Advanced Training & Activities With Your Pomeranian

Sitting at home, cuddling with your Pom, may not be enough activity for you or your furry friend. If you want to get active with your dog there are several options, such as sporting competitions or visits to the elderly.

Most will require additional training, and a few are just for fun. All are a good way for both of you to bond and get more out of your time together.

So what can you do with your Pom?

Canine Good Citizen

Pomeranians are small-and portable-so they can easily travel about with their owners. Being trained and well-mannered is an essential prerequisite to such ventures. Earning a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) title is a way to offer proof of good behaviour, particularly to non-dog persons and to businesses or motels that might be reluctant to admit a dog, otherwise. CGC is an AKC program designed to recognize dogs who display good behaviour at home and in public, and to emphasize responsible pet ownership to the community. Although begun in the United States, many European and Asian countries have similar programs. Canine good citizenship is awarded to your dog based on the successful completion of a multiple-step test. Dogs must be presented in a certain manner and respond to several commands during the test, which is administered by certified evaluators.

The commands include the following:

  • Accepting a friendly stranger. With dog on leash, owner is greeted by the evaluator while on a simulated walk. Dog remains calm at owner’s side while they chat, without approaching the evaluator.
  • Sitting politely for petting. Dog sits at owner’s side while evaluator pets him in a friendly manner. Dog must not shy away.
  • Appearance and grooming. Dog is inspected by evaluator to ascertain that dog is clean, groomed, and healthy. Feet and ears are gently examined, and dog is brushed as part of the test. Handling and grooming must be accepted calmly.
  • Out for a walk. Not as formal as in basic or competitive obedience, dog and owner must walk together and execute a right turn, left turn, about, and halt. Dog is to walk on a loose lead and pay attention to owner.
  • Walking through a crowd. Dog and owner walk around and close to multiple people. Dog can show interest but should not be out of control, shy away from, or jump on people.
  • Sit, down, and stay. On a 20-foot leash, dog does a ”sit,” and a ”down.” A “stay” will be requested from either position at the evaluator’s discretion. Owner walks to end of leash, then returns, while dog remains in place.
  • Come when called. With dog in a ”stay,” owner walks away from dog, then calls him to come.
  • Reaction to another dog. With dog on leash, owner walks toward another individual also walking a leashed dog. While people talk, dog may only show casual interest in the other dog without leaving owner’s side.
  • Reaction to distraction. Evaluator chooses two distractions from a variety of actions-dropping large or noisy items, moving large items, joggers passing, and so forth. Dog may show interest, curiosity, or even seem mildly startled, but may not bark, run away, panic, or show aggression.
  • Supervised separation. On leash, dog remains with evaluator while owner goes out of sight for three minutes. Dog does not have to stay in position. Mild nervousness or anxiety is acceptable, but barking, whining, or continual pacing are not.

During testing, owners may talk to their dogs as needed to perform exercises, but treats are not allowed. Testing is done in a flat-buckle or slip collar and leash, and owner should bring his dog’s own brush. Evaluators supply the remaining equipment and people.

Dogs will be disqualified if they eliminate during the test. Growling, snapping, biting, or displaying aggression towards people, animals, or test objects will also result in failure of the test. Dogs who pass the test receive a CGC certificate, and their new title is recorded with the AKC.

To prepare your dog for the test, he should be well-socialized and responsive to basic obedience commands. Tests are administered at many dog or breed events and competitions, through obedience clubs and therapy groups. To find an evaluator or an upcoming test in your area, contact the AKC or look on the AKC website.


Did your Pom enjoy obedience classes? Did he pass the CGC test with flying colours? If so, then obedience at the competitive level may be an activity you want to pursue. Obedience trials were originated with the explicit purpose of demonstrating the ability of dogs to be good companions to humans.

In formal obedience competition, the commands learned in basic obedience training are constructed to test dog and handler on their ability to comprehend and execute these commands with precision.

Dogs earn titles based on the completion of exceedingly more difficult tasks at each level of competition.

At a trial, competitors in the same class are all required to perform the same series of exercises. Judges grade the dog and handler according to a scale of points that deduct for flaws, refusals, and imprecise movements. To earn an AKC obedience title, dogs must have completed three successful trials (qualifying legs) with scores of no less than 170 points out of a possible 200.

