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Pomeranian Training

How To Handle Aggressive Pomeranians

Aggressive PomeraniansLearn why your Pomeranian is acting aggressive and how prevent this bad behavior. Some Pomeranians will be protective, regardless of the fact that they’re so small. Is your Pom growling, barking or trying to bite members of your family or visitors ? 

The Pomeranian ancestors were the bigger Spitz dogs and they were gentle sled dogs. However, like all breeds, Poms may have issues with aggressive behaviour. There’s no need for concern because this article will help you avoid aggressive behaviour in your Pom. The Pomeranian is normally well-behaved and has a naturally friendly, personable nature.

Throughout history, Poms have been excellent companions. This breed isn’t a fighter and doesn’t generally have guard dog qualities. If you expect your fluffy ball of fun to be a cuddling Pom, you may very well find that your Pomeranian dog is aggressive and that can be overwhelming. If this is the case, there are methods to help control your pet.

There are two types of aggressive behaviour:

1. Being aggressive towards people. It may be a reaction to strangers in any scenario or it may be towards you or a family member. Signs of such behaviour include: snapping in the air near somebody, nipping and/or growling and making contact with the person’s skin

2. Your Pom may demonstrate aggressive behaviour towards other animals. If you have other dogs or cats, this will seem more significant.

Aggression towards people.

This behaviour can cause frustration but you can learn training tips to help combat the problem. There are a couple of reasons why this is happening:

Fear.

Fear of the unknown, and this includes strangers. A Pomeranian may become protective of his owner and nip, growl or even try biting people.

Improper Status.

If your Pom is aggressive to family members, this may be because he’s confused about his status within his family.

Health Issues.

If your beloved Pomeranian is usually well-behaved but one day he suddenly demonstrates aggression, it may be because he has a health problem. If he has pain, he’ll growl, snarl, nip or possibly bite his loving owners because he has no other way to tell you he has a problem. If he feels vulnerable, he’ll lash out at anybody who he believes will threaten him while he’s weak. If your Pom is usually friendly, happy and calm, yet one day he shows some aggression, you must get your vet to give him a complete medical examination. Even if you had only got him checked out recently, this change can be serious cause for concern and needs immediate attention. Don’t even attempt any of these following ways to train him unless you’re 100% satisfied that his health is fine.

 

Training tips for Pomeranians who are aggressive towards strangers.

If he shows this type of aggression, it’s an issue with socialisation. Your Pomeranian needs to be taught that whenever he’s with you, coming into contact with strangers is a natural part of life and he’s expected to behave properly. It’s normal for dogs to have a degree of verbal aggression when it comes to real strangers, such as door to door salesmen. This can be a good thing because it’s like a warning sign that someone is there who isn’t expected. In fact, if your dog barks at strangers, he may scare off a person trying to break in. Remember that, although a Pom is small, if he’s barking behind a closed door, an intruder won’t know his size or whether he’ll bite.Training tips when your Pomeranian is aggressive towards members of your family Providing your dog calms down after the person leaves, it should be okay. If you’re happy that he barked when a stranger came to the door, you can pat him and tell him “good dog.” Then go back to whatever you were doing so he sees everything is fine. It’s a different story if if you’re taking him for a walk or if you’re both in a social setting.

You would naturally want your Pomeranian to behave properly. So you must teach him both acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. You’ll need to enlist some people to help with this training. Ask some friends, family members and neighbours to help you and, ideally, they should be people your dog isn’t used to. Explain what you need to do to train your dog and see if they will help with different scenarios. Once you start this training, you should do it each day until you’re happy that he’s fully trained. The first test is to get somebody to come to your home and they need some dog treats in their pocket. When your friend tells you they’re at your door, get your Pom to sit beside you and have him on a leash. Open the door and teach your beloved pet that everything is fine. Use slow actions and calm words. Show your dog that you’re greeting this person with no stress or tension. Get your friend to give your Pom a small treat but save the rest for a bit later. The aim of this training scenario is to reward your dog for good behaviour and isolate him if he behaves badly. If he interacts with someone well, even for a minute, get excited as though that’s absolutely fantastic and pat him, praise him and give him some treats.

