How to Train a Pomeranian: Obedience and Potty Training

We all know what it’s like for our Pomeranians to misbehave when we get home from a long day, have friends and family over for a nice get-together, or simply want a relaxing time having dinner or watching television. If your anything like me, you absolutely love your special little guys and gals, but sometimes we as Pomeranian parents need to make sure our little joys are behaving properly.

The main issue when it comes to misbehaving Pomeranians is that they have an exorbitant amount of energy and have a character the size of Texas. They know very well when they’re not getting the attention they believe they deserve and will impose their will at command. Misbehavior is not uncommon in small breed dogs, and Pomeranians are certainly no exception.

It’s also difficult for a lot of Pomeranian parents to properly train their Pomeranians because it’s not very easy to impose restrictions on such a cute fluffy little creature. I actually believe this is one of the biggest issues since most Pomeranian parents want nothing but the best for their Pomeranians. They truly have a special place in our hearts!

However, misbehavior and lack of house training are traits no one can stand for very long, so it’s important to address these issues once and for all before they become worse and potentially irreversible.

Simple Reasons for Pomeranian Behavior Problems

Pomeranian in the grass

Whenever our Pomeranians misbehave, it’s either due to something they’ve learned or something that just has yet to be corrected. On top of that, many breeds of dogs start to misbehave when they become bored and frustrated. It’s in everyone’s best interest to curb these symptoms before they get out of hand, especially for you and your Pomeranians.

One way to tell if your Pomeranian is bored or frustrated is to ask yourself: Am I leaving them alone inside the house for too long? Pomeranians need to be able to have time to go outside and explore their surroundings. If they stay cooped up for 8 hours or more at a time, this might be the source of your problem.

Another major tell-tale cause of a misbehaving Pomeranian is that they lack enough exercise and activities. Pomeranians are social creatures, just like humans, so depriving them of social activity with other dogs could be a big reason why your Pomeranian is bored and frustrated.

But, of course, bad behavior in your Pomeranian could also be due to them not having a proper leader in their life. Let’s face it, if you’re their Pomeranian parent, but aren’t able to enforce rules or reward good behavior, they’ll never know the difference between right and wrong.

Being able to teach our Pomeranians the difference between right and wrong is probably the most important lessons we can pass on to them. Absent of these teachings, they’ll be the center of chaos in any situation, which will undoubtedly lead to neither you nor anyone else around you to particularly enjoy the company of your very own Pomeranians. And I predict that’s not a nice way to live.

When Pomeranians know the difference between right and wrong, they understand the behavior borders that are set and, more importantly, they know who the leader is when it comes to setting these borders. That leader is you.

What Do Pomeranians Want & Understand?

Pomeranian on a leash

Dogs are the type of animal to be led, and this is no different when it comes to Pomeranians. It’s likely that you’ve heard of the classic “alpha male” dog, and you’ll soon realize that that “alpha” must be you if you want your Pomeranian to behave properly.

Pomeranians are our little bundles of joy and happiness, but they can also act like little demons from time-to-time. By being the leader of your Pomeranians, they’ll not only know the difference between right and wrong, but they’ll know who’s in charge when it comes to setting the rules.

Pomeranians Want to Be Led

Ultimately, Pomeranians (like all dogs) want to be led by someone who can command respect as well as impose rules and behavioral boundaries. They so desperately want (and need!) someone to depend on who’s completely in control of any situation because they need that leader to lean on in times of discomfort and uncertainty.

By being that leader, you’re setting a precedent in your Pomeranian’s mind that they can depend on you in situations out of their control. They’ll be able to look up at you when they don’t know what to do next, which can be a great responsibility for any Pomeranian parent.

If you want your Pomeranian to be safe and secure without traversing through a complicated world, being their leader (and teacher) will allow them to feel more safe and secure. They’ll know you have their back and will always have the answers when they don’t have them themselves.

Your Pomeranian will be able to relax and act more calmly in moments of stress and tension because they’ll know you’ve got it under control. That’s what makes a great leader in a lot of circumstances, especially as a proud parent of a Pomeranian.

By being their leader you’ll ensure your Pomeranian will become less anxious, which we all know is a rather common Pomeranian trait.