Exercises in each class are dependent upon which title an owner is seeking for his dog. Beginner obedience starts with the six most common commands taught in basic training classes. Commands given by the judge increase in difficulty with each level of competition, including the addition of hurdles, long ”down-stays” with owners out of the room, and finding articles covered with the handler’s scent.

Titles that can be earned include the beginner’s or Novice level and CD for Companion Dog. Next is the Open Class, where dogs can become a Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) by performing more of the competition commands off-leash. The most difficult levels are the Utility trials. Dogs who successfully complete, under three different judges, such exercises as commands given only by hand signals (silent commands) and directed retrieving of a single specified article out of several, earn either the UD (Utility Dog) or UDX (Utility Dog Excellent). In addition to earning these titles, a dog may also be awarded a High in Trial (HIT) win, if his score is the highest for the day in his category.

At the very highest level of competition, dogs can go on to earn an Obedience Trial Championship (OTCH). This title is bestowed when dog and handler have earned 100 points by placing at least fourth or higher, under three different judges, in the Open and Utility classes. An OTCH is very difficult to obtain, usually earned by extraordinary dogs with owners who make training and competing for the title a major goal in their lives.

As strong-willed, independent thinkers, some Pomeranians may not be inclined towards obedience competition. However, because they are intelligent and want to please their people, Pomeranians can learn to compete-and earn titles-with the right training methods and plenty of practice.

If your Pom enjoyed and did well in basic obedience, it might prove satisfying for both of you to earn an obedience title or two. At national and regional Pomeranian speciality events, there are usually plenty of obedience Poms in competition, and many of them compete quite successfully.

If you want to see if earning an obedience title is fun for you and your Pom, ”Take classes at local obedience clubs or training schools, then go to matches. Go to a dog show that has obedience and watch the competitions. If you are unfamiliar with the exercises, ask some of the competitors what they are doing,” obedience instructor Wendy Donnelly advises. ”It’s well worth the effort to take your Pom into the formal obedience ring.”

Rally Obedience

Rally-O is similar to obedience, but at a more relaxed pace. The sport is designed to be more fun and a little easier for both dog and owner. Competitions are not as formal and do not require as much precision, although dogs must still understand and respond to various obedience and other commands.

Owners and dogs progress through a course that consists of multiple stations. These stations have signs which instruct the handler what command the dog is expected to perform next. The total amount of stations and complexity of the commands, which can include small jumps, are determined by the level of competition, and are based on the classes successfully completed in the past.

Handlers may talk to their dogs throughout the course to show them what actions they want them to perform, and hand signals may be given more than once for each command, unlike obedience. The sport promotes the use of encouragement and praise for the dog by his owner. Rally-O was designed to bridge the activity gap between completion of a CGC and formal obedience. Pomeranians who might not enjoy or respond well to the more rigid requirements of obedience may enjoy rally obedience better.

Because of the more relaxed requirements, physically challenged owners and dogs can easily participate. ”Tuffy had an enlarged heart before he died, but he still wanted to work,” Barbara McClatchey, UKC obedience trials and AKC rally-obedience judge, tells of her multi-titled Pomeranian, UUD Mar-Vic’s Stuff’d Black Bear, UDX, RA, NA, NA}, CGC, TDInc., HOF, GC. ”The vet said to let him do what he Wanted to do. He finished his advanced rally title before his death.”

Rally-O is a sport that is new to the canine competition scene. Training classes and sanctioned trials are in the early stages, so you may have to hunt to find rally-o near your area. If you think you and your Pom might like to try this fun competition, check with the AKC or the Association of Pet Dog Trainers for seminars or events near your area.

”Make each exercise a game that is set up for your Pom to win. That makes it more enioyable for him to work, and they continue to want to please you when you do this,” says Wendy Donnelly, obedience instructor and owner of Tiny Tim Pendleton, a Pomeranian who has earned the Utility Dog title and believes obedience is a fun game. ”Keep a good sense of humour because at times Poms act like clowns and will do anything to make their owners laugh. Laughter is their greatest reward.”


