Pomeranians are the teddy bears of the doggy world, or, at least, they look like it. These tiny little puffs of fur are one of the most popular pet dogs. There are show quality poms and those that are strictly companions. Regardless of their different purposes, Pomeranians make excellent companions, although caring for them properly does require at least some knowledge of the breed, especially when it comes to teaching them. And, they really are, in fact, a very intelligent breed – training is as simple as learning how to make the lessons – breed, and character, specific.
All too often dogs get shoved into a one-size-fits-all training box and unfortunately, it is rarely so simple. Each breed is individual and each individual has his (or her!) own personality, temperament, and overall traits. However, before rushing off to the nearest high-priced dog trainer, take a peek at our Pomeranian Training Guide – with 13 tips and tricks formulated around the specific needs of your Pomeranian shaped best friend.
13 Helpful Pomeranian Training Tips
13. Learn The Breeds Distinctive Behavior Patterns
Putting the needs of the individual aside, each and every breed is going to have its own general behavior patterns and the Pomeranian is not any different. Improper hierarchy in Pomeranians can, and usually do, result in common problematic behaviors rearing their ugly heads. These tiny balls of fur are well-known for nipping, biting, and growling and these behavior patterns should be nipped in the bud at the first sign.
12. Accept That Dog’s Have Their Own Individual Personality Traits
Being successful in training your Pomeranian, or any dog, really, is by accepting that all are unique. This means that they all learn differently and in their own way. Training is going to result in a lot of trial and error and recognizing the errors and making the appropriate training adjustments. Knowing your dog’s specific personality, inside and out, is the first step in successful training – and likely one of the most important. What works for one Pomeranian might not work for another. Plan your training sessions around your dogs’ needs and use their personality to your benefit.
11. Be Stingy With The Treats
While this admittedly might be one of the hardest rules to abide by (by far!), it is truly imperative that you do so. This does not mean that you must withhold all treats unless it is training time, but, training treats should be unique, something special – different than what he usually gets. Even something that they don’t usually get such as dog-safe human food (although you should always check with the veterinarian first!). Not only does it give them lots of motivation and incentive, but it also clarifies the situation for them. Mom has those yummy treats, time to wake up, pay attention, and learn.
10. Portray Confidence
When you really think about it, basically every single pet + owner relationship is a power struggle (isn’t every relationship?). Somebody has to be the chief, the head of the household, so to speak. And not unlike many other smaller breeds, Pomeranians tend to believe that they are the boss until they are taught otherwise. During training sessions, you need to be clear, confident, and firm, let them know exactly who is in charge. Boundaries have to be set and kept. It might be hard, but it will make moving the training forward, much easier.
09. Make Use Of The Crate – But In The Right Way
A crate can be an invaluable tool in the learning process so long as it is used correctly. Many small dogs suffer from what is known as separation anxiety. When you leave, it causes your furry friend to feel super anxious, and sometimes even abandoned, which can result in a number of different behavioral issues. These can include excessive barking, howling, and/or being generally destructive. Crate training from an early age can reduce the chances of separation anxiety from ever developing. Placing your pooch in the crate, and leaving him in there for short periods of time, while you are home, will eventually make him feel comfortable in it.
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08. The Necessities Of Boundaries – And The Utter Importance Of Sticking To Them
Cementing your role as the ‘leader of the pack’ is important – remember that hierarchy? This is why having boundaries with your pooch, and sticking to them, is wholly necessary. Much like an unruly child, if you let them, they will walk all over you. Be resolute and it will affirm your status as the boss of the household. Everyone knowing, and respecting, their place will make everything so much easier in the household.
07. Training Sessions Should Always End On A Positive Note
Regardless of how the actual lesson goes, the training sessions should always end on a good note. Playing, going for a walk, etc. You want your precious canine companion to associate his lessons with positive feelings. Even if it was a ‘ruff’ day, playtime is still necessary after the session. It helps to strengthen your bond as well! Doing this will encourage him to look forward to his training sessions as well as help the pooch burn off any excess energy (you know, from having to sit still and pay attention!).
06. Discipline Should Be Immediate Or Not At All
Mistakes happen, they are inevitable. Whether it happens during the instruction session or any other time, any and all disciplinary action should happen as soon as the error does, or not happen at all. Dogs tend to have relatively short attention spans and they likely will not understand what they did wrong and why they are in trouble after a certain amount of time passes by. For instance, if your precious Pom ignores a command – it needs to be dealt with then and there. If not addressed in a timely manner, let it slide and move on.
05. The Tone Of Your Voice Matters
One of the biggest indicators that your dog ultimately pays attention to is the tone and inflection of your voice. Whenever you are training him, a firm, even, tone of voice should be used. Using the same tone during all sessions can help him understand that it is ‘time for business’. The tone of your voice should also reflect when he obeys a command, though, letting him know that he has done a good thing!
04. Use The Bond To Your Advantage
The majority of canines make it their life’s mission to please their owner and this is even more true with small breeds. They tend to bond themselves quite deeply to their ‘person’ and would do anything to make them happy. You need to make it clear that listening to, and obeying, your commands will make you be happy with them. The bond can be used to your advantage as your positive attention is typically the best motivation that a Pomeranian has.
03. Positive Reinforcement Can Be The Difference Between Success And Failure
Positive reinforcement is a large part of any dog training plan but is especially crucial with the Pomeranian breed. They are very much all about making and keeping their humans happy, therefore positive reinforcement could be the best tool in the training toolbox. Whether it is simply a ‘good boy’ or an actual tasty treat, the progress he makes should be positively reinforced.
02. Potty Training Is Likely Going To Be His Weak Point
Potty training is not going to be your Poms’ greatest strength, it really is a breed thing. A lot of times smaller breeds are harder to housebreak than larger dogs. Many people believe this is due to their high metabolism making them have to go to the bathroom more frequently. Regardless of the ultimate cause, smaller dogs can take a bit more work than their larger counterparts, to get them house trained.
01. Try Not To Have Unrealistic Expectations
There is a very good reason that Pomeranians are considered one of the most popular dog breeds – because they make absolutely fantastic companions. Plus, they are so incredibly cute. But, as with any pet ownership commitment, it is always a good idea to do your research, to know exactly what it is that you are getting into. One of the biggest mistakes people make when training their dogs, and Pomeranians in particular, are expecting them to become completely, 100% trained in a short amount of time. It takes work and it takes time. Oh, yea and don’t forget the never-ending patience!
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