Every time your dog demonstrates any aggressive behaviour, take him into an empty room where he can see you but is unable to get to you. A playpen is a great example of this. Then you socially isolate him for five minutes by ignoring him. Don’t tell him off or respond. Simply ignore him. Show him that life is no fun if he misbehaves. After the five minutes has elapsed, bring him back to the room where both you and your helper is sitting. Every action should be responded to with either isolation or praise, depending on whether he has been bad or good. This first visit should only last 10 minutes. As you change your helpers around, increase the time increments by five minutes. 30 minutes is the maximum time period for this training. If you rigidly follow this training plan word for word, it should only take two weeks for your Pom to be used to strangers and his behaviour will be vastly improved.

Training tips for a Pomeranian is aggressive towards Owners and Family Members.

Training tips when your Pomeranian is aggressive towards members of your familyIf your Pom is 100% healthy but is still demonstrating aggression towards human members of your family, the most likely reason is instinct. A dog has an innate instinct to be the “alpha dog.” When dogs run in packs, there’s always a leader, the “alpha.” This was for the good of the whole pack. Pet dogs also need an “alpha” in their pack which is usually a human such as you. A dog has to know if he’s the leader or if another dog (or human) is the leader. Then he won’t be confused and demonstrate aggression. He’ll get stressed if he doesn’t know who the alpha is, even if it’s himself. He may test members of the family to see if someone backs down, someone takes charge or if someone will take his place as leader by facing up to him.

To teach your dog that you’re the true leader, you must strictly follow these rules at all times:

People always eat first. If meal time is for the people and the dog, they should eat for 30 seconds. Then one of the owners will stand, tell the Pom to sit. As long as he sits, his bowl will be placed on the floor and he can eat while everybody else eats. People enter and exit rooms first. If you leave the home or return, you must enter first, followed by your pet. You do this by using a leash to ensure the Pom waits for his turn. This gives him the powerful message that you’re the den leader and the house is the den. When you take the time to train your dog to behave the right way, you build a strong relationship between you and your Pomeranian. Offering a fun way to interact and, at the same time, teaching him respect will positively establish you as the leader of the pack and, as such, you must be obeyed.

Bad behaviour is a socialisation problem.

Pomeranian Aggressive Towards Other Dogs

Once you have trained your Pom to behave properly around other dogs, life will be much better. If your Pomeranian shows aggression towards other dogs, it can have an adverse effect when you take him for walks, to the vet and many other things. Find someone, whether it’s a neighbour, friend or family member, who already has a well-behaved dog. Arrange a “play date.” Explain to that person that you’re using a training method and that it will take a couple of weeks to fully train your dog so he knows what behaviour is expected of him in all situations. You’ll need plenty of patience but the rewards are plentiful…a life-long companion who will bring great joy to your life. Both dogs must have their leashes on and your Pom also needs a harness. Ask your helper to have treats in their pocket when they arrive. You should also have treats in your pocket. When the other dog enters your dog’s “territory,” talk in a happy manner and stay calm. Let the dogs sniff each other. If your dog barks or is aggressive in any way, pull him back by the leash until he’s 10 feet away. Then ignore him 100%. Don’t talk to him, pat him or pat him. After the barking stops (and eventually it will), then you can walk your dog back to where the other dog is sitting patiently.

Every time aggression surfaces in your Pomeranian, lead him away from everyone else and ignore his barking and other ways to attract your attention. This positive reinforcement will teach him that he gets zero attention, zero interaction and zero fun when he’s aggressive. Every time your Pom behaves well when he’s with the other dog, praise him roughly once a minute. Give both dogs some treats and watch them both to ensure no trouble is caused.

If your Pom dog won’t respond to the training methods, the aggression may be much deeper than normal. It’s wise to locate an experienced dog trainer who can help turn your aggressive Pomeranian into the adorable fluffy pet he should be.

For more information on Training your Pomeranian refer to our Pomeranian Training eBook.

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