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Polish Lowland Sheepdog - pons - pon the dog




Gabriela Obara & Izabela Paluch




Is your PON an anxious barker ?



PONS who bark when they are left alone may be exhibiting a form of separation anxiety. The more lonely they are, the more they tend to bark. The more upset they become, the more they bark and their barking gets them more upset and unfortunately they  bark more. This cycle continues on and on.

PON owners need to work with their PONS on the underlying behavior of separation anxiety. This can take place with several approaches. Sometimes, professional advice may be needed.

Owners can begin by leaving or acting like they are leaving for a short time( before the PON starts getting nervous and barking )and returning. Following this approach, owners are not rewarding barking, but rewarding relaxation and silence. Owners may gradually extend the time they are gone and return before their PON becomes anxious. If a PON is anxious even after the owner leaves the room, then the owner will need to start by just taking several steps away from her PON while she remains relaxed. Owners need to develop this behavior modification very slowly.

As owners, we may need to change our habits. Very often our PON becomes nervous when they notice our routine of leaving the house. Change your routines until your PON does not pay attention to your daily schedule. It is also vital to avoid give your PON lots of attention when you plan on leaving the house.

While you are away, make sure your PON is kept busy with  a radio, toys ,etc. Make sure you give your PON a lot of exercise about half an hour before you leave. As with boredom, tired PONS are less apt to become anxious when home alone.

If your PON tends to not only bark, but destroy things while you are gone, a crate may be necessary. Never punish your PON when you come home and find something chewed or torn. If you do, your PON will soon associate your return with being punished. That is going to make her even more anxious. Remember that PONS have long memories.

During the time you are working on behavior modification, it may be helpful to get a pet sitter to come in several times during the day. This will help break up the long hours your PON experiences while you are away from home.

 If  separation anxiety is severe, meds may be needed during your PON's behavior modification process. However, medication may not solve your PON's problem, but it can be a useful part of the process. Consult with your veterinarian to determine which medication would be most appropriate for separation anxiety. Consider natural alternatives in all situations. Good luck.