Pomchi Mix Breed Facts, Temperament & Training
About the Pomchi
The Pomchi is not a breed of dog, rather it is a mixed breed dog (a designer dog), the cross between a Pomeranian and a Chihuahua. They are small dogs and can either lean towards being more Pomeranian like or more Chihuahua like.
The Pomchi will often have long hair, although not quite as fluffy as a Pomeranian, it will shed and should be brushed daily. In size these dogs will average 4 - 10 pounds, and stand 6 - 9 inches tall. Any pups marketed as "teacups" should be avoided as these are poorly bred dogs, stunted by poor nutrition, genetics, or both.
The temperament of a Pomchi can be more Pomeranian like (protective and loyal), or Chihuahua like (outgoing but stubborn). The temperament is also controlled by the level of socialization the dog gets while it is young. Many owners of small dogs fail to socialize them correctly resulting in a nervous dog, prone to being afraid of strangers.
As with most designer dog breeds, the Pomchi is likely to have genetic problems, such as with its teeth, or legs, due to the fact that the breeders are not reputable - they have not taken the parent dogs to shows to prove their worth as breeding animals or had them tested for genetic health problems. On the other hand mixed breed dogs can have hybrid vigor because of a mixed gene pool. Anyone buying such a dog should check it out well for conformation, and be aware they are typically over priced in relationship to their quality (due to the fact the breeders have not invested money in proving the dogs worth as breeding stock).
Pomchi pups should not be weaned until 8 weeks of age in fact with smaller breeds 10 weeks is even better. Provided they are fully vaccinated a Pomeranian Chihuahua puppy can begin puppy socialization and training at 12 weeks of age. Until they are fully vaccinated Pomchi puppies should not leave their home or yard. This is to keep the puppy safe from highly contagious diseases such as Parvo Virus.
The Pomchi puppy's first lesson, which should occur prior to taking it for socialization or further training, is to get it to accept wearing a collar. This is best done when the pup is young. The collar should be checked regularly to be sure it has not become too tight as the puppy grows. The puppy may fuss at first but usually will ignore the collar after a day or two.
Many owners of small dogs stop there (other than house training) and create what is known as “small dog syndrome”. Small dogs often have obedience and socialization training over looked. Their owners feel they do not need any further training – thus the dogs become terrors, afraid of strangers and often think they are the Alpha leaders of their family – demanding to be carried – too afraid of the world to walk on their own.
Training a puppy to walk may be done at home – in the house, then later in the yard (again it should not be walked anywhere else until fully vaccinated). Most small dogs, such as the Pomchi, do not like pressure on their necks, as such a body harness works well for training these smaller dogs. The harness should be taken off when the dog is not being walked.
To train an Pomchi puppy to walk on a leash soft treats are needed, these should be cut very small so the puppy does not get fat. Use the puppy's name and offer a treat while gently tugging the leash (but not so hard you actually pull the pup to you). As soon as the puppy steps towards you, release your tug so the puppy understands that when it does the right thing pressure is released. As your Pomchi puppy approaches you reward it with a soft treat and praise. In the first days failure should not be an option, the puppy should start only a few feet away. The training session should be kept short, ending on a positive, so that the puppy does not become stressed.
Next Steps in Training a Pomchi Mixed Breed Puppy or Dog
After learning to walk on a leash the Pomchi puppy can be trained to sit, down, come, and so forth. Socialization is also a very important step in training, one often overlooked in small dogs. Owners may select to take their pup, or adult dog, to proper obedience classes, or continue at home. It is worth noting that formal classes allow for more socialization than most owners can give on their own and help the dog learn to be obedient amid distractions. Obedience and socialization classes also offer a guide to correct owner errors. Clicker training, or other positive training methods, should be used.
Sit and Down
To train a Pomchi dog to sit, it should be standing up, and facing its owner. As these are small dogs the owner might want to start by themselves sitting in front of the dog, so they do not have to bend, then graduate to standing. The owner will need to be prepared with a bag of small soft treats in their pocket. Right handed people should hold the dog's leash in their left hand and use their right hand for giving rewards. The dog is shown the treat in the owners hands. The dog is told to sit, while the owner moves their hand over the dogs head, from nose to forehead, low enough so that the dog can smell the treat. Since the dog cannot reach the treat without jumping up (which should be corrected immediately, and never tolerated) it is forced to put its rear end into a sitting position, at which time the dog is rewarded and praised. The handler should never pull up on the dogs neck, nor push on the dogs rump – this is an outdated training method.
To get the dog into a down position the treat is held in a down turned hand, again after the dog is made aware that the owner has treats. The hand is lowered to the floor in front of the dog while the dog is given the “down” command. As soon as the dogs front and rear hit the floor the dog is rewarded with the treat and given enthusiastic praise.
Note: “Down” should be used only to mean lay down, not to get off furniture, or to stop jumping up on somebody. Be aware that saying “Sit Down” sends two different messages to the dog.
Socialization is how a dog learns to interact with other dogs, and people. This is best done at a proper obedience school where the dogs can be watched by several knowledgeable dog people. Most dog clubs offer “Puppy Socialization” but even adult dogs can be taken to such classes. Otherwise socialization may be accomplished by taking the dog to areas where several dogs are, such as the dog park. The dog must be allowed to interact with other dogs and learn from them what is acceptable and what is not.
Owners with small dogs, such as a Pomchi, often panic when their dog is around larger dogs. By going to proper classes supervisors will make sure the dogs are all safe, however by failing to expose a small dog to larger dogs the smaller dog often does not learn how to interact with big dogs and this can put it at risk.
To socialize a dog to new situations its owner must expose it to many different situations in a way that the dog does not think these are scary. Although it seems cute and easy, owners of small dogs, such as a Pomchi, should resist carrying the dog around. The dog should be allowed to walk and see the world naturally.
House training for a Pomchi puppy can start at 10 weeks, but results may not be seen for a few more weeks. House training is best done by crate training, confining a puppy to a crate at night and when it cannot be watched (never more than 8 hours at a time, and never more than 16 hours a day). The idea of crate training is that the puppy does not want to mess in its bed/den. The puppy will not want to be left in the crate at first but if allowed out when it cries, it will learn to cry for attention every time.
Crate training is an other issue and will not be covered fully here, however it is important to note that it requires time, commitment, and consistency. The owner must be prepared to go outside with their Pomeranian Chihuahua every time and reward it for going to the bathroom outside. The biggest mistake people use is rewarding it when it comes indoors, which only teaches the pup that it gets rewarded for coming in, not for doing its business outside.
Many people make the error of using “pee-pee” pads while house breaking their puppy. Unless a puppy is always going to be expected to go to the bathroom indoors (as when using a potty park) the pee pee pads should be done away with as they encourage the pup to urinate and defecate indoors.