Agility is high-action excitement and fun for dog and owner, and is probably the most popular sport in all of canine competition. Trials are run on a varying course of obstacles over which the handler must successfully direct his dog in a limited amount of time.

Obstacles include jumps, tunnels, ramps, teeter-totters, weave poles, elevated walks, A-frames, and more. Because agility is as much play as it is work, most dogs enjoy the sport immensely. The fast pace and audience enthusiasm create an atmosphere that is well-suited for the Pomeranian who loves to be the centre of attention. ”I had seen dog agility on TV and was amazed. It was fun and exciting, so I investigated and found it wasn’t just for big dogs. Little dogs were very much into agility, too,” says Mandy V. Kiely, agility enthusiast and Pomeranian owner. ”Honey Dew and I started training and she loved it, loved it, and showed signs of being a great agility dog.”

Dogs that compete in agility should first have a solid foundation in basic obedience training and work Well with their owners.

Next, start out with beginner agility classes given by a good training school. Introduce each object slowly and have patience while working towards each goal or new obstacle. Reward successful performance with a treat and praise. Pomeranians are smart, attentive, good listeners, and watchers who wait to see what is next, all attributes that help make agility training much easier. ”Always have patience, make training fun and upbeat, end on a positive note, and don’t over-train,” instructs Kiely. ”An agility dog should be well-socialized, used to being around lots of barking dogs, noise, and the hustle and bustle of a dog show.”

In addition to training, Kiely believes it is essential that the bond between you and your dog should be strong, that they trust you 100 percent. Also, if your Pom has knee problems like luxating patellas, it’s probably best that he not participate in this physically demanding sport. But if your Pom is healthy and shows interest in running and jumping, give it a try.

Before engaging in any competition or strenuous activity with your dog, he should be thoroughly examined and cleared by a veterinarian. For the Pomeranian, this means paying particular attention to patellas that may luxate or a trachea susceptible to collapse. Vaccinations should be up to date (or antibody titres sufficiently high) so your dog is protected against the most serious communicable canine diseases.

If your dog is iniured, sick, or showing early signs of any change in health, don’t compete. At competitions, avoid getting too close to any other dogs who look or act as if they are ill. If your bitch is in season, you may not be permitted at some events. At those where she is allowed, keep her crated away from intact malesl Teach your dog ”no sniff” in regards to greeting other dogs, and enforce the no-smell zone.

Use the appropriate collar for the type of activity. The wrong collar or dangling lD tags may interfere with your dog’s performance or cause an accident. Proper size collar and length of leash is also important to correct performance.

Slip-proof your dog. Trim the hair back, short, around his feet and foot pads, and cut his toenails. Mats are usually used to prevent slippage, but if the surface where he will be competing is slippery, apply a ”sticky paw” product to the bottom of his feet which also helps prevent slipping.

When dogs are first learning above-ground obstacles, use a second person as a spotter to reduce the chance of falls.

Dress for the weather; leave an umbrella in your car or tack box. In hot weather, bring ice packs, extra water, and tarps or pop-up shelters for creating shade, maybe fans and extension cords, if electric is available. For cold temperatures, does your Pom need a sweater, or even booties if it’s icy or extremely cold? Pack a blanket and extra towels. Keep a watchful eye on your dog if the weather is extreme.

Go to events prepared. Bring your dog’s crate and bed. Pack plenty of bowls or paper plates for food, bottled water, dry food, treats, and plastic bags for cleaning up after your dog. Make sure you bring all the supplies you need to compete, like brushes, balls, costumes and so forth. Also pack an extra leash, proper ID, a first aid kit, and copies of medical records, or group credentials, if needed. A folding chair for down time is handy.

Always watch your dog. Keep him safe from large dogs, away from show equipment and supplies, and out from under the feet of quickly moving people. Let him relax and have fun, but don’t let him misbehave.

Kiely notes that there are several ways to introduce your Pom to agility, such as coaxing him to run through a play tunnel. It is also possible to purchase agility equipment for home practice once you have some experience training with your dog. Kiely has an agility course set up in her yard where she and her two Poms train about three times each week.

