Call us: 555-555-5555


Creating a Close Bond with Your Pomeranian


If you are reading this, most likely you love your Pom and he or she certainly loves you back, however you may feel that there could be a better bonding… a closer relationship… perhaps a bit more trust and a stronger feeling that the two of you are without doubt, best friends.

You might think that bonding should be a natural process; however there are many elements that can come in the way of a strong relationship taking place. 

Perhaps your Pomeranian is very young and just doesn’t seem interested in much… owners of puppies can feel as if they are being ignored and wonder if their dog doesn't like them. Even older dogs may seem distant and not overly fond of cuddling or showing affection.

The truth is that all dogs are capable of having very strong feelings toward their owners, but in some cases this needs to be cultivated and for many Pomeranians, there needs to be regular interaction that not only holds together the relationship that you have established, but also works to increase the bond.
If this issue is ignored, very little will change. Dogs and particularly Pomeranians, often do not engage first… they will not make the first move to have an exchange… they take cues from their owners and will only bond well if the owner is in charge of the process. However this is good news, since it means you can take purposeful steps to grow the relationship.
Signs of Weak Bonding

The following are signs that there can be come improvement in regard to the bond that you have with your Pomeranian. The more that you can agree to, the more effort and work that will need to go into improving the relationship. Do keep in mind, that if there is not a strong bond, this is not a personal reflection of either your or your dog… even loving owners may find that somehow important bonding rituals were not done often enough or there were extenuating circumstances that prevent spending enough time together. 
  • Little or no desire to play
  • Little or no eye contact
  • Not wanting to cuddle or be petted
  • Attempts to run off when being picked up
  • Not listening to commands
  • Aggression such as baring the teeth or growling
Pomeranian playing with owner
Takara, 2 years old
"Playing dead" until her owner gives the signal for a treat
Photo courtesy of Paul and Catherine Shinn
How Much Bonding to Expect

A Pomeranian is 100% capable of feeling and expressing love. This is a very sensitive and affection breed. However as touched on above, many Poms do not make the first move. A Pomeranian left to his own defenses will not typically 'extend a hand' to form a friendship with a human. He craves it. He will relish it once it is established and once a bond is strong a Pom will be your best and most loving friend to the end… but many need the owner to do things, say things and create an environment that is conducive to this.  
It has been proven that canines do have a wide range of emotions. Science has proven that canines have many of the same brain structures that we do, that are responsible for emotion. 

And it has been determined that dogs have the emotional development of a 2.5 year old human child. Well, if you have been around a toddler, you know that this is quite something! Dogs will feel sad, happy, excited, jealous and feel strong affection which has been equated to feeling love. And when dogs love their human, unless there is neglect or trauma this love is for life. Dogs do not even 'break up' with an owner or become angry enough to call it quits!

So, once you have a good foundation and you work to grow the bond between you and your Pomeranian, you will have a dog that is as close to you emotionally as possible. Your Pom will be your best friend and your closest confident (even if he or she cannot verbalize this back to you). 

Uninterested Puppies

If you have a very young Pomeranian puppy that does not seem interested in your or essentially ignores you, it's important to not take this personally. Puppies can have a hard time focusing on any one thing…and it takes time for a puppy to realize just who you are and what an important role you play in his life. 
If you follow all of the upcoming advice for bonding, the attachment that your puppy will have with you, will grow over time. 
Pom with owner
Mac, 11 years old, relaxed & happy, snuggled to his owner
Photo courtesy of Michelle
Issues that May Masquerade as Emotional Distance

One thing to keep in mind is that many of the signs of what we would classify as a dog not caring or not wanting to be close, may actually be a symptom of a medical problem. Any time that a dog is feeling discomfort or pain, he may retreat and want to be alone. Why? When a canine is ill or injured, he feels vulnerable - even with loving owners - and instinct tells him to retreat and keep his distance. So, if your Pom has suddenly started acting odd and keeping away or is a puppy and despite the steps listed here, just does not respond, this is a reason to have him or her be brought for a full veterinary examination. 

Another element is that when a dog is afraid, this can really alter his personality. A Pomeranian that is scared may cower on his bed try to hide under the bed or look for a safe spot in a closet. He may be wary of coming close, may shake and/or have trouble eating. There are issues of acute issues such as a dog getting startled by lightening or a loud noise. However, there can be ongoing issues of a Pom experiencing some sort of emotional stress that is preventing normal interaction and therefore, any bonding.

