How to Train a Pomeranian Puppy to do Tricks

Medium
2-12 Weeks
Fun

Introduction

Your Pomeranian puppy is all poof and playfulness. Poms are fun-loving, outgoing, lovable little dogs with pounds of personality. Pomeranian puppies look almost like little foxes, with their gorgeous thick coats and pricked ears. 

Small and adorable though they may be, the Pomeranian is descended from larger working spitz-type dogs. While they have been companions and lap dogs for many generations, and have steadily decreased in size, Poms still have a working dog's bravery and some of the spitz's independent spirit. Therefore, to train your Pomeranian puppy to do fun tricks that you will both enjoy, find ways to motivate her that will appeal to her own interests.

Defining Tasks

Is your Pomeranian puppy very active, always on her hind legs or jumping around? Use her activity to help you think of fun tricks for her. Perhaps she would enjoy jumping up on command or jumping through a hoop. Does your Pom pup have a more laid-back approach to life? Teach easy fun tricks like 'roll over' in exchange for a belly rub. While Poms are generally sturdy little dogs, use caution when deciding on tricks to teach. Make sure behaviors are ones that your Pom already performs naturally so that you don't put any stress on her body, especially while she is still growing.

Getting Started

If your Pom enjoys activity for the sake of activity, as many Poms do, you may not need much in terms of motivation. A good toy to chase after a successfully performed trick may be all your Pom needs to do it again and again. In fact, you may find that your playful Pom puppy performs tricks on her own to engage you to play with her. If you Pom is not so easily motivated, you can use treats to teach the foundations of behavior, but be careful not to overfeed. Poms are little dogs who can gain weight easily if overfed and under-exercised.

Always have fun with your Ppomeranian puppy. Be reasonable in your expectations, and keep in mind that your pomeranian's ability to think for herself is part of what gives her such a wonderful personality. If your Pom isn't in the mood for a particular trick, just try another one or try another time. 

The Challenge Yourself Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
The self-motivated Pom pup
If your Ppomeranian loves activity, doing new things, and meeting new challenges, then just suggesting a fun thing for her to do may be enough.
Step
2
Break into steps
Break the trick into easy steps. If you want your Pom to jump through a hoop, start by asking her to walk through it.
Step
3
Act like she accomplished something
Praise your Pom as though she accomplished something really challenging when she successfully completes the easiest step.
Step
4
Gradually increase difficulty
Increase difficulty quickly enough to keep interest but slowly enough to meet your Pom pup's abilities. If she fails or resists a behavior, take a step back to build confidence.
Step
5
Practice and polish
Once your Pom firmly understands the purpose of the activity (jump through the hoop, touch the hand, wherever it is) practice until your Pom performs the trick gracefully and without hesitation.
Recommend training method?

The Mark and Reward Method

Effective
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Step
1
Sound means reward
Make a unique sound, either with your mouth or a sound maker like a beeper or clicker. Every time you make the sound, give your Pom pup a reward that she find desirable, whether it is a treat or toy.
Step
2
Mark behavior
Mark desirable behavior that is building towards the trick by making the sound and giving the treat.
Step
3
Build complexity
Build up the trick before giving the reward. Your Pom should quickly learn the succession of behaviors required to receive a reward.
Step
4
Polish with practice
Polish the behavior by repeating it over and over, until only a treat at the end is required.
Step
5
Remove step marks
Stop marking steps with the sound, and only give the treat at the end.
Recommend training method?

The Do As I Do Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Engaged Pom
If you Pom is constantly looking to you for engagement, use her interest to suggest fun tricks to do.
Step
2
Start simple
Start with a simple activity so as to teach your Pomeranian the idea of modeling her behavior after you. A good activity is stepping backwards or lying down.
Step
3
Watch for and reward mirroring
As soon as your Pom pup takes any step in the direction of doing what you are doing, reward her and encourage her to do more.
Step
4
Build complexity
Increase the complexity of the activity, challenging your pup's ability to do as you are doing. At this point, you can also give a name to the trick and begin saying it as you do the trick with your Pom.
Step
5
Let her do it
Ask your Pom to do the trick alone and reward her well if she does.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Liam
Pomeranian
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Liam
Pomeranian
8 Months

Liam will not take walks. He will go out to the bathroom in my yard on his leash and harness but whenever I try to head towards the street with him to take a walk, he will either sit, lay down or pull backwards. I'm worried he's not getting enough exercise and I really want to walk him. Help!!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
421 Dog owners recommended

Hello Maria, First, make sure that the pavement is not hot this time of year - that can be painful for some dogs and create a fear of walking if they have been burned on their paws. If the pavement is hot, either walk in grassy areas like fields or trails or purchase dog hiking boots for him and have him wear them around the house for a few days whenever you are home to supervise - interrupting any attempts to bite them, distracting him when he starts to bother them, and giving lots of treats or kibble pieces for tolerating them and letting you put them on. Once he is used to wearing them inside, then venture outside again. If the pavement isn't the issue, pay attention to whether he seems to be afraid of anything else outside. If he is afraid of something like a noise, other dogs, cars, cats, ect...then you will need to spend time with him outside simply desensitizing him to those things using time outside, playing fun games around those things he doesn't like, giving treats whenever he is calm around those things and not displaying fear - like pulling away. Once he is over his fear, gradually increase your walks by just a couple of feet at a time. Insist that he follow you until he walks a couple of feet willingly. When he is walking willingly, reward with a treat and praise, then turn around and head home before he starts protesting again. Work walking to that distance until he no longer protests going that far. When he can handle the current distance, require a couple more feet past the previous distance before you turn around. Always wait until he is following willingly before you turn around so that he is being rewarded for following and not for stopping or trying to turn back. When he won't follow, give quick continuous tugs on the leash (tug, then give slack in the leash, tug, then give slack in the leash...You want to apply enough discomfort to make stopping unpleasant for him but not painful, until he decides following you would be more pleasant and takes a few steps in your direction to escape the annoyance of the leash tugs - do not pull continuously on the leash. A dog will actually pull back harder on the leash if there is continuous pressure. It should be a series of quick tugs and then giving slack between the tugs, over and over). Don't push him to walk too far at first; consider a few steps further than before a success and turn around when he is doing well before he starts to protest again. Work up to longer stretches gradually unless he indicates he wants to continue. Remember, check the pavement heat and look for signs of him being afraid of something, and address those things if needed first. This time of year also be aware of how hot it is. If this behavior is only recent during the summer months, he may be resisting because it's hot outside. Wetting his fur down or purchasing a cooling vest for him could help if that's the case. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Thank you so much for the advice! I will start trying to do everything you suggested today. I do not think it's heat or the pavement being too hot. I live in Buffalo NY and it does get hot here but it has only been in the 70's recently and I always touch the pavement before attempting to walk him. He also acts this way even if I try to walk him on the grass along the road. Last night when him and I were outside I did notice that he was putting his tail between his legs whenever a car would go by. So that seems to be an issue we will have to work on. He is only 8 months and I've only had him since June 15th, so almost 3 months, and he's been this way the entire time. I have tried to walk him everyday since I got him with no success. The funny thing is that the very first night I had him, I took him out for a walk at about 11pm when it was very quiet outside and he did walk pretty well. After that one day though, he won't budge! Thank you again, I really appreciate your time and advice!

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