Pomeranians are loyal lap dogs with a penchant for vocalization. Just ask any Pom parent, and they'll probably have some horror stories about incessant barking fits. These dogs are notorious for barking, earning a reputation in the canine world for being a nuisance.
The pint-sized breed is a descendant of larger canines like the German Spitz. They're natural guard dogs looking to protect you. Despite their small size, most Pomeranians are willing to lay on the line to keep you happy and safe.
Vocalization is just part of that innate loyalty.
Plus, it's your dog's only way to communicate with you. While it may come off as annoying sometimes, some barking is necessary to strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend!
But what if the barking starts to get out of hand?
There comes a time when all that barking starts to grate on your nerves. Don't feel bad for thinking that way. It's a common issue that Pomeranian owners have to deal with. But instead of giving in and letting the barks continue, you can train the behavior out of your pooch.
Understanding Your Dog's Barks
If you want to learn how to stop your Pomeranian from barking, you need to understand why they're barking in the first place!
Dogs are far more complex than most give them credit for. Like any other living animal, they can vocalize in different ways for different purposes!
Knowing where that barking is coming from may give you better insight into what your dog is feeling. That way, you can address the issue and stop the barks!
Here are a few of the most common reasons why Pomeranians bark.
Does your dog start barking the moment you leave home? Chances are, they're suffering from separation anxiety! They are feeling uneasy without your presence, and barking is simply a coping mechanism.
A bored dog is a dog that gets into trouble! If you don't leave anything behind for your pup to play with, don't be surprised if they start to bark constantly. Expect some destructive behaviors, too!
- Chaotic Energy
Busy homes filled with active kids and animals can be too much for some dogs. Your Pomeranian can pick up on the disorder and start barking as a response.
Don't worry. It's not always a cry for help. Your pup may like the coming and going of family members and is merely expressing their joy!
Pomeranians use barking as a way to deal with their fear of the unknown. You might see it when they come across a new animal, or they enter a brand-new environment. They bark to cope and make themselves sound bigger to any perceived threats.
- Poor Socialization
Does your dog stay cooped up alone all day? Naturally, the sight of another dog or person is going to send them in a frenzy! Poor socialization will make your dog view any living being they're not used to as a threat.
Sometimes, your dog's barking is nothing more than a cry for attention. Don't ignore it! They might be trying to tell you something important!
Pomeranians often bark when they need to go outside. However, they may also use the communication method to indicate pain, hunger, and a slew of other emotions.
Excitement can lead to uncontrollable barking fits! You might witness this whenever you get home after a long day at work. In this case, barking is a form of expression and communication.
- Loud Noises
Loud sirens, fireworks, and noisy neighbors can trigger skittish dogs. Some are totally fine with them. But those that stay in the confines of a quiet home are going to react with fear. Usually, that fear manifests as barking.
10 Tips to Stop Your Pomeranian from Barking
Now that you have a better idea of why your dog might be barking, you can take steps to end it. As we said earlier, some barking is OK. The goal here is to understand when barking is unnecessary.
You want to train your dog to use other forms of expression and teach them to stay calm.
Check out these ten tips to help put a stop to excessive barking.
#1. The Ignore Method
This might sound a bit heartless, but it's surprisingly effective. Pomeranians are smart. If you always run to their aid whenever they start barking, they'll do it more! Your interaction is like a form of positive reinforcement for them.
If you ignore them, they'll learn that barking gets them nowhere. This is especially true if the barking is a plea for attention.
When your pup gets into a barking fit, pay no attention to it. Be vigilant here! No matter how long it lasts, do not reward your dog with so much as a look.
After they stop, you can praise them. Give them a reward, too! The more you do this, the quicker your dog will realize that staying quiet results in a tasty treat.
#2. "Be Quiet" Commands
Teaching your pup a brand-new command can do the trick. It's best to attempt this when your dog is still relatively young.
Your pup may also have an easier time getting the hang of things if they understand similar communication-based commands, such as "Speak."
When your dog is barking, provide your cue. You can say something as simple as "Be Quiet" or "Hush." Wave a treat in your hand and watch your dog come in for an investigation.
If they stop barking, shower them with praise and provide a reward.
As your dog gets the hang of things, extend the wait time before giving a treat. Make them sit in silence for a bit. Gradually increase the wait time, and your dog will understand in no time.
