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House Training

House Training Your Pomeranian

Preparing to Housebreak Your Pomeranian

A Pomeranian is known to be easy to train, whether this be for housebreaking, heeling or performing tricks. The most important element to successfully housebreaking your Pomeranian will be consistency from you.

A dog does not have any instinct to eliminate in any particular area. Therefore, your Pomeranian counts on you to show him what is acceptable.

If you keep changing your plan of training or you change rewards for good behavior, this will confuse your Pomeranian. 
It is best to have your goals and plans in place and follow through at all times.
When To Begin

Start right away. Some owners wonder if they should allow for an adjustment period first to allow a Pom puppy to become accustomed to his new environment. However, part of learning about a new house and a new routine is housebreaking. Therefore, a Pomeranian as young as 8 weeks old is ready to start learning all about going potty in his designated area.

At this young age, do know that this is not an overnight process. It will take a couple of months for a Pom to fully learned what is expected. It will be your job to train your Pomeranian in the right way and reward appropriately for successes along the way.

Keep in mind a Pom puppy's limits: A pup can hold his needs for approximately one hour per month of age. For example, a 2 month old can last about 2 hours, a 3 month old about 3 hours and so on. The maximum time that a Pom or just about any other dog can hold bathroom needs is about 8 hours for an adult dog.
How Often?

It is recommended that you take your dog outside or him to his indoor pee-pads:

1. Immediately after any confinement
2. When he/she first wakes up (from both naps and overnight sleep)
3. 20 minutes or so before bedtime
3. 20 minutes after your Pom eats
4. Every 2 hours for a 2 month old, every 3 hours for a 3 month old, etc. It is important to extend the time like this so that bladder and bowel muscles are given the opportunity to grow stronger. If a dog is never given the chance to hold his needs, he will have a lot of trouble later. 
Pomeranian outside
Your choices for Housebreaking

It is a popular notion that toy breed dogs can easily be trained to use a litter box or pee pads. While this is possible, this is not as easy as it sounds. A puppy may resist or have a hard time using a litter box or pads because canines have a natural instinct to want to “choose just the right spot” to urinate or eliminate. Expecting a pup to use pads forces that puppy to have to resist their urge to choose a spot.

However, indoor training can be done if you are persistent and you have a puppy that is cooperative.

It is important to choose one housebreaking method and then stick to that training. For example, if you want your dog to use a pad when it is cold outside but to go out in the yard when the weather is warm, your puppy will become very confused. It is almost impossible for a dog to know that they are supposed to use different methods depending on the weather. 

Therefore, one method should be chosen and then implemented all the time until your dog knows exactly what to do.

Your choices will be:

• Outside Method – * Recommended. Your dog is trained to go to a certain area outside to urinate or eliminate. It will be your job to always supervise your him or her. Even if you have a fenced in yard, you will want to keep an eye out in case your puppy decides to try and dig under the fence, finds a small hole to crawl through or another animal gets into your yard. In some locations, there are known reports of hawks swooping down, picking up and carrying away toy breed dogs. Once must remember that these things do happen; therefore your dog should always be supervised.

• Indoor Method – This is the best method if:

• You will normally be gone for more than 8 hours, for most days (long work days – including travel time- of 8, 9, even 10 hours – most days of the week and no other family member will be home to take the dog outside
• Or you live in a home in which the outside yard area is not easily accessible
• Or, for personal reasons, are not able to easily bring your dog outside
Not Sure Which Method to Choose?

It can be tricky, because teaching two methods can be confusing. It comes down to: what is the maximum time that your puppy (soon to be an older dog) will be home alone?

If the maximum time is 7 or 8 hours, then training him to go outside is best, since by one year old or so, he'll be able to hold his needs while home alone.

