Five Tips To Train Any Pomsky (No Matter How Stubborn)
Pomsky Training With Doggy Dan
This article was written with the help of our friends at The Online Dog Trainer. We are happy to have an incredible partnership with Dan, otherwise known as “Doggy Dan”, and The Online Dog Trainer team. For more training tips from Dan, check out Dan’s free video obedience course to see these 5 tips in action.
Dan is a world-famous dog trainer, he has personally trained thousands of dogs with his method (the same methodologies that we preach at The Pomsky Owners Association).
Now, let’s sit back and read Dan’s five tips to training any Pomsky, no matter how stubborn or difficult your Pomsky may be.
Introduction – Training By Doggy Dan
There are literally thousands of dog lovers all over the world who are struggling right now with their puppy and dog problems due to a lack of knowledge. It’s actually very sad to think that all of this could have been avoided if owners had known some simple techniques and been given some of the secrets that the top dog trainers know and understand.
Unfortunately, because humans and dogs are biologically so different from each other, there are certain things that we do that can actually cause these problems rather than solve them. Of course, we love our dogs, and we want the amazing relationships that other people have. But the reality is that our actions are actually often causing the dog problems we are experiencing… and it doesn’t have to be this way.
That’s right – if you had known what I am about to share with you early on, when you first got your Pomsky, then none of the issues that you are facing now would ever have started. You would instead be enjoying life with your amazing Pomsky as we speak.
However, if things are not going well with your Pomsky, don’t feel that all is lost. There’s still hope that you can turn everything around. It’s actually easier than you think.
You see the real problem is that we are not taught about how dogs think. It’s a mystery to most people how we should work with them. We are stuck trying tactics that make sense to humans without ever considering what it actually means to our dog.
In this blog we will explain some important areas to focus on that will give your dog a completely different view of you and get them to start listening to every single word you say.
Are you really ready to stop all those unwanted behaviors?
Are you ready to get Pomsky onto the right track and build that relationship you always dreamt of?
Let’s get started…
Pomsky Training Tip #1 – Be The Pack Leader
Being the pack leader is the number one thing that is going to help you stop unwanted behaviors and develop the relationship with your Pomsky that you have always dreamt of.
This is the fundamental principle of my dog training method. You must be the pack leader to experience the full impact of my everyday tools and techniques.
Dogs are pack animals, so they understand that there are leaders and followers in their pack. This includes you. You are in the pack.
Learning to communicate to your dog that you are the pack leader, and you make all the decisions, is not difficult. However, it is something that is not widely taught.
Without this basic foundation in place, you could spend the rest of your life trying to train your Pomsky, reading books, going to different trainers, and wondering what is going wrong. You may even think that your Pomsky is deliberately trying to annoy and ignore you (we have all been there). When all along, in reality, your Pomsky simply does not think of you as the pack leader. So they do not see why they should listen to you. Thus, any training is really a waste of time.
Now, before we get started, it is really important that I emphasize that when I talk about being the pack leader I am talking about a loving leader. More like a parent to a child, NOT a mean boss! Using my method there is absolutely no place for shouting, hitting, kicking, or causing any fear or pain.
In fact, this method is so gentle and amazing that it is fully endorsed and used by the SPCA of New Zealand (where Dan is from), so you can rest assured that everyone in the family is going to be happy to implement it.
How To Be The Pack Leader
So how does it actually work?
It is all about thinking like a dog (rather than thinking like a human). In a way, it is a sort of dog psychology.
Let me give you a quick example of what I am talking about and show you a quick glimpse through the eyes of a dog rather than our own.
One of the most common misconceptions is that an old bone (or any edible chew for that matter) lying around in the house or the garden has no meaning for your Pomsky. It’s just a treat that you, the loving owner, have given to your Pomsky and they don’t want it…Now your Pomsky may not have touched it in months, or they may have buried it in the garden or down the back of the couch, and to us, it is rubbish, worthless and irrelevant. In our human minds, it has no bearing at all on the Pomsky behavioral issues that we are experiencing and so desperate to fix. Yet to your Pomsky this bone is their PROOF that they are the pack leader. In their minds, since they control the food, which is one of, if not the most important resource in their world, they must be the leader!