Pomeranians Want to Be Liked

Pomeranians crave so much attention from us and others around us, it sometimes feels like they’re never satisfied. Whether they’re bouncing around the house during a get-together or they want to sit in the middle of a board game while me and my family are playing. They want their time to shine and their moment in the spotlight, which is really based on the desire to be liked.

The irony of Pomeranians being liked is that the more they bark or jump up on peoples’ legs to get attention, the fewer people like them! Pomeranians are already incredibly cute and lovable, so by them misbehaving they’re truly just making their desire to be liked worse and worse.

When you set the rules straight and ensure they’re better behaved, you as well as those around you will most definitely notice and start giving your Pomeranian the time of day. Petting will happen, “Oh, he’s so cute!” will happen, and more as long as they’re not screaming for this attention.

Also, what’s the point in having a Pomeranian that you nor anyone else likes? It’s our job as Pomeranian parents to ensure our little guys and gals are well-behaved so ourselves and others don’t want to shut them up in a room until the guests are gone. Nor do we want to be distracted incessantly while watching a movie or playing a board game with our family.

Being the leader of your Pomeranian by setting the rules of behavior is critical when making sure your Pomeranian is likeable. Making your Pomeranian likeable will increase your Pomeranian’s happiness due to the increased positive attention they’ll get. It’ll also instill inside them how they got to that point; thanks to their leader.

Pomeranians Understand the Consequences of Their Actions

Being able to derive the cause and effect of anything means a better understanding of the world around us. When it comes to leading Pomeranians to become better members of our family, this absolutely helps them by feeling more secure and confident. If your Pomeranian learns the outcome of certain actions, they’ll start behaving properly.

Instilling confidence and the feeling of being secure can have a powerful effect on Pomeranians because they learn which of their actions are right and wrong. When they’re able to distinguish between the two, they’ll have the knowledge and wisdom to make better choices when the time comes.

Pomeranians are rather intelligent dogs and can learn proper behavior quite quickly. They’re known to be able to perform tricks and follow orders very well, which is one of the reasons they’re usually top contenders in various dog shows around the world.

When their leader teaches them the difference between right and wrong with the proper reinforcements, they begin to learn the cause and effects of the world around them. This absolutely reduces the amount of anxiety in your Pomeranian and will ensure they develop the confidence every great dog needs.

By leading your Pomeranian to better understand the consequences of their actions, you’re making a better Pomeranian. Not only will it lead to better behavior, but it’ll lead to a confident Pomeranian that can take care of themselves if the time ever comes.

Pomeranians Learn What Human Words Mean

As I mentioned before, Pomeranians are an exceptionally smart breed and can learn a lot during their lives. From good behavior to tricks to dog show stances, their limits are seemingly limitless at times. Among the many positive traits they can learn, being able to understand the nuances of human words is certainly one of them.

Being able to teach your Pomeranian anything requires direction and reinforcement. That direction comes straight from you, which can be expressed through body language, tone of voice, and your exact words. As strange as it may seem, Pomeranians (and dogs in general) are able to pick up on these signals with enough practice.

The power of your Pomeranian being able to understand human words means they’ll know when to sit, be quiet, go to their bed, meet you at the front door, or anything else. It means you’re able to teach them important behavioral actions that increase their awareness and thus become more well-behaved.

While your Pomeranian won’t be able to understand sentences, small sets of words they’ve heard over and over again can produce a pattern in their minds. Just like humans, they’re able to find patterns in language (be it body or vocal), even if it’s an archaic form. This allows your Pomeranian to know what to do when you want them to do it.

Leading your dog with words can be a useful trait because your Pomeranian will be smarter, more confident, better behaved, and, best of all, happier.

How To Address Your Pomeranian’s Bad Behavior

Two Pomeranians listening

Pomeranians misbehaving isn’t new to any Pomeranian parent. Even when they’re well-trained and have the best intentions, they can still fall short of their training. That’s when being a good leader is as important as ever.

Having the leader mindset is extremely important when transforming your Pomeranian from misbehaving mischief to well-behaved buddy. However, you’ll need specific tactics to implement when the time is right for constructive feedback in regards to your Pomeranian’s behavior.

That’s why I’ve laid out some simple, yet effective, techniques to follow when you notice your Pomeranian doing something good and you want to reinforce it versus something bad and you need to discourage it. Both are important when it comes to teaching your Pomeranian right from wrong.