#3. Remove the Root of the Issue
This trick is simple enough. Pay close attention to your dog's behavior to figure out exactly what's making them go crazy! Then, remove the trigger. It's as easy as that.
Of course, you may have to get a bit creative with how you shield your dog. If it's animals running around your backyard, consider closing the blinds.
If it's strangers you encounter on your walks, try modifying your schedule to go at a quieter time.
The solution may require some trial and error. However, it's a practical option that can put a stop to excessive barking almost immediately.
Related: Taming High Prey Drive in Dogs
#4. Show Your Dog There's Nothing to Fear
When fear is the driving force behind the barking, the key is to show them that there's nothing to be afraid of. Take some time figuring out what triggers them. Once you find it, confront it!
There are a couple of ways to do this. The first is to stand between your dog and the offending trigger.
Turn your back to the trigger and provide a cue. You can give them a stern look, voice command, or even a light tap.
When you do this, you're showing your pup that you're not afraid of the thing they're barking at. Hold your ground and continue to provide the cue until they calm down.
Once they quiet down, you can offer up a treat and some positive reinforcement.
- Desensitize your Dog
Another option is to desensitize your dog. This involves exposing your pup to its fears slowly. Start by finding your dog's threshold. This is the closest distance they can get from the trigger before they start barking.
Holding your dog for comfort and support, take a few steps closer. If your dog stays calm, shower them with praise to let them know that there's nothing to fear.
Over time, get closer and closer to the trigger until they can remain as cool as a cucumber!
#5. Use an Anti-Bark Device
There are many great anti-barking devices out there! They're very effective at teaching your dog to stay quiet. Usually, these devices are high-tech collars that can monitor for loud barks or measure vibrations in your pup's throat.
Most will respond to your dog's barking, effectively disrupting their behavior. Some will produce a high-frequency sound like a dog whistle. Others will vibrate or spritz your dog with water!
Whatever the case may be, the resulting action acts as a correction.
It teaches your dog that barking is a big no-no!
#6. The Interruption Technique
This training method relies on the same principles as an anti-bark device. But, instead of occurring automatically, you must remember to respond accordingly.
When your dog barks, disrupt its behavior with a sudden voice command or clap. The sudden noise will catch them off guard, forcing them to stop and pay attention to you!
Suddenly, they're not barking anymore! Provide a treat and continue to do this anytime they start barking. You can also redirect their attention to a toy or snack so that they don't go back to barking.
#7. Provide Distractions
One way to gently stop your dog from going crazy is to distract them.
Try providing a simple command. Tell them to "Sit" or "Roll Over." Your pup's concentration will shift to the task at hand, putting an end to barking. Your dog may not even remember what they were barking at in the first place!
You can also take things a step further by providing a toy or playing with them. Whatever pulls their focus from the barking trigger will do.
#8. Keep Them Entertained
All dogs can benefit from having some mental stimulation when you're away. Those that bark or turn to destructive behaviors have the most to gain.
Mental stimulation toys keep your dog occupied for hours on end. They provide a tough challenge and can wear your dog out!
There's no shortage of good toys out there. From tumbling treat dispensers to automatic ball throwers, there's a lot to discover!
Socialization is best done when your dog is a puppy. They need to see as many animal and human faces as they can to get comfortable with others. Dogs that aren't socialized will develop a fear of the unknown.
Even if your dog is an adult, it doesn't hurt to socialize them as much as possible. Take some trips to the dog park and take your Pomeranian with you to pet-friendly places.
Be cautious in the beginning. New experiences can be overwhelming. Never push your dog too much. Otherwise, they may only grow more fearful of others.
Slowly increase your socialization techniques. Before long, your Pomeranian will love seeing other people, resulting in less barking at home.
#10. Don't Make a Big Deal
Finally, don't make a big deal out of leaving or returning.
Many dog owners make the mistake of coddling their dogs every time they step outside. That's only teaching your dog that they should be feeling sad and anxious!
Pay no attention and ditch the heartfelt goodbyes. If your dog doesn't even flinch when you come home, you can rest easy knowing that they are comfortable even if you're not around.
Barking is a natural canine behavior. But there comes the point when excessive barking becomes unbearable!
If you're at that point with your Pomeranian, try these tips out. It takes some patience and vigilant training. However, successful behavior modification can lead to a more peaceful dog and home!