So in a nutshell, as long as that bone is lying around under their control, nothing that you do can convince them that you are their master. To them, that bone is like the King’s crown, the treasure chest and the golden goose all rolled into one.
Very often people are actually told by trainers who do not know any better to leave bones and food toys lying around to try to keep your dog content when they are left alone. Now you will understand that whilst this all sounds very good in theory, if you think like a human, the truth of the matter is that to a dog this will cause you a lot more issues in the long run. You could, in fact, be setting yourself up for a lot of trouble.
It’s amazing really that such a simple thing as leaving bones around for the dog can lead to such huge issues because they think they are the pack leader. And remember that this is just one tiny little example of the way your dog views things. The good news is that is so easy to rectify – simply pick up the bones when your dog has finished eating them. Easy!
So hopefully that gives you a good idea of what I mean when I say that to help a dog you have to think like a dog and stop expecting them to think like humans.
For more examples of how to be the pack leader, take a look at Dan’s free obedience training course (free for our readers) where he shows us how to put these tools into practice on real dogs.
Pomsky Training Tip #2 – Read Your Pomsky
One of the most important tricks of the trade in dog training is learning to pick up on the subtle message and body language of your Pomsky. Look for the subtle messages that your Pomsky gives off when you are working with them.
Pomskies – just like humans – have emotions. However, they are unable to communicate the way we do. So when they are stressed, bored, frustrated or scared they exhibit signs expressing these emotions but obviously can’t use English. This presents a problem if we simply ignore them and plow ahead regardless with our training.
Learning to read your Pomsky means that you are able to adjust anything you do in training to suit their specific situation. Now, this may sound quite straight forward, yet one of the big issues that I have found with people’s training routines is that the dog is simply not coping with the situation.
When your Pomsky becomes too excited, fearful, or focused, something happens that means that nothing that you do is going to work. Put very simply, you could say that the adrenalin kicks in.
Adrenalin is produced in your dog’s brain during stressful times leading to the fight-or-flight response that they have. Either they will try to run away or it’s time to stay and fight. Neither of which is very helpful when you are trying to train your Pomsky.
Understand The Energy Meter
So one trick when working with your Pomsky is to avoid this state no matter what. One way that helps is if you think of what I call an Energy Meter, which goes from 1 up to 10.
I call it the Energy Meter because when your Pomsky is asleep they are down at a level 1 and when adrenalin kicks in they are up at around 8-10. Now the problem is, in many situations, people are trying to train their dogs and alter their behavior when the dog’s energy level is up at around 6-8. This simply does not work, not when the energy level is so high.
As soon as your Pomsky gets a blast of adrenalin everything goes BANG!
The Pomsky’s breathing rate increases, heart rate increases, muscles tighten… The leash goes tight and you are almost pulled over, their eyes are on stalks, they start barking and running around out of control. If you are inside the house your Pomsky could be barking madly at the window, barking or shaking under the bed…
The bottom line is that their behavior is not good. It has suddenly changed. This is their fight or flight response kicking in. If your Pomsky is not on a leash at this point then they are off and out of control.
As you can imagine, none of this is pleasant to watch.
So what happens? Well, we start to become frustrated, angry, and annoyed with the situation and sometimes our dog and our reactions simply make things worse. It is a vicious cycle and our training goes nowhere (or backward).
Understanding that you need to keep your Pomsky well away from level 8 where the adrenalin kicks in is crucial. And here is the secret. When you take things slowly to start with, and your Pomsky gets used to things at a slightly slower pace, THEN the payoff, later on, is huge.
Learn to work with your Pomsky in the calm zone from 1-5 and take things slowly to start with. If you are in this zone and your Pomsky sees something that gets them excited, they will be aware of it however they will only end up at say a level 6 or 7. Since no adrenalin kicks in, they will calm down really quick – ready to carry on with your training.
It is hard to fully understand this through reading. If you haven’t already, I recommend you take a look at Dan’s free obedience training course for more video examples of Dan’s training methods.