Encourage Good Behavior

Training your Pomeranian to become a good dog doesn’t only involve teaching them not to do certain things, but to also reinforce good behavior. Whenever you notice your Pomeranian doing something you want them to do every time, like go being quiet or sitting down when asked to, you’ll want to encourage that behavioral pattern in the future.

Give Them Treats

Probably the most effective way to reinforce good behavior with your Pomeranian is to give them treats when they do something good. This sends them a signal indicating that whenever they perform that certain action, they’ll be rewarded. I suggest you use a treat your Pomeranian knows and loves, and only use that specific treat for these moments. It’ll mean that much more to them.

I personally keep treats on me at all times in case I want to reinforce good behavior. Over the years, I’ve found the Hero Dog Treat Training Pouch (link to read reviews on Amazon) is an amazing resource to have on you when with your Pomeranian.

This requires some level of discipline for Pomeranian parents though. The discipline is making sure that you only give them treats when they demonstrate good behavior. That means no more after dinner treats or treats given at random because they’re doing something cute. If you hold strong in this regard, your Pomeranian will always know that a treat means what they did was good.

Give Them Attention

One of the most valuable gifts you can give any living being is your attention, and Pomeranians are especially demanding of yours. No one likes to be ignored, so giving your Pomeranian a little extra attention when they do something good is an effective and powerful way to indicate good behavior.

A good strategy when using attention as a form of reinforcing good behavior is to pet them and shake them up a little bit in a fun playful way followed by a treat. Not only are you reinforcing good behavior that they’ll learn over time, but your giving them a little praise party. We all know how much Pomeranians love this sort of attention, so you definitely want to add this to your good behavior reinforcement strategy.

Say “Good Boy!”

Similar to giving your Pomeranian attention after they’ve performed an action in a positive manner is to give them a nice and happy “Good boy!” Pomeranians are quite adept in understanding to tone of a human’s voice, especially their yours. By inflecting your voice and using the same sentence, like “Good boy”, you’re signaling to them they did a good thing.

In my experience, I’ve found this to be a good first action when giving them praise for doing a good job. Before I give them a treat or start to praise them, I always give them a nice “Good boy!” But it’s important to not use this too often outside of training your Pomeranian as they might begin producing habits in other activities that you didn’t intend.

Make Eye Contact

By now, we’re well aware that our Pomeranians want our attention as much as possible, so giving it to them in a large quantity when they demonstrate good behavior is an effective positive reinforcement strategy. That’s why making sure you make eye contact with your Pomeranian is absolutely required during training.

This is a big part of giving your Pomeranian proper attention when reinforcing good behavior. It may be difficult to make proper eye contact while they’re spinning non-stop, but a little goes a long way!

Discourage Bad Behavior

What do you do when you can’t seem to stop your Pomeranian from barking? What about when they drag their bottoms on the carpet? Or even constantly beg for food? Being a Pomeranian parent that leads is vitally important to teaching your Pomeranian the difference between right and wrong. By adopting some simple tactics and staying consistent in your actions, you’ll be able to improve the behavior of your Pomeranian for good.

Put Them in Time Out

When I was younger, it wasn’t uncommon to be put in time out if my siblings and I misbehaved, and the same should go for your Pomeranian when they misbehave as well. Making sure they know right from wrong is important, and putting them in a time out most definitely forces them to reflect on the cause and effect of their actions.

Pomeranians are very social animals, so removing them from a social environment and isolating them will have an impact. By putting them in a separate room or inside their dog crate, you’re forcing them to realize “Oh, I think I did something wrong”. Whenever I do this with Pomeranians, I put them in a separate room inside their crate for 30 minutes, which has worked really well!

There are a lot of really good dog crates out there, but I’ve found the fully equipped MidWest Homes for Pets Crate (link to read reviews on Amazon) to work very well for me and my Pomeranians.

Remove Yourself from the Area

Another strategy to discourage bad behavior with your Pomeranian is to remove yourself from the environment they’re in. This may sound strange, but it can have a strong impact on your Pomeranian if you’re their one-and-only (aka their favorite!). Again, Pomeranians crave attention and social interaction, so depriving them of it can be a powerful mechanism for discouraging bad behavior.

An example of this is to leave the room you’re in with your Pomeranian and go into another room where you can close the door. This is obviously a lighter form of punishment, but, again, if your Pomeranian is highly attached to you, it could cause them to miss you and wonder where you went.

