The Pomerama

Pom Aggression

Maintained by Susann Philbrook

[Commentary] Sometimes our love for our Pomeranians gets in the way of good judgment. Many times I hear from owners who can not understand why their dogs are acting aggressively to other people, dogs, even to their own family members. We must remember that when a dog first exhibits an undesirable behavior that is the time to set the dog straight and not sit there chuckling over how funny you think it is. You may find it amusing at first, but in the end, it will have created a pattern. A pattern that is no longer amusing and very difficult to break.
Dogs being pack animals will continually retest their owners ,as they do other dogs, to find out if they can rate as pack leader. It is up to YOU to maintain the pack leader status. Consider the way dogs interact with each other. Disputes are quick and to the point and the loser ends up backing down. You always have to think in these terms.
If a particular scene creates an aggression problem, then change the scene. Think in terms of throwing a new element in to the equation. At the very least the dog will be caught off guard and will have to formulate a new response. For instance in one of the cases below, the dog becomes overprotective of the daughter. (Actually the dog thinks it is protecting its property.) How would I change this? I would no longer allow the dog to sleep in the daughter's room. I would crate the dog at night in the kitchen (with food and water in its crate). After a few months of this, and once I was satisfied that the dog no longer expressed aggressive habits, I would allow the dog to sleep at night in the daughter's bedroom, but always in its crate.
The person who is on the receiving end of the aggressive behavior should also make an effort to better bond with the dog. Feed it, train it, and/or give it treats when it responds in a good way. Some dogs may always have an aggressive nature. The key is always to keep it in check.
Sue Philbrook

I am writing to see if anyone knows what we can do to help resolve this aggressive behavior. I love this dog and when he is sweet, there is nothing sweeter, but he is equally mean. I want to help him and I am open to any suggestions anyone may have.
From Lisa McCal/email:

Spicy has become very protective of my 12 year old daughter. At night, Spicy sleeps in the bed with Jessica. In the morning when I come in to wake Jess, Spicy gets vicious, baring her teeth and growling at me. If I attempt to touch Jess, Spicy will snap at me and will frequently bite me. It is comforting to know that a stranger could not enter my daughter room without Spicy alerting the whole house, but it is a frustrating and often painful way start to my day. Any suggestions? By the way, Spicy is loving to me most of the time. As a matter of fact, I often cradle her in my arms like a baby while I go about my routine. She is definitely our "baby".
From Tina Dietz/email: TDIETZ@WSCC.CC.TN.US

I have the same problem. What should I do? Or should I just get rid of the dog!
From Steve/email:

If a person does not take the time to get to know about the dog's ancestors they can unwittingly "double up" on undesirable traits when a dog is inbred. That could have been the case with Teddy. Most males become "more so" if they are allowed to breed. I would advise getting Grover neutered early (now sounds good!!) and then taking him to obedience classes. There he will learn that YOU are the boss, and you will be taught how to act as an alpha. He should be checked out fully by your vet - there could be a physical reason for his behavior. Has he ever fallen? Does he walk normally? Do you allow him to jump up and down on his hind legs or on and off the furniture? All these things could cause pain in joints, and a dog in pain can be less that sweet natured. If there is no physical cause then obedience lessons, perhaps agility classes - things that reinforce you as #1 and make him healthily tired, may help.
From Mary Allan/email:

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Copyright 1999, by Susann Philbrook
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