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

Effective
0 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
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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

Effective
0 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
Akamaru
Pomeranian
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 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
461 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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