Pomeranians are popular pooches and well-loved by their owners. However, they also have a track record and a bit of a bad reputation for barking a lot, which can put a lot of people off adopting them. While the Pom might be predisposed to barking more than some other breeds, understanding why and learning how to train them can make the problem a non-issue for those who want to bring a ball of fluff into their lives.
The Pomeranian Breed: A Quick Overview
Pomeranians are exceptionally popular pets for families, couples, and anyone living on their own. Affectionately known as Poms, these pups are balls of love and energy, hungry for affection and eager to please their loved ones. Poms are famous for their fluffy fur coats, foxy features, and friendly personalities.
They hail from the Pomerania region of northern Europe, where their ancestors were bred as sled-pulling and working dogs, hence their thick double coats. The breed is also highly intelligent and, therefore, very trainable, another reason why they make great pets.
Poms are also confident and brave despite their small stature, and they typically won’t hesitate to alert their owners to a problem or make their needs known with their loud barking — something they have become infamous for.
Understanding Canine Communication
In order to get to the root of why your Pomeranian might be barking up a storm, it’s important to understand why dogs bark in the first place.
First of all, you need to realize that barking is a canine’s primary mode of communication. It’s how they communicate with one another, with other animals, and with us. Barking is how your dog expresses emotion — such as frustration, excitement, fear, or even boredom! They might bark when they feel threatened and want to warn off intruders or other threats, or they might bark when they want to get doggy exercise, or go outside to play.
You might experience dogs occasionally barking “for no reason,” but keep in mind that there’s almost always a reason behind your pup getting vocal, and you might just not know what it is they’re trying to say.
Pomeranians and Their Natural Instincts
As has already been mentioned, Pomeranians have been bred down from a different breed of working dog from northern Europe. Their ancestor, the German Spitz, was a bigger, sled-pulling pooch accustomed to the snow and hard labor.
However, the Poms we know today were bred to be smaller and to fulfill a different role — guard dog.
Yes, this breed was quite literally bred to be a high-alert alarm bell for any sign of danger or threat. With this knowledge, it starts to make sense that Pomeranians have the inclination to bark more than some other breeds you might be accustomed to. They’re not trying to be annoying, it’s just their natural instincts kicking in and letting them do their jobs right.
Separation Anxiety in Pomeranians
One of the most common reasons for Pomeranians to bark incessantly is their separation anxiety. Poms are prone to anxiety, hate being left alone, and miss their loved ones, fearing abandonment.
It’s important to realize that a Pomeranian is the type of dog that needs company most of the time. However, the more accustomed they are to being around people, the more they will struggle when they have to be left alone, which is a nasty sort of catch-22.
Separation anxiety can usually be identified by high-pitched barking and whining — the kind that can drive your neighbors crazy if you aren’t home for a few hours. It’s important, in these cases, to train your pup to behave and relax, even when you aren’t around.
Socialization and Pomeranian Barking
One of the most important parts of a Pomeranian’s training is socialization since being around unfamiliar dogs, people, and places can be another cause for excessive barking if the pooch isn’t well-trained.
It’s important to start socializing your Pom early on — make sure that it’s always supervised and try to keep the experience as positive as possible for your pup. More socialization in their younger years can help to reduce their suspicion of strangers and minimize any potential aggressive behavior towards other dogs.
Learning to play (nice) and learning when it’s not okay to bark at others in controlled environments and scenarios will help to minimize barking when you’re exposing your dog to new people and environments more naturally, such as having friends over or visiting a new dog park.
Environmental Factors to Consider
Of course, not everything is within your control, and you need to accept this to some degree. There will be certain things in your Pomeranian’s environment that might trigger fear, excitement, or some other emotions that might make them bark.
These could include loud, unfamiliar noises, aggressive behavior from other people or animals, stressful or unfamiliar environments, or even certain smells. This is not to mention all the emotional or physical factors that might cause barking, like fear, pain,jealousy, hunger, etc.
All of this is to say if you notice your Pom barking incessantly or for unknown reasons, take it as a prompt to do a little investigating. They might be in pain or be stressed out by something in the environment, and you might be able to help calm them down.
Living With a Pomeranian: Training and Finding Balance
Owning a Pomeranian can be so rewarding, but as mentioned, you will most definitely need to train them well if you want to avoid having a “yappy” dog.
Instead of yelling at your pup whenever they bark, take the time to understand the reason behind it and train them out of the behavior calmly. Using positive reinforcement is a great technique when it comes to keeping your pooch quiet, and dog treats are always a reliable tool for any type of training.
On the other hand, learn to appreciate how alert your Pom is and that they’re always looking out for you. Pay attention to their barks — they might just be letting you know that something is amiss.