The animal on the cover of CouchDB: The Definitive Guide is a Pomeranian dog (Canis familiaris), a small variety of the generally larger German Spitz breed, named for the Baltic region of Pomerania (today spilt between northeastern Germany and northern Poland) where it was first bred.

Originally, Pomeranians were closer in size to their German Spitz relatives—weighing 30–50 pounds—and were bred as herding dogs because of their intelligence, energy, and loyalty. From the late 19th century, however, breeders began to favor increasingly smaller dogs, a move caused in large part by Queen Victoria’s affinity for that variety. Today, Pomeranians are classed as “toy dogs,” weighing only 4–7 pounds, and are particularly kept as small pets and show dogs.

The Pomeranian exhibits many of the physical and behavioral characteristics of its larger ancestors and relatives. It has a short, pointed muzzle, upright and pointed ears, a large bushy tail carried curled over the back, and is especially spirited and friendly. Pomeranians are also particularly noted for their double coat—a soft and dense undercoat and a long, straight and harshly textured outer coat—and come in a wide variety of colors, including white, black, brown, red, orange, sable, spotted, or any combination thereof. Because of their small size, Pomeranians are able to exercise sufficiently in small indoor spaces if taken for a daily walk, and consequently make excellent apartment pets.

The cover image is from Lydekker’s Royal Natural History. The cover font is Adobe ITC Garamond. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont’s TheSansMonoCondensed.