Pomsky Training Tip #3 – Calm Your Pomsky With The Calm Free Technique
In this section, I want to tell you about one of the most talked about techniques that I use because people are just stunned with how powerful this is when done correctly.
I call it the Calm Freeze, but first, let me put it into context by describing a scenario that many of you will have experienced where this technique is so useful.
Calm Freeze Scenario
You are calmly walking down the road with your Pomsky when suddenly another dog comes into view and grabs their attention. Immediately they become too excited, overly aggressive or maybe even fearful. It is important to point out that every dog will respond differently yet the calm freeze technique will work whatever their emotional response. On the energy meter, your Pomsky is heading rapidly up the scale and is at say, a 7. The adrenalin has not yet kicked in but we need to do something fast to calm them down and avoid a complete meltdown.
Now usually what happens at this point is that we then mirror our dog and we too become highly energized, with a tug on the lead, quickly correcting our Pomsky with a “leave it” command. To which our dog responds with more energy and barks or pulls even harder resulting in an increased response from ourselves and before we know it their adrenalin has kicked in and we might as well all go home to calm ourselves down.
Applying The Calm Freeze
So here is where the calm freeze technique comes into play. At the point at which you detect an increase in your Pomsky’s energy due to the sighting of another dog, calmly walk your Pomsky a couple of yards away. Then with your back to the other dog as a distraction, crouch down and without a word take your hand palm up, under your Pomsky’s chin and lightly hold the collar.
Here are a couple of other important points to make sure that you are doing it correctly.
- Firstly, you do it all in silence, no talking.
- Secondly, you hold as lightly as possible, this is not about causing your dog pain.
- Thirdly, you look away from your dog, down at the ground with a relaxed expression.
Your Pomsky will read you like a book and will very likely be stunned into silence. Once they are calm then you simply loosen your grip and gently let go, stand up and carry on walking, leaving them in that calm state of 2 or 3 on the energy scale.
Now if you try this and they take no notice of you then that is because they are the pack leader and not you. So it’s time to get the basics put in place first (See Tip #1).
So you may be thinking, is that it? And the answer is absolutely Yes! But remember, the beauty of this technique and this whole method lies in its simplicity. You see our thoughts, our words and our actions are all important and when we align all three we become very powerful. If you only shout the words “Calm Down” at your Pomsky but you are still stressed and pulling aggressively on the lead your Pomsky will not respond calmly – they will reflect back your energy.
So by putting your own mind into a calm state, by staying silent, demonstrating a calm behavior by crouching down and turning away, your dog will understand your communication very clearly. As they say, actions really do speak louder than words.
This is just one technique which when used in conjunction with all the other tools can be part of that magical moment when your dog starts to take notice of you. The great thing about the calm freeze is that you can do it anywhere both inside and outside and it doesn’t require another piece of equipment. Just your hand and your Pomsky’s collar.
There are so many situations where you can use the calm freeze with dramatic success such as when your dog is barking in the house at somebody outside or if your dog is shaking and scared of the fireworks.
To see the “clam freeze” method in action, download Dan’s free obedience training course where he has a video showing us a real example of calming a dog using the calm freeze technique.
Pomsky Training Tip #4 – Correct Your Pomsky With The Timeout Technique
Sometimes the simplest things are the most powerful.
That holds true with this Pomsky training technique that I am about to share with you now.
It is such a simple tool and we all have it already set up in our homes ready to use, however very few people actually use it properly.
Let me describe the situation where it can be used so effectively.
Your Pomsky jumps up on your new couch. You shout very calmly “FIDO OFF” to which Fido obeys. However a few seconds later he is back up on the couch staring straight at you. “FIDO OFF” you reply in your now rather stressed voice. Somehow you know that it is not working, however, there seem to be very few alternatives. Over the course of the next few minutes, Fido succeeds in winding you up like a grandfather clock resulting in you shouting your head off at him and chasing him all over the room.
Well, the great news is that it doesn’t have to be that way and here’s why. One of the biggest reasons that dogs do not change their behavior is that we are actually training them to continue the old patterns. Let me explain. Fido very likely did not actually want to sleep on the couch as much as he wanted some attention. And our technique of shouting at him, getting frustrated and chasing Fido around the room gave him all the attention he could have wished for and more!
