Activities For Polish Lowland Sheepdogs

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Introduction

It seems that it's always the most unassuming and often cuddly looking dog breeds that tend to have the most storied and interesting histories; according to the American Kennel Club, the ancient ancestors of Polish Lowland Sheepdogs used to serve as herding dogs for members of the Hun tribe of the 4th and 5th centuries. Moreover, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs nearly became extinct during World War 2 as Germany's invasion of Poland left many of these dogs without families to care for them or breeders to increase their numbers. Despite all of this, however, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs always seem to have a sunny outlook towards life and have a knack for protecting other animals and people. The unique history and amicability of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog have influenced the types of activities that these dogs enjoy trying out. If you're thinking about adopting a Polish Lowland Sheepdog, or are currently caring for one, here are a few activities you can try out with this breed.

Tracking Training

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Leash
Scents
Scented items
Activity description
Tracking training refers to the act of honing a dog's ability to find someone or something by sniffing out their scent and using that to track the missing person or item down. A number of professional tracking courses are offered for around $200 to $400 for 4 weeks of training but these costs are halved if you decide to train your dog on your own. Either way, we recommend attempting to train your Polish Lowland Sheepdog in the art of tracking on days when it's nice and sunny - try to avoid training on rainy days as the smell of wet soot, soil, or cement can make things unnecessarily difficult.
Step
1
Getting on track
First, pick an item that you want your dog to track down; it can be a ball, a piece of cloth, anything that will be safe for them to bite onto. Next, you'll want to mask the item with a particular smell. You can do this by getting a dog-safe bottled fragrance and spraying the item with it. Peppermint and Lavender tend to work well in most cases.
Step
2
Reinforcement
Now that the item is scented, you'll want to let your dog play with it for a bit and get used to the feel and smell of the item. If you picked a ball or a stick as the item you want your dog to track, then the two of you can play fetch for a bit so that your Polish Lowland Sheepdog can get familiar with the item they'll be trying to find.
Step
3
Hiding in plain sight
Now that your dog has become somewhat attached to the item that you want them to fetch, you can proceed with the actual tracking portion of the training. While keeping your dog still, place the item a few feet away from them. Don't allow your Polish Lowland Sheepdog to trot over and pick it up just yet - first, you'll need to obscure the item and then encourage your dog to follow it's smell until they successfully track it down.
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Agility Training

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
45 min
Items needed
Hoops
Hurdles
Tunnel
A-frame
Leash
Activity description
Fun fact: Polish Lowland Sheepdogs are originally known as Polski Owczarek Nizinnies in their native homeland. This name has caused many pet enthusiasts around the world to simply refer to Polish Lowland Sheepdogs as PONs or Nizinnies. This pup's place of origin is filled with the sort of terrain which makes being very agile something of a requirement for most dogs. As a result, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs tend to take to agility training fairly easily. Agility trainers can charge anywhere from $60 to $100 or more to train a dog over the course of 8 weeks, but the benefits agility training offers are worth the price. Should you sign up for a class, try to sign up for one that'll be held during the warmer, sunnier times of the year.
Step
1
Research and reconnaissance
Like the man said, "always look before you leap." And in this day and age of technological marvels and resources, almost all of us have a number of means to gather info on a subject or person that we're particularly curious about. Not only should you do some more research on the matter of training a Polish Lowland Sheepdog in agility but you should also do extensive research on any trainers that you're interested in contacting.
Step
2
Agility activities
Agility training activities consist of things like encouraging a dog to run up a triangular structure called an "A-frame," jump over hoops and hurdles, catch objects mid-flight, and dash through narrow dog tunnels. It's all very active stuff, which is why it's good to regularly workout with your dog long before you enroll them in an agility training course. Whether you train your dog on your own or take classes with a trainer, a proper introduction is needed so that your Polish Lowland Sheepdog looks forward to training and attempting obstacles. Some training methods involve the use of treats as an encouragement for a hesitant dog to go over a jump or A-frame, for example. Demonstrating an obstacle like the hurdles will not only give your Polish Lowland Sheepdog a visual, but will get you in shape at the same time!
Step
3
Keep the momentum flowing
Most agility training sessions are held for about one hour once every week. While your dog will learn much during those sessions, the best way to help them retain that information is to continue practicing at home; like a college student trying to ace a class, it isn't enough to rely solely on what was covered in class - material needs to be studied and practiced outside of class for it to really stick.
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Treibball

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Treibballs
Goal
Activity description
This activity originates from Germany and largely consists of pet parents watching closely as their pets play with a set of gigantic rubber balls as if they playing a game of pool or billiards. Eight of these rubber balls are supposed to be organized in a triangular pattern in front of a goal of some sort (usually a soccer goal). Dogs are then timed as their human companions encourage them to push all eight balls into the goal. Well, that's the definition for the competitive version of treibball at least. You can also totally just let your dog play with one of these rubber balls and encourage to focus on only getting one ball in at a time. Since these balls cost about $20 a piece, this alternative is definitely more economical. However many balls you decide to use, try to play this game on a sunny day so you don't have to worry about the rain making the field too slippery.
Step
1
Choose your play style
Now that you know how the competitive and casual versions of this game are played, you can decide if you want your dog to attempt to herd eight balls into a goal within a certain time limit or if you'd just like for them to have fun at their leisure. Polish Lowland Sheepdogs tend to have more relaxed personalities so they will definitely appreciate being able to play at their own pace. On the other hand, the competitive version encourages these dogs to really move and get active, improving their health in the long run.
Step
2
Keep an eye on things
Even though most of the physical activity in treibball will stem from your dog, you can still be active in a manner of speaking; by actively watching your dog as they play, you'll be able to ensure that your pup is playing safely. You'll also probably begin to really enjoy watching your dog as they move and maneuver the ball around in new and creative ways a human might not otherwise think of on their own. Encourage your dog to move the ball toward the goal. You will be surprised at how quickly they catch on to this aspect of the game.
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More Fun Ideas...

Herding Training

Evident by the name "Polish Lowland Sheepdog," these canines were quite literally bred for the purpose of herding entire flocks of sheep from one area to the next in a safe and controlled manner. Sheepdogs are very friendly and protective pets as is, so your Polish Lowland Sheepdog will likely have no trouble at all with this activity provided they are able to practice consistently enough. That can be a bit tricky as 3 days of herding training cost about $250 or more, but if there's a will, there's a way to get your dog some training eventually.

Grooming

Grooming the hair of a shaggy dog might as well be an activity in its own right, as the process will be much more complex than simply grabbing a brush and going to town on your dog's coat. You'll need a number of shampoos, clippers, moisturizers, and more to keep your Polish Lowland Sheepdog's coat healthy and clean. There are plenty of pet grooming kits out there that you can buy for about $30 or $40. Additional grooming tools that aren't typically featured in most kits, like a pair of clippers for instance, can be bought for about $20 or so.

Conclusion

In all the ways that we can help Polish Lowland Sheepdogs learn and grow, there are quite a few things that we ought to take from these canines; despite all of the things that their breed has collectively endured, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs always seem to have a never say die attitude and are outright protective of others. They can learn to be great family pets, herding dogs and guard dogs once their natural instincts have been honed and refined to a certain point. They make ideal companions for most people, so long as they're willing to groom this dog's long coat on a regular basis and live in an area with enough space to keep a member of this breed from feeling claustrophobic.