Polish Lowland Sheepdog Information

"From Bteeding to training...what you need to know"




This is SKC CH Europa z Elzbieta CD who was the first U.S. Polish Lowland Sheepdog Champion in obedience.  He was rescued as a neglected dog and eventually exceled in both conformation and obedience.

When he was rescued he was so weak he could not climb the hill behind my house and he was so aggressive no one believed he could be rehabilitated. It only goes to show that even a dog who was sorely neglected and out of control, in this case for 14 months, with the right training and determination of the trainor can and will learn!!!

In addition he became our first U.S. Polish Lowland Sheepdog champion in conformation and was once called by a judge one of the best behaved dogs he had seen inside and outside the ring. He was a charm with a real sense of humor and has been sorely missed.

What do I Need for my New Puppy?


  • A proper size crate/kennel
  • Bedding
  • Collar and Leash
  • Food
  • Bowls for food and for water
  • Puppy shampoo
  • Brush and comb
  • Safe toys
  • Treats



PON breeders are a very important part of the success of your puppy.  Many of the things suggested in the infomation provided by Deborah Harvey should be started by  PON breeders long before you get the puppy home.  A well socialized puppy from the breeder will automatically fit more comfortabley into your home.  Patterns of behavior often may be established.  If you have questions, the pon breeders you speak with should be able to  help with your questions,  in addition to the tips provided the puppy classes you will attend and what you have learned from this article.    Looking for a breeder well versed in animal behavior and obedience will be of benefit to you and to your puppy.REMEMBER:  WHAT YOU TEACH YOUR PUPPY WILL MAKE WHAT HE BECOMES AS AN ADULT!


Return to

New Puppy Care

Return to   HOME PAGE

New Puppy Care by Deborah Harvey (Continued)


"Settle down and shush" is a good concept, not a good choice of words.  The hissing sound is aversive to all animals.  Shush sounds too close to a hiss.  "Settle"/go to your bed/time and no bark or chill are better cues to teach.


So you live in the middle of nowhere and you're snowed in for the winter.  How can you properly socialize your puppy by having it meet 100 different people?  Well, you can't .  The second best thing is to make yourself and your family members appear to be  100 people.


 You, with a coat on, with a rain jacket on, with different hats on, no clothes on, skipping, walking, running, stepping sideways, squeaky voice,low rumbly voice, almost equals a different person each time.  Have all the folks who visit try on different hats, walk differently, speak funny and just 10 people can equal 100!!! Don't forget that young children move and gesture quickly and with jerky motions so practice this with your new PL Sheepdog pup, too. It's not the same thing as having him meet 100 different people, but it is better than nothing.


When socializing you do not want to overdo at one time.  Watch the

recommended video:  

  socializing vs. traumatizing puppies


The first month a new pup is in the home should be one of establishing routines (sleeping, pottying, playing) and bonding.  It is better to not push any set training.  Reward behaviors you want but don't use any cues.  My favorite thing to teach a new pup is a default sit.  Whenever she comes up to you and sits,treat. Don't ask for a sit, don't lure a sit,don't give her sitting behavior a name, just reward the sit when she does it on her own for the first month.


What this accomplishes is that if a PL Sheepdog is ever faced with a situation where she doesn't know what to do she'll sit!  A very,very good thing to do instead of lunging,jumping, running away or whatever else her brain might suggest she does.  "I'm scared and don't know what to do so I'll sit. I am frustrated and don't know what to do so I will sit.I'm bored and don't know what else to do so I'll sit.  I don't understand what my human is asking me to do so I'll sit."  I just love a default sit in a puppy.


PL Sheepdog puppy bodies are just beginning to develop.  Do not push them to go on long walks or perform high impact physical activities.  If  your puppy is nipping at your heels when you are out walking, first make sure you are not walking them for too long.  If the puppy persists nipping at your heels, even when out playing in the yard, watch the you tube video on how to teach them not to.  You are teaching them that nipping the toy on the rope is acceptable; nipping at you is not.


PON breeders encourage you to enroll your new PONS puppy into a good puppy class by the age of 3 months of age.  A good puppy class will allow the puppies to interact with each other off leash, have you call the puppy out of play and to you to be loved on and given a treat, then released back to play with the others. This helps them perfect their bite inhibition skills towards other pups in the class.  This is an important lesson to learn by the age of  18 weeks.  By taking a puppy class, they will also have a good beginning in "good manners" which will help when they reach adolescence at about 5 months and "forget" everything they've learned.  At this age males may choose to fight other males so it is important that they learn to control their bite.  The fights usually sound awful but result in no wounds if both dogs learned bite inhibition at an early age.

