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Barking

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Pomeranian
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Pomeranian Barking

Overview

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. 

Valid 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 aware of his 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.
This all said, issues can arise if a Pom starts barking at everything little thing. The mailman, the sound of neighbors next door, just about any noise. 

Ahead, we discuss ways to deal with this. 

Self Protection Instinct - Another reason is self protection. A Pomeranian may guard his toys and food bowl. Make your Pomeranian feels safe and secure that his belongings, and especially his dishes, are not vulnerable. 

Set up a quiet eating spot and do not allow foot traffic or interruptions during meal time. 
Cute close up of Pomeranian
Boredom - Lack of stimuli can be a very common reason for barking and other unpleasant behavior. While you certainly do not need to be right by your Pom's side and provide entertainment all day, there should be a routine.

Additionally, if you do not keep up with daily walks, a Pomeranian can develop the canine equivalent of cabin fever. And this can lead to all sorts of issues with feeling restless, barking included.   

More ahead on ways to help with this.

Too Much Excitement- Another reason can be excitement. 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 have this problem. 

How to Stop a Pomeranian From Barking - Daytime, in House

1) Have a schedule to prevent boredom and issues with pent-up energy. 

Keeping the day from being tedious and under-stimulating can be of great help. Pomeranians are active little dogs; they need stimulation... to stay busy, and to feel like part of the family. Try to break up the day with activities that you will do with your Pom. 

Following a schedule is best as 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:
  • Grooming - This involves brushing the coat and wiping down the eye area. Every 3 weeks, it will be bath time. Every 6 weeks, it will be time to check the nails. 
  • Command training - This is a great activity that is great for so many reasons. It creates a strong bond, give a dog self-confidence, teaches restraint and control, and of course, it leads to your Pom being better at listening to you. 
  • Walks - Take your Pom for walk twice per day, for at least 20 minutes, and at a pace that is brisk for your particular dog. 
  • Play Time - Interactive games such as Fetch, Hide & Seek, etc. 
  • Scheduled meal times- Most Poms need at least 2 meals per day, some do best with 3. 
  • 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 in your area 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).
2) Interrupt and Redirect Focus

This is stop daytime barking in the house. We will discuss barking at night below in the next section. 

With this method, you will take action to cause your Pom to pause, and then you will immediately redirect his focus to something different. 

So, there are 2 things that you will need:

#1. A method to cause your barking Pomeranian to take pause. If your Pom understands the 'Sit' command, and also listens to you when you give a stern 'No!', then this may very well be enough to cause him to stop barking when you order 'No!' in a firm voice and command a 'Sit' (to then be ready for step #2).

However, many Poms will keep barking right through such a thing. For this reason, a behavior interrupter device can work very well. 

We highly recommend The Company of Animals' Pet Corrector. Here is how it works: It is about the size of a small travel-size hair spray bottle. You press the button (pointed up or to the side), and it releases a quick burst of compressed air and 100% safe, specialized gas. This creates a particular hissing noise. 

This hissing noise is super effective at making a dog stop in his tracks. Whatever his behavior happens to be... barking, jumping up, etc. 

The noise that it makes is not that loud, so it does not really startle a dog, it just gets his attention super quick.
#2. An item to redirect your Pomeranian's focus. Once you have quickly and effectively gained your Pom's attention and he has stopped barking for the moment, the next important step is to redirect his attention to something else. And that something else must be something that keeps him interested. 

Do not worry about this step seeming to be a reward for barking. You have already stopped your Pom from barking with Step #1. So, this is actually reward for not barking, and of course serves the purpose of no barking in the immediate future. 

For this, you will want to use a toy, but not just any toy. It is important that this toy be 1) one that your Pom does not generally have access to and 2) one that can really attract and keep his attention. 

A toy that makes noise or speaks is great for this. One like the Pet Qwerks Talking Babble Ball Dog Toy lets out 20 different funny wisecracks, like 'hot diggity dog!', 'yeah, baby!', and 'Here, puppy!'. It is motion activated, and also goes into sleep mode when not being used so that it does not waste batteries.
Another great choice is Multipet's Look Who's Talking Cow Toy for Dogs; this is a durable stuffed animal that let's out a moo'ing sound. And the Multipet line has all sorts of other animals like parrots, ducks, frogs, monkeys, and even a cute koala bear.  

Barking at Night

When a puppy or dog barks at night, most owners assume that this is due to having a need. A need for food, or to be warmer, or to go to the bathroom.

However, in many cases this is a need for attention. And if you do what many owners do, which is get out of bed and dash over to your Pom, you will be teaching him a very bad habit. And one that may just keep causing you to be woken up with barking night after night.

What you'll want to do, is be sure that your Pom has everything that he needs to be super comfortable, and to stay busy if he wakes up. 
And only if you highly suspect that your Pom needs to go to the bathroom, should he be approached and brought to the designated bathroom area.This should be done with minimal talking and zero playing, as it should be considered a very serious time.

