Training for Your Pomeranians
Roberta Malott, Pondside
I: Happy Training
your obedience dog into a winner by using a conditioned reinforcer,
without using physical corrections, will be the subject of this
mini-series. It makes
training a Ahappy@ time for you and your dog. So
arm yourself with a clicker or whatever you prefer to use but I
would recommend the clicker. Bring
treats (please ¾
regular kibble!) and let=s
get some more pomeranians in that obedience ring. (Conformation
people can use this too ¾
just for obedience).
is a relatively new technique used for obtaining desired
behaviors. Because it uses no physical corrections, the
technique lends itself very well to our little breed.
So we can get rid of the choke collars.
Some of this training can be done with no collar at all,
providing you are training in a secure, fenced area only, of
order to shape behavior rapidly and effectively, you must use a
distinct signal, such as a touch or a noise that marks the instant
the right action has occurred.
After the signal, puppy
is given something she likes, such as praise, petting,
food or toys. Although
the food or praise tells puppy
you are pleased, the marker signal is actually more
important because it tells her exactly what she was doing that
earned the reward. That information makes it highly likely that she will do the
behavior again. The
noise must be distinct, something easily discernable from other
noises puppy hears
regularly. The toy clicker works very well, however, you can use a
tongue cluck, a single word, however, the clicker is faster and
order to make use of this conditioned reinforcer, puppy
must become accustomed to the clicker and exactly what it means:
get a treat when I hear that click@. To do this, take 10-15 minutes in a quiet
spot. Click, then
immediately give her a treat. At this point, the treat should be
something really tasty for her.
After several repetitions of this procedure, she will
begin to associate hearing the click and getting a treat; that
is what you want. You
see a little bell go off in her head.
clicks - then I get a treat@.
Then you can begin shaping behaviors and all the
exercises in obedience are just a series of "behaviors@ ¾
some just a little more complex than others.
traditional training, with using the clicker and the treat
verbal cue for the behavior is not added until puppy is doing
the behavior reliably. You
do not tell puppy to Asit@
until you know that she will sit.
So remember ¾
verbal cue for behaviors until puppy knows the behavior you are
FOR THIS EDITION: Teach your pom to Atake
your clicker and treats in hand.
When your dog is just getting up from a nap, she usually
this stretch ¾
and give her a treat. You
might have to Acatch@
her a few times, but you will soon have a real cute Abow@! After she is doing it
then and only then can you add the verbal cue to the behavior.
next time, keep those clickers clicking.
II: Butt Biters
This edition will be dedicated to
everybody out there who has a little one who just lives for the
chance to "jump up and bite your
butts"!! Does that sound familiar to
anyone? NO? Well I am embarrassed to have to admit that I have
one who has "connected" a few times, and it does not
make for "happy training".
It started as part of our reward based training. I have
always believed a happy puppy will follow you anywhere. I surely
did not want to take away his happiness at being by my side (or
directly behind me) so when the first "incident"
I am quite certain that he perceived my "OUCH" and
quick turn around as his "reward" for the behavior.
Did not take many "incidents" to instill this behavior
in him. He began to "jump" (I am sure he has little
springs built into the bottom of his feet ¾
can clear 24" with no problem) at every opportunity that
This is nothing to do with aggressive behavior or his being
upset or nasty!! I wish to get that point across ¾
that is not tolerated from any of our dogs (another long
training issue). This has everything to do with his wanting to
be "near me" and his happy disposition. If I thought
it had anything to do with aggression, I would use an entirely
different approach. Still very positive though.
So, armed with lots of teeny treats, and my trusty clicker,
out we went. A few times round the patio, did not take him long
to start his "butt biting"! Definitely fun for him!
I had different ideas for him. I was not looking for perfect
heel position ¾
just somewhere on my left. You will remember that there is no
cue at this point - he would not know any word I could attach to
the behavior at this time.
Every time he was within my space, he got a click and treat.
That was all we worked on for about 30 minutes the first day. I
will not attempt to tell you that one training session had him
but I think he had more of an idea of what is acceptable heeling
behavior. This little boy has 6 points so he has not always done
this. As this is just a new behavior, we have only had 3
training sessions to train it out ¾
but have to say that he actually is beginning to
"think" about where he should be and not thinking
about jumping at every chance he gets. This method of training
actually helps the dogs "think". And we all know how
well they think. They can learn almost anything!
FOR THIS EDITION: Teach your dog to ride a skate board
Do you have a skate board? Kids get lots of kicks out of
seeing puppies ride the skate board. Not
too hard to teach your dog to do. Put puppy and skate board on
the floor. Click and treat for the initial look at the board,
click and treat when he looks at it again. Once he knows he will
get a click and treat for looking at it, he will walk towards
it. Click and treat. When he gets close to it ¾
click and treat. He gets a click and treat for touching it. He
might have to go through each step many times ¾
click and treat each time. Remember ¾
NEVER CLICK WITHOUT THE TREAT!! You would not want to go to work
without the paycheck at the end of the week would you? Click and
treat for putting paws on it ¾
soon he will be riding! No cue until he is reliably doing the
Have fun with YOUR poms ¾
hugs to all!