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Many, but not all, Pomeranians go through a stage during puppyhood known as the 'puppy uglies' at which time their coat of fur looks very odd and scraggly.
This phase can be very confusing for owners who are not prepared for just how shocking this can be and symptoms can sometimes be mistaken for serious coat issues. And, even for those that expect the puppy uglies to happen, it can still be difficult to believe it's normal or worry may set in that a Pomeranian puppy is perhaps an exception and something worse is to blame.
Here will will discuss what the puppy uglies are, the age that it happens, how to help your Pom get through this stage, and have a look at some helpful before and after photos.
The puppy uglies refers to the transition that Pomeranian puppies go through when the puppy coat falls out to make way for the adult coat. A Pom's fur will changeover from a one-layer coat of short soft hairs to a two-layer double coat with a short dense undercoat and a top coat of longer guard hairs.
One of the reasons that the puppy uglies is so shocking, and the reason behind the terminology, is that the wonderful and beautiful coat of fur on a Pomeranian puppy falls out. It can be sad to watch it go.
The puppy coat is a one-layer coat of very soft fine hairs. It is comprised of super-supple short hairs that feel like feathers. If you run your hand over the pup's coat, it will feel like silk. Due to this type of puppy fur, and the overall plump shape of young puppies, Poms with their puppy coats will look soft and round. They are just scrumptious.
The adult coat is very different yet is strikingly beautiful in its own way. Adult Pomeranians have a double coat of fur; there is a dense, tightly-packed inner layer (undercoat) and a outer layer of guard hairs that stand out.
During the phase of transition from that puppy coat to the adult coat, there is often a heavy and sometimes drastic shed. All of the soft puppy hair will fall out. All of the adult hairs will grow in. It's a matter of how slow or fast this happens. When the puppy coat falls out quickly, before the adult hairs grow in, it can leave a Pomeranian looking quite odd, hence the term 'puppy uglies' (please note that we did not invent that phrase, it has been around for many decades).
The coat can look very patchy and uneven with short hairs in some places and long hairs in others. It may look sparse to the point that you can see skin. The thinning fur may appear worse on just some areas of the body, like the legs or the flanks; fur may fall out drastically on the chest one month and along the back the next. Some puppies lose fur severely just around the eyes, causing the dog to look like it got a bit too close to a flame that sizzled off the eyebrows.
Fur may be falling out so fast that you literally get clumps in your hands when you pet or brush your Pomeranian or when drying them after a bath. No matter how it manifests, it can leave a Pomeranian with much less fur than they previously had and sometimes in a very strange pattern.
A Pomeranian may also appear to be much thinner during the puppy uglies because so much of the fluffy fur that helped a puppy look rounded is gone and because over the course of months that the changeover is occurring, a Pom will be growing and maturing; puppy fat and a rotund appearance makes way for a longer, sleeker body shape.
Seeing such sparse hair, or even balding areas that show skin, can be distressing and it's common for owners to worry that in addition to their pup losing so much fur, they also have an eating disorder that's causing them to be skinny and not gain weight as expected.
The puppy uglies happens to many, but not all, Pomeranian puppies.
Every single Pomeranian puppy loses their puppy coat and grows in a new adult coat. However, in regard to this happening in such as way that there is a drastic shed causing the coat to look odd enough that the phrase 'puppy uglies' would be used is approximately 80% of the time (8 out of 10) and the level of this will range from mild to severe.
For the remaining 20% of Pomeranian puppies, the transition will still happen but at a more even progression. New adult fur will grow in essentially at the same rate as the puppy fur is falling out. So, there will be shedding but the shocking 'puppy uglies' will be avoided.
It happens during the puppy stage, hence the name. It will begin some time around 4 to 6 months. You will notice your Pom coming out of this around the 10 month mark. After that, the coat will continue to fill in up until 12 to 15 months old.
In general, by the time you notice that your Pomeranian puppy has lost a huge amount of fur or that the coat is severely thinning and they look very odd, it will only be 4 to 5 months before enough adult fur has filled in that they start to look normal again. In fact, after the double-coat is established, your Pom will look astonishingly beautiful and you'll realize that it was worth going through the puppy uglies. "
At Alaska Toy Dogs, LLC we often see some severe, Extreme case of Puppy Uglies. Please see attached photos of some of our dogs.
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