I’ve actually raised & trained two dogs from being baby puppies: Dougal* and Georgie. I haven’t done a very good job though, because I’m lazy and prefer giving them lots of kisses on their doggy faces to disciplining them. Anyway, according to my Wikipedia research, spitz-type dogs “respond poorly to heavy-handed or forceful training methods,” so my kissy-face method is probably the best approach.
Dougal is a muttly mutt of a dog, so I don’t know where his intelligence ranks, but according to Stanley’s Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs, pomeranians are the 23rd-smartest breed of dog. They learn commands quickly, including things you don’t want to teach them. Some things I’ve inadvertently taught my dog:
– when I say “I have to go to the bathroom” or “I have to pee,” Georgie will get up and follow me to the bathroom. If I don’t say anything she doesn’t follow me.
– when we’re at the off-leash dog park I usually loop Georgie’s leash around my neck like a cool rainbow lanyard, and when I take the leash off my neck she knows it’s time to leave and will follow me out without needing to be called or chased.
– both dogs have learned the cat’s name. Dougal despises cats and thinks they don’t deserve any attention, if I even say “Claire” he’ll jump up and chase her out of the room, or at the very least make a bunch of weird moaning sounds. idk he’s crazy. Georgie loves the cat and wants to play with her all the time, so she’ll just look for her if I say “Claire.”
I’ve also managed to successfully teach my dogs some things that I wanted them to learn. Dougal and Kichou will both go in their crates as soon as I say “In your house!” even though Taylor didn’t think Kichou would learn from me (HA!). Georgie won’t; she hates being in her crate and I have to push her in. She also refuses to lie down on command, the little brat. HOWEVER, and this is my greatest triumph, if I hold a treat over her head and say “dance! dancey-dance!” she stands up on her hind legs and does little twirls. LITTLE PUPPY PIROUETTES omg it is so cute. Kichou does it too and sometimes I can get them both dancing together and it’s basically the best thing in the world.
*My ex was also around when Dougal was a baby but LET’S BE REAL I did all the work. All he did was teach Dougal to sit when you snap your fingers, which was very annoying since I CAN’T SNAP MY FINGERS, and after I trained Dougal to not sleep on the bed he UNTRAINED HIM argh.