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Pomeranian Attitude Help

Discussion in 'Woof Memorial Critter's Corner' started by M1A Shooter, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. we rescued another Pomeranian a few months ago. i acts like he may have been abused but probably most likely just a regular pomeranian that was overly babied. if you brushed him, he would scream like you were ripping his hair out, same with clipping his nails. we finally got him over that and his confidence was coming up and he was becoming a really good dog.

    two weeks ago, we dog sit for a friend of my wifes while they went on vacation. she had a GSD that had no confidence in himself. he was scared aggressive and bluff charged baring his teeth and such all the time. his confidence came up during his time with my 2 GSDs and he went home a much better dog. they also had a 12yo golden retriever but he seems on the verge of the crossover but was a very sweet dog. their 3rd dog was a chiuaua that really had no house manners and was obviously babied to the point that he really could do no wrong.

    my rescue pomeranian picked up a few habits from the chiuaua and quit going outside for anything. he goes to the bathroom in my spare bedroom. if you would call him to go outside, he would turn and run into the bedroom and try to hide from me. so i started following him to the bedroom and then carrying him outside. he still will wait until he comes in to go pee in the spare room. my wife tried to correct him and he bit her, not just a nip but actually tore skin off her hand. she obviously is starting to be scared of him and he knows it.

    i guess im too used to big dogs and the dominance side of body language and such instead of spanking them or whatever. i immediately picked him up after he bit my wife and he bit me twice and peed down my sleeve. i put him outside for awhile. he came in a pooped on the floor.

    while i was at work, he did the same kind of things again but this time my wife grabbed hm like i showed her so he couldnt bite her again. instead of biting her, and he tried, he pooped on himself and started foaming at the mouth.

    we did start kenneling him up at night again as we dont trust him by himself and he wont go in the kennel. ive been letting him out straight from the kennel and hes been going out with the rest of the dogs but he still pees as soon as he comes in the house. this is all happening just in the last week after the other dogs left. i cant explain it. my wife is getting very frustrated and starting to talk about getting rid of him but i cant knowingly give him to anyone else as a biter.

    i know this was a long rant but hopefully someone with more small dog experience can give some insight? this rescue is 4yo. we do have another 6yo pomeranian that my wife has had since he was a puppy but he doesnt seem to act like the usual pomeranian. hes very calm and she uses him as a therapy dog in nursing homes and childrens hospitals. all of our other dogs have been GSDs.
  2. Delirious

    Delirious loyal slave

    Jan 11, 2006
    Little dogs can be a pain in the ass can't they! My daughter moved home with a small terrier mix and we had some of the same problems although not to the degree you have described. Some rescues can really take allot of work. Is he fixed? No reason not too and you will gain a little intensity reduction, but not outright behavior change. Some of the problems seem like he has not accepted you as the alpha.

    My creds are I have 4 American Eskimo Dogs (1 from puppy, 3 rescues) which are the larger cousin to Pomeranians. I think they are very similar with very strong and smart characteristics and bad behaviors can be difficult to train out. With some characteristics, I've been unable to correct with training. The males are to most difficult to work with and the females are a piece of cake. The rescues always seem to have some issues like insecurity, obedience (trust issues), and shyness/socialization. Sounds like he is fighting you for domance and hasn't really joined your family.

    The advice we got for peeing was to kennel him and then let him out on a leash to pee. Then back in the kennel and repeat 4 hrs. later, and only praise and treat when you get the behavior you want. When the terrier pooped indoors, I rubbed his nose in it and that worked for him.

    I think the aggression is the side effect of transition and alpha acceptance. If he were my dog, I would hold him firmly down so he can't fight free until he relaxes. This might take a fair bit of time and you might get faked out at 1st. I would be very careful not to use a harsh voice, but don't be complementary until you get the behvior you want or he may get confused. Quiet stern face and overwhelming control. Another thing I hear is don't use the crate for punishment.

