Pom Information, Pomeranian Training

How to Manage Pomeranian Growling Problems

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Last Updated on 29/11/2023 by Dochlaggie. Post first published on November 8, 2021.

The Pomeranian is a very trendy toy dog breed, and they can be adorable. But, like any other type of pet, Pomeranians need to be trained and loved to grow up into happy pets.

Pomeranian growling is just a method of communication. It’s your Pom trying to tell you something. Pomeranians growl to convey lots of different things, from anxiety and aggression to encouraging playtime.

One common problem that many Pomeranian owners have is their dogs’ growling habits. This article will help you solve Pomeranian growling problems. Pomeranians are small dogs but they don’t consider themselves the small ones. Pretty often, you might find your little Pom challenging any large dog breeds in the neighborhood.

Pomeranian Growling Problems

Pomeranian behavior characteristics need to be understood in order to deal with the Pomeranian growling problem, it is important to find out the actual cause of their growling first.

So, there are many possible reasons as to why your Pomeranian growls. He might be protecting his food or possessions or might be feeling anxiety, uncertainty, pain, frustration, or simply having fun.

Pomeranian Growling Problems
Pomeranian Growling Problems

Growling because they are having fun

If you’re about to take your Pomeranian for a walk or are playing a game of tug, don’t be surprised if they start growling at you! It doesn’t have to mean their mood has suddenly switched to aggression.

Sometimes growling is just a Pom’s way of telling you that they are happy and excited.

Growling to say hello 

If you’ve been away at work all day or on a long vacation, don’t be surprised if your Pomeranian starts growling and barking upon your arrival.

This doesn’t mean that they’re unhappy to see you. Instead, your Pom is growling at you due to their anxiousness to reunite with you.

Growling to be assertive

If your Pomeranian comes across another dog in the street or a new pet in the home, they will feel intimidated. In case this unfamiliar animal upsets the current ecosystem or violates their territory, Poms will growl to assert their dominance over the other animal. The purpose is to scare them off and make it clear that around here, they’re in charge!

Growling over the uncertainty of the unknown

Growling in these cases is often because your Pomeranian is unsure of what is happening. This would be more true if your Pom is in a situation such as when you are training it to do something difficult or new or simply when you don’t feed it at the same time that you normally would.

Growling because they are in pain

If your Pomeranian is in pain, it could be an internal injury or linked to an underlying health condition. Don’t be surprised if your Pom begins to growl as a response to the pain.

The reasons for growling in pain could be twofold. Firstly, as a direct response to the pain, and secondly, to alert you to the fact that they’re in pain.

If you assume this to be the case, it is important to take your Pomeranian to the vet for treatment.

Growling because they are afraid

If your Pomeranian comes across something they consider to be a threat, they will growl to try and defend themselves and to alert you to the fact that a threat is present. The threat can be a person, other animals, or a sudden terrifying noise like fireworks.

This reason for growling is common in Pomeranians who have experienced some emotional trauma in the past.

Growling due to food aggression

All dogs tend to be protective of their food, particularly when they are puppies. Food aggression is in their DNA and dates back to their days in the wild when wolves would have to protect their food from other wolves outside their pack. Poms can growl at you or some other animal to protect their food.

Growling due to lack of socialization 

Many Pomeranians, due to lack of proper socialization, shift from their normal calm behavior. This is especially true when they are placed in circumstances unfamiliar to them. Immediately, they feel unsafe and may begin growling.

Always consider the situation that your Pomeranian is in when he or she growls. You may observe that your Pomeranian makes different types of growling sounds in different situations. Determining or recognizing the circumstances of each Pomeranian growl will help you identify what your Pom is trying to say.

Are Pomeranian aggressive?

Despite their tiny size, Pomeranians are fearless and loving family members. They are high-spirited dogs and are usually not aggressive. 

Pomeranians were bred to be companion dogs. They don’t have guarding instincts and are not fighters. Poms are naturally suspicious of strangers and wary of other dogs.

However, like all breeds, Poms are capable of being aggressive, even if it is rarely seen. The most common reason for Pomeranian aggressive behavior is lack of socialization, fear, previous negative experience, or some health issue.

