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Pomeranian Barking

Understanding Your Pom's Bark

A Pomeranian's bark is their voice. It is the way in which your dog will ask for something, warn you if he feels something may be a potential threat, or try to gain attention for no other reason than wanting your companionship.

With this said, it's important to separate valid barking with non-valid and take steps to correct this when needed.   

Once you realize the trigger, while it will take some patience and effort on your part, training a Pom to stop barking can be done. 
Reasons for Barking

Protecting You - Don't let their size fool you! Because they are weary of strangers, Pomeranians make excellent watchdogs and you will hear this type of barking to alert you to anything unusual. This breed is very alert to what is happening and very alert to his or her surroundings. This can begin at an early age, with even young puppies having the instinct to alert you to what they perceive as possible threats.
Believing they are much larger than they are, they will bark to protect the people they love. As with any dog, you may wish to understand the different reasons why your dog barks and then you can begin to take steps to stop it.

Self Protection Instinct - Another reason is self protection. A Pomeranian may also guard their toys and food bowls. Make your Pomeranian feel safe and secure that no one is going to take their food and toys. Put their dish in a quiet corner and do not bother your dog while they eat. 

Do not allow people to rush around the dog or yell while the dog is eating.
Cute close up of Pomeranian
If your pup sees or hears loud commotions while eating, they may feel they are in a rush and/or that their food is vulnerable to being taken away. Each meal should be a peaceful event.

Boredom - Lack of stimuli can be a very common reason for this and other unpleasant behavior. Poms may bark incessantly if they are not socialized at a young age and if they are not supplied with a variety of toys. Giving your Pom lots of different toys is not spoiling them if it meets their needs for stimulus. It can help to have a large assortment of different types....One batch can be kept out for play and the other put away out of sight...Then every couple of weeks, an owner can switch them, and this is akin to always having new ones! 

It helps to offer interesting toys that are interactive and actually fun, as mental stimulation can make a world of difference. the goal is to offer a stimuli that keeps a dog focused on the task at hand, which offsets undesirable behavior. We have a section where we talk about the best toys for Pomeranians.

Too Much Excitement- Another reason can be excitement...and dogs can get overly excited when owners arrive home and this can lead to crazy barking and even accidental elimination or urination. Even a Pomeranian that is house trained may exhibit excitement urination when greeting you. It usually occurs in puppies and a dog can be so excited that he is unaware that he is urinating. As a puppy matures and develops bladder control, the problem will usually disappear. Over-excitement can cause out of control behavior.
When You Come Home- Sometimes, behavior is worst right as you pull up to your home and get ready to enter through the door. The best treatment for this is to prevent your Pom from becoming overly excited; you can do this by exposing your dog to the stimulus that excites him, over and over until it no longer excites him.

When you get home, it will be difficult, but ignore him for several minutes, not giving into the instinct to look or interact. Then leave again for a few minutes, return and ignore, leave, return and ignore. Keep doing this until you can see that your dog is not only unexcited, but is actually getting bored with the whole thing. When your dog has calmed down and is no longer excited when you come in, very quietly and calmly say hello. If any signs of over-excitement develop, give a pat, exit and repeat the coming-and-going routine.

Other Tips

Keeping the day from being tedious and under-stimulating can be of great help. Pomeranians are active little dogs; they need stay busy and to feel like part of the family. Boredom can be a serious issue for some Pomeranians. Try to break up the day with activities that you will do with your Pom. Following a schedule is best...Poms have an amazing internal clock...And will quickly catch on to when to expect a certain activity. Each day should include specific times for:
  • Command training
  • Walks
  • Play Time (interactive games such as Fetch, Hide & Seek, etc)
  • Scheduled meal times
  • Relaxing time with the family (sitting beside you to watch TV, etc)
  • If possible, time with other dogs such as visiting your neighbor's dog or a family member's dog... This is a great way for extra activity and to help a Pomeranian learn socialization skills with other pets.
  • Running errands with you - Learn which stores and public places will allow small dogs. With that list in mind, any time that you do need to go to that store or location, do try to bring your Pom with you. Be sure to secure him or her in a canine car safety seat while in the car. A pet sling is great for carrying your Pom against your body, leaving your hands free to shop, etc. Seeing new people and being brought to new places is an important part of socialization (it allows the dog to become accustomed to new noises, scents and so many other elements - which will, in turn, cause them to bark less when they encounter those elements at a later time).
side view of Pomeranian
At Night- Your Pomeranian must learn that barking for your attention doesn't work. Only if you highly suspect that your Pom needs to go to the bathroom, should he be approached and brought to the designated area. This should be done with minimal talking and zero playing.

If your Pom has just eliminated and the reason cannot be for bathroom needs, and you are sure that he is safe and sound, the method of completely ignoring the barks is what will bring you peace within 1 to 3 weeks.

It is hard for new owners to do this and human instinct tells us to rush to a loved one when they call out (or bark, in the case of a dog)...
However, doing so teaches a dog that his owner will come running, day or night...and this can be the foundation for poor sleeping habits that last a lifetime.

Make sure your Pomeranian has plenty of water, a treat or two and some toys that he can reach if he refuses to sleep. After ignoring his attention-getting behavior for a short while, he will learn to mimic you: he will sleep when you do. Ignoring dogs we love is not always easy, but if done for training methods, it is temporary and will lead to a long life together with peace and happiness. 
Sirens and Other Loud Noises- This is called Disturbance barking. If you think that this disturbs you, please remember that in this case your Pom is being being highly disturbed! Since a dog's hearing is so sensitive, when your Pomeranian hears any type of siren this can actually cause severe aggravation and unrest. Imagine if without warning, someone blew a whistle right into your ear and continued doing it for a while! This is how your Pomeranian most likely feels when hear a siren.

What can you do to help? If you are outside, bring your dog inside. Whether outside or inside, do not reprimand him or her. This reaction is not due to "bad" behavior. Reassure your dog that everything is alright. Talk in a calm voice and gently pat them. If a siren goes off only every now and then, this is all you should do to help your dog.

If you live in an area that is very noisy with alarms and sirens always going off, you may wish to attempt to train your dog to become somewhat adjusted.

Some dogs will respond well to desensitization training or this issue. The method behind this type of dog training is to slowly ease your dog into becoming used to an element, in this case: sirens. You most likely will not be able to train them to remain calm for every siren, however this can definitely help.

You would obtain a small siren. You have many options, however we have found that using a smoke alarm siren works well. Duck tape is put over the siren where the noise emits. Therefore, when you press the button to make the alarm go off, it will be at approximately 1/5 of the normal noise volume. Test this before you begin training. Most importantly, this training will not end with the maximum noise being emitted. A certain amount of duck tape will always be used.

The owner would sit down with their Pom and press the alarm. The tone of your voice and your actions must show your Pomeranian that there is nothing to be afraid of. In this case, you do not want your voice to be soothing, you want to talk in a matter-of-fact sort of way. If the dog responds well to the low level siren, you should reward him or her with tons of praise and a doggie treat.

This type of training takes a while. Work with your dog each day. Slowly increase the noise level every 2 weeks. As time goes by, be in another room and do not allow your dog to know when you will be commencing the training. Do not, please we repeat do not have the siren at full noise capacity and hold it up to your dog! This could cause injury to the ear drum. The idea of this type of dog training is to simply allow your Pomeranian to slowly become accustomed to loud and unexpected noises. 
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