Training your Pomeranian puppy is one of the most important things you can do, as one of the reasons so many dogs are surrendered to animal shelters is a lack of training. Consistency is the key whether you are house training or training your pup to sit.
House training is one of the first things you need to teach. Your pup may not be physically ready to learn when you first get him, but you must start training him right away. You should not expect to see results until after the pup has reached 12 weeks. This is more often the time they gain, and understand how to control, their body functions.
Because house training requires attention and time it is best to plan on getting a pup when you have the time to devote to training it. If you work an 8 hour day, or have young children who need your attention, you might not find this easy to do.
1. Crate Training, Why?
Crate training has proven to be the most successful method of house training pups. Your Pom pup will usually resent the crate at first but eventually he will come to know it as his safe place. The crate training method will save you a lot of grief because the pup will be contained and not out destroying your home. Having a Pomeranian that accepts being in a crate will make it a lot easier for you if you have to kennel him or take him on trips. Some areas have laws that pets cannot be loose in your vehicle. Dogs who are not used to being kenneled will become scared and stressed if they have to be kenneled at a groomer or veterinarian office.
The whole idea behind crate training is that a dog does not want to mess in its' bed. So by confining it to a small space you force it to hold its bladder and bowels until it can be out.
The pup must be able to stand up and turn around in the crate, however you do not want a crate that is too large. If your crate is too big the pup can still mess in the crate and sleep in another area. Line the crate with a blanket.
Pomeraians are small enough that you only need one crate for the life of the dog. Sometimes you can save money by buying use crates, just make sure to wash them well with bleach.
2. Getting Started
The first few nights will be the worst. Put the crate near the back door, rather than in your bedroom. This makes it easier to get the pup out quicker, plus you won't hear the whining so it will be easier to ignore. You may find it handy to put a radio next to the crate and have music on softly to sooth the pup.
In the morning you must be ready to go. Get the pup out of the crate and quickly outside. You must go out with the pup too. Have in your pocket a “soft treat reward” ready to offer as soon as your Pomeranian puppy urinates. A soft treat reward can be a cut up hot dog, cheese, or soft dog treat. It is important these rewards be chopped very small. Too much will make your dog fat and you will be using a lot of rewards for training.
Dogs will usually urinate within minutes of getting outside first thing in the morning, you must offer the reward and praise the pup right away. Then it is back inside to eat. After breakfast you and the pup must go back outside again. Usually within 20 minutes of eating they will have a bowel movement. Running will stimulate the bowels. Again you must be ready with the soft treat reward, and a lot of praise. Try to pick up the dogs mess right away so you discourage the bad habit some pups learn, of eating their own stool. Now you should be fine to go in for a while. Crate the dog if you must go to work or be away, but other wise allow it to remain loose in the home. You might find a baby gate to be handy to keeping the pup in a certain area of the house. Do not take your eyes off of it. As soon as it starts to circle and sniff the ground this is your cue to go back outside again.
The better quality food your pup is on will determine how often it has a bowel movement. Better food = less poop. In fact some dogs on high quality food will only go poop once in the morning.
Remove all uneaten food within half hour of feeding. Small breed pups, such as Pomeranians should be fed three or four times a day. Remove water two to three hours before bed. Just before bed take the pup out again, and as always you must go out too, ready to offer the reward. Make sure you let the dog run and play. As your pup ages you may also use these outside times to get him, or her, used to the leash and collar.
Continue daily, dogs thrive on routine. He may want to stay out in the yard longer than you do, and this is okay, but remember dogs are basically pack animals, they will not want to be left alone too long. The key to successful house training is dependent on you being out with the rewards. People often get lazy and wait for the dog to come in before rewarding it, but the dog then associates the reward with coming in. If you are consistent you should have a fully house trained pup in a few weeks.
The next thing your Pomeranian pup should learn is to Sit. Because they are short this is more difficult for you than when training a larger dog, simply because of the bending. To train a pup to sit you need to have it standing at first, again you want to be ready with small, soft, treats, for rewards. The pup should be facing you, and on a short leash. Let the pup know you have treats in your hand. It will naturally want to get these treats and move so it can. If you are right handed, hold the leash loosely with your left hand, and move your right hand over the dogs head, from nose to the top of their head. Say “Sit”. The dogs nose will follow the treat, and the dog quite naturally will sit. Reward and wait a bit before repeating for reinforcement.
Your Pomeranian pup also needs to learn Down. This again means you need lots of treats. With the dog standing in front of you, pinch the treat between your fingers and put your hand to the ground in front of the dog, saying “Down” the dogs nose follows, and when its little bum hits the ground too, you can reward.
Socialization is a step often ignored by owners of small dogs, such as Pomeranians. It is best learned by taking the animal to proper puppy obedience classes where it can meet and interact with dogs of all shapes and sizes. If a person is unable to take their dog for such encounters, trips to the dog park are good as well (make sure your dog is fully vaccinated first). Resist the urge to pick the dog up as this teaches it to be fearful of larger dogs.
Pomeranians are smart dogs, and enjoy being active, they would benefit from further training, even agility lessons. You can do more research on any specific avenue you would like to pursue with your dog according to your needs and desires.