If you will normally gone from home more than 8 hours, say 9 or 10 most days, no dog will be able to consistently hold his needs for that amount of time. It is then that you would want to train for the indoor method, since no matter his age, the indoor method will be used on most days.
So, if you will normally be gone for 8 hours or less: Train outside. When leaving your puppy home alone, have him in a gated off area, with a pee pad. (he may or may not use the pad) But no, worries. Keep up with the training- training for this every moment you are home – before and after work – all weekends, etc. And soon you will have a 1 year old dog that is able to hold his needs for the 8 hours and will only go to the bathroom outside.
Walking Pomeranian outside
And, if everyone in the house will normally be gone for more than 8 hours…9 or even 10 hours of a Pom being home alone… Train inside. Because no dog will ever be able to consistently hold his needs for such long periods of time. 

In this case, train for indoors only… that will be his bathroom area for those long days home alone and training outside will be wasted time. 

In this case, place the pad, (with the box around it if that is helpful with him) inside in the exact area that you plan on having him be when he is home alone... 

If he is to normally be home alone for more than 8 hours in a gated off area, put the pad in the gated off area (leaving the door to the gate open) and train him to go there.

Use your time wisely, training your puppy for where his permanent bathroom area will be.
Outside Training

Training your Pomeranian to go outside with you to urinate or eliminate will usually be easier than the pee-pad method. The most important aspect will be to choose one area for your puppy to use the bathroom.  If you bring your puppy to a new spot each time, this will confuse them. Being consistent and always going to the same area will make this much easier for both of you.

Note: A dog has a strong urge to “choose just the right spot”. Therefore, you should:

• Choose an area, but allow your Pomeranian to choose the exact spot by themselves. This can be done by standing in the exact center of your chosen area, having your Pom on a 6 foot leash and allowing your puppy to roam around in that entire diameter.
• Be very patient. All dogs are different. Some will only take a minute to choose and then want to run back inside the home. Other dogs will take 5 to 10 minutes to choose the spot to urinate and 15 to 20 minutes to choose the spot to eliminate.

One of the most common issues that owners complain about is that a puppy goes to the bathroom as soon as he/she comes back into the house. This is because:

A: The puppy was taken outside before the need to pee/poo…time was taken to allow the pup to find the right spot, but not needing to go, nothing was done…so much time was taken, that the urge to pee/poo happened after coming back inside the home…OR

B: The owner was too impatient…

Standing there, a bit bored, 5 minutes can feel like 20 minutes. It is important to give your Pom plenty of time to choose the perfect spot, for bladder/bowel muscles to relax and for the dog to release… If it helps, keep an outdoor chair in the center of the designated area… Sit, read some of a book. Keep a watch on you and be sure that 20 minutes goes by before you decide that you were outside long enough…And don’t worry, as your Pom grows, bathroom times will be quick and fast… perhaps lasting just a minute or so.

When home with your Pom, it is VERY important to keep an eye on him at all times. If not, pee and poo will surely be everywhere… 

You can keep an eye on your puppy by:

Using the Umbilical Cord Method – With this method you will attach a leash to your puppy’s harness. Using a collar is not recommended. Why? Because if you are not careful at every moment, you may walk too quickly or turn a corner before your puppy can keep up with you… when a Pomeranian is connected to a dog collar and leash and there is a sudden “jerking”, this can cause the Pom to have a collapsed trachea – a very serious condition in which the cartilage in the dog’s trachea literally collapses inward causes serious breathing problems and pain.

With this method, your puppy will be connected to you with a leash approximately 6 feet long. This allows you to walk around the home while keeping your puppy close enough to notice if they are about to have an “accident”

Using the Confinement Method – With this method, you will place your puppy in a playpen or gated off area. A crate is not recommended, as living in a crate all day and only coming out to urinate or eliminate is not much of a fun life for your puppy. 
Your Pom and you need to spend time together to bond. Placing your puppy in a playpen or in a gated off area of the home allows you to keep checking on your puppy while offering your Pomeranian plenty of room to play and to be part of the household – hearing noises, seeing people and being involved in the home environment.

To recap, you will take your Pomeranian outside at the designated times and each time you see that your puppy is about to urinate or eliminate. 

It is very important to offer your puppy tons of praise each time they successfully go to the bathroom in the designated area. Act as if your Pom just did the most wonderful thing in the world. Praise him; give him a small treat, kiss, cuddle, pat and talk to him in an excited and happy voice. 
If You Must Leave Your Pomeranian Home Alone

Ideally, you will want to spend a couple of months with your new puppy so that you can properly housebreak him/her. However, there are many owners who must work during the day and must leave their Pomeranian home.

