Polish Lowland Sheepdog - pons - pon the dog






PON Piekarz Kennel, The Netherlands





Coping with Separation Anxiety in PONS


PONS are an emotionally strong breed, but they are also subject to Separation Anxiety when major changes (leaving them alone for long periods of time, change in environment, favorite humans depart for work/school,etc.) take place in their lives. Separation Anxiety can manifest as barking for hours on end, whining,scratching at the door, chewing inappropriate items and medical symptoms such as lethargy or not eating well.

Owners can cope with this condition, by following these tips:

  • Leave clothes with your scent on them around the house. That’s security.


  • Make sure your dog can keep busy while you’re gone. “If you can get a dog beyond the first 45 minutes after you’ve left, you’ve solved most of the problem. Try giving your dog an empty milk container without the lid, but with some of the milk residue still inside it. Dogs will be attracted by the smell, then they find out it makes a really neat noise and then they’re king of the mountain. They can super-entertain themselves.


  • If your dog is outside, hang an old bike tire, a bunch of dish rags knotted together or a shoe from a tree so the dog can play with them..


  • Have a pet sitter come over once in a while to spend time with the dog, or try doggie daycare two or three times a week. That can be really enjoyable !


  • Put the radio on a talk station or leave your TV on while you’re gone. “That noise muffles any other kinds of sounds the dog might worry about and it’s just background. These sounds are comforting and are the sounds they hear when humans are home.



What won't help with Separation Anxiety:

  • Punishment. Punishment isn't effective for treating separation anxiety and can make the situation worse. The destruction and house soiling that often occur with separation anxiety aren't your PON's revenge for being left alone: they're part of a panic response.
  • Another PON. Getting your PON a companion usually doesn't help an anxious dog because his anxiety is the result of his separation from you, not just the result of being alone.
  • Crating. Your PON will still engage in anxiety responses inside a crate, and he may urinate, defecate, howl, or even injure himself in an attempt to escape.


Solving Separation Anxiety issues:

It can take time for your PON to unlearn his panic response to your departures. To help you and your PON cope short term, consider the following practical solutions:

  • Ask your veterinarian about drug therapy. A good anti-anxiety drug shouldn't sedate your PON but simply reduce his overall anxiety.
  • Take your PON to a doggie day care facility or kennel when you have to be away.
  • Leave your PON with a friend, family member, or neighbor when you're away.
  • Take your PON to work with you, if possible.
  • New: Put a "thunder" shirt on your PON. I know of situations where this has helped more than other measures.