Polish Lowland Sheepdogs - PONS
milou, cedr, lani in Hameenlinna, Finland
PON Defense Unit
|Every time your PONS react to
neighbors', the newspaper boy, postman, etc. with excessive barking,
consider their genetic heritage of herding and defending their flock, only
in this case, instead of sheep, they are guarding their human family
flock. Interfering with their built-in defense system may well create
frustration and unfavorable behavior patterns unless you carefully
substitute one set of behavior patterns for other domesticated
behavior. Not all PON excessive barking is connected with their
genetic heritage and needs to be dealt with in a positive manner.
PONS that constantly bark when left alone may be either bored or suffer from separation anxiety or even by over stimulated by environmental sounds.
Those PONS which are obviously bored when left alone need to have some sort of "job" such as playing with a frozen stuffed Kong or a similar toy which is stuffed with a treat which will distract him for a long time. If you exercise your PON directly before leaving, he will tend to sleep for at least part of the time you are away.
There are way to desensitize your PONS to sounds. Most important, do not cuddle your PON when he starts barking in reaction to neighbors, etc. Say "good quiet" after distracting your PONS with keys or a can filled with pebbles that you have thrown next to him (not at him).
Instilling obedience is important. You can increase your PON's ability to remain quiet during training sessions of about 3 minutes. Ask your PON for a “sit quiet” behavior. Give him a treat and a “good sit quiet.” For the next part, ask a friend to stay outside ready to knock on the door. On cue, your friend knocks as you ask your PON for the third “sit quiet.” If your PON remains focused on you and quiet, give him a strong “good sit quiet“ and a treat. If your PON barks, turn away and ignore him. After a few seconds turn around ask for the “sit quiet “ again, then reward if his behavior is appropriate.
Dealing with territorial behavior takes other strategies. Never leave your PON unsupervised in the yard because when people or animals walk by, he will start barking. Try and introduce your PON to everyone who enters your property and encourage them to give him a treat. For example, your mailman can leave a treat with the mail so that your PON associates mail with receiving treats.
Barking is natural behavior for sheepdogs and in particular for PONS. it is essential to determine the cause of your PONS' barking so that you can remedy this behavior pattern in an appropriate manner and avoid reinforcing barking with negative attention.