Polish Lowland Sheepdog - pons - pon the dog
ERA MAZURKA z Mazurow ( Gretchen )
Nizinny Z Mazurow, France
Games as a learning tool for PON Puppies
Pon puppies are extremely intelligent and tend to learn a lot about their environment during play sessions with their human family. These games help to imprint social hierarchy, build confidence, create bonds and stimulate the PON mind.
Young PONS are not only influenced by the games they play during upbringing, but also by its interpretation of the rules which are applied during these game sessions. During tug-o-war games for example, if your PON wins every time, they soon learn that by using their strength, they can take possession of items every time. Other rules to apply during these sessions include never fetching a toy for your PON, and never chasing your PON when they have retrieved an object.
There are lots of games that are constructive and fun for your PON to learn, which enables your puppy to increase understanding of training commands:
Take-it and Drop-itTeaching our PONS to give us objects (toys, magazines,etc.) is an important first step for any dog. Begin with a toy that can be held at one end and your dog holds at the other end. Shake it around and make it enticing, then offer it to your PON and say 'take it'. Just as your PON closes it's mouth around the toy, say 'drop it' and gently take it from his mouth. Immediately give the toy back or throw it for him.
Have a dog treat at hand. If your PON does not immediately release, hold the treat next to his nose and as he releases to get the treat, say 'drop it'.
Repeat this throughout the day using different objects. Not only is this exercise fun for your PON, because you are not holding onto the object, it also helps against possessive tendencies and stealing. It also makes it easier to get items back and to redirect attention the other, perhaps more appropriate items.
Most PONS love this game !
Start by shaking the toy in front of his face and as he moves towards it, toss it only a few feet away. As soon as his mouth closes around toy, start clapping and running away from him to entice him towards you. As soon as he gets to you, ask him to 'drop-it'. He needs to understand that you are not going to take possession of the toy when he brings it back, so immediately throw the toy again.
At first, avoid throwing the toy to far and don't play the game to long. Also try not to distract your PON while he is chasing the toy and it is fine if he drops it on the way back. At least he is retrieving, but over time gradually hold out for a better and better retrieves. Use the 'drop-it' command every time without fail, as it is this command that you are working on during this play session.
It is always fun watching a PON catch and it is also a very good exercise for mental stimulation and eye-mouth coordination. It can take a while for young PON puppies to develop the necessary co-ordination for catching items, but you will see some amusing attempts whilst learning. Start with treats and toss them near your dog's nose using the word 'catch' at the same time. Very slowly, you can increase the distance and move onto small toys in place of treats.
The 'catch' game can also be developed onto using frisbee's. This can be great fun but care needs to be taken. Owners should not us standard hard plastic Frisbees as these can seriously damage your PON's teeth as well as cutting mouths and gums.
Find the Toy
This is a favorite of my own PONS ! This game is hugely stimulating and helps develop search and smell skills, which eventually be used to help find lost items.
Start by teasing your PON with his favorite toy, then hide it behind your back.. Ask your PON 'where is the toy' and encourage him to find it. When he does, make a big fuss and play a short game. Over time increase the distance at which the toy is hidden and encourage in the right direction if he is having difficulty. As your PON develops his searching skills, start to introduce different toys and giving them uniquely sounding terms.. Ultimately you can teach your PON to find specific items like magazines and keys, etc. Good luck !