A common reason is separation anxiety; some Poms get so nervous and stressed that it is difficult to 'go back to normal' even after an owner arrives back home. 
Less common but certainly something to keep in mind are two issues that we have helped owners with lately. The first problem may be a Pomeranian that is harassed and bothered by another pet. If owners are not home, they may not see this happening. 

However, it can cause a Pom to be very upset at all times... not wanting to play or interact…and some may be so 'bullied' that it affects everything from eating to sleeping. Another rare but possible issue is that another human is mistreating the dog. Sadly, this was the case recently with a young woman whose boyfriend was jealous of her Pomeranian and took this out on the dog when she was not looking. It is shocking and not something that one would want to think about, however since this can happen, it is something to consider if things appear that this may possibly be the case.

Pomeranians or any other dogs for that reason, just cannot act normal and have a close bond with their owner if they are living under stress and experiencing problems on a constant basis. As long as the home environment IS one of peace, love and happiness, you can move on to learn how to bond with your Pom…. And if there are issues that need looking at, certainly do this before going any further. 

Another element that can be mistaken for a bonding problem is actually play, believe it or not. We recently corresponded with an owner who was troubled that her Pomeranian would only come to her halfway and then would lie down, seemingly act afraid, keeping staring but refuse to come any closer. In response, she would pick up the Pom and once settled on the sofa with her, the Pom was happy, content and loving. Why would her dog do this? It was determined that her Pom was actually playing a game and was essentially 'trained' to act this way. He would lie down and act as he did, knowing that the next step 'should be' that the owner came over and scooped him up. 

Finally, a chaotic household that has frequent yelling, overcrowding, loud music and other elements that strip away a sense of peace and security will often affect a dog negatively and to the point that he is too overwhelmed to relax and even try to enjoy any interaction. In order to have a close bond with a dog, the dog needs to first feel safe and content in a safe, warm, peaceful, happy home. Without this, it is an uphill battle and if these elements are not offered, it could be considered neglect.  
How to Better Bond with Your Pomeranian

There is not one magic remedy for close bonding. Rather, to have a great relationship with your Pomeranian, it is a matter of many things all working together that combine to create a great friendship and one of respect. 

1) Establish yourself as the leader. If you want to bond with your Pomeranian, you probably are thinking that you want your dog to be your best friend… and this can happen, but respect must be there first. We must remember that the canine to human relationship is different than human to human bonds. Canines without structure…without a real leader… without the safety of a true 'pack' and clear hierarchy are often confused, will try to take over as leader themselves and will certainly not have the right foundation to listen or properly interact. 

This cannot be achieved in one day and owners should follow these rules at all times. Once a Pom learns this, it needs to continue to be reinforced. In addition, every human in the house should also follow these guidelines, since problem can arise if only one or some humans do this and others ignore this. 

The best methods to gain respect is to:
Pomeranian puppy acting silly
Paris, 4 months old
Photo courtesy of Tonia Johnson
* Only place down food after the 'sit' command is obeyed. Since we can grab food basically any time we wish, it may be easy to forget that for a dog, his food source = life. Dogs quickly learn to have respect for owners who make it very clear that they are the reason the food is being placed down. Never tease a dog with food or make a big deal about it, however expecting a Pomeranian to sit on command for each meal and snack is good way to build a respectful relationship. 

* While you may need to stretch your arm out to do this, it is also very helpful to be the one to enter and exit the house first. When a dog is allowed to charge ahead first, this can be interpreted as being in charge! 

* Expect your Pom to heel to you when walking. Far too many owners simply accept the situation of the dog walking ahead… people may joke that it is a case of a dog walking the owners; but this is not joke and is in fact how a dog will see things. Someone needs to lead and be in charge of the pace of walking and the destination and that should be you, not your Pom. Use a harness on your Pomeranian, keep the leash short, and with your dog to your left do not accept anything other than him or her keeping pace with you, walking in tandem. 
Pomeranian for blog
"Woof, rufff, rrrr...grrr... UMPHF!"

Translation: "Tweets for treats...? ... or share for... ahh... a pear??? 
Well, you get the gist! Show me some love & share this site before you read on."
2) Teach your Pom an agility exercise. While this breed can do well with short bars for jumping, pole weaving is typically the easiest and one of the most fun agility activities your dog could do. These can be set up indoors or outdoors. While you can use just about any objects, both of you will have more fun if you use actual weaving poles which are colorful and the size appropriately for toy breeds.  
3) Train your Pomeranian for a new command or trick. When a dog and an owner are working hard toward a goal, this itself is a great bonding experience, regardless of how long it takes. As long as you have tons of enthusiasm and your Pom enjoys this time due to being rewarded for trying hard, that is all that matters. And of course, a great added benefit is that your Pom will be a well-trained dog. Whether you aim for a simple 'Down' or a more complicated 'Spin', this is a great method to feel that you've achieved something together. 

