The Polish Lowland Sheepdog has a long, complex origin that is not very clear. It is said to be a cross of some mountain dogs from Asia such as the Tibetan Spaniel and Mastiff with lowland plain dogs of Hungary such as the Puli. It is also known as the Polish sheepdog, Owczarek Nizinny, Berger Polonais, Valee Sheepdog, PON or Nizzy. It was a Polish merchant who went to purchase sheep in Scotland that introduced this dog to Europe. It slowly gained popularity, but its numbers declined during World War 2. After the Second World War, the breed was revived and grew in popularity.
They are distinguished by their dense, wiry outer coat that covers their entire body from head to tail. They are medium sized standing at about 16 – 20 inches tall and weighing 30 – 35 pounds. They have a rectangular body form that is medium-sized built. They have round head with an equally proportional muzzle that is tipped with a black nose at the end. Its hair on the muzzle forms a mustache and its teeth close in a scissors bite. It’s dark round eyes are buried in the dense bushy eyebrows and its ears droop on the side of its head to the base of the neck
The PON is a self-confident, independent minded breed of dog. It could be due to their herding responsibilities that required them to be quick thinkers and decision makers. Due to their inbuilt nature to desire to work, they will require a lot of activities to maintain them in high spirit. They may be a challenge to train as they are adapted to making their decisions. They are very loyal and protective hence make good watch dogs.
An inexperienced dog owner may require assistance when it comes to training this dog breed. They are independent minded and will require a firm and experienced trainer. Part of their training will require that they are taught to accommodate other people and pets so that they do not act overly protective over their family. It requires consistent activity to keep it mentally and physically stimulated
They are a healthy breed of dogs and are not prone to many infections. Some of the diseases to look out for are retinal atrophy and hip dysplasia. They have a general lifespan of about 12 – 14 years
PONs have a good appetite and should be fed on a nutritious, high quality meal. The amount to serve depends on the dog’s age, size and amount of activity. They should be fed twice a day instead of a single meal or sporadic feeding habits during the day.
Coat, Color and Grooming
PONs have a double coat that consists of a soft, dense inner coat and a wiry, hard outer coat. They come in various colors that range from black, gray white and a variation of brown. Their coat should be brushed on a weekly basis to prevent knots from forming.
With family and other pets
The PON is a lifetime companion that will remain loyal and devoted to keeping the interest of its family. It bonds well with children and also other pets but is weary of strangers hence will not easily accommodate outsiders.