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Linus, owned by Joanne Sorrensen, Auckland NZ, bred by Breagha Kennels



Naughty PONS or Naughty Owners ?



The recent slew of PON rescues' has started intensive discussions among experienced PON owners on a topic which holds significant relevance for the future of our beloved breed.  How can we prevent PON rescue situations ? Who is to blame ? Is there an increase in naughty PONS or an increase in naughty owners ? The answers and solutions are complex, and we all need to explore ways of reducing the incidence of PONS in trouble.

To start with, there will always be unavoidable situations, such as bad health, divorce, financial emergencies and death among owners. In these cases, we need to work together, regardless of politics and quickly and efficiently find new homes for PONS. However, there are certain unfortunate situations which can be prevented and we need to explore ways of educating everyone involved in PONS.

Let us start from the beginning and look towards countries which require temperament testing for all breeders. There are a number of European countries which require intensive testing both for breeding and showing. PON breeders need to consider  temperament issues as part of the total breeding process.

Once puppies are on the ground, they need to be evaluated for temperament and should be socialized at an early age. Failure to do so, may result in tragic rescue situations down the road. National clubs should seek to educate all potential breeders and establish new guidelines.

Although there is increased competition among PON breeders, a more regulated approach needs to be established for puppy sales. Breeders need to become extremely selective and closely examine  a potential puppy buyer's life style. This may eliminate people who don't have sufficient time, experience , character and patience for the upbringing of a PON puppy. PON puppies who are left alone for long periods of time may develop personality disorders which owners may not be able to cope with and this may lead to a rescue situation.  The motives of all potential puppy buyers should be examined to determine if they are considering this breed for a purely profitable reason or if they truly wish to have a PON puppy because they are interested in providing a loving family environment. It is only with extended discussions that a breeder will be able to determine the truth. Unfortunately, there are a lot of unscrupulous folks who know how to fill out puppy questionnaire's these days and it just isn't enough to rely on such documents.

If families notice a sudden change in a PON's behavior, health testing should take place to determine if the behavior change is related to thyroid, eye  and other health issues. There is no such animal as an normally aggressive PON without underlying health and socialization issues.

A  family veterinarian should be consulted for additional advice and owners should not hesitate to speak with their breeder and other experienced PON owners before a crisis situation takes place. PON rescue situations can be prevented if owners and breeders work together and seek help earlier rather than later.

Please......regardless of your politics, we look forward to your opinions as well.