If you want to know how to stop a Pomeranian from barking, you’re in luck:
This is the ultimate Pomeranian training guide when it comes to barking.
- Different types of barking (and what they mean).
- How to use classical conditioning to stop your Pom from barking (5 steps).
- 6 common situations that can cause your Pom to bark (and what to do in each situation).
- And so much more…
Table of contents
How to stop a Pomeranian from barking?
To stop your Pomeranian from barking you must first identify the cause. After that, you can pick a suitable solution. It could be ignoring your Pomeranian, rewarding them while they’re being quiet, leaving the room when they start barking at you, or redirecting their attention to something else.
Barking is the ultimate communication language of dogs. While you can limit the amount of barking, it’s not good to totally ‘numb’ your Pomeranian. It’s your job to figure out why your Pomeranian barks a lot.
If it’s out of good reasons, don’t make it your mission to eliminate one of the means of self-expression your Pom uses the most. A positive-approach solution is always a good choice.
Let’s see how you can identify the cause of barking and deal with it.
How to stop a Pomeranian from barking in 6 common situations
#1: When someone rings the doorbell or knocks on the door
Your Pomeranian as a watchdog
Your Pom is highly sensitive and registers every movement that goes around the house.
That’s a good trait they developed from the Spitz Dog from which Poms descended.
If you don’t want the alert of your Pom to last continuously, try this:
Note: Acknowledge your Pomeranian’s effort by saying ‘good dog’ or ‘thank you’ and giving them a treat.
Your Pomeranian as a guest greeter
Maybe your guests don’t enjoy being licked, jumped at, or barked at. If your Pomeranian just can’t wait to meet your guests, there’s a way to calm him down.
You can minimize the amount of Pomeranian barking by asking a friend for help. Let your friend act as the doorbell ringer or knocker. Let the friend know they shouldn’t come in.
Meanwhile, ask your Pomeranian to perform a simple action such as sitting or lying down while leashed. As soon as your Pomeranian does what you ask of him, praise him with treats.
If you continue with this exercise day by day, your Pomeranian will decrease their bark. He’ll be busy listening to you and perform well, so he can get a reward. The more you practice, the better the results will get.
And before you know it, your Pom will act as the good boy he is in a real-life situation when someone knocks on the door or rings the doorbell.
Once your Pom adopts the new behavior, it’s safe to unleash him. When guests enter the house, you can ask them to participate too. They can ask your Pom to sit, lie down or go to his mat. In exchange for some tasty dog snacks, of course.
#2: When your Pomeranian is afraid
What’s very likely is that your Pomeranian is barking to voice out their fear. It’s your responsibility to prevent your Pom from going crazy.
A friendly reminder is to keep your Pom leashed before guests come in so that you prevent any unwanted behavior from your dog’s side.
To teach your Pom that the noise isn’t as threatening as they might think, find a way to replicate it and create positive associations in the meantime.
In the case of door knocks, there’s one simple exercise you can try. Start knocking on the table, first lightly, and gradually begin to increase the sound of the knock. For every time your Pom doesn’t show any reaction, reward him with a treat.
Ideally, the exercise will follow the pattern of ‘Knock, treat, knock, treat’.
If the Pom reacts, however, slow down the pace. Don’t expect quick results.
This is building a habit, so the most important thing is consistency, not the speed with which it’s going.
Over time, after you have practiced patiently and consistently, your Pomeranian will concentrate on you when they hear a knock or the doorbell. These noises will then indicate ‘treat time’ instead of ‘I’m afraid, who’s there?’.
#3: When your Pomeranian sees or hears the neighbors
In the block: Your neighbor passes you by on the staircase and says ‘hi’ but your Pom starts barking.
In your house: You’ve left your Pom in the yard to enjoy some sunlight and fresh air but suddenly he lashes out at the neighbor who’s peacefully watering his lawn.
And so on, and so forth…
Whatever the scenario, you’d want to stop this barking. Great choice – your neighbor will thank you later.
You have two options to choose from on how to reduce the barks at the neighbor. Both of them are purely based on positive reinforcement.
This means that after you involve your Pom in any of these activities, he’ll want to repeat them. And how could he not? Your Pomeranian is more of an opportunist than you might think. He’s in for a reward after all.
Option #1: Classical conditioning
Classical conditioning refers to the process of pairing two stimuli repeatedly. An example of this is when you open a bag of dog biscuits. Your Pom starts running to you as soon as he sees and hears you doing that.
