Polish Lowland Sheepdog
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is also known as the Polish Owczarek Nizinny or PON. It originates from the lowland plains in Poland and was used for herding sheep. The exact origin is unknown, but possibly a descendant of corded shepherds such as the Hungarian Puli, Bearded Collie and Tibetan Terrier. The Second World War saw the numbers drop dramatically, which was often the case with working breeds. Polish breeders bought the breed back from the brink and today it is kept mainly as a pet, but some are still used for herding.
The PON is a calm and well mannered breed that are popular companion animals in Poland, but less well known around the world. They are great with children, other pets and dogs in raised with them. They will bark at the door and are generally aloof with strangers until they get to know them. It is important to socialise them well at a young age to prevent problems later in life. The PON will sometimes try and herd small children and even adults, as they like everyone in one place. Rarely aggressive.
The intelligent nature of the PON is evident on a daily basis. They will look at you and you can see their minds working. Training is usually straight forward as they have an appetite for learning. Start training early and use food reward and positive reinforcement. They like to play and will respond quickly to whatever you teach them. They do very well in Agility, obedience and herding trials and some are even used as therapy dogs. They are happy and hard working and will relish any attention you give to them. This does make training easier, but you must be consistent as they will spot any weakness. They have incredibly memories and a strong personality.
They have medium to high exercise needs and will require at least an hours run a day. They are no couch potato, but once exercised will want to climb on top of you and have a nap. Their recall is spot on when trained and they are happiest when allowed off lead to run and explore. They make an excellent jogging partner and will happily trot along side you.
Don't be fooled by the puppy dog eyes. They have the ability to twist their owners around their paws to get want they want. Often looking at something and then you. They like to steal things and hide them; Socks, underwear, shoes etc
The PON should not be trimmed/Clippered. Their coat will self regulate, but it must be brushed at least twice a week to get any tangles/burrs out. They might need bathing every 2 months or so if they are very dirty.
The PON is a sturdy breed that suffers few ailments. Canine Hip Dysplasia is sometimes seen and they can be greedy so watch out for over feeding.
Polish Lowland Sheepdogs have an affectionate and loyal temperament. They are protective of family and home so may be wary of strangers. This can be overcome through early and regular socialisation so the dog understands most humans are friends. Very loving of their family and good with children the Polish Lowland Sheepdog will enjoy a good training session and walk daily in order to gain respect for you and be settled in the home.
Health problems that may affect the Polish Lowland Sheepdog include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), 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: 18 - 23 kg
- 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