The smallest member of the spitz family, the Pomeranian boasts tough sledding dog ancestors. Exactly when he began to be bred down in size is not known; nor is it known exactly where this miniaturization took place, although Germany, and specifically, Pomerania, is the most likely locale. The breed's likely ancestor was the Deutscher spitz. Only when the breed was taken to England was he dubbed the Pomeranian, but these early dogs were not the "Poms" known today. They weighed as much as 30 pounds and were often white. In fact, the Japanese spitz closely resembles these early Pomeranians and very likely descends from them. Although the Pomeranian was recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1870, it was not until Queen Victoria brought a Pomeranian from Italy that his popularity grew. The queen's Pomeranian were rather large gray dogs, and even then most fanciers preferred smaller, more colorful specimens. By 1900, Poms had been recognized by the AKC, and dogs were being shown in both England and America in an array of colors. The Pomeranian has continued to be bred down in size; at the same time, an emphasis on coat has led to his unsurpassed "puffball" appearance. This miniature sled dog always attracts admirers and is a very popular pet and show dog.