Here are a few tips to prevent aggression in Pomeranians: 

  • Socialize your Pomeranian so that they are comfortable around strangers and other dogs.
  • Don’t force your Pom puppy into situations that might scare them. 
  • Avoid any triggers that make your Pomeranian afraid.
  • You should establish your role as the pack leader as Pomeranians listen and obey the alpha of the pack.
  • Don’t skip your regular vet checks.
Pomeranian Growling Problems
Pomeranian Growling Problems

Training Tips for Pomeranians who Growl 

There’s a good reason why your pomeranian growls and it’s probably not what you think. 

Socializing your Pomeranian to not growl

If your Pom is poorly socialized, this can make them feel more threatened easily. This leads to Pomeranian puppy biting and growling at other people and animals, no matter how harmless they are.

This aggressive growling happens when your Pomeranian isn’t used to other animals or people. The lack of socialization leads to them associating others as a threat to you or themselves, and consequently growls when they come in contact with any stranger or animal.

Let them know who the pack leader is

Sometimes, the Pomeranians assume themselves to be the alpha dog, the protector of the house. To avoid any unpleasant situation, you have to assert yourself as the Alpha of the family. 

Being a pack leader doesn’t mean that you scare your Pomeranian to be submissive. A strong alpha leader is a compassionate leader and confident guide, not a bully. Try to earn your Pomeranian’s confidence, loyalty, and respect.

React calmly to their growling

If your Pomeranian begins to growl, it is important not to react with outward anger towards your Pom. It is important to stay calm because if you react adversely to your Pomeranian growling, that will only make them growl more.

Don’t punish the aggression

It would also help to avoid punishing your dog for growling. Your Pomeranian might not know why it is being punished. It could lead to feelings of resentment and it might cause your Pom to become aggressive. Instead, it would help to give it lots of positive reinforcement training so that your Pomeranian learns how to behave.

Praise and reinforce their good behavior

It is important to reinforce positive steps in your Pomeranian’s training. So, if your Pomeranian stops growling when requested or doesn’t growl in a situation they’d usually growl in, it is important to praise them and give lots of treats.

Positive reinforcement helps them associate good things with not growling. This will then encourage them to continue with their progress to reap rewards.

Get help from an animal behaviorist

If you are unsure of why your Pomeranian growls at you or others, the best option would be to get help from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. By doing so you will be able to see how to train your Pomeranian effectively and safely.

Never feel reluctant to consult a vet if you’re unsure of your Pomeranian’s health. If you feel your Pom might be showing symptoms of some disease.

Pomeranian Growling
Pomeranian Growling

Does your Pomeranian Growl When Picked Up?

Your Pomeranian may growl in reaction to discomfort, which can occur if this small dog is not picked up properly. Pomeranian bones are fragile and there is not much of a fat layer to protect them. The following list offers some possible causes for this behavior.

The best way to pick up a Pomeranian is to approach from the side. Support their chest with fingers tucked under the underarms.

Final Thoughts

Pomeranians try to communicate with people in different ways, one of which is growling. Poms growl to communicate lots of different things, from fear and aggression to encouraging play. Always pay attention to the situation that your Pomeranian is in when they growl.

Though some Pomeranians may growl at their owners or strangers, they rarely intend harm. Their growling behavior is usually indicative of something else and is easy to get off.

Hope you enjoyed reading this article! Did you find it helpful? Feel free to share your thoughts. We would be happy to hear from you!

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References and Further Reading:
[1] Official Standard of the Pomeranian (AKC). American Kennel Club, 2011.
[2] English Kennel Club Pomeranian Breed Standard, 2017.
[3] Denise Leo, The Pomeranian Handbook.
[4] Milo G. Denlinger “The Complete Pomeranian.”
[5] Kimbering Pomeranians “1891-1991”.
[6] William Taplin’s “The Sportsman’s Cabinet.”
[7]  E. Parker “The Popular Pomeranian.”
[8] Lilla Ives “Show Pomeranians.”

How to Manage Pomeranian Growling Issues
How to Manage Pomeranian Growling Issues



Pomeranians are my passion, and I have shared my life with these darling little dogs for many decades. The creator and face behind this website is published author and Pomeranian breed authority Denise Leo of Dochlaggie Pomeranians.

Denise Leo
Denise Leo