It is recommend to stay home at least until your puppy is 12 weeks old, as a Pomeranian is prone to Hypoglycemia (a fast drop in blood sugar which can be fatal if care is not given immediately).

When you leave your Pomeranian home, do remember your puppy’s limits. (A 3 month old can only hold their needs for 3 hours, a 4 month old for 4 hours, etc., up until the age of 1 year with a maximum time of 8 hours).

Knowing this limit, it is unrealistic to assume that if you leave your Pomeranian in a crate for the day, that your puppy will be able to hold its needs if you are gone for 8 hours.

The best method to use if you will be gone for an extended time is to gate off an area or to place your puppy in a canine play pen. 

The area that you choose should have room for the following:
  • An area for toys
  • A quality canine bed to rest and nap
  • Areas for both water (dispenser is best to prevent spills) and food (non-skid bowl)
  • Pee pads, placed in the corner
Placing pee pads in the far corner of the area will help in regard to a puppy 'hitting the mark' as it will be the area that is away from the eating, drinking and sleeping spots. However, do not focus too much on whether or not a puppy uses the pads. The important element to remember is that each month that passes, the Pom can hold his/her needs for 1 hour longer. If you continue to implement outdoor potty training, before you know it, your Pom will be able to be home - holding his/her needs - and will rarely have to go indoors.

Just be sure to take your Pom outside about 20 minutes before you leave - even if you don't think that he needs to go - and then immediately after returning home. 
The "Puppy Pees"

It is normal for some dogs to pee when excited. This most common with puppies who simply become overwhelmed with your hugs, pats & kisses. The puppy will then have excitement urination behavior. Most puppies will grow out of this phase.

However, in the meantime, you may find a couple of things helpful:

1. Try to play with your puppy outside

2. Bring your Pom outside or to their wee pad or liter box to urinate before playtime
Pomeranian puppies
3. For dogs that are simply over-excited, whether young puppies or older adult dogs, it is best to approach the dog from the side and slowly introduce play time

4. Puppies that display this behavior should not be directly picked up. It is best to kneel beside your puppy, pat them a bit and then gently roll them onto your lap. This eliminates the sudden excitement of being picked up and hugged.


A Pomeranian, just like any other dog breed, may urinate inside the home...but because they do not understand where they are supposed to urinate...but because of territorial marking behavior. You will know this is marking and not a house training issue, if your Pom always does this in the same spot and does not fully empty their bladder, only spraying out just a bit. To learn more about this, you may wish to read our Marking section.
Helpful Hints

Some owners tell us that their dog just insists on going potty in one spot and it is not the spot that the owner wishes for. If your dog is having a lot of training accidents, make sure there is not a medical issue. Loss of bladder or bowel is a very serious medical condition. Only if you dog is deemed 100% healthy, should you then implement training. 

Your Pomeranian can be trained to go potty in any area you choose, within a matter of a week or two an can be done even with the most stubborn dog.
First, you must decide exactly where you wish for him to go. Next, be sure to have a dog leash that is approximately 6 feet long or a retractable leash.

After any nap, 15 to 20 minutes after every meal, in the morning & in the evening and any time your dog shows a sign that he is about to pee or poo....put your dog on the leash and bring him to the area you wish for him to use. Remember that a 3 month old can only hold his needs for a maximum of 3 hours, a 4 month old for 4 hours and so on.

Stand in the middle of the area, allowing your Pom to roam the length of the leash. Give your dog plenty of time to find "just the perfect spot". If he only has that area to choose from, your dog can not possibly go potty elsewhere. 

Make sure to be patience, as your Pom sniffs around for what may seem like forever. Let your dog have the freedom to choose any place within the selected area. Reward your Pomeranian with happy, excited and kind words when he is done. Never slip and allow your dog to roam elsewhere for potty needs. Within 2 weeks, the area you chose will be the only place that your dog considers to be the bathroom.  
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