Now when you become the pack leader Pomsky is going to be far more respectful of you. Put very simply they are not going to jump all over the couch knowing that you do not want them up there. However, when your Pomsky thinks that they should be running the show you will run into more areas of contention than you could possibly wish for.
Applying The Timeout Technique
So what is our alternative option for dealing with our Pomsky when they jump up on the couch? Here is the solution. The first time they jump up, take them very calmly and place them on the floor without a word being spoken. If they jump up again you take them by the collar and put them in Timeout. Close the door on them and walk away. When they are quiet you can let them out, but make sure you ignore them.
It’s as simple as that.
A couple of points to cover with some questions you may face.
- Firstly, if you are concerned that you can’t catch your Pomsky because they are too fast then carry on reading. In the next section, I will explain how to ensure that your Pomsky no longer has the upper hand on you in the speed department.
- Your timeout room needs to be safe for your dog and secure. Usually, a bathroom or toilet works well as they have few windows and are quite small. Remember when your Pomsky is in Timeout they are not supposed to be having fun, so sometimes outside in the garden is not the best option.
- If your Pomsky is barking you really want to wait until they stop before letting them out. If they are quiet then a couple of minutes are usually long enough first time around for them to think twice about doing it again.
The beauty of timeout is that you no longer have to enter the cycle of becoming stressed, shouting and frustrated. Let’s face it; nobody enjoys shouting at their dog.
In fact, shouting your dog’s name when they have done something wrong can quickly ruin your chances of them coming to you when you call them at the park.
The timeout can be used effectively for so many training issues as I demonstrate in my videos. It is simply a better choice of deterring unwanted behaviors than physically becoming aggressive to your dog or shouting.
To see the “timeout” method in action, download Dan’s free obedience training course (if you have not done so already) where he has a video showing us a real example of using the timeout method to train a dog.
Pomsky Training Tip #5 – Control The Environment
In the last section, we talked about Fido running rings around you in the home. I have seen it so many times and it is often quite funny to start with. From little fluffy white dogs to great big clumsy dogs, they have this knack of staying out of our reach when we want to grab them.
In this section, I want to talk about the importance of controlling the environment when we are training our dogs. It is equally true when we are outside and we want to change a behavior or stop our dogs doing a certain thing. If they are out of our control there is not a lot that we can do.
Have you ever heard the saying “there is no point in shutting the gate after the horse has bolted”? Well, this applies to dog training too. Once your dog is off the leash and is refusing to come to you there is not a lot that you can do. Similarly, inside the home, the dog that does not want to be caught will not be caught. Well, at least not without a lot of effort.
So here is the simple tactic that all good dog trainers follow. Keep control of the environment. What does this mean to you? Well here are a couple of key tips.
Control The Environment – Outside
Firstly, it means that outside at the park or the beach do not let your Pomsky of the leash unless either, you have a good recall and you know that your Pomsky will come back when you call them or leave a line on your Pomsky so that you can catch them again easier. The line could be anywhere from six feet to ninety feet long depending on your Pomsky and the situation that you are facing. You attach it to your Pomsky and then drop it on the ground. Then when they get too far away you simply stand on it and train them to stay close by you.
Now you may be thinking, Oh no that’s not much fun! I don’t want my Pomsky to be the only dog running around with a line attached to them for the rest of their life…however, this is not forever. This is just to train until they are ready to be off leash.
Control The Environment – Inside
Secondly, inside your home, you need to be able to catch your Pomsky easily and calmly during training. Again, attach a short line to them when you are working with them or trying to stop unwanted behavior and suddenly all the silly chasing games will stop.
Now, I would not use their lead as this will be too heavy and the loop on the end can get caught up on things. Rather, a thin piece of string will do just fine. The short line that you should use inside the house will only need to be a couple of feet long, maybe six feet long. Attach it to the Pomsky’s collar and drop it on the floor. They then drag it around, most dogs will not even notice it’s there and suddenly the tables have turned. Trying to catch your Pomsky becomes the easiest thing in the world! No more screaming, shouting and chasing them. Instead, you can calmly walk over towards them, stand on the line and before they even know it you have them under your control. Again it is only a training tool, and not needed forever, only when they are in the learning phase.
