Polish Lowland Sheepdog - pons - pon the dog
Milou, Cedr and the ball in Finland
Socializing Your Children to live with PONS
PON owners need to socialize children and teach them how to gently touch, pet, and care for a new PON puppy. Young children should not be allowed to carry puppies. They may wish to imitate adults because they see an adult doing it, but they lack the coordination and muscle strength to properly support the PON and keep him from falling. All children need to learn that puppies are living, breathing beings who can be easily hurt if not handled properly when young. Before bringing a PON into a household, parents need to establish basic rules with children.
Avoid tiring your PON puppy as this tends to make them frustrated. Frustrated dogs become hyper and this often leads to behavior problems and biting incidents. Make sure that your PON has a safe haven where he can relax in peace without a child constantly playing with him. Ask your children to put themselves into your PON'S "paws" and let him have his rest. Family PONS need to be treated with respect by all family members. Some older children may think it's cute to chase a PON throughout the house, but the PON may take the game too seriously and start to respond in an undesirable manner. You can prevent such situations by setting up strict rules even before a PON becomes part of your household.
Socializing/teaching children that sneaking table scraps (as well as chocolate, candy,etc.) to PONS may cause digestive upsets and even life threatening situations is a necessity and may prevent a tragedy. Children have no way of knowing this unless they hear about it from parents. Encourage children to inform their friends and classmates about the safe care of dogs so that they internalize this behavior quickly and pass along solid information to others in the community. Your local SPCA/humane society may have additional suggestions as well.
Include your children in some PON grooming sessions (helping with washing, etc.), food preparation and visits to the vet. However, consider the age and maturity of your children before allowing them to walk PONS on their own.
Incidences of PONS dashing out of the front door can be significantly reduced with the use of crates. Instruct your children to make sure the family PON is crated before opening the door to friends and family members. Try and enroll your PON and family members in a home obedience course. The instructors at your local obedience school will show both PON and children correct socialization methods. Rescue situations can be prevented with properly socializing all members of your PON household.