Polish Lowland Sheepdog Information

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

Polish Lowland Sheepdog Information


How are you doing?  Think of putting a check next to the things you do to see how well you are doing?

___1.  I give my puppy a command one time and then make sure he follows through.  I do not repeat myself  ie not  "sit. sit, sit, etc." 

___2. All members of our household have the same expectations in terms of what the puppy will and will not be allowed to do.

___3.  I keep my dog brushed at least twice a week.

___4.  I do not feed my PON from the table.

___5.  I remember to call my breeder with questions or concerns.

___6.  I have taught my dog to let me take food or toys from his mouth.

___7.  I taught my dog as a pup that it is alright to pounce on him when he is asleep so he gets used to  being woken abruptly.  ( Not recommended to try first time on an older dog)

___8.I do not chase my puppy or adult  but rather make him come to me when called.

___9.I make it a point to handle all parts of my puppy so this will not seem foreign when visiting my vet or showing him


___10.  I visit my vet yearly for a wellness check.

None of the hints on this page are meant as substitutes for puppy kindergarten or obedience classes. Do yourself and your Polish Lowland Sheepdog a favor.  Find a good trainor and attend classes in your area. 


Kennel cough is a highly infection disease of the upper respiratory tract of the dog.  It may be caused by either a bacteria or a virus.  Coughing and sneezing will spread the disease. 


What are the signs?  Initially the infective organizms colonize and irritate the lining of the upper respiratory tract.  Coughing, sneezing, and retching, often accompanied by a nasal dischare are the common clinical signs.  The cough is usually described  as a deep, hacking cough and can be quite persistent.   Dogs may run a fever, have a decreased appetite, and demonstrate signs of depression.  These clinical signs may last from a few days to several weeks depending on the severity of the disease. 


Visiting a vet , it may be treated with one or more antibiotics, cough suppressants, and anti-inflammatory drugs.  If not too serious it may be allowed to run its course.  Some people advise vaccines and others do not  to help prevent it.  If you know it is around, it is best to avoid places where your dog will be exposed. 

GOOD PON BREEDERS will have started their pups with puppy toys.   Some puppies by the age of 8 weeks may even be learning to retreive.  They will work with their puppies and may even teach them to drop toys upon command.   Good PON breeders will be able to advise you about the safest and best toys for your puppy.  Many will even send a toy along for the puppy's journey to their new home.
with leonberger


More Training hints will also be more useful to you   On this page you will learn more about Crate Training, Lead Training, the Shaker Can.Limiting toys and types of toys, your dog's correct weight and even more about body language of the dogs. Shaker can and thunderstorm information may be most helpful.  These are all useful pieces of information for you. Let these training hints be helpful to you in making you dog a better family member.

Crate Training

Why crate train your Polish Lowland Sheepdog? It seems so cruel. No longer is this believed to be true.  It is totally the way to go for many reasons and your PON breeders may have additional suggestions:

1.  The PON puppy has a place of his own---a refuge where he is

     safe and secure.

2.  Housebreaking is much easier.

3.  The puppy cannot get into poisons, wires,etc. while you are

     away from home.

4.  Some hotels will accept crate trained dogs  when others

     may not be welcome.

5.  Restaurants may find a cool place for your dog while

     vacationing in hot areas.

6.  You know you puppy will be safe while you sleep at night.

What size crate do you need?  The dog should be able to stand up and turn around.  Too large a crate will make housebreaking more difficult as the pup will quickly set up areas to sleep, areas to go potty, etc.  If you want to buy an adult crate, petition it off to the proper size and let it expand as your pup grows. 

Always have water in your crates.  Stainless steel pails hung on hardware hooks work well.  When the pups are young and are housetraining you may need to remove the water from late evening until the a.m. Make sure they have a toy and and little blanket if they want it.

There are some NEVERS with crate training:

1.  Do not force your puppy to go in.  Food as a bribe started

     young works well.  Use a command such as "House" or

     "Cookie" and he will learn to fly in for a treat.

2.  Never use as a punishment...it should be a safe home and

     a refuge

3.  Never leave your dog in there for an unreasonable length

    of time.  They need to be out exercising and being a part

    of the family.

4.  Never wait to start crate training.  An older dog will not

    adjust to the crate in the way that a young pup will.By age

    two you may want to put the crate away. Some people may

    use the bottom half as a future bed. 


Young PON pups like to think they own and are in charge of the world.  This often comes through very quickly when you take your first walk together.  Using a regular puppy collar and a lead start walking in the direction you want to.  If the puppy starts pulling you, give a quick jerk on the lead and start to move in the opposite direction very quickly.  Do NOT hesitate.  Do NOT be concerned if it throws the pup a little off balance.  Just keep walking using common sense.   Keep walking at a reasonable pace and change directions often.  The puppy will begin to watch you  and pay attention.  Experience has shown they can learn to walk on lead quickly without pulling. 


Do not allow the puppy to bite on the lead.  Jerk it away from him and say a loud "NO!" It is important to start lead training early, but don't overdo the walking.  A puppy is like a young baby and short training sessions several times a day are better than longer training sessions. 