Besides having fun, there are over two dozen titles to be earned by winning in agility, not only in AKC events, but also in those Sponsored by the UKC, NADAC (North American Dog Agility Council), USDAA (United States Dog Agility Association), the KC, and others around the world. Each organization offers multiple levels of competition that increase in difficulty with every advance towards the next stage. The number and type of obstacles change as well.

”Honey Dew advanced through AKC Novice and Open to the Excellent level in just 10 months ,” exclaims Kiely, who loved agility so much she began competing with a second Pomeranian, Lilly Belle. She says they are working towards Honey Dew’ s MACH title (Master Agility Champion), one of the highest achievements in the sport.

A Pom and his person can have tremendous fun competing in agility. Just don’t let it get too stressful. Remember that the activity is not primarily about winning, but about enjoying each other’s company.


Poms who love to run fast or catch balls may find this active sport perfect. Flyball is run as a relay race, with one team of dogs playing against another. Four dogs per team each take a turn racing across four hurdles towards a box where they must step on a spring which then releases a ball. The dog must catch the ball, reverse direction, and jump over the hurdles again on his way back to the starting line. As soon as he returns, another dog takes off, until all dogs have run the jumps and brought back a ball.

Teams compete in elimination heats until the last two teams have run and one them is the final winner. Height of the hurdles is based on the height of the shortest dog on the team, so fast Pomeranians can become coveted team members. The minimum jump height is set at 8 inches (20.3 cm) for shorter breeds like the Pom. Regardless of height, hurdles are spaced evenly apart over a distance of approximately 50 feet (15.2 m). In addition to a team winning a flyball tournament, individual dogs may also earn titles based on a point system. Titles are Flyball Dog (FD) and FD Excellent ( FDX), Flyball Dog Champion (FDCh), Flyball Dog Master (FM), FM Excellent (FMX) and FMX Champion, and for dogs with exceptional winning records, Flyball Grand Champion.

How can you tell if your Pom might enjoy flyball? A couple of signs are when he is crazy about catching a ball and loves to play fetch. He will also need plenty of drive to run and to get the ball. Personality is also important. Flyball dogs should be confident, well socialized, outgoing, and able to ignore noisy surroundings packed with lots of busy people and dogs.

Even if he’s a natural at running, jumping, and catching, formal training will still be needed to get him ready for competition. In the recent past, training used to take about six months, but with current methods, plenty of classroom practice, and the use of manuals and videos, training from start to tournament can take as little as 12 weeks.

No special methods are usually required to teach a Pom, particularly if he is eager to play. Start by encouraging your Pom to catch and hold the ball, which can be slightly smaller to accommodate the Pom’s tinier mouth. Take the training one segment at a time-jumping over hurdles, catching, retrieving, and so forth. Handlers and spectators enjoy the competitions equally as much as the dogs do. Flyball provides a wonderful opportunity for you and your dog to play together.


Freestyle is dancing with dogs, a competitive or demonstrative event where owners and dogs perform choreographed moves to music. Steps are loosely based on obedience-style movements, such as heeling, and incorporate dance steps with a creative flair. Both handler and dog are in costumes that correspond with the theme of the music.

Barbara McClatchey, who also gives freestyle demonstrations with her dogs on therapy visits, says that Poms, hers included, enjoy the sport. ”As soon as the music started, my dog marched his feet up and down, ready to go,” she says. ”He just loved to move to the music.” Demonstrations are equally enjoyable to audiences, who are often awed by the dogs’ performances.

Dogs and owners are judged on teamwork, style, creative artistry, athleticism, and interpretation. Freestyle is designed to demonstrate the joy of the human-dog bond while both owner and dog have a good time winning titles. For more information about dancing with your dog, contact one of the national freestyle organizations (listed in the reference section).

Conformation (Showing)

As the name suggests, conformation is an event where a dog is judged on how closely he conforms to the standard for his breed, in this case, to the standard for the Pomeranian. A dog is judged against a detailed standard for the purpose of evaluating which males and females are the best to pass along superior genes and continue their breed by producing puppies.

But a dog show is much more. It’s also a beauty pageant, a muscle contest, and a beautiful sport for spectators to watch. Additionally, it’s an activity for families and an event for socializing. And it can all be a bit confusing for those unfamiliar with the process.