4) Have your Pom help you with household chores. When we are rushing around cleaning and trying to get things done in the house, it's easy to place our Pom in his area and go about our chores; however this is a huge missed opportunity to bond. Slow down the pace a bit and allow your Pomeranian to be your assistant. While a task may need to be moved to another day, the enjoyment that you receive far outweighs the extra time needed. While your dog may be confused on the first day, if this is done on a regular basis, you might be surprised just how much bonding can take place and how good a Pom can get at certain tasks. 

One of the best chores to take on together is sorting clean laundry. We've found that teaching a Pom to give us socks or small wash clothes, gives him a job that he can be proud of. It takes a while to teach a dog which items to mouth and 'hand over'; however with consistent practice this can easily be accomplished. After a while, a Pom will get very excited that it is 'laundry time' and will rush over to help. Be sure to always end with a super tasty reward for the good work. 
5) Bring your Pom with you as often as you can. There are several things that prevent an owner from bringing their Pomeranian along with them to run errands and whatnot. First, some owners worry that if they spend too much time together, this will increase the dog's separation anxiety as he will be 'too used' to being with the owner. However, this is not true and having a full and happy life outside of those times of being home alone can only increase a dog's overall happiness. 

The second issue is that owners may just want to rush out to get things done as quickly as possible, rationalizing that they will just leave their Pom home since they will be back soon. However this is also a huge missed opportunity to bond. Whether you dashing off to grab milk at the corner store or need to explore a hardware store for just the right item, bring your Pom when at all possible. 
Bring your Pom with you
Zara, 3 years old
Photo courtesy of David Bonn
The last issue that gets in the way is excuses…. My Pom doesn't like the car…. That store may not allow dogs…. What fun will he/she have at the garden shop…and it goes on. It must be remembered that if a dog does not like the car, riding in the car is the very thing that will allow him to become accustomed to it. And there are a zillion stores that do allow toy sized breeds if they are in a carry bag or sling. Placing your Pomeranian in a sling is a great method because they are so easy; they go around you similar to a pocketbook, but are sized and have support for a dog to feel comfortable, with his head out and able to look around. Many Poms find the rhythmic motion of being in one while you walk to be quite relaxing.

And last but not least, a dog enjoys being with his owner no matter what and no matter where. A dog home alone is certainly going to be more bored than along with you, even if you don't think the event is interesting. If want your Pomeranian to be your little buddy, you need to let him be one… and that is done by doing things together.
Pomeranian male
Spencer, 8 months old
Photo courtesy of the Marks Family
6) Be silly. Dogs do have their own personalities, however with this said, they mimic owners a LOT. If an owner is depressed, lethargic, moody or sad, their dog will be as well. If an owner dances when a song comes on the TV, sings when it's raining and makes silly faces for no reason other than to be silly, a dog will learn to have a sense of humor too. When you are outside in your yard in the summer heat, turn on the water hose and see if your Pom wants to play in the stream…. When you want your Pom to check out a new toy and he's not interested, roll around on the floor, wave it in the air and let out a 'whahhhhttt?" in a silly voice! 

Play with your Pomeranian as if you are trying to amuse a baby… act engaging… have enthusiasm… smile!. 

The vibe of the house should be light, fun and filled with happiness… and a dog in that environment will thrive and be much more prone to want to bond. 

7) Take on a new challenge. Whether this is getting your Pom a life vest, dabbing sunscreen on his nose and taking him out on a canoe… or waking up early to finally go see that sunrise over the ocean… or choosing an 'easy' hiking trail that will lead you both to new sights and sounds…. Choose something new to do with your Pom. Many owners hesitate to explore like this because they are alone; but when you have a dog you truly are never alone! 

When you want to have a really great bond with a dog, it's important to not focus on what may be missing and move forward in a direction of growth with tons of enthusiasm. Whether your Pom is shy or is young and needs time to learn about the world… or needs a nudge each day to interact… it is you who needs to engage your Pom. Very rarely will a dog all on his own suddenly pick up a toy and ask to play when there is not a history of playing. And since our dogs can't speak in the traditional way, just assume that he DOES want to help with things in the house, does want to go to store and will be super happy to be brought somewhere new or to try and learn a new command or trick.  

It's so easy to get stuck in our ways, that we don't make changes… but to limit yourself and the relationship with you dog in that way is such a shame. Dogs are so capable of offering us a rich and loving friendship; for some it just takes a bit of purposeful effort. 
Share by: