Case Study: Addressing Pomeranian Behavior Issues with PROVED Solutions


by James Bennett


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When it comes to Pomeranians, their small size doesn’t prevent them from having big personalities and, sometimes, challenging behavior issues. This case study explores how we tackled such issues in a Pomeranian named “Buddy” using a thoughtful approach known as PROVED (Patience, Routine, Observation, Versatility, Education, and Dedication).


Meet Buddy, a 3-year-old male Pomeranian full of energy and charm but struggling with a few concerning behaviors. He had a habit of barking excessively, especially when other dogs were nearby. He also showed signs of resource guarding, becoming protective over his food and toys, and occasionally displayed aggression toward other dogs. Drawing from years of experience in dog training, particularly with Pomeranians, I was ready to help Buddy and his family navigate these challenges.

PROVED Solutions Approach

Patience: The Long Haul

Addressing Buddy’s issues began with setting realistic expectations. Changing behavior, especially ingrained habits, is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. We braced ourselves for a journey that would require patience and understanding, focusing on gradual improvement rather than instant results.

Routine: A Framework for Success

To provide Buddy with a sense of security and predictability, we established a structured daily routine. Consistent meal times, regular walks, play sessions, and dedicated training periods formed the backbone of his day. This predictability helped alleviate some of the anxiety that was contributing to his problematic behaviors, making him more receptive to training and less prone to acting out.

Observation: Decoding Behavior

A key part of our approach involved closely observing Buddy to understand the triggers behind his behavior. It became clear that his excessive barking was often a response to seeing or hearing other dogs, likely driven by a mix of excitement and territorial instincts. His resource guarding seemed most pronounced during meals or when he was playing with his favorite toys, indicating a fear of losing these valued items.

Versatility: Flexible Solutions

With a clear understanding of Buddy’s triggers, we adopted a flexible approach to address each issue. To manage his barking, we introduced positive reinforcement, rewarding him for calm behavior in the presence of usual triggers. We also gradually exposed him to situations involving other dogs in a controlled manner, using desensitization techniques to help him remain calm.

For his resource guarding, we introduced the concept of “trade-ups,” teaching Buddy that giving up something could lead to receiving something even more appealing. This approach helped shift his perspective from loss to gain, reducing his need to guard his possessions aggressively.

Education: Building Knowledge

A crucial aspect of our strategy was education. I immersed myself in the latest research on dog behavior and training methodologies, attending workshops, and consulting with fellow professionals. This ongoing learning process allowed me to bring fresh, evidence-based strategies to our training sessions, enhancing their effectiveness.

Dedication: Commitment to Change

Perhaps the most important component of our approach was dedication. Regular, consistent training sessions were vital, as was the commitment from Buddy’s family to maintain the routines and strategies we implemented. This collective effort was crucial for reinforcing the new behaviors we were encouraging in Buddy.


Over time, the PROVED approach led to significant improvements in Buddy’s behavior:

  • Excessive Barking: There was a noticeable decrease in Buddy’s barking. He became more relaxed around other dogs and less reactive to stimuli that previously triggered his barking.
  • Resource Guarding: Buddy’s tendency to guard his food and toys diminished. He began to show more trust, willingly giving up items in exchange for the promise of something better.
  • Aggression Towards Other Dogs: We also saw a reduction in Buddy’s aggressive behavior towards other dogs. He became more sociable and less reactive during walks, able to interact more peacefully with other dogs.


Through the PROVED approach, we were able to address Buddy’s behavior issues effectively, improving not only his quality of life but also that of his family. This case study highlights the importance of a comprehensive, patient, and adaptable approach to dog training. By understanding the underlying causes of behavior, applying the right strategies, and maintaining a commitment to the process, even challenging behavior issues in Pomeranians can be managed successfully. This experience with Buddy serves as an encouraging example for anyone facing similar challenges with their furry companions.

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