What Does It Take to Make a Show Dog

Few dogs born are destined for the show ring. What are the extras that make up a show-quality dog, one bred to be in the winner’s circle? A show dog:

  • Conforms physically to a detailed description of what an ideal Pomeranian should be;
  • Has been planned for generations before he was born, and has ancestors that are also show dogs;
  • Is healthy and in excellent condition;
  • Has an outgoing personality and is not nervous, fearful, or dull;
  • Is trained and well-mannered;
  • Has confidence, and clearly says, ”Look at me-I’m special!”;
  • Is a beloved companion to his owner.
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Competition starts with experienced, educated judges who evaluate dogs in single breed classes divided by gender and age. Handlers pose dogs in a stand for inspection of their body structure and type, fur colour and texture, correct eyes, head, tail, bite and ear-set, and even temperament. The handlers then ”gait” the dogs around the ring, individually and as a group, in order to demonstrate the movement appropriate to the breed.

Winners are selected from each class, then the best male and female are chosen from these selections. These dogs, designated as Winners Dog and Winners Bitch, are awarded points based on the number of dogs they beat. Once a dog has earned a sufficient number of points, he becomes a ”Champion of Record,” which allows him to place the title ”CH” in front of his name.

The Winners Dog, Winners Bitch, and dogs who have already earned their championship then compete for Best of Breed. Dogs chosen as Best of Breed, from every breed class, advance on to the Group class.

The Pomeranian, which is in the Toy Group, competes against the winning dogs from other breeds, such as the Pug or Pekingese, which are also in the same group. A winning dog from each group of breeds (seven in AKC and CKC, nine in KC) then goes on to compete for Best in Show-the dog who is judged to most closely conform to his breed’s standard on that day.

”If someone is interested in showing, I recommend that they not buy a pup for about a year,” suggests Carolyn Bonin of Rivendell Pomeranians. ”During that year, they should read the Pomeranian magazines and books, and talk to exhibitors and breeders. Joining a local breed club is a good way to make contacts and learn. Novices should go to as many dog shows as they can and watch the Pomeranian judging.”

So, long before a puppy is acquired, future show dog owners must research the breed’s standard, breeders, advertisements, pedigrees, and health histories before selecting a show prospect and making a purchase. An owner who wishes to handle his / her own dog will perform better if he/ she takes handling classes and learns proper ring techniques. Before entering the ring, the future show dog needs training, as well. Handlers should start teaching a show prospect at a young age to accept being groomed, posed, and inspected, and being in noisy crowds around many dogs.

Show dogs need optimal nutrition from day one and should be on a regular exercise program to build and maintain muscle. Plus, the high-maintenance coat of a show Pom needs to be kept in top condition at all times. Not only must you have an exemplary dog and good handling skills, showing a dog in conformation requires a considerable commitment of time, money, and effort most days throughout the year. Why commit to such a monumental effort? Most successful, reputable breeders believe the best reason to show in conformation-and the only reason to ever breed puppies-is to improve the breed and to have a great time with your dog.

Conformation focuses on the creation of healthy dogs that will make good companions generation after generation. And there is great satisfaction on a more personal level both from earning your dog’s title and from the bond that develops between you and your dog while working together. If competing with your dog for honours in the conformation ring sounds like an activity you’d enjoy, research, study, watch, and learn everything you can about Pomeranians and dog shows from the experts. “Getting started in showing is tough.

Show quality is not always cut and dried. It takes time to develop an eye for a good Pom,” says Bonin. ”Ask a mentor or some other experienced person to help you.”


To earn an AKC Champion title, a dog must beat other dogs in multiple age and gender classes to become Winners Dog or Bitch. Based on how many dogs are bested, up to a maximum of five points at one time are earned. Some of the points won must be ”majors,” where the dog earns three or more points in a single breed class. A total of 15 points, with two majors, are necessary to become a Champion of Record.

In the UK, a dog must win three Challenge Certificates (CC) from three different judges, with one of these Certificates awarded after the age of one year. To win a CC, a dog must already have been chosen for Best of Sex.

