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Chewing & Teething

Pomeranian Chewing and Teething

Chewing and Teething Overview

Many Pom owners have tons of love for their dog but a bit of frustration in regard to chewing issues.

While puppies are usually most infamous for destroying shoes, books and just about anything not made out of metal; adult dogs can have chewing issues also. If your Pom has chewing issues, it may seem as if they are the most destructive dog you have ever seen...

However rest assured that dogs of all breeds go through phases and all dogs, no matter what their size can have separation issues that manifest as negative behavior.

Adult Pomeranians (including seniors) may chew items because of anxiety, most often caused from Separation Anxiety when their owners (their best friend) must leave. 

This can happen whether an owner is gone for 1 hour or a whole day. We will discuss the reasons that a Pomeranian will gnaw on inappropriate items and how to address those reasons and correct the behavior.

Whether you have a Pomeranian puppy who is going through the teething process or an older dog who eats your shoes, help is on the way! 

Your Pomeranian may have chewing issues because of several reasons:
  • Teething
  • Plain and natural curiosity
  • Boredom
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Nervousness
General Overview

One must keep in mind that a dog will use his mouth to explore and understand the nature of items. While there may be other causes for serious gnawing problems, in general a dog will chew something out of curiosity. He will pick it up, shake it, and bite down on it to determine what it is. For this reason, it is vitally important to be very aware of the items in your home that can be a danger to a Pom and place them out of reach.
Pomeranian puppy teething on toy
Photo courtesy of owner: Lilly Fowler
While you may not think twice about a cord, your Pomeranian may very well come upon an electrical cord and chew on it to learn about it. Unfortunately, this can lead to great harm. While it makes logical sense to you that no one would ever put a cord in their mouth, your Pomeranian has no way of knowing the difference between the cord and a toy made of rope! As a loving owner, it will be your job to teach your dog right and wrong.

It is best to spend a day going through your home and placing potentially dangerous items up high where your fluff ball cannot reach them.

If you look at your new shoes and think, "He would never think of touching those!", think again. Until your dog is fully trained in regard to chewing and biting, stay one step ahead of the game by not even allowing the temptation to be there.

Of course, some things must remain on ground level or at a height that your Pomeranian can reach them. 
It is for these items that you can implement simple training techniques to teach your dog how to behave.

No matter which reason your dog's chewing may be out of control, one element remains the same: The behavior must be stopped.  And part of this will be to give your Pom something to chew on that keeps them satisfied. Stopping them is just the first half of the mission; if you do not have the correct toys to give them to bite away on, your dog will become very frustrated. Dogs that are frustrated are dogs that become stressed and this can lead to not only worse behavioral problems but health issues as well.

The Most Important Word

"No" is the arguably the most important word that you will ever teach your dog. It will be used when housebreaking your dog, when teaching him how to heel, how to behave when visitors come will be used to teach your Pomeranian just about everything there is for a dog to know about!

How you say the word will determine how well the word works. If you are shy or have a meek voice, practice until you can loudly and sternly say "No!" and mean it. If you say "No" without meaning, your dog is not going to give it much value. When you say it, your tone makes all the difference in the world. Pretend that you are babysitting a child and that child is reaching for a very hot object. In what tone would you say "No!"? 

Okay, now try it. Go ahead, try it out loud. Don't be shy because to train your Pom, you must be able to say this command word not only in private but in any public area as well. Your one spoken word should stop your dog in his or her tracks. If you have a very stubborn Pomeranian, you may use a clean spray bottle with warm water in it. The idea to is quickly spray your dog to get his attention away from what he is doing, while you say the command word. This will ensure that he listens to you.

It is vital to the training to never chase after your Pomeranian or to play tug-of-war with an object. Your dog will undeniably believe that you are playing a game with him and this will backfire your training attempts. When you catch your Pomeranian with his mouth on something other than an acceptable dog tog, you must give the very stern command word and spray (if necessary). At that very moment when you dog is thinking, "What?", take the object away and offer an acceptable trade.

A teething puppy must be allowed to chew as much as he wishes. However, it will be your job to supply the correct items.

Anyone can create a dog toy; some toys are so cheaply put together, the manufacturers splash on some color, give it a cute name and people clear the shelves. However, those are the toys that most dogs do not find interesting and you inevitably waste your money and your dog is not being helped. Ahead, we will talk about the toys that do help teething dogs.
Pom puppy chewing
When does this begin and end?
  • 4 Months old - the incisors begin to grow in
  • 5 months old - the canine teeth begin to grow in
  • 6 months old - the molars begin to grow in
  • By 8 months old, a Pomeranian puppy should have all teeth ascended and stop teething. Do keep in mind, that some Poms are late bloomers and teething may last a bit longer.
Easing the Pain

Teething toys help, of course. You'll want to look for ones that offer textured surfaces of correct sizing that a pup can work into certain areas of the gums to scratch the itchiness that will be very intense at times. If you would like to see recommendations for the best teething toys for Pomeranians, look to 'Toys - Chewing and Teething' in the Pomeranian Specialty Shoppe.

Giving your puppy an ice cube to lick and chew on will help distribute cold to the gums and help with discomfort.  By adding some safe flavoring (orange or raspberry juice) you can make icy cold treats that taste great to offer incentive to chew and numb the discomfort that a puppy will be feeling. 
Teaching Your Pomeranian to Chew on Dog Toys

1) Clear your home of low level items the best that you can, to limit what is chewed on. This not only keeps your shoes and other possessions safe, it will also keep your Pom safe since many mouthed items - or a ripped off part of an item - can be swallowed. 

2) For objects that cannot be removed from the floors (furniture, etc.) spraying some apple bitter spray onto the parts that your Pom can reach may work to discourage chewing. 

3)  Take time to carefully choose a good amount of appropriate toys that are created to interest puppies and even older dogs with chewing problems. See also: Best Toys for a Pomeranian

4) Keep half the toys out and the other half in a bin that is tucked away. This way, every couple of weeks, you can switch out the toy bins so that your Pom will have 'new' items to chew on. 

5) Any chewing of approved chew items should be met with great praise; really show your enthusiasm that your Pom is doing a great thing. 

6) Interrupt chewing on non-approved items by clapping loudly and/or giving a stern 'No!' and making a trade.

7) Encourage your Pomeranian to learn that finding chew toys is fun.  Play a game of 'hind n' seek', asking your Pom to find his special items and reward the behavior.
Separation Anxiety Chewing

If your Pomeranian destroys things or chews on objects while you are away, he is most likely expressing his nervousness and anxiety while waiting for you to return. Moderate to severe cases of separation anxiety should be addressed in order to limit a dog's stress, as chewing is just one physical manifestation of somewhat intense emotional stress. 

For minor cases, here ere are some tips:

1) Keep your Pom in an indoor playpen or gated off area to limit what can be chewed.

2) When you come home, do not greet your Pom right away or give any strong attention. Instead, give your Pom the "Find" command to fetch a toy. When your dog grabs a toy and brings it to you, then you may lavish him with hugs, kisses and attention. In this way, he will learn that having a toy ready for your arrival is a good behavior that will earn lots of love and attention.
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