    I think he was babied and has always been the alpha, and does whatever he wants. The little pigmy is really ballsy. (haha) Maybe there is a Pomerainian rescue group or a vet you can talk with? You maybe thinking "duh" to some of my comments, but just trying to help. I've been in your shoes, but not quite as extreeme as you describe. I've always been most sucessful using sugar instead of harshness. Win the dominace contest and then build trust.

    Good Luck
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010

  3. thanks for the input.

    we have been kenneling him this week and it seems to be helping. he goes outside and then comes back in. he doesnt want to go into the kennel and tries to suck up so he doesnt have to go in.

    as far as the dominance issue, i think you may be correct. whenever he does anything that needs to be corrected, he turns on us when we correct him. he is starting to give it up a little at a time but you can see him take it out on the other dogs as well. luckily my other 3 dogs are pretty solid individuals and dont put up with it at all. none of them are really dominant of the others but none of them take his crap much.

    hopefully the kennel and retraining will be helpful. it seems to be a decent start.

    what i find wierd is when we have done abused fosters before, my other dogs have almost rtained them for me and i just have to gain their trust and respect in people again. this dogsitting was the first time one of my dogs have picked up a bad habit from the new dogs, granted he is fairly new to us as well.
  4. Delirious

    Delirious loyal slave

    Jan 11, 2006
    Good to hear! Sounds like when he gets his attitude adjusted, your pack can take over.
    good luck!
  5. Platz


    Jul 1, 2007
    Dogs will follow whatever pack leader presents themselves. Whether it be you, or the new dog, they will fall into line with the behavior the pack leader exhibits and permits. Unfortunately, this new little beast you have sounds like he's been running the show in his previous homes. So he came into yours and expects no different. Most dogs will test you, even those who aren't naturally dominant.

    As far as the house training goes - many dogs will potty in areas other dogs have previously, they are following the scent. Make sure you're using a really good pet enzyme carpet cleaner to help remove lingering scents. Crate them when you're away until you can break the cycle.

    Consistancy and not allowing him to get away with anything are the key here.

    It is an extremely common misconception that many rescue dogs are "abused." At best, many are neglected medically wise. Many dogs are naturally weak nerved (bad breeding) and people often attribute weak nerve behaviors to having been abused. On the flip side, they attribute attitude as a defense to having been previously abused. A lot of the ill behavior comes from lack of leadership and rules at some point in time. You are most likey right when you said this is likely from being babied. The dog will learn to accept the rules as long as you continue to enforce them. That means that when you say sit, the dog immediately sits. When you say "wait" before the dog plows through a doorway - the dog waits. When you say "cage" the dog goes to it's kennel. The dog can not growl or snap if you are removign a toy, treat, or food. If you want to brush its coat, don't allow him to snap at you and scare you off. He's not being hurt, he is testing you. Don't let him win, or this will be an ongoing battle for the rest of your (and his) life.

    Sounds like you are on the right track, just keep at it and don't forget you are the human and pay the bills. :)
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  6. the pottytraining seems to have corrected over the last few days. he is still very aggressive. he has bitten my wife 3 times today. she was sitting with him on her bed and then she got up to put him in his kennel and he bit her. she rolled him into a submissive behavior and he bit her again. i rolled him and he tried to act like he was going to bite me but stopped just short. he got up and bolted out of the room. when i chased him he peed on himself and then gave into me putting him in the kennel but was growling the whole time.

    this afternoon, my wife fed the dogs and when he went into another dogs bowl, she corrected him and placed him back near his bowl. this circle repeated twice more. on the third time, he bit her again when se picked him up.

    im not talking fake bluffs or bumping people with his teeth, which my big dogs will do to correct people hurting them. he has broken skin and aggressively bit my wife 3 times today. this makes 7 times this week. hes bitten me twice but seems to know better as he will usually bluff me once before biting.

