Polish Lowland Sheepdog
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog, also known as the Polish Owczarek Nizinny or PON, originates from the lowland plains in Poland and was used by the locals for herding sheep. Their exact origins are unknown, though it is possible that they are descendents of corded shepherds such as the Hungarian Puli, the Bearded Collie and the Tibetian Terrier. During the Second World War, as with many other working breeds, their numbers dropped drastically. After the waar, Polish breeders managed to bring the breed back from the brink and nowadays they are kept mainly as pets, though some are still used for herding.
Polish Lowland Sheepdogs are a calm and well mannered breed. They are popular companion animals in their home country of Poland, though they are less well known in other parts of the world. They are great with children, other dogs and any household pets you may have if raised together with them. They will bark when someone is at the door and will generally be cautious of strangers until they get to know them. It is important to socialize them during early life to produce a more well rounded dog in their later years. As is the case with many herding dogs, the PON may try to herd small children. They are rarely aggressive.
The PON is an intelligent dog and it shows. They will look at you and you can see their minds working. Training with this breed is relatively straightforward as they have an appetite for learning. Training should start early on in their lives, food rewards and positive reinforcement work best. They will respond quickly to whatever you teach them. They also like to play, so integrating play into training sessions is something you can do. This breed does well in agility, obedience and herding trials. They are sometimes even used as therapy dogs. These dogs are happy to work and will relish any attention you give them. All this does make training easier, though you have to be consistent as this breed will be quick to spot any weaknesses. They have sharp minds and incredible memories.
In terms of exercise, this breed will require at least an hour’s run a day. They aren’t a totally demanding breed and once they’ve been on a walk they’ll happily curl up and nod off. Their recall is great once trained and they are happiest when allowed to be off-leash to run around and explore. They make good jogging partners and will happily trot along by your side.
This breed is a great fan of using puppy-dog eyes to get what they want, often looking at something then back at their owner. They also like to steal things and hide them from you, usually they go for items such as socks, underwear, shoes etc…
This breed should it be clipped, their coats will regulate themselves. Brushing at least twice a week will, however, be needed to remove any tangles. They may need bathing once every two months or so if they get very dirty.
They can be greedy, often using their puppy eyes to get some food from you! Their diets need to be watched to prevent obesity.
Polish Lowland Sheepdogs are an affectionate and loving breed. They will be protective of their family and naturally wary of strangers. This can all be overcome through proper socialisation. They are very loving of their family and get on well with children. Overall the PON will make a great addition to every family.
This is a sturdy breed that suffers from few ailments though Canine Hip Dysplasia can sometimes be seen, as can lysosomal storage disease, allergies and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA: degeneration of the retina which can lead to blindness).
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 years
- Weight: 40 - 50 lbs
- Height: 16 - 20"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Long
- Grooming Requirements: Everyday
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Small House
- Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
- Breed Type: Herding
- Size: Medium
- Energy Level: High
- Exercise Required: Over 2 hours