It is also important to remember that your dog will not like every dog he meets just as you don't like everyone you meet.  This will become more evident  when he or she reaches adolescence. Don't force them to be with a dog they don't like, but don't allow them to act inappropriately towards them either.


By clicking on the W above you will be given the opportunity to see an agreement written between you and your PON.  REMEMBER:  adopting a PON is supposed to be a lifetime agreement.


A good rule of thumb with puppies and potty training is that a puppy  can "hold it" for their age in months plus one = number of hours.Though they may be able to go most of the night, during the day take them out to go every three hours in the beginning.  Also take them out immediately after playing with them, immediately after they wake and immediately after they eat.  Never ever reprimand or discipline them for eliminating in the house.  It is not an accident or a mistake.  They had to go.  Even if you catch them at it, you are the one at fault,not them.  Their brains are still learning what those muscles down there are for and how to control them.


Since grooming is so important with your new Polish Lowland Sheepdog puppy, practice a little (5 minutes or less)  every day gently brushing him.  Make sure you brush behind the ears and under the legs; both areas which tend to mat.  End the session with a yummy treat or play time!


If it is necessary to give your PONS puppy a pill do not forcibly shove it down their throat thus damaging  their trust in you and making them scared of pills .  Instead hide the pill in a dollop of cream cheese, smooth peanut butter or Pill Pockets(available at most pet stores or vets).  They will soon equate having a pill with a yummy treat and come running to you when it is time for medicine.


Feeding from a KONG, buster cube, or Busy Buddy does not prevent chewing directly.  They only occupy the PONS mind, a bit of their time and satisfy some of their desire to forage.  They need to feel, taste etc., new things to learn the world about them.  If you do not want them to chew on something, say "uh oh!," then offer them  something that is appropriate to chew on.  If at all possible be proactive and don't let them have the chance to chew on something you  cherish.


Just as human children do,pups get bored with toys.  Change their accessible toys 2,3,4 times a day.  Make sure that they don't necessarily have the same toy at the same time of day everyday.


I do not think it necessary or helpful to feed a puppy only with a KONG to teach bit inhibition or to solve chewing problems.  Bite inhibition is usually learned from his litter mates.  The lesson can also be tauht by smearing peanut butter on your fingers and letting her lick it off. (She'll associate human hands with licking and not chomping.) If she chomps on you say "ouch" very loudly , turn your back on her for a few seconds then begin to play again. Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!

Usually a puppy who has been raised in a litter has already begun to learn bite inhibition by 8 weeks of age from their siblings  Do not reprimand a puppy for putting his mouth on you.  If you reprimand a puppy for putting his mouth on you,he will not learn bite inhibition with humans.  Just hand him an appropriate chew toy instead.If he bites and breaks your skin, say ouch, stop the play session for about 10 seconds, then begin playing 

again,this time with a nice soft chew toy in hand.


As a rule PONS brought up with children are very good with children. Babies and children need to be taught how to treat the PON (and any animal) with respect. Should you want more information there is  a website D.Harvey suggest that helps with babies and/or children.  It is called



If you ever see behavior you don't like and don't know how to properly address it, seek  the advice of a good, positive training professional who understands the science of animal behavior as soon as possible.  The behavior usually won't go away on its own, and you could make it worse by reacting inappropritely and by allowing the behavior to go on, because you are allowing your puppy to perfect it.  Practice makes perfect, be it good or bad behavior.

Clicking on the above PDF file will take you to information by Ian Dunbar,  renowned dog trainor.  His information may be useful to you in making your decision about whether to get a puppy now, what is involved, and much more.



Another IMPORTANT issue to consider is making sure your home is puppy proofed just as you would for a child. Make sure that small things they can chew on and/or choke on are removed. Be especially careful of electrical cords and extensions.   Make sure that any and all toxic materials are locked up or out of reach, including house plants that may be deadly or at a minimum cause long term health isses.   The most common toxins reported to the Animal Poison Control center in 2010 were the following:

  • human medicines
  • insecticides
  • rat and mouse poisons
  • people food (grapes, raisins, onions, garlic and sweets containing xylitol)
  • veterinary medicines
  • chocolate
  • house toxins (cleaners, batteries, liquid potpourri)
  • plants
  • herbicides
  • outdoor toxins (antifreeze, fertilizer, ice melts)