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
2 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
boo
Pomeranian
1 Week
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
boo
Pomeranian
1 Week

bites too much and is aggressive

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Reyansh, At one week of age, pup is learning about the world around them and how to control the pressure of their bite. Check out the Bite Inhibition method from the article linked below. Because pup is so young, expect this to take pup several weeks to learn. Bite Inhibition method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite When pup is old enough, I also highly recommend joining a puppy class. Other puppies, like litter mates, is how pups best learn how to control the pressure of their bites during play. Puppy classes: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Katchie
Pomeranian-teacup
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Katchie
Pomeranian-teacup
2 Months

potty training and biting playing

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Karen, Check out the articles I have linked below. Crate Training method for potty training: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside First, if you can find a free puppy play date class attend one of those with them so that they can learn how to control the pressure of their bite by playing with other puppies. Petco and some other pet stores with training offer free puppy play classes if you call and ask for the schedule. If you have any friends with puppies under 6 months of age, set up play dates with those puppies too. 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. Second, check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Bite Inhibition" method. At the same time however, 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 they make a good choice. If he disobeys your leave it command, use the Pressure method to gently discipline pup for biting when you told them 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 When pup gets especially wound up, they 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 them calm down and rest. Also, 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 at it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Coco
Pomeranian
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Coco
Pomeranian
5 Months

Our dog so very hyper.and so very naughty. All the things he bite her

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Judy and Rayel, For the biting: 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 she attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if she makes a good choice. If she disobeys your leave it command, use the Out command from the second article linked below to make her leave the area as a consequence. 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 Out 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 playing (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 Out - which means leave the area, is also a good command for you to use if pup bites the kids. Check out the section on Using Out to Deal with Pushy Behavior for how to calmly enforce that command once it's taught. 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. Right now, an outside class may be best in a fenced area, or letting friends' pups play in someone's fence outside. 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, she 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 her calm down and rest. Practicing regular obedience commands or having pup earn what they get by performing commands like Sit and Down before feeding, petting, tossing a toy, opening the door for a walk, ect... can also help stimulate pup mentally to increase calmness and wear them out. Commands that practice focus, self-control, and learning something a bit new or harder than before can all tire out puppies. 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/ For the excitement: I suggest practicing something called "Jazz up and Settle Down". Which is a bit like red light, green light for dogs. During training, get her a little excited, then command "Stop" or something she knows like "Sit", and freeze. Wait and completely ignore her until she calms back down. As soon as she gets calm or sits, praise and give a treat. Tell her "Let's Play!" again, and start playing and getting her a bit excited again. As soon as she starts to get a little worked up (not too much at first), command "Stop" or "Sit" again, then wait, reward with a treat when she calms down, then continue the game after she is rewarded. Repeat this a few times each training session, then end the session (have lots of frequent shorter sessions throughout the day at her age). As she improves, and can really calm down quickly, let her get a bit more excited before calling Stop. Gradually work up to her becoming more and more excited and having to calm down quickly from a higher level of excitement as she improves. Also, understand that this will take some time and practice. Puppies have to learn self-control just like any other skill, while young. This game can help her develop it sooner though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Bailey
Pomchi
10 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bailey
Pomchi
10 Weeks

my puppy bites really aggressive and chews everything obsessively, is he teething?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
241 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on puppy nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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Question
Jedda
Pomeranian
18 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Jedda
Pomeranian
18 Months

Biting too hard when play fighting.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
241 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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