Control The Environment – Importance
Controlling the environment is a very important concept. It changes things from being out of your control to being under your control. Only then can you start training your Pomsky!
Of course, before any of this training takes place you need to have won your Pomsky’s mind and convinced them that you are the pack leader and that they are the follower rather than the other way round.
For more examples of how to control the environment, take a look at Dan’s free obedience training course (free for our readers) where he shows us how to put these tools into practice on real dogs.
Conclusion – Note From Doggy Dan
If you are reading this, then some of what I have talked about must have struck a chord with you and that’s great news.
I’m Doggy Dan. As a dog trainer with a huge passion for dogs, I have a burning desire to share my knowledge to help make the world a better place for us all, including our beloved friends.
I believe that inside every dog is a good dog and inside every good dog is a great dog.
It is a simple statement, but one that I’ve found to be true with every dog, every time.
Working with thousands of dogs all over the country I have seen the most difficult of situations turn around when we choose to understand our dogs rather than train them through force.
Becoming the pack leader in a kind and gentle way is an absolutely crucial part of this and it is those secrets that I hold close to my heart that I want to share with you. It’s these secrets of becoming the pack leader that your dog is looking for. Without them, in place, your dog will always see you as a follower and you will always struggle.
Whatever situation you are in there is an answer and it is often so much simpler than you care to imagine. Do not worry that your problem seems to be different from anything else you have seen, that your dog is older, or your issue only occurs when you are not home, or it appears to be random, or breed specific. The method that I would like to show you treat the cause of the problem, and when you do this the issue so often simply disappears all on its own.
If you are serious about sorting out your Pomsky’s behavioral issues and training your Pomsky up right from the start don’t be tempted to try some fancy gadget that will only backfire on you later on. Learn that the real secret to success is YOU and having the skills and knowledge to get your dog to trust, respect and love you for who you are.
When you become the best pack leader that you can be they will choose to follow you. There will be no more need for shouting and scaring your dog.
When you chose your Pomsky you had a certain relationship in mind. A wonderful, mutually beneficial relationship where things were not a strain and you could both just enjoy life to the max. Keep focused on that because that is exactly what you can have if you chose to.
I hope that you have enjoyed my five tips to training any Pomsky and find the tools useful. If you would like access to my four-part training obedience course (for free) then please click here.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, have a great day and Love your dog!
Dog Training Obedience Course (Free)
This article was written with the help of our friends at The Online Dog Trainer.
We are happy to have an incredible partnership with Dan, otherwise known as “Doggy Dan”, and The Online Dog Trainer team.
Dan and the team have given us permission to use his proprietary puppy training content and videos. He has provided us with videos from his online training courses for FREE to help Pomsky owners around the world with training the perfect puppy.
Dan provides us with one more free bonus. He is giving our Pomsky owners free access to his four part obedience training course.
This free download is a great supplemental to use in addition to the above training article. I highly recommend using Dan’s free course.
It’s completely free for our readers. This course covers important training topics and breaks down Dan's method that he uses to get your Pomsky to CHOOSE to obey you every time! In Dan's free course he teaches us:
- Why most Dog Training methods set you up to fail.
- Why food bribes and clickers to train your dog doesn't work long term.
- Why using force, fear, and aggression does not work to train your Pomsky.
- Why you don't have to spend hours training your dog.
- How to teach your dog to CHOOSE to obey you and follow your commands.
More Pomsky Resources
Need more help raising and training your Pomsky? Check out our other Pomsky articles and videos including:
- Free Download - Pomsky Owning and Training Guide
- Register Your Pomsky With The POA
- Article - How to Train A Pomsky
- Article - Potty Training Tips
- Video - Pomsky Training Video Series
- Video - Stop Your Pomsky From Chewing
- Article - Stop Separation Anxiety
- Article - Pomsky Health Issues
Need more help training and raising your Pomsky? Click here to download our complete guide to owning a Pomsky (Includes step by step training instructions).