Basically, classical conditioning is what associations make your Pom in his mind when he sees a certain object, hears a specific sound or word or sees you doing something particular.
|What happens:||What your Pom understands:|
|You open a bag of biscuits…||Snack!|
|You take the leash…||Walk!|
|You open the door…||Going outside!|
|Seeing the neighbor…||Treat!|
Well, on the last one you’ll have to work a bit before your Pom starts viewing the neighbor this way. But your work will be rewarded with a quiet peaceful time afterward.
How to do it:
- Step #1: Brace yourself and have the most favorite cookies of your Pomeranian. Don’t think some dog cookies forgotten in the cupboard will cut it. Use only treats that make your Pom forget about everything else. Maybe some meaty strips or jerky.
- Step #2: Cut the treats into small easily-chewable pieces. Avoid any chunks that might cause your Pomeranian to choke.
- Step #3: After you’re done cutting, place the small bites in a pouch or in a fanny pack you can clip to your belt. If you’re carrying a jacket, you can place a sealable plastic bag in one of your pockets.
- Step #4: Time for the most interesting part! Practice a smacking exercise with your Pom indoors first. The smackings sound you make with your mouth will get your Pom’s attention. Once you have it, give your Pom a treat.
- Step #5: Repeat this exercise until your Pom associates every smacking sound you make with a treat. You know you’ve succeeded when your Pom looks at you or your hand for a snack after the smacking.
Once this mission is completed, it’s time for the next one
If you have the chance, ask a neighbor to help you out while training your Pom. If your neighbor can’t or doesn’t want to participate, it’s also okay. You can still pull it off.
Next time your neighbor is outside, take your Pom out on a leash.
Your goal is to catch your Pom’s attention after they’ve spotted the neighbor and haven’t barked yet.
When your Pom hears the neighbor, make that smacking sound again. After that, give your Pom a well-deserved treat.
If your Pom’s reaction was faster than yours and they’ve barked before you could give them the treat, don’t give up.
Take a few steps back and try again. Going back makes a difference because your Pomeranian might feel too close to the neighbor otherwise.
The idea is that even if the Pom hears or sees the neighbor, they don’t have time to react because you make the smacking sound. Your Pom’s attention is redirected, you’ve granted them a treat and everyone is happy. In time, your Pom will begin to associate the neighbor with good things only.
Repetition is key
Repeat so you can take these steps to the next level. As your Pom begins to act calmer and look for his treat, you can approach the neighbor closer and continue with the smacking-treat technique.
The job will be done once the neighbor is close enough to your Pom and throws them some treats.
If your neighbor is not a dog person or doesn’t wanna participate, continue working with your Pom by gradually decreasing the distance between them and the neighbor.
There will be a point when the change in your Pom’s behavior is noticeable. You will then experience that your pom is on the lookout for treats instead of being concerned about your neighbor. Not to worry – this isn’t spoiling your furry friend.
When your Pom has mastered the smacking-treat exercise, you can ask him to answer commands. This is no longer classical conditioning but operant conditioning.
Operant conditioning is when you’re making your Pom work for what he wants
You can use basic commands like ‘sit’ and ‘lay down’ immediately after making the smacking sound. If your Pom obeys, give them the awaited treat.
This is a great build-up exercise to keep the good habit in your Pom and challenge your dog at the same time. No boredom here!
Don’t worry about giving treats often in the beginning.
As long as they’re small and you don’t risk your Pomeranian overeating, it’s okay. In time you will be able to give treats occasionally because the habit will be ingrained in your Pom’s system.
So, don’t spare the treats for now. And if your neighbor’s in, they could also toss a treat or two to your Pom. But only if the Pomeranian is quiet.
Reading tip: Are Pomeranians Easy To Train?
Option #2: Reinforcing a contradictory or an alternative behavior
You’ll need your Pom to be exposed to the neighbor. Most likely, the Pom will start to bark. Instead, try making your Pom obey a command such as ‘quiet’.
This is the exact opposite of barking so if your Pom listens to you, you won’t have to worry about the barks.
The next thing to do after you’ve asked your Pom to be quiet, is to involve them in a game of fetch. It’s impossible for your Pom to feel scared and to play at the same time.
