Known for his tiny, compact body and plumed tail, the Pomeranian is a "toy" breed, weighing 3 to 7 pounds at maturity. While extremely social and intelligent, toy breeds are often thought to be difficult to housebreak. But as with any puppy, supervision and consistency are the keys to success.
Create a living space for your Pomeranian before you bring him home. Whether puppy or adult, he should have a crate or gated area—such as in a bathroom, kitchen or laundry room—where there is space for bedding and some movement. However, the area should not be large enough that he can find a spot to routinely eliminate; the point is to ensure he does not want to go to the bathroom in his living area.
Establish an immediate schedule of going to the bathroom—no less frequently than every two hours. Choose a spot outdoors—a grassy one if you can—and take your Pomeranian to that spot every single time. If you must be out of the house during the day, it's best to have a neighbor or friend let your Pomeranian out on schedule.
Praise your Pomeranian each time he uses his bathroom area. Give him lavish affection and attention, even playtime, to help him associate using the grassy area with reward.
Supervise your Pomeranian puppy at all times indoors. If you catch him starting to have an accident, say a firm "No," pick him up and take him outdoors to his spot of grass to finish. Praise him once he finishes there to help him associate the behavior with positive attention.
Keep your Pomeranian leashed inside the house and give him no access to other rooms until he is fully potty-trained. He can easily slip behind furniture and do his business; keep his leash secured to a doorknob or piece of furniture. This allows him to roam but keeps him from disappearing.
Take your Pomeranian puppy out half an hour after feeding him. This can save an accident in the house and will reinforce the idea that he only goes in the "potty" area.
Remove your Pomeranian puppy's water dish at least two hours before bedtime to help him get through the night; however, take your him out at least once during the night to reinforce the positive behavior of only going in the grassy area.
- Pomeranians can be trained to use a litter box; while outside training is usually preferred, this technique can be especially helpful for dogs who refuse to go outdoors.
- Immediately clean any area of the house where your Pomeranian has had an accident, to remove lingering odors; otherwise he may return to that area again. Cleaning products developed specifically for pet stains are best; your puppy may be able to smell traces that are undetectable to you.
- While training can begin immediately, puppies are typically unable to hold their bladder and/or bowels until three months of age.
- American Pomeranian Club
- Canine Talk: Breeds You Can't Housebreak
- Denver Post: Dog's Life—Housebreaking Toy Breeds Isn't a Bigger Challenge
- Woman's Day: How to Housebreak a New Puppy
- Cesar's Way: Housebreaking Your Puppy—Do's and Don'ts
- Happy Pomeranians: Pomeranian Litter Box Training Tips You Should Consider
- George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images