For maximum comfort and happiness, and to decrease barking, your Pom should have:

#1 A quality bed located within an appropriately sized indoor canine playpen.

Do not use a crate. Crates are terribly confining, and no one could blame a dog for barking like mad when in one. 

Use a good-sized heavy plastic or nylon and mesh playpen. And within that have a great bed. Both of these things work in conjunction to create the feeling of a 'den'. And when a canine has his 'den', he feels safe. It is an automatic feeling of security. 
#2 Food and water.

It is not uncommon for a Pomeranian to wake up in the middle of the night and bark due to being hungry or thirsty. Be sure that within his pen is some of his favorite food and enough water that he can drink whenever he has the need.  
#3 Items to stay busy.

Sometimes, a puppy or dog needs a bit of time to fall back to sleep. And if he has nothing to occupy him, he may very well start barking. 

There are a few good choices.

One is a treat release toy of appropriate size. If a puppy is busy nibbling, he's not going to be barking. While Kongs are a favorite for many dogs, most are just too big for tiny Pom puppies and even some older adult Poms. 

So, a great treat release toy is the PetSafe Busy Buddy Treat Release Toy - Extra Small. It is just about the smallest treat dispenser that there is, and it is actually 3 small connected balls so each ball releases tiny treats. 
Another is a speaking or noise maker, as described earlier. Those babble balls and Multipets are really wonderful. 
#4 Something to offer comfort.

While you do not want to run to your Pom every time he barks or cries at night, because to do so does not allow him to learn to self-soothe, and can be the foundation for a lifetime of habits, this does not mean that a Pomeranian has to figure things out on his own without help.

One of the major reasons for barking, whining, and crying at night is true loneliness that often occurs when a young pup is taken from his dam and littermates.

We really love the Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy; it is a good-sized, durable stuffed animal that emits a soothing heartbeat and optionally, a comforting warmth. It mimics a real-life pup can can be fantastic in calming a pup down. Often, this stops barking in the first place so that it does not become an issue at all. 

Barking at Other Dogs

Does your Pom go crazy when he sees other dogs? Does he lunge, leap, and bark like mad when all you're trying to do is walk him? If so, you are not alone. Luckily, there is help for this.

Do not: The worse thing that you can do is refrain from taking your Pom out. Many owners skip walks because they just don't want to deal with all of the hoopla. However, if you do not face this head on, you miss a great opportunity to train your Pom in regard to expected behavior. 

What you want to do:

1) Have your Pom on a harness and the right sized leash.

This is an important aspect of training a dog to not bark at other dogs. For one thing, for many dogs, part of barking also includes leaping or jumping. So, with the right harness and the right leash your Pom will not be physically able to do this... and, importantly, keeping him in place can be done without any possibility of injury to the neck.  

You will want a retractable leash that you keep just long enough for your Pom to be right by your left side (for proper heeling), and you will want him to have a good-fitting, comfortable harness like the Puppia Soft Dog Harness .
2) Have treats in your pocket. 

Do not let your Pom know that they are there. Keep these in a zippered plastic bag and easily accessible. 
3) Begin the walk.

With your Pom to your left, on harness, and with just enough leash that he cannot possibly be anywhere else but by your side, begin walking.

When he starts to bark, do not say a word. As he if were walking quietly by you and behaving, continue on. You will not harm him if he has the right harness on. 

The goal is to not react whatsoever to his barking. You will be teaching him that it is done in vain. And that it produces no results at all. 

As you move away from the trigger, he will stop barking. You will want to walk at the pace that you normally do, so depending on where the other dog is, your Pom's barking will cease anywhere from 5 to 30 seconds.

Once you have made it to that point and your Pom is quiet, you reach for a treat, stop to give it, and then continue on.

As you go about your walk, each barking episode will not be responded to. You will walk as if nothing is happening. Each time that your Pom stops barking, he receives a small treat. 

If you take your Pom for two walks per day, and you follow these guidelines each time, within 2 weeks there can be great improvement. Your Pom will either not bother barking at all, or will let out a few yaps and no more. After all, we cannot expect our dogs to be completely silent, but with this, things will be much more controlled. 

Barking at Sirens and Other Loud Noises

Barking at elements like this is often referred to as disturbance barking. If you think that this disturbs you, it is just as bad for a dog, hence the name. 

Since a dog's hearing is so sensitive, it is not uncommon for a Pomeranian to become agitated when hearing loud noises, which then leads to barking. Some noises such as car alarms, police sirens, and other such things can be exceedingly startling to a dog. 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. This reaction is not due to 'bad' behavior. Reassure your dog that everything is alright. Talk in a calm voice and give a pat or two.  If a siren goes off only every now and then, this is all you should for this sort of barking.

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 for this issue. The method behind this type of dog training is to slowly ease your dog into becoming used to an element, and for this example, sirens. You most likely will not be able to train him to remain completely 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. Duct 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 duct 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 your Pom responds well to the low level siren, you should reward him with praise and a tasty dog 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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