Good to know:
- Option #1 requires more time investment from your side but once you commit, you should reap the fruits of your efforts. It’s successful among dog trainers.
- Option #2 works best when your Pom is not highly aroused. It’s a good distraction method that’s also fun for your Pom. It would be best to use it after you’ve seen good results from applying option #1.
#4: When there is nothing to be heard or seen
Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. I mean critters. They could be living in your home and your Pom could be aware of the fact. If the noises they make are irritating, your Pom will voice out their opinion on this by barking.
Better call an exterminator to get rid of these for you. Meanwhile, you can relieve the tension they create in your pom by either changing the room your Pom sleeps in.
If that’s not possible, turning on more pleasant sounds such as the TV or a music app with calming music, will help your Pom feel less disturbed.
The same goes if your Pom’s ears are too sensitive to outside sounds such as an ambulance or a police car passing by.
Besides playing some music for dog’s ears, you can also keep the Pom in a place where they aren’t close to windows and doors.
#5: When your Pomeranian wants something from you
Pomeranians are small dogs but big attention seekers! So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when the Pom comes barking at you, demanding that you play with them, for example.
What you don’t want is to give any type of attention to your Pom at this moment. You telling your Pom ‘no’ is a reward for him. Why? Because even though you’re not playing, you’re still rewarding their effort by giving them attention.
Even looking in the eyes of your Pom should be a no-no. If you look at your Pom, they’ll be aware you’re noticing them and since they aren’t likely to get much more than that, they’ll increase their barking.
What to do then?
The solution is simple but sometimes hard to carry on. You must ignore your Pomeranian. Understand – no eye contact, no talking, no touch.
This will teach your Pomeranian that barking doesn’t get them anything.
Besides ignoring them, another effective method is to simply leave the room. Once your Pom starts emitting bark after bark, just stop what you’re doing and exit the room. Do come back once your Pom has quieted down.
Note: To avoid getting into a situation like this in the first place, stimulate your Pom with plenty of exercise throughout the day.
#6: When there are different triggers around
Besides a ringing doorbell, a knock on the door, or a neighbor walking by, there are other triggers to consider when looking for the reason why your Pom is barking.
For example, your Pom could be barking at strangers – both human and animal ones during walks.
Frustration Pomeranian bark
Wanting to greet and meet others:
If your Pom barks out of frustration that they want to meet all of the new exciting people and dogs during the walk, do not let him off the leash.
How to work with this: Try draining your Pom’s energy before going on a walk with them. You can do this by playing games such as ‘tug of war’ or ‘fetch’ at home.
Being alone for a long period of time:
If you live in a house, never ever leave your Pomeranian outside of the house. Poms are sensitive, they love their humans and can suffer from the lack of company.
If you’re in the house and your Pom is outside, they can start barking out of chronic stress.
Even if you live in an apartment and leave your Pom alone for most of the hours during the day, they can become stressed. Their stress could be expressed in several ways – digging, eating the wall, and so on.
How to work with it:
Frustration barking is very painful to listen to. Luckily, it’s the easiest to deal with.
- Step 1: All it takes is to remove your Pomeranian from the frustrating situation they’re in. If they’re spending most of the time alone while you’re at work, try to compensate by giving them love and affection when you get back. Let them curl up on the sofa with you. Cuddle with them. Stroke them.
- Step 2: Since all dogs experience the world with their noses, they love something to be busy with. Give your Pom something to concentrate on. It doesn’t take much.
For example, if you’re going to run some errands that don’t require you carrying something in your hands, take your Pom with you for a walk.
Your Pom would love to sniff the route and explore all there is along the way. It’s how your Pom will feel secure by being with you and stimulated by doing something out of the ordinary.
The most important and valuable thing you could do for your Pom is to show them they’re part of the family.
Whenever you’re doing something at home, let your Pom be in the same room. Schedule some play sessions per day. Involve your Pom in your daily activities.
To sum it up: Frustration barking occurs when your Pomeranian has become desperate and frustrated about a certain situation that’s been going on for a long time.
In reaction to the unpleasant situation, they develop coping behaviors.
Barking is just one example of these behaviors but you should be on the lookout for others accompanying ones.
As soon as you notice any of these, you should change his environment. For exact tips on your individual situation, contact a behaviorist.
Reactivity Pomeranian bark
If your Pom is stressed by seeing all these people and other dogs roaming around, they’ll bark alright. This is your Pom’s attempt to keep their distance from everyone else and warn them if they get too close for comfort.