Earning the CC in the UK is not simple, as not all shows offer these certificates. CCs are allocated by the Kennel Club based on the popularity of the breeds being shown. Additionally, dogs which have already earned a CC can continue to compete for more certificates. It is not uncommon in KC shows for dogs who win frequently at the Breed, Group, and Best in Show levels to never become champions.

A Canadian championship is earned when a dog is awarded a total of 10 points by three different judges. One of these wins must be worth at least two points, given at either the Breed or Group level.

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs are out-going, well-mannered dogs who, along with their owners, Visit residents or patients in nursing homes, hospitals, and other in-care facilities, such as assisted living Villages. Because these people may be cheered or comforted by the temporary companionship of a dog, the Visits tend to improve the quality of life and health for these persons through friendly contact with an animal that relieves depression, reduces stress, and promotes health.

Petting a Pomeranian a day can keep the blues away, according to their owners, so why not share some of that joy with others who are down, sick or institutionalized? With their adorable, smiling faces, and personalities that thrive on loving and making people happy, Pomeranians are ideal candidates for therapy dogs. Poms also make good therapy dogs because they are cuddly and small enough to easily sit with a person on a bed or in a wheelchair.

For those interested in doing therapy Visits, it is necessary for owners to socialize their Pom to the types of sounds, equipment, furnishings, flooring surfaces, smells, and people they might encounter on institutional visits. A good foundation in basic obedience training is important. Dogs should be at least one year old and, certified and registered with a recognized therapy dog organization.

Qualification to become a Therapy Dog includes examination by a veterinarian to show that the dog is free of parasites and disease, and is current on vaccinations. A record of this exam is given to the certifying organization by submission of an annually completed health record form. Testing by a certified evaluator usually requires a canine candidate to pass the CGC test, along with tests designed to evaluate reactions and behaviour in an institutional setting. Besides the 10 CGC exercises, these additional evaluations judge reactions to medical equipment, the ability to respond to the ”leave it” command, acceptance of obvious infirmities, and saying hello.

In some instances, passing tests to receive affiliation with a national organization may not always be necessary. Some Pomeranian owners who are active with therapy visitations join local or regional groups who sponsor therapy programs. However, these Poms must still be well-socialized, experienced in public (as is a show dog, for example), and owners must provide documentation from their veterinarian that indicates the dog is healthy and of stable temperament.

Additionally, Poms who are going to be therapy dogs should be calm, enjoy meeting strangers, accept being handled by lots of people, and adapt readily to unusual situations. Owners must also like meeting new people and should be good listeners, willing to talk with patients and residents while they pet the dog. Retired show dogs, already well-mannered and without a job, often make good therapy dogs.

During a therapy visit, residents may either come to one room to see the dogs, some of whom perform tricks, or handlers may take their dogs room to room, asking first, if each patient would like to pet a dog. Some people like to go for wheelchair rides with the dogs, lie in bed with them near, or just hold them in their laps.

“There is something magical about the whole process,” says Carolyn Bonin, whose two retired show Poms are now therapy dogs. ”I think Quincy and Anni understand how much those folks need them. Quincy lies upside down for an hour in the lap of some elderly lady he just met, and he doesn’t even do that with me. I don’t understand it; I just know the folks feel better, I feel better, and the dogs feel better after one of our sessions.”

In addition to casual visits to healthcare facilities, therapy may also take on larger tasks through programs like READ-Reading Education Assistance Dogs, crisis response therapy, or animal assisted therapy (AAT). ln AAT, owner and dog work with a patient and therapist using a specific plan to achieve a specific goal; results are documented in a medical record. Crisis response involves more intensive training for dealing with victims in post traumatic situations, such as in New York City following 9/11.

Bette Meredith who does therapy with her Poms, Pattie and Chickie, reports, “I had a lady say the first word she had ever said since coming to the nursing home. She petted Pattie and said, ’Beautiful.’ The nurse was thrilled.” If you think you and your Pom have what it takes to work a little magic and bring a smile and some cheer to a lonely person, get active with therapy visits.

Fun and Exercise

Not all activity with your Pom has to be structured or competitive. Some of the most fun you have may be playtime around the house or outdoor recreation.

Playtime Games

As long as you are paying attention to and playing with him, your Pom will enjoy most types of doggy activity in which the two of you engage.

Poms can enjoy squeaky toys, catching Pom-sized balls, and playing tag or peek-a-boo. Hide and seek is an excellent way to teach the ”come” command. While your dog isn’t looking, you hide, then softly call him to come. When he finds you, give him a treat and praise.

Most dogs enjoy searching for hidden treats. Any game that utilizes the sense of smell is usually fun for a dog. For non-dominant dogs, a careful game of tug is also pleasurable entertainment. Just be careful not to injure tiny teeth, that may already be prone to dental problems.


Because they like to be the centre of attention and the star of show, some Poms love learning and performing tricks. Using basic obedience commands as the starting point, you can teach your Pom to roll over, shake hands, and play dead. If he has a natural inclination to stand on his (healthy) hind legs, you can also teach him to dance. Other tricks owners can teach a Pom are to put away toys, play basketball on a miniature set, sneeze, whisper (bark softly), and say prayers (sit up on hind legs with front paws together and head down).

If you want to teach your Pom but are uncertain how, there are books available with step-by-step directions for teaching a variety of tricks. Also check the internet. Bulletin boards and e-mail lists for Pom people are a good place to swap ”how-to” tips. Combined with therapy visits, a performing Pom can put a smile on many faces.

Walking and Hiking

There’s hardly a dog who doesn’t love a good walk, and the Porn is no exception. Get out his leash, put on your walking shoes, and your Pom most likely will be waiting eagerly at the door. Since Poms are so small, it doesn’t take long for a walk to turn into an endurance event. Plan on starting out with short distances and work up to longer walks. Maximum distance for a small dog is usually 2 miles (3.2 km), but some owners may be able to walk their Poms a little longer.

Most Pomeranians enjoy the outdoors, but if 2 miles (3.2 km) is a long walk, how can you take your Pom on a lengthier excursion? Try using a backpack style carrier or puppy pouch which allows your dog to rest without stopping or tiring you out by carrying him. With a carrier along, your dog can hike for a little while, get carried in the pack a bit, then walk some more when he’s ready.

Be cautious about the thick coat and small feet picking up burrs, briars, and thorns, and little legs getting caught or twisted by tree roots and crevices between rocks. Carefully restrain your Pom near the edge of any drop offs. Along with a carrier, take a hydration pack. Include enough water for both of you, a collapsible bowl for him and a small snack or dry meal for day hikes. Keep a brush or comb handy for removing debris collected in the fur.

On a hike or a walk, don’t let your dog get too tired, but have fun getting some exercise together; it’s healthy for both of you.

Out and About

Poms love to be admired and, like most dogs, they also like to go for car rides. Put the two together and you have the combination for fun on the go with your dog. Poms are great dogs for accompanying you on errands that require a trip to a drive-through. Put your dog in his car seat or portable crate to take him to the bank, drug store, or fast-food restaurant. He’ll love the attention and treats he gets from clerks and tellers.

If you enjoy shopping, it may be possible take your Pom with you to your local hardware superstore. Check first, but most allow well behaved dogs on leash in their facilities. Poms easily fit in the carts and win the attention and smiles of other shoppers. Don’t forget that friendly dogs on leash are normally welcome to shop at pet supply stores, also.

If you know other Pomeranian owners in your area, why not arrange to get together? While the humans chat and share dog stories and tips, well-behaved and socialized Poms can enjoy a play date. Just make sure your Pom is one who likes the company of strange dogs before putting him with new friends.

Any type of outing, like a trip to an outdoor ice cream stand or a romp in the park, is enjoyable for you and your dog, and an excellent way to teach him how to behave in public, socialize him, and have fun at the same time.

Just Being a Dog

Since Pomeranians are born and bred to be companions, some of the best times you can enjoy are when you and he do nothing but simply spend time together. Combine television time with cuddle time that will make you both happy. Even grooming, a necessity with a Pom, can be a Special time for bonding because the two of yo spending time that is focused solely on each other. Whatever task or activity you undertake together, enjoy the pleasure of each other’s company. That’s part of what loving a dog is all about.