Turn Your Back on Them

Whenever we give our Pomeranian’s attention, we’re giving them a little gift of love. But when they do something that’s wrong and we want to discourage it from ever happening again, turning your back on them can be quite effective. I’ve seen my Pomeranians react in bewilderment and end up in a calm state until I turn back around.

This is mainly effective when your Pomeranian’s are barking excessively or jumping up on you. If you turn your back and don’t give them any eye contact, they’re most definitely going to notice and will learn to calm down over time. Once they calm down, you know restricting attention worked to correct their bad behavior.

Say “No!”

The moment you notice your Pomeranian demonstrate bad behavior, it’s advised to say something like “No!”, point at them, and make continuous eye contact. As I mentioned before, Pomeranians have a strong sense for verbal and body communication, so doing this right off the bat can have lasting positive effects on your Pomeranians behavior.

This strong verbal command coupled with the rest of the actions to discourage bad behavior, when performed consistently over time, can have lasting positive outcomes on your Pomeranian. Before you know it, your Pomeranian will be a new dog, and you’ll have accomplished it without any harsh physical punishment.

How to Potty Training Your Pomeranian

Pomeranian lying down

There are a lot of positive behaviors we’d like to reinforce and a lot of negative behaviors we’d like to discourage when it comes to our Pomeranians, but by far the most common form of proper training we want our Pomeranians to have is house training. Teaching our Pomeranians where and potentially when to use the bathroom is important, and thankfully Pomeranians are intelligent enough to pick it up quickly.

1. Take Your Pomeranian out Regularly

One of the most effective ways at the beginning of house training your Pomeranian is to take them outside, or to their bathroom mat, every 2-3 hours. This forces them to realize where it’s appropriate to go to the bathroom, regardless of where they need to go.

This may seem excessive at first in terms of the amount of times you’ll need to do this, but it’s only during the time their being house trained. Again, it’s a way of telling them “This is where you go to the bathroom”. It can be a very powerful mechanism when done consistently.

2. Finding Who Did It

If you have several dogs and you see one of them has gone to the bathroom where they shouldn’t have, you’ll need to first find the culprit. Luckily for us, it’s not too difficult to find the guilty pup as dogs, including Pomeranians, aren’t very good at hiding their guilt.

To make your dogs know that going to the bathroom is bad (if they’re not already aware), you want to go to the scene of the crime and give the “Who did this tone”. If you see your Pomeranian not making eye contact with you, walking with their tail down, or hiding somewhere in the house, you know for sure it’s them.

3. Gentle Discipline

When it comes to general Pomeranian misbehavior, I don’t encourage physical force at all as I don’t think it’s necessary when discouraging bad behavior. However, when it comes to house training a light pat on the butt is, in my opinion, useful and necessary. Thankfully, you’ll never have to do this again once their properly house trained.

The most effective method I’ve found when house training my Pomeranians (and other dogs) is to roll up a magazine, hold the back of their collar, make them see close enough the mess they made, and a few times say “No!” followed by a very light pat on the butt with the rolled up magazine. Whatever you do, don’t hurt your Pomeranian! You just want them to realize that this won’t be tolerated ever in your or anyone else’s house.

4. “Go to Your Room”

After finding out who did it and giving them a gentle discipline, you’ll want to isolate them for a short amount of time so they can reflect on the cause and effect of their actions. This is a vital part of the disciplinary cycle when house training. Both you and your Pomeranian need to enter a calm state.

Whenever I have to house train a Pomeranian, I always put them outside the house in the backyard for 30 minutes as a way of isolating them. You can also put them in a crate that’s in a separate room so they’re still isolated, but they may still hear activity in the house and your goal is to really isolate them. I’ve found this to be extremely effective, especially when witnessing their behavior after letting them back inside.

5. They’re Still Good Dogs

The final step is to let your dog back inside or free them from their crate. They’re going to be so happy! They’re going to jump, spin, and lick you all over. Remember, your dog wants to be lead and doesn’t want to displease you, so by teaching them the correct way to use the bathroom is an important step for a dog and their leader.

I think it’s important that the person in the house who disciplines their Pomeranian be the same person who lets them back inside. This allows for reconciliation between the two parties and a mutual excitement to see one another again after the event. Be warm and welcome to your Pomeranian! Embrace and play with them! It’s really a fantastic moment.