    i know this is a dominance issue, and i appreciate the input from you guys. im just starting to lose ground with my wife over this issue and shes wanting to put him down for being an aggressive dog. i use to laugh at people claiming such a small dog could be aggressive but i feel like im losing this one. non of my usual actions and training from my other dogs have any affect on this dog. even when i call him to me, he will run to the end of the hallway and cower like hes cornered. then you get scared aggression.

    not sure what to do anymore. this just seems to be compounding. hopefully he will break soon.
  7. Platz


    Jul 1, 2007
    Forcing a dog into what's commonly referred to as an "alpha roll" is a most excellent way of getting bit. There are a few here that recommend it at times and as I am no "dog expert" I tend to keep my opinions to myself unless they are requested. With that said, a true alpha roll of a dog doesn't require you to do much more than touch the dog. The dog goes to it's side or back because it is mentally and physically submitting. When you force an alpha roll on a dog, all you are doing is physically making the dog submit. At best. Whether big or small, as you've found, it can be hard to effectively pin a dog down without getting bit unless you *really* know what you are doing.

    If you flip or "roll" a dog that is in that kind of mental state, the dog will likely go into self preservation mode and the best way to fight back is to bite.

    The dog isn't an evil aggressive dog. It's a dog that is not being taught properly.

    I see a number of red flags in what you've written in that you are trying to do the right thing, but not going about it the right way.

    1) Alpha/dominant dogs should NEVER be permitted on the bed, the couch, or any other furniture. If you allow them do be up there (which, again, they shouldn't be....) the dog needs to be made to get down by its own means. You can't pick it up, and place it on the ground. This defeats the purpose, and opens you or your wife up for a bite in protest. Use your body to make him get off the bed. Even if you're a dwarf, ;) this is a little bitty dog we're talking about here. You can make him get down without exposing your hands to him. Again, he must jump down on his own when you tell him to. Back up your verbal commands with physical body language. Use your body to keep backing him up and blocking his attempts to go around you to stay on the bed.

    2) Don't kennel him when he's behaving like this. It is an easy out, but but does not solve the problem. Time-outs of sorts can be effective in some regards, but not typically for this kind of problem. The problem is he thinks he's the alpha over you and your wife. Kenneling will not solve this.

    3) Food aggression - he should have never had the opportunity to go into another dogs bowl three times. Her corrections are not working if this is occuring. The easy out here for the short term is to kennel him while he eats. It doesn't solve the problem, but that's a training program that will take some serious explaining and time. At this point in time, it sounds like the frustration is beyond the point of successful training in this area, and my advice is to utilize the kennel you mentioned and feed him in there.

    Leash him for training sessions. Don't give him the chance to run down the hallway. If you must, attach a 4 foot leash and let him drag it around the house so your wife has a 4 foot leash to grab if she loses control of the dog and needs to restrain him.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  8. Delirious

    Delirious loyal slave

    Jan 11, 2006
    This guy is really screwed up and taumatized. I don't mean externally, but by his own doing. Do you know anything more about his background? Has he been passed around in other adoptions that didn't work out? Who can say what a proper transition can be? Each dog, like humans react in their own manner. One thing I thouht of instead of rolling him on his back and holding him down is to grab him by the scruff of his neck and hold his feet off the ground until he calms down. I don't think it's about breaking, but rather about acceptance. If you just plain run out of patience, maybe you could give him to a rescue group to work with rather than putting him down. I don't think the aggression is anything more than an expression of his trauma and not meaness. The fighting for food is a survival instinct.

    And above all, remember, he's not a pit bull, he's a pomerainian. A serious pomerainian maulling is very rare... (hehe)
  9. i know hes not immediately dangerous but things can happen. my MIL lost some function of her hand when her tabby cat bit her wrist and tore a ligament.

    however, he has seemed to calm down a bit. ive really been working on his feeding habits. all of my dogs get fed seperately but in the same room together. ive been very good about picking up his food and messing around him a bit, like petting him and such while hes eating. ive even taken his food away until he calms down and then give it back.

    he is still very annoying and has a few bad manners/habits but there is noticable progress and my wife is accepting him again.