) and hip dysplasia (common in larger dogs), you might, if you're lucky, get a dog free of both conditions. But you have a 50% chance of breeding a dog that has inherited both.

This is, of course, assuming you are getting a "first generation" (F1) pup. Once you start breeding Pomsky to Pomsky in subsequent generations, I am sorry, but you have a mutt. You are likely to get anything.

At Arkady, we breed Chihuahuas as well as Poms and we are sometimes asked for Pomchis. My answer is usually a question - why? What different features in the Pom breed and the Chihuahua breed to you wish to see in both?

Nobody has ever been able to answer the question, because they don't even know what the breed characteristics are. The problem with Pomskies is exactly the same.

Pomsky and Pomchi sound cute. And they have cute puppies. But the shady world of puppy mills behind them and the sad reality of people impulse buying dogs because of a cutsie name and a pretty puppy (BTW, all puppies are cute - Pit Bull puppies are adorable) is something that rarely sees the light of day.

So think long and hard if you're considering a designer dog of any ilk, be it a Pom-cross, a Chi-cross or an "Oodle". These dogs exist because people are willing to pay large sums of money for them and for no other reason.

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