How to Train a Pomeranian to Stop Play Biting

Medium
1-8 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Your larger-than-life Pomeranian has a huge personality, despite their small stature. They have more energy than your young children and that’s saying something! You love having your little fuzzball around, however, they are developing a rather concerning habit, they bite during play. Now, this appears to be just playful mouthing, but you know it could well develop into something more serious.

Therefore, training your Pom to stop biting during play is essential. You want to be able to play fetch, tug of war and roll around with them without coming away with bite marks. If the biting continues they could end up becoming aggressive in other scenarios and provoking a reaction from a bigger, stronger dog, which could at the very least result in expensive vet bills. But because they are small, a fight with another dog could even result in them losing their life.

Defining Tasks

Training a Pomeranian to stop play biting isn’t always as easy as you’d hope. For example, if the habit has developed over many years then breaking it can take time. The first thing you will need to do is enforce a number of deterrence measures. Secondly, you will need to introduce play where the dog's energy is channeled safely. Finally, you will need to get them associating gentle play with positive consequences.

If your Pomeranian is a puppy they should still be learning the rules and be fairly receptive. You could see results in just a week. However, if they are older with years of bite play under their collar, then you may need several weeks. Get training right and you won’t have to worry about your kids being nipped while playing with the family pooch. Nor will you have to stress about the biting developing into more serious and consistent aggression. 

Getting Started

Before you start work, you will need to gather a few things. Stock up on treats and have handy a water spray bottle or a deterrence collar. Some toys and food puzzles will also be required.

Set aside a few minutes each day for training and try to be as vigilant as possible the rest of the time. You may also want to invest in a muzzle until training yields results.

Once you have the above, just bring patience and a can-do attitude, then you can get to work!

The Deterrence Method

ribbon-method-1
Most Recommended
2 Votes
Step
1
Cut out play
As soon as the dog bites or get aggressive, stop playing. They need to know that if they act like this they will not get what they want. It’s also important you do not laugh or giggle. This will confuse them and set back the end result.
Step
2
‘NO’
Whenever your Pom bites, give a firm ‘NO’ near their face. Be stern but don’t terrify them Scaring them may only make them more aggressive.
Step
3
Water spray
Carry a water spray bottle with you at all times. If the stern ‘NO’ doesn’t do the job, give a quick spray of water near the face. This will soon get them associating biting with negative consequences.
Step
4
Deterrence collar
For a remote option, fit your dog with a deterrent collar. Simply hit the button whenever they bite, growl or look like they are about to play bite. An unpleasant spray of citronella will be emitted that will certainly make them think twice next time.
Step
5
Remove the toy
If it is a particular toy that gets them worked up and aggressive, remove it as soon as they bite. Over time this will teach them that such behavior will only cause them to lose their beloved toy.
Recommend training method?

The Safe Play Method

ribbon-method-2
Effective
1 Vote
Step
1
Secure space
Your Pomeranian may be play biting because they are getting wound up and frustrated. So make sure they have a secure place they can escape to. A bed or crate with three walls around it is ideal. This is particularly important if the dog is just a puppy and you have young children around who may pester them.
Step
2
Calm play
Try not to get too worked up when you play with the dog. Stay calm and quiet and try to keep things relaxed. If you get too animated you will only get them overly excited which may lead to biting.
Step
3
Reward
Whenever they play without biting, give the dog a reward. You can also quietly give them some verbal praise. It’s important they start to associate gentle play with positive treats and rewards.
Step
4
Exercise
It may seem disconnected, but your Pom may be biting because they simply have so much energy to get rid of when they play. So try taking them out for a longer walk or playing fetch for a few minutes each day. If they are tired they should remain a bit calmer and less likely to bite.
Step
5
Don’t terrify the dog
It’s also important you don’t frighten them. Shouting too loudly may only make them more aggressive and potentially dangerous. So try to stay calm and control yourself, even if you’re in a lot of pain.
Recommend training method?

The Time Out Method

ribbon-method-3
Least Recommended
3 Votes
Step
1
Remove the dog
As soon as your Pomeranian bites when you’re playing, take them by the collar and lead them out of the room. Put them in a quiet room where there aren’t any toys.
Step
2
30 seconds
Leave the dog in the time out space for 30 seconds. Make sure you don’t play with them or talk to them during this time. Also ensure it isn’t the room that their bed or toys are normally in.
Step
3
Release
Once the 30 seconds is up, let the dog m out. You can then go back to playing with them. Stay calm and quiet as you play, you don’t want to get them too worked up. However, be ready to react if they bite again.
Step
4
Add another 30 seconds
If the dog bites again, calmly take them back out of the room and into the time out space. However, this time add another 30 seconds onto the time-out sentence. Continue to add 30 seconds on each time until they get the message, which shouldn’t take long.
Step
5
Consider a muzzle
Try fitting your dog in a muzzle when you are out in public. This will prevent any biting taking place until training has finished. Any incidents with strangers or pets could only make the problem worse.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Tokio
Toy pom
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Tokio
Toy pom
8 Weeks

