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Pomeranian Training

Dealing with Pomeranian Behaviour Problems

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Pomeranian Dogs Often Possess Territorial Aggression

Having a small dog that that tries to defend you is great but there are many Pomeranians who take this responsibility more seriously than others. They’ll bark at visitors, at neighbours in their yards and anybody walking past your home. They may also view your car as something to protect. Poms may try to defend you from other dogs too.

There are some elements of this territorial Pomeranian behaviour that you can teach your Pomeranian. For example, if the postman enters your yard or even stops at your letterbox, your Pom may bark and keep at it until the postman is gone. Then your dog is happy because he believes he was successful in getting rid of the stranger. Your Pom dog now thinks he is a Pomeranian guard dog

Pomeranian Dog
Pomeranian Dog

Eventually your Pom may believe he’s the toughest dog on the block. The general behaviour is that a dog will bark whenever a stranger enters their territory but as soon as you tell him to be quiet, he does so.

However, you can’t always make him stop barking and some owners think it’s fantastic that he’s such a fearless watch dog. A Pomeranian dog who tries to protect you too much can easily become a pest and a danger in that you could fall over him while walking or trying to stop him barking. This is the case with dogs of any size.

Dealing With Pomeranian Barking Issues

Here are some tips to help you stop Pomeranian barking:

  •  Stop him from behaving in a territorial manner by moving him away from:
  •  Your fenced yard if you know somebody will go past your home.
  •  Your front door if visitors are expected.
  •  Seeing the mailbox when the postman arrives.
  • Give him treats if he behaves by sitting and not barking when people visit.
  • Ask visitors to bring treats. It’s common for dog owners to increase their Pomeranian’s aggressive tendencies by distracting him or reassuring him because he views it as rewards for such aggressive behaviour. Don’t yell at him because he wrongly believes you’re simply joining in.

Training a Pomeranian Not to Beg

Your dog will beg for food more often than you would like and you can’t give in all the time. Otherwise he’ll keep doing it because he’ll understand that if he does that, he gets rewarded. His pleading puppy dog eyes are almost irresistible and you may even give him small pieces of your meal. He can make you feel guilty every time you eat a mouthful of food.

Pomeranian Dog
Pomeranian Dog

Pomeranian puppy behaviour is quickly learnt. A dog learns actions that benefit him. If he barks while you eat and you give him a treat, he’ll associate that action with food and will keep at it until you stop him doing it. If you refuse to give him food at all, except for his scheduled meal time, he’ll soon stop barking because he’ll know it doesn’t help him. If you relent and give him treats while dining, even only once in a while, it weakens your resolve and tells him to bark more and more.

Here’s a good example. If you insert a coin in a soft drink machine, you expect a drink will come out. If the machine refuses to give you a drink after inserting the coins, you’ll be unhappy but you may try again. If you still can’t get what you want, you’ll likely give up and assume it’s faulty.

Now think about a slot machine. You feed it coins and more coins, hoping to hit a jackpot with the next coin, but usually you don’t. If you do reward your dog sometimes if he begs, you’ll become a slot machine and he will become addicted to gambling. Be the soft drink machine and use the all or nothing method.

How to Reduce Your Pomeranian Dog’s Reaction to Guarding Food

Some dog owners have very strange thoughts One that’s actually more sad than strange is to train your dog to let you take his food away…by actually taking it away. Your pet likes to eat in peace but if you keep taking it away, he’ll growl to warn you and tell you he doesn’t like that. So you have an “aha! moment.”

Then you’ll punish your Pomeranian. So he’s already annoyed but takes another bite. If you still think you can’t trust him, you’ll punish him more until he stops eating. Even though your pet lets you keep doing this testing, you may have a child visiting one day and she might pick up your Pom’s bowl and so he bites her. He’s then described as vicious and the next step is the pound.

No Pomeranian owner wants their Pomeranian dog to be a food-guarding dog but some owners simply refuse to stop this childish behaviour. On the other hand, you want to train him so he understands that your hands will give him food, not remove his bowl.

There are four ways to do this:

  •  Feed him smaller serves, wait until that’s finished and then put treats in his bowl.
  •  Give him treats as part of his meal to begin with.
  • •Feed him with kibble, one piece at a time, dropping the next one into his bowl while he eats the one already there.
  •  Never remove food unless your plan is to give him better food.
  • Eventually he’ll beg you to come close to the bowl. If you have multiple dogs, each one may guard their bowl and treats from the others. You need to feed each dog separately and give treats when they’re alone in a room or in individual crates. Never drop a treat between two dogs or they’ll fight over it or one will swallow it so fast he chokes on it.

Don’t let treats be left somewhere because later discovery can cause trouble, perhaps when you’re not even home.

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References and Further Reading:
[1] Official Standard of the Pomeranian (AKC). American Kennel Club, 2011.
[2] Official English Kennel Club Pomeranian Breed Standard , 2017.
[3] Kimbering Pomeranians “1891-1991”.
[4] Denise Leo, The Pomeranian Handbook.
[5] E.Parker, The Popular Pomeranian.
[6] L.Ives, Show Pomeranians.

Purchase the Pomeranian HandBook by Denise Leo

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