The Shaker can is an oldy but goody when it comes to training. The trick is to NEVER let your PON puppy get near enough to the can to sniff or figure out what it is.  You take a metal can (coffee works well...not aluminum as it doesn't make the same noise).  Put 5-6 pennies in it and tape on the lid securely.  When the puppy misbehaves shake the can closely to him and say "NO!." You may even toss it gently toward him just missing.  This way the puppy learns to dislike the sound, will learn it means no, and he will learn he is misbehaving....not knowing just what it is.   It has been used for barking, taking things he should not have, getting on furniture where they are not supposed to be, on  the edges of cabinets, waste baskets where it bounces down on them, etc.  But again DO NOT allow them to get hold of it or the mystery is gone. If used correctly it may become enough to just pick grab the can. 


Beware if RAWHIDE toys and chews.Rawhide smells and tastes like shoes and other leather products...so don't be surprised if your shoe turns up missing.  In addition once it becomes small, your puppy or dog may swallow it and choke.  It was a hard lesson learned when one night at 2 A.M. the webmaster found herself at the vets with him trying to figure out how to remove it from the throat where it was truly stuck.  It turned out okay that night, but there was no more rawhide.


SQUEAKER toys may be another problem. This breed is very smart and should they choose they can very quickly dismantle squeaker toys.  The squeaker itself may become lodged in the throat and cause a problem.  Supervise play with squeaker toys or looks  for ones without squeakers.  It is recommended looking at stuffed toys made for babies as an alternative.


TENNIS BALLS and PONS  are a true match. However,some dogs have very large mouths.   Once seeing a tennis ball in an x-ray in the stomach of a dog was enough to say don't let your dogs have these unless you are supervising.  This is true for any smaller ball. 


Some of the safest toys are NYLABONES and KONGS, however, for an older dog you will probably need the kong made for a tough chewer.  It is labelled by the manufacture for heavy chewers and is black.Puppies will usually learn to like nylabone toys when introduced as one of a few toys when young. The webmaster's "kids" have enjoyed having a nylabone stuck into the opening of a kong and it has been called a "kong bone,"


SHEEPSKIN (fake) make great toys for young puppies.  They are soft, can be carried around, can be used for play also,


FRIZBEES---the greatest of toys for PONS who love to retreive.  They are light weight, won't hurt the teeth, and they float should you like to play in the water. 


The main thing is to make sure you know what toys are going into your PONS' mouth and supervise any which could cause a quick run to the vet or worse.


Our dogs gain weight for the same reasons people do...they overeat.  Often they are short on exercise.  Spaying and neutering are sometimes blamed, but are often not the cause. 


Why is obesity a problem?  Movement is impaired.  The heart, respiratory, and digestive functions may be harmed.  Weight can aggravate the joints and may also lead to skin problems.  Too much weight may be a problem with whelping.  The more weight the riskier are anesthesia and surgery.   Wounds heal more slowly.


Why do dogs overeat?  Most often it is the result of their humans.  Snacks substitute for attention, love, and affection. In addition some people feel the dogs are hurt if they don't get human food at the table.  Some of the foods are probably not even good for him and feeding a dog even once may lead to him sitting and begging.  It is good to remove them from the dinner area, especially if you have children who drop food. 


If a dog is 10-15 percent over the ideal weight he is obese.  The dog should be in "good flesh."  You can judge your dog's condition.  The dog should be lean and firm, well-muscled, covered with an adequate layer of fatty tissue under supple elastic skin.  The ribs should not be visible, but also not submerged under fat either.  They should be felt through the skin without pressing too hard or deeply, covered by just a thin layer of fat.  The backbone may be felt toward the dog's rear.  If you can fold up more than 1/2 inch of skin over the ribs it is overweight.


The first step in weight reduction is to visit a vet.   Lower calorie, balanced foods are available.  Weight loss should be gradual...too fast and you may have problems.  Adding exercise is good, but take it slowly.  Keeping your dog at an ideal weight will help toward longevity and the elimination of several possible diseases. The average PON should weight no less than 30 nor more than 50 pounds unless it is under or oversized.   


(Excerpts  in part  from a 1994 Quaker pamphlet promoting its dog products which at the tie were  Cycle, Ken-L Ration, and Gaines...do they still exist?  I am not sure.)

Dog Language
The following video explains much about dog language.  While there is not a PON involved three things become clear
1)  We do need to understand what body language
2)  Because most PONS do not have tails
     communication with both humans and other
     dogs may  be more difficult. 
3)  Not seeing the eyes behind all the hair can also
     make communication more difficult.
To learn more visit the following site:
QUESTIONS:  contact  info@polishlowlandsheepdoginfo.com




with otterhound

Sometimes one might ask does the PON get along with other animals.  The answer is as a general rule , brought up with them , and properly trained and socialized, yes.   Here is a picture of PONS with their friend who is an otterhound.  To the left is a picture of PONS with their leonberger friend.  If the other dog is too dominant there may be a problem. 


PONS most often will fear thunderstorms if their owners do, so keep your fear and concern to a minimum.    Do not make a big deal of storms.   If your pet shows no fear that is good, just ignore him.  If he shows some fear and is crate trained he might be more comfortable in his crate and sometimes putting a cover on the top so it is more like a cave will help.  The last thing you should be sure not to do is baby them...if you do, he will learn to like the attention and  you may be stuck forever giving it to him.  There are also jackets available that seem to lessen the fear in some dogs.   Check with your local pet store for availability.