Biting and potty training

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1104 Dog owners recommended

Hello Suveena, Check out the Bite Inhibition method and the Leave It method from the article I have linked below. The Bite Inhibition method can be started right away. The Leave It method will take some time to teach, so begin both until you can transition to just the Leave It method. Enrolling pup in a puppy play group or kindergarten class with off-leash moderated puppy play time is also important for bite control development and socialization. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite For potty training, check out the Tethering method and the Crate Training method, or a combination of both, from the article I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
leo
pomerenian
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
leo
pomerenian
8 Weeks

biting while playing

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1104 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ghada, Check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Bite Inhibition" method. BUT at the same time, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method. As soon as pup is good as the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when he attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if he makes a good choice. If he disobeys your leave it command, use the Pressure method to gently discipline pup for biting when you told him not to. The order or all of this is very important - the Bite Inhibition method can be used for the next couple of weeks while pup is learning leave it, but leave it will teach pup to stop the biting entirely. The pressure method teaches pup that you mean what you say without being overly harsh - but because you have taught pup to leave it first, pup clearly understands that you are not just roughhousing (which is what pup probably thinks most of the time right now), so it is more effective. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite I would also work on teaching the Out command, and then use the section from the article on How to Use Out to Deal with Pushiness, to enforce it when pup doesn't listen, especially around other animals or kids. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Another important part of this is puppy learning bite inhibition. Puppies have to learn while young how to control the pressure of their mouths - this is typically done through play with other puppies. See if there is a puppy class in your area that comes well recommended and has time for moderated off-leash puppy play. If you can't join a class, look for a free puppy play group, or recruit some friends with puppies to come over if you can and create your own group. You are looking for puppies under 6 months of age - since young puppies play differently than adult dogs. Moderate the puppies' play and whenever one pup seems overwhelmed or they are all getting too excited, interrupt their play, let everyone calm down, then let the most timid pup go first to see if they still want to play - if they do, then you can let the other puppies go too when they are waiting for permission. Finding a good puppy class - no class will be ideal but here's what to shoot for: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ When pup gets especially wound up, he probably needs a nap too. At this age puppies will sometimes get really hyper when they are overtired or haven't had any mental stimulation through something like training. When you spot that and think pup could be tired, place pup in their crate or an exercise pen with a food stuffed Kong for a bit to help him calm down and rest. Finally, check out the PDF e-book downloads found on this website, written by one of the founders of the association of professional dog trainers, and a pioneer in starting puppy kindergarten classes in the USA. Click on the pictures of the puppies to download the PDF books: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ Know that mouthiness at this age is completely normal. It's not fun but it is normal for it to take some time for a puppy to learn self-control well enough to stop. Try not to get discouraged if you don't see instant progress, any progress and moving in the right direction in this area is good, so keep working at it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Bear
Pomeranian
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bear
Pomeranian
4 Years

No

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1104 Dog owners recommended

Hello Paige, Are you wanting to teach your pup what No means. To do so, put a treat into your hand with pup watching. Place your hand where pup can get to it with it closed. Pup will likely sniff, paw at, or bark at it to try to get the treats out. Tell pup "No" calmly. When pup stops trying to get the treats out and backs off a little, tell pup, "Good!" and give a treat from your other hand behind your back. Practice versions of this as pup improves. Place the treat on the floor and cover with your hand, drop the treats and cover with your foot, drop the treats and step in front to block pup, telling pup "No" each time they try to get them and then rewarding when pup backs off. For biting specifically, I would practice the Leave It method from the article I have linked below. It's a similar process, but it also covers how to transition pup to leaving skin alone specifically. The No command is more general and can then be used for other things too. Teaching pup what you want to do instead, after telling pup No is equally important for pup to ultimately learn the rules, be able to communicate with pup better, and see overall behavior improvement. Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Teddy
Pomeranian
10 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Teddy
Pomeranian
10 Weeks

Constantly chewing anything and everything. Also biting when playing

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1104 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lesley-Ann, Check out this article on puppy biting: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Check out this article on chewing: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Bella
Pomeranian
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bella
Pomeranian
5 Months

From the start how to train a dog for everything

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1104 Dog owners recommended

Hello Anumeha, For potty training, check out the Tethering and Crate Training methods from this article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Next, check out these videos of a puppy class. Follow along with your puppy at home and practice the exercises to help with general basic obedience: Puppy Class videos: Week 1, pt 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnhJGU2NO5k Week 1, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-1-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 1 https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-2-home-jasper-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1-0 Over the next six months, these commands can also be useful to teach. Socialization, potty training, crate training, and teaching bite inhibition will be the most time sensitive things to prioritize with a young puppy though. Although helpful to teach early, obedience commands can also be taught when older if you have to choose what to work on with the time you have. Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Come - Reel in method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Off- section on The Off command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ Drop It – Exchange method: https://wagwalking.com/training/drop-it Finally, check out the PDF e-book downloads found on this website, written by one of the founders of the association of professional dog trainers, and a pioneer in starting puppy kindergarten classes in the USA. Click on the pictures of the puppies to download the PDF books: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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