Polish Lowland Sheepdog
Or, Polski Owczarek Nizinny!
Background and Description
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is otherwise known as the Polski Owczarek Nizinny (the Polish translation). To make things easier, I assume, this breed has come to be called the PON, both here and in his native Poland.
The PON is a well-balanced, strong and muscular dog with a profuse shaggy coat that gives him a very attractive and amiable appearance. Although his head looks out of balance, it is in proportion to his medium-sized body, but appears larger due to an abundance of hair that covers the eyes, forehead, cheeks and chin. When you can catch a glimpse of his eyes, the color should be brown or hazel.
Development of the PON is believed to have occurred before or during the 16th century when Polish long-coated sheepdogs were crossed with the Puli. Not much later the PON arrived in Scotland aboard sailing ships and a few of them were traded in exchange for livestock. It is believed that these new arrivals became part of the breeding stock that developed the Bearded Collie.
The original purpose of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog was as a working sheep dog and guardian of the flock. Although, the breed nearly became extinct during the devastation of World War II, it now enjoys a popularity in the show ring as well as in the family home, thanks to loyal enthusiasts of the PON.
Ideal standard weight:
Although any coat color is acceptable, the most commonly seen are white with either black, gray or sandy patches and gray with white, or chocolate. Most puppies will have a darker color initially which fades as they become adult.
Coat and Care:
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog has a weather-resistant double coat. It is very shaggy-looking, long and thick and more or less straight. The undercoat is soft and dense.
There is no getting around it, owners of a PON must be willing to groom their dog on a daily basis to keep the coat free of mats and tangles. Special attention should be given to these trouble spots: elbows, thighs, feet and stomach/groin, behind the ears, between the toes and pads of the feet. Also, the ear canal needs to be trimmed. Interestingly, this dog is a light shedder and a breed to be considered by allergy sufferers.
A very efficient grooming tool, that gets high praise from dog owners, is
Personality and Traits:
The domesticated Polish Lowland Sheepdog has adapted his pastoral instincts toward protecting and loving his human family flock. He is a loyal and lovable pet, that has an affectionate and sometimes clownish personality. He is always eager to please and is a trainable companion. His guarding traits make him a bit reserved and wary of strangers until he is satisfied that they pose no threat.
Although he is not a barker, he will let you know when potential intruders (aka visitors) are approaching your home. Don't worry, he is also known for having a very good memory and will remember your friends!
Like most working dogs, the PON is both an intelligent and independent thinker. As such, he can be a tad stubborn and needs a strong leader, as well as training that is firm, yet fair and consistent. He will benefit greatly if he can take charge of some responsibilities around the house. From the time they are a puppy, PONs need to be well-socialized and exposed to a variety of situations, events and people, so that later on they will be able to intelligently differentiate between the things they encounter.
Herding dogs, including the PON, need plenty of regular exercise including mental challenges. Some of their exercise can take the form of agility games that you play with them, such as flyball or frisbee.
In addition, daily vigorous walks or jogging with a family member will provide them with the physical outlet they require.
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Being a dog with its roots in the countryside of Poland, a rural property with room to run will beat out any other as the ideal setting.
That being said, many of these dogs have adapted to living in apartments. The key is to make sure that the PON receives a considerable amount of daily exercise.
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is gentle and gets along well with children if raised with them. He is playful and loving with well-behaved children who are respectful of dogs. One thing to consider is the age and size of your child with respect to a rambunctious young puppy that can easily herd kids around and may be accidentally knock them down.
The best policy no matter what the breed, is to always have an adult closely supervise activities between pets and children.
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog bonds closely with their owners and have been used in therapy situations. An elderly person may be luck enough to find one that is mature and has a more mellow demeanor. Two important considerations would definitely be grooming and exercise, which are more intense with this breed.
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Herding Dog Breeds
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