What you can do: It’s advisable to use a front-attachment harness. This way you’ll have better control of your Pomeranian’s movements.
You’d want to create positive associations with strangers as this is the only sure way your Pom’s reaction can change.
To achieve this, you can use the same smacking technique described in classical conditioning. Whenever your Pom spots a stranger (dog or human) just make that smacking sound and give your Pom a treat.
That way your Pom will learn that strangers mean nothing but good things, a.k.a. treats.
‘Guarding you’ Pomeranian bark
Just like you’d do anything to protect your Pom, they’ll do anything to protect you. Your Pom’s barking an attempt to guard you can get a little bit off-hand though.
Especially when other dogs approach and are unleashed.
That doesn’t mean your Pomeranian is behaving badly toward other dogs or owners. It’s just your presence being close to the strangers that triggers your Pom.
And again, the answer to how to solve this dilemma is by giving your Pom treats. But only when a stranger comes close enough. Then, the smacking sound and a treat following up are always at your disposal.
When the stranger is gone, so should be the treats from your side as well.
Protecting-my-territory Pomeranian bark
If your Pom is overly-protective of their territory, you need to provide them with more physical exercise and mental stimulation. And after that, you can limit their access to windows without you keeping an eye on them.
Privacy window covers could be a solution.
They will prevent your Pomeranian from getting agitated at every passing object.
Is your Pom reacting mainly to noises? Then you should keep him in a room that isn’t facing the road. Or, you can turn on a fan, the TV or put any music app with piano tunes to calm your Pom.
Last but not least, you can leave your Pom with a toy puzzle.
That way they’ll be busy trying to get their treats out instead of focusing too much on the surroundings.
Modify your Pom’s behavior
The goal is to teach your Pom to keep their cool. It’s achieved again through a reward-based principle.
Sometimes, even though you try your hardest, your Pom might not be listening to what you’re saying. And not only will they listen but they will bark hard.
Because there are other things they are occupied with right now.
Imagine your Mum telling you ‘Hey, wash the dishes!’ when there’s a fire starting in the kitchen. Of course, you’d prioritize and tell her ‘There are more important things right now!’ That’s how the situation could look like to your Pom.
Luckily, you can start training your Pom around some distractions
Put them on a leash and expose them to triggers from a distance. Minimize the distance as long as your Pom doesn’t react to the trigger.
The idea here is that your Pom acknowledges the triggers but isn’t bothered by them. When your Pom continues to tolerate the triggers from a certain distance, you can start gradually decreasing the distance.
Your Pom deserves a treat for every time they don’t react.
When you’re keeping your Pom further away from the triggers, it’s easier for your Pom to accept them. This is a step-by-step process and shouldn’t be forced.
Imagine you’re absolutely terrified of rats and start screaming by just the sight of one in the same room. Well, you won’t get over your reaction if someone suddenly stretches out their arms and puts a rat in front of your face.
You’ll likely get traumatized. That’s precisely what we’re trying to avoid happening with your Pom.
Change your Pom’s emotional response
Imagine – for every time you see a rat, you find $50 on the floor. Not too bad, eh? Chances are, you’ll get used to rats if you associate them with easy money.
Every time your Pom notices a trigger but doesn’t react, feed them a treat. That’s a brilliant way to reinforce their emotional response to a positive one.
Reward your Pom’s desired behavior
When you reward the desired behavior of your Pom, the unwanted behavior will start appearing less and less.
Whenever your Pom sees or hears something that normally triggers them, ask them to perform an action. It could be ‘sit’, ‘lie down’ or ‘come here’. As soon as your Pom has done what you’ve asked of them it’s treat time.
This will help your Pom associate triggers with something that’s not only harmless but is also pleasant.
When a Pom gets triggered, they could turn to aggression if their adrenaline levels are too much up. This could get them into fights with other dogs.
Or your Pom could bite you if they’re overly-aroused and you decide to get too close to them such as touch them.
To play it safe, yet achieve the results you want, its’ best to consult a professional in the field.
Disclaimer: If your Pom shows severe behavioral issues, consult with a pet behaviorist or a dog trainer in your area.
While this could be a helpful read, it is by no means a definite guarantee of results or a substitute for live training. A reputable professional can tailor a plan that meets the needs of your Pomeranian as an individual.