Grooming

 

The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is known as a double coated breed, and has a harsh shaggy top coat which protects it from the elements, with a soft fluffy undercoat which keeps it warm and dry.

 

Correctly groomed, the coat keeps the dog dry and warm in the winter, and protects the skin from overheating in the summer.

 

It is necessary to groom your dog daily when he is a puppy, to get him used to it, so he will not object when he’s older. The breeder of your puppy should have already started this, and will advise on which grooming tools they use. There are many grooming tools on the market, and it is usually down to personal choice, with folk finding out what works best for them. But generally speaking, just a pin brush and a comb are the basics. Click photos to view full size

Puppies need to get used to being on a grooming table from an early age...

...so they are quite happy to be there when adult

The average adult Polish Lowland will require a thorough weekly groom lasting around an hour, to keep the coat in top condition. When you groom your dog, pay special attention to the problem areas which matt up more readily. These are behind the ears, under the chin, and in the armpits. Many PONs do not like their feet being groomed, so little and often should desensitise them so they do not mind. Make sure you groom down to the skin all over the body, as any areas left knotty or matted may result in hot spots on the skin due to air not being able to circulate. This may in turn lead to your dog scratching frequently and damaging its skin further.

 

How often you bath your dog is down to personal preference (and obviously how dirty they are allowed to get!). There again, bathing your puppy more regularly, will ensure they are used to it and do not object when they are older. Although bathing removes the protective oils in the top coat for a short while, unless your PON spends most of its time outside in all weathers, this is not a problem.

If you do not intend to show your dog, find regular grooming difficult, or just prefer a shorter coat, there is no reason why your dog should not be kept trimmed, either during the summer or all year round. In fact some dogs which have had full coats all their lives, gain a new lease of life if clipped off in later years.

Grooming is also an opportunity to check for and remove, leaves, twigs, grass seeds etc which get caught up in the coat, sometimes on a daily basis, depending on the time of year. In the winter, after snowfall, lumps of ice can attach themselves quite firmly in between the toes and they may need their feet washing in warm water to dissolve these, and also to wash away any de-icer, salt etc which is used on pavements.

 

Ears need checking regularly too, and any excess hair should be gently plucked out to prevent infection. If you walk your dog daily on hard surfaces, such as concrete, pavements, gravel etc, their toe nails should naturally be worn short. If not, nails will need to be kept trimmed for comfort, either by you or your vet.

Some PONs will need bathing more than others!

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