Polish Lowland Sheepdog
Life span: 12-14 Years
Height: 18 – 20 inches (male), 17 – 21 inches (female)
Weight: 40 – 50 lbs. (male), 30 – 40 lbs. (female)
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog, known as “PON” in the United States, is a Sheepdog breed that is medium-sized. Originating in Poland, the Lowland Sheepdog has a fearless attitude and a lively demeanor, making it well-suited for protecting flocks from predation. Its coat of long, shaggy hair comes in a variety of color patterns – typically a mix of black, white, and grey.
This loving breed is completely devoted and loyal to its family, protecting them above everything. This makes them great watchdogs, but also means they need to be properly socialized with both humans and other pets.
Their ears are medium length with a medium length tail as well. The eyes are brown with a black or brown nose. Their double coat is made up of a dense undercoat and a wavy overcoat that is soft to the touch. Coat colors include black, grey, brown, light brown, cream colored and white. Their coats can be one color only, bicolored, or tricolored.
Originating in Central Asia in the 1500s, this breed has the Tibetan Terrier and Lhasa Apso as their ancestors. The breed was mainly used as a herder and watchdog, as well as their bravery against bigger predators. They are believed to be ancestors of the Border Collie due to a trade in 1514 that happened in a Polish ship. During the 1800s and 1900s, the breed’s popularity rose due to its herding skills, and after World War I, its popularity continued to rise, especially with breeders looking to selectively breed them. In 1924, they were shown at a Warsaw show. Sadly, after World War II they neared extinction, with only around 150 dogs of the breed remaining. However, it managed to survive, and was recognized by the Polish Kennel Club in 1957. In 1965 it was shown in a World Dog show, leading to their popularity spreading worldwide. In 1987, the American Polski Owczarek Nizinny Club was created, with their original name. In 2001, they were recognized by the American Kennel Club and are now the national dog of Poland.
This breed is known to be highly protective of their family, leading to them being great watchdogs, but also highly territorial. This also makes them wary of strangers, and must be properly socialized from a young age. They tend to steal household items and hide them away within the house. They are loving and will never forget anything you teach them. However, they can be stubborn at times due to their high intelligence. Due to their herding instincts, they might nip at people’s heels, especially children’s, so be sure to train them not to. They must be introduced to other pets at an early age in order to get along with them.
Although generally healthy, this breed may suffer from:
Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), in which the dogs may become night blind at first and progressively lose their day eyesight as well.
Their coat should be thoroughly brushed once a week, even if kept with their hair trimmed. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. This breed loves to go on hikes and long walks with their owners. Training is easy, since their whole attitude is lovely to handle!