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

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

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

Least Recommended
1 Vote
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
Pillu
Labrador Retriever
1 Month
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Pillu
Labrador Retriever
1 Month

How to stop puppy to bite during teething age

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ved, First, if you can find a free puppy play date class or kindergarten class with time for off-leash puppy play, attend one of those with him so that he can learn how to control the pressure of his 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. Check out this article on what to look for in a class, especially what safety measure you can take and a class should take to minimize the dangers of puppy contracting diseases like Parvo and Distemper. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ Second, check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Yelp" method so that pup is still getting some type of feedback from you. 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 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 yelp method can be used for the next 2-5 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, 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. 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. Finally, practice getting pup used to being touched and handled calmly. Use pup's daily meal kibble to practice with. Gently touch pup somewhere like an ear and feed a treat at the same time. Practice this with ears, paws, the collar, opening mouth gently, belly, tail, ect...Rewarding with a treat each time and being very gentle. You can have other gentle people do the same thing with pup to help with pup's socialization also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Akamaru
Pomeranian
5 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Akamaru
Pomeranian
5 Months

He keeps biting the couches and keeps biting us very hard he looks very little there but he is 5 months and also he doesn’t want to pee in the pad we even bought a pad border so he won’t bite the pad but he plays with the border anyways

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Daniel, For the biting, if you can find a free puppy play date class attend one of those with him so that he can learn how to control the pressure of his 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 "Yelp" 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 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 yelp 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. 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. Commands that increase self-control in general and teach pup calmness are also good things to teach. These commands will take time to teach of course, but they can also be a great way to create your own puppy class with pup. If you have other friends' with puppies, why not invite them over, sending them the following videos and articles too, and practice it all together - allowing puppies to learn and be socialized. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the room: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ If you decide to host a puppy class or want to practice more on your own, here are some additional resources: 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 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 pee pads, you may want to try switching to real grass pads: www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com www.porchpotty.com Most of the above options can also be purchased on Amazon. Check out the article linked below and the Crate Training method or the exercise pen method as well. The method mentions litter box training - which you could also try with dog litter, but the methods can be used with real grass pads or pee pads also. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Max
Pomeranian
5 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Max
Pomeranian
5 Months

We just adopted a new puppy we love him he is a very good dog we are really lucky to have him but he bites a lot we tried to punish him when he bites we just go away and I get angry very often I really need help thank you 😊

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Leticia, I suggest working on a few things to help him develop self-control: Leave It command from the Leave It method...Use this command to tell him to stop or not start biting once you have taught the command well - like the method outlines: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out command (which means leave the area), use this command to tell him to leave an area, especially kids' or guests' presence, when the temptation is too much for him. There is a section on teaching the Out command, follow that. There is also a section on using Out to deal with pushy behavior also follow that section once he understands the command, to make him whoever he is biting. If he is biting someone other than you, you can get between him and kids or guests and be the one to enforce it for them. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place command - Work up to him being able to stay on Place for an hour. Expect this to take time and practice, but the practice will also help him develop better self-control in general, then once he knows the command, it can be used to manage biting, over-excitement, and other behavior later. Gentler Place method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjCcVXGFvTs 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. 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 results, 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
Dashy
Pomeranian
7 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Dashy
Pomeranian
7 Weeks

He is really bitting I m trying to take him to bathroom that’s the only place he can stay no interactive. Than he start crying barking normally doesn’t barking, if he is not angry and another thing I cannot really teach him toilet area he keeps doing it in the living room , I m going crazy

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Semsi, Check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Yelp" 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 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 yelp 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, 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. 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. As far as potty training goes, check out the crate training method from the article linked below. I suggest starting with that method exclusively, as he begins to get the hang of it, you can use the tethering method part of the time also if you wish to give pup more freedom. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside To introduce the crate, check out the Surprise method from the article linked below. Know that crying at first is normal - how you respond will determine how quickly pup adjusts and learns how to calm down though. Remember that pup is still very young and learning a lot. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Finally, check out the free PDF download e-book AFTER You Get your Puppy. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Teddy
Pomapoo
16 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Teddy
Pomapoo
16 Months

He has started to growl, bite (I would say attack) when I go to get him from my daughter’s bed in the morning. I am wanting to take him out to go potty but he attacks me. I’ve tried sitting beside him and petting him, talking in a calm voice but the second I try to pick up, I am attacked. I don’t want him to hurt one of my kids. Need suggestions on how to nip this problem. Please help.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sarah, It sounds like he is resource guarding your daughter or the bed. First, pup shouldn't sleep in the bed anymore at this time. When the humans are fine with it and there are no behavior issues present, I do not have a problem with a dog sleeping on the bed, but anytime there is resource guarding of people or things going on, or other respect and trust issues, pups shouldn't sleep on the bed at night. I would introduce a crate and have pup sleep there while working on the below training, to increase pup's tolerance and deal with any resource guarding of people that's present. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Second, work on the resource guarding by increasing pup's respect for you and your daughter in calm, confident, less-confrontational ways. Have him work for everything he gets for a while by having him perform a command first. For example, have him sit before you feed him, lay down before you pet him, look at you before you take him outside, ect.. If he nudges you, climbs into you or your daughter's lap uninvited, begs, or does anything else pushy, make him leave the room. Teach him a Place command and work on him staying on place for up to an hour, even when you walk into the other room for a minute. Practice crate manners. Work on teaching a structured Heel. Go somewhere open, like your front yard, a park, or culdesac and practice a heel where her nose does not go past your leg. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Working and Consistency methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Out - which means leave the area https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It - leave it method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Off section: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ Practice Out and Off especially. If pup is refusing to get off other furniture also, keep a drag leash attached to pup's collar while you are home to supervise during the day. When pup disobeys your Off or Out command, calmly pick up the end of the leash and swiftly lead pup off the furniture or out of the area calmly. In addition to working on respect, use pup's daily meal kibble to do this. Gently touch an area of pup's body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold his collar and give a treat. Touch his tail gently and give a treat. Touch his belly, his other paws, his chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Keep these times calm and fun for pup. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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