Polish Lowland Sheepdog
(Polski Owczarek Nizinny)
Group: Herding Group
– Males: 45 to 50 cm
– Females: 42 to 47 cm
Weight: Average weight is between 35 and 50 lbs.
Also Known As: PON; Nizinny
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog (Polish Owczarek Nizinny) is an ancient herding breed known in Poland since the 16th century and believed to be descended from the Puli. During the early 1500s, a Polish ship sailed to Scotland leaving behind one male and two female dogs in exchange for sheep from a Scottish shepherd. It is believed that these three dogs were ancestors to the Bearded Collie and to which the PON bears a close resemblance in both character and appearance. In Canada, the United States and Poland, the breed is commonly referred to as the PON. In some European countries, the breed is known as the Nizinny. Following World War II, the breed was almost extinct but today he is well established and was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2001.
The PON is lively, vigilant, intelligent, perceptive and has an excellent memory. He is a robust dog who thrives on regular exercise and loves a challenge, thus does very well in such activities as agility, flyball and obedience competition. In addition, not only is he an excellent worker of sheep, he walso works well with cattle. He is hard working, obedient and fearless, protecting his flock whenever a threat presents itself. Very good natured and gentle, the PON is known to be very good with children. Often suspicious of strangers but always extremely loyal to family members, the PON also makes a good guard dog.
The PON’s whole body is covered with coarse, dense, thick and profuse hair that may be straight or slightly wavy. The hair that falls on the forehead normally covers the eyes. He is of medium size, compact, robust, strong and muscular. — This breed should never appear to be elegant.
If you are considering the adoption of a Polish Lowland Sheepdog puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. Appropriate hip clearances, by OFA, PennHip, or X-rays on demand, as well as annual eye clearances by CERF or a report from a certified opthamologist, are part of the CPONC Breeders’ Code of Ethics. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main General Information page.)
Additional Health Resources:
- Polish Lowland Sheepdog Information – From breeding to training…what you need to know! — Health Information
- Polish Lowland Sheepdog Health Information — From the American Polish Lowland Sheepdog ClubTM, a.k.a. APONCTM
- Health and Nutrition — Growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website which includes information on several health and nutrition related issues.
- Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) — Providing a source of health information for owners, breeders, and scientists that will assist in breeding healthy dogