Bonding should be something that happens naturally when you get any new dog, whether it’s a puppy or already an adult, of any breed. However, there can be obstacles to developing a strong bond with your Pomeranian.
Your puppy may be very young and uninterested in doing much of anything. This could make you feel ignored and not liked by your new pet. Older dogs may appear distant and aloof, not keen on petting, cuddling and other natural signs of affection.
It’s important to understand that all dogs have the capacity for powerful feelings towards owners BUT some owners may need to work harder than others to develop the relationship with their pet. Pomeranians require regular interaction with you to strengthen the bond and maintain a loving relationship.
Some dogs will never make the first move. They’ll take cues from their new owner and will only work towards a strong bond if the owner takes charge of that process. This knowledge helps you because you can develop a strategy to help build a loving relationship with your pet Pomeranian. However, if you don’t take action, the bond will be tenuous at best.
Indicators that a bond is weak.
There are specific signs that tell you more work needs to be done on your relationship with your Pomeranian. The more signs you acknowledge, the more effort and time you’ll need to put in to strengthen your relationship. If the bond is weak, it’s not a poor reflection of your dog or yourself. Many owners have discovered various reasons why you weren’t able to spend enough quality time with your Pomeranian to achieve a powerful bond.
These signs include:
- Little or zero eye contact.
- Minimal or no urge to play.
- Not obeying commands.
- Trying to get away when you attempt to pick him up.
- Not enjoying petting and cuddles.
- Aggressive behaviour such as growling or baring his teeth.
How strong should your mutual bond be?
Pomeranians are an affectionate and sensitive dog breed. As previously mentioned, your dog may not like making that first move. If he’s left alone, he may not even try to bond. However, if YOU go to him for the initial move, he’ll be very keen and ready to accept your move.
Scientists have verified that dogs have a large number of emotions. Parts of their brain structure is similar to humans, in the area of emotions. Science has established that a 2.5 year old toddler and a dog share the same level of emotional development. If you have/had toddlers, you’ll quickly appreciate that fact.
Pomeranians can feel jealous, happy, sad, excited and another powerful emotion that equates to the human emotion of love. Unless the dog has been traumatised, neglected or harmed in any deliberate manner, the love a dog has for you will be permanent and unconditional. Your dog won’t stop loving you even if you smack him occasionally for doing something bad. You’ll know he’s ok because his tail won’t stop wagging. He’ll never become angry or upset enough to stop loving you.
Once you have developed that strong foundation of trust and love, both you and your Pomeranian will constantly work towards strengthening it even more. He’ll be as emotionally close to you as possible. He’ll be your closest confidant, best friend and companion, even if he can’t actually speak real words.
If your Pomeranian puppy seems to have no interest in you and ignores you, don’t take it personally. Some puppies have trouble focusing on one thing at a time and it will take him time to learn who you are and how important you are in his life. Follow all the bonding advice mentioned and eventually your mutual relationship will grow in strength to the point where it’s impossible to break.
Health issues that may resemble emotional distance.
Many signs that your Pomeranian may not want to be cuddled, petted or generally not appearing to care may actually be due to a health problem and not merely a low care factor. Whenever a dog isn’t feeling well, he’ll want to be left alone due to feeling vulnerable, even if he’s with you. He may feel the urge to sit quietly out of everybody’s way. If you notice this form of unusual behaviour, and he doesn’t respond when you try to get close, you should get him properly examined by your vet.
Fear. If your Pomeranian is afraid of something, his personality may change. He may hide under your bed, cower on his own bed or hide in a closet out of harm’s way. He may be shaky if he’s near you and could have difficulty eating. He may be skittish (i.e. flinching or running away at the first sign of trouble). Any type of emotional distress can cause him to behave this way. This includes more serious issues such as loud noises (e.g. thunder or yelling voices) or being startled by bright lightning.
Separation anxiety is a typical cause of stress and nervousness. Your Pomeranian can become so distraught that he may find it tough getting back to his normal comfort level, even if you arrive home and spend quality time with him.
Bullying. There are two less common problems that you should still be mindful of if they do occur. One is bullying, where your Pom is bothered or harassed by your other pet(s). If you’re not home, you may not even know this is happening and it can cause your beloved Pom to be upset all the time, even when you are home. Your pet may be bullied so much that it affects his sleep, eating and interaction routines.
Abuse. Sadly there’s a scenario that’s unacceptable but it does happen. This is when an owner abuses his dog. Abuse can be verbal, physical or violent. He may be smacked hard for no reason. He may be locked in a laundry or other room, not fed and left to sleep and do his business, while the owner gives no thought to how he feels.
There are times when an owner buys a dog from a previous owner who had been abusing the dog. You’ll soon know because he won’t behave the way you would expect a much-loved pet to behave. This pet needs extra care and attention so that those bad memories quickly get replaced by happy, loving memories and he’ll feel safe enough to relax and come out of his shell.
No dog can have a good bond and behave normally if they’re constantly in fear for their safety. The home should be one of happiness, love and peace. Only then can a strong bond be forged between dog and owner. If you bring a Pomeranian home and you notice odd behaviour, it needs to be addressed urgently so you can help your new pet to become a happier animal.
Playing. Behaviour that can be misconstrued as a bonding problem is actually a form of playing. A prime example of this involves a Pomeranian (called Bouncer). Bouncer’s human is in one room and Bouncer is in another, Bouncer is called and he comes running in and then stops dead in his tracks and lies down, not wanting to get any closer. Bouncer refused to come any further and it seemed like Bouncer might be afraid.
So Bouncer’s human goes to Bouncer and picks him up. Once they have settled on the sofa, Bouncer’s tail starts wagging and he’s a happy, loving dog once more. Bouncer’s human had no idea why Bouncer behaved this way and so he asked the vet who explained that Bouncer wasn’t scared. He was playing a game he had learned. If he did as described, he knew his owner would lift him up and cuddle him.
Chaos. Lastly, the Pomeranian may live in a chaotic household where there’s loud music blaring in one room, a TV playing in another, and loud voices and yelling throughout the house. This means he can’t get any peace and quiet and so he’ll feel insecure, overwhelmed and unable to interact with others, so he’ll become very stressed.
You can’t form a bond with your Pomeranian if he doesn’t feel safe and happy in an environment that’s peaceful, calm, warm and loving. If his home doesn’t have these essential elements, you could be regarded as neglecting your dog and, if that’s the case, why get him in the first place?
Positive bonding elements.
There’s no magical spell for creating a strong bond between you and your Pomeranian. It’s a combination of these elements below that blend together to form a loving, mutually respectful, permanent relationship.
- Be the leader. You first need to establish yourself as the leader because every dog needs to feel they’re part of a pack and you’re the pack leader who forms a structured life for your Pomeranian to follow. He’ll feel calm, safe and less confused if he “knows his place” in the pack. If you don’t take on the leadership role, he may try to do it and that won’t work as you can’t follow a canine leader.
Leadership can’t be defined in a single day. It takes time and patience to develop your leadership skills as they relate to your Pomeranian. Rules must be followed all the time (this not only applies to you but also other human members of the household). If only some members follow the rules, the dog can become confused and problems will occur. Even after your pet has learned the rules, you need to constantly reinforce them. You need your dog’s respect before you can build a strong friendship with him.
- Agility exercises. Although Pomeranians can jump over short bars, the simplest and most enjoyable agility exercise is pole weaving and it can be done inside or outside. Weaving poles are a good size and are very colourful but you can use plenty of other objects if you choose.
- Teach new tricks or commands. When you and your beloved Pomeranian work to achieve a goal, whether it’s a new trick or command, it’s a great bonding exercise, regardless of the amount of time it takes to master. You must be enthusiastic and ensure your pet is rewarded when he tries his best because that’s the main aim. However, he’ll be better trained as well. Whether it’s simply telling him to sit or a harder task of shaking hands, when you both achieve any task, you’ll feel the bond between you getting stronger.
