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Training your Pomeranian to come when you call him, also known as “recall,” is a vital life skill to give him. Since they are such small dogs, Poms can sometimes find themselves in the line of danger the blink of an eye. You want to be able to call him to your side to make sure he stays safe and sound!
Although intelligent, Pomeranians can be headstrong and obstinate, especially if they are not used to training. Try to bring some patience to the table when teaching recall. The trick to getting your Pomeranian to come when you call, every time? Make her think it is in her best interest to do so, of course!
Read on to find out how to train the basic skills for recall. We will also show you how to turn your training sessions into a fun game as well how to “proof” the behavior so you can count on your Pomeranian coming even when there are distractions around such as other dogs, people or toys that she loves.
You won’t teach your Pomeranian to come every time in a few training sessions. However, if you are patient with her, and follow some basic principles, you should be able to teach her to reliably come when you give the recall command with a few months of practice under different conditions.
Here are some tips to follow in addition to the step by step methods offered in this guide:
- Never punish your dog when she comes after being called to you.
- Don’t let your Pomeranian turn recall training into a game where you chase her around. Just ignore any failures to come in the beginning with a “hard ignore.” This means you just walk away and stop engaging her -- and you're taking your treat bag with you!
- Keep your training sessions upbeat, focused on the positive, and fun. Try to trick your Pom into thinking that training is just a game he is constantly winning because he is so awesome and you will soon have a loyal trainee on your hands!
- If you ever need to fetch your dog in an emergency, never run at her – always run away from her while exclaiming loudly and excitedly. This usually triggers dogs to come find out what is going on, rather than running away from you and possibly towards danger.
Even the smartest Pomeranian in the world will need some patience and consistency in order to learn to come when called reliably. You will need to teach the basics, as well as practice recalling her in as many new places as you can.
Your Pom will learn best if training sessions are short and fun and she is rewarded at a very high rate. In addition, randomly choose a few times a day to practice recall and be sure you have a great reward ready when she responds. These random tests should receive extremely valuable rewards and high praise.
The only special equipment you will need to teach your dog to come when called is a leash or rope that is about 25’ long. The purpose of this long line will be so you can work with her outside safely. It will also allow you to enforce your recall in the later stages of training.
The Basic Skills Method
When you are ready to start teaching your Pom to come when called, start with this method first. Make sure you get started in a quiet and low-distraction environment with some treats she really enjoys.
The first few times you use your recall command, “come!”, you want him to already be running towards you. The best way is to run away from him, saying the command as he starts to chase to you. This also makes things lots of fun! Be sure to reach down and touch his collar before giving him a reward once he catches up to you. Repeat 10-20 times.
You can start to add some distance with your recall drills to add to the challenge. If you really want to make it fun for him, try a little hide and seek once he really has some confidence with coming when called.
Take it outdoors
To take your recall training to the next level, you will want to take him outside. Use the long line so you can grab him if he tries to make a run for it. Now you can really put some distance between you and your Pom. Remember to keep training sessions fun, focus on rewarding success, and touch that collar before rewarding.
At some point you will need to add a negative consequence when he fails to come after a few seconds when called, or your Pom will decide that coming when called is “optional.” It is important that he has lots of practice before you make this transition. A good consequence is to give him a 3 minute “time out” in his kennel when he fails to obey. Once you make this turn in your training, you must stop using your recall command unless you are prepared to back it up with some enforcement.
Advanced skills training
Move on the 'Proofing' method to learn how to get your dog’s recall even stronger.
The Fun Recall Game Method
Get set up
This is a way to make practicing recall loads of fun for both you and your Pom. Plus, it is a great way to get some kids or some of your friends involved in helping to get your dog excited about coming when called. Have everyone sit in a circle with some of her favorite treats cut into small pieces.
Alternate calling your dog with their recall command said in a cheery and encouraging voice. It is okay to bribe her with some food to get her to come.
When she gets to the person that called her, make sure they touch her collar before giving her the reward she is waiting for. This will make sure to reinforce that touching the collar is a normal part of the recall trick.
Make the circle bigger to add to the challenge. Once your Pom is very confident and running to the person calling her , you can even try calling from behind furniture, around the corner, or even from another room in the house to really take this fun game to the next level.
Take it outdoors
Take this recall game outside on a nice day to add some distraction to her recall drills. If you need to, use the long line for safety.
The Proofing Method
Why you must proof
If you worked through the steps in the 'Basic Skills' method, then your Pom should already be pretty good with coming to you while in the comfort of your home or the safety of your backyard. But for a recall to be useful in an emergency, you need to spend some time preparing him to come even when there are more challenging distractions around. Professional trainers call this “proofing.”
Luckily, your little portable Pomeranian is easy to travel with. Take him to as many new places as you can think of to do some recall drills. Use the long line for safety if there is potential danger nearby. Continue to touch that collar before rewarding.
Add some distractions to your training program. Examples include having your Pom run by a bowl of food, a favorite toy, or another dog on a leash.
Reward the best
Eventually you want to stop reward all but the fastest returns. This will strengthen the power of your 'come' command. Select only the best 10-20% to reward.
Don't wear it out
Stop using your primary recall command unless you are planning to back it up with enforcement if he choses to ignore you, otherwise you will be teaching your dog that coming when called is “optional.”
By Sharon Elber
Published: 02/05/2018, edited: 01/08/2021