- Chores. Don’t just put your Pomeranian in his enclosure and do your household chores. Get him to help you with small things that will make it fun for both of you. Don’t rush around. Slow down a bit and let him follow you around so he can see what you’re doing. While he may seem confused the first few times, eventually he’ll begin to understand what you’re doing and then he can help you.
Sorting clean laundry is a task your Pom can learn. For example, he can be taught to pick up and give you socks and other small items. This process may take a while but the effort is worth it because he’ll learn something new, your relationship will grow and it will become an exercise he’s keen to do once he has mastered it. Remember to give him some treats for doing such a good job.
- Outings. Take your Pomeranian with you as often as you can when you leave home to run errands. Several issues may tell you to leave him at home.
You may think that if you spend too much time with your dog, it will increase separation anxiety when you have to leave him at home. This isn’t accurate. Your dog will love going out with you whenever he has the chance so think about your errands and whether it’s practical to take him.
You might want to go out and rush around to do things quickly so you can get back home to your Pomeranian as fast as you can. While this might be wise in certain cases, it’s a missed opportunity to further bond with him because it will be a new experience, riding in the car and staring out the window, as well as anywhere you can take him while you carry out your errands.
Lastly, you may have a long list of excuses why you can’t take him with you such as:
- He doesn’t like riding in the car.
- The shop forbids dogs from entering.
- He can’t have any fun in a shop.
- and so on and so on…
If your Pomeranian doesn’t like the car, driving him around will get him more comfortable when doing it. Lots of stores let small dogs enter if they’re in a sling or carry bag. The sling is good because your hands are left free and he can look around as you peruse the shelves. Lots of Poms like the feeling of movement as you walk around and it relaxes them.
Regardless of where you’re going, your beloved pet loves being with you. He’ll be far more bored at home than keeping you company and seeing more of the world. You may not think your errands are exciting, but look at it from his position…it’s all new experiences and your bond will grow even more if you spend more time with him in different scenarios.
- Be silly sometimes. Dogs have their own unique personalities but they will also mimic you a lot of the time. If you’re moody, depressed and sad, they’ll feel the same way. If you sing and dance to shows on the TV or on CDs or just for the fun of it, your Pom will quickly develop a sense of humour as well. If you’re outside on a hot day, hose yourself down and then see if he wants to be sprayed as well.
If you buy him a new toy but he doesn’t show any interest, be silly with it. Roll around on the floor, making funny voices and waving the toy in the air. Play with your pet like he’s a baby…engage him in play, smile and laugh and be enthusiastic. The home vibe should be fun, light and happy and he’ll be much more likely to want to play with you and bond.
- New challenges. Try new challenges. Take him out on a boat (making sure he is wearing a life jacket. Get up early and go to the beach to watch a sunrise together. Hike an easy track to find new sounds and sights. Find new and interesting activities to do with your Pomeranian. Some owners don’t do these things if they live alone but once you have a four-legged companion, you’ll never be alone again and it can make you more adventurous.
Remember. If you want to find other ways to bond with your Pomeranian, don’t think of what is missing. Look ahead with boundless enthusiasm in all that you do. You need to engage your beloved pet in every way possible. He may be young, shy or nervous and needs to be encouraged to interact with you so you take that first step and interact with him. He may never have played with toys before and doesn’t know how to do so. You need to take the toy and play with it and then let him play as well. Build his confidence and trust.
Dogs don’t speak English so assume he wants to do all the things that dogs generally do. He’ll enjoy going to new places, helping with chores, playing with toys, going for walks, learning new tricks and/or commands and much more.
It’s easy to live your life the same way you always have BUT you can’t do that once you introduce a dog into your life. A dog will love you unconditionally and you have to put in the effort to teach him new things and enrich his life. The love between a dog and his owner is a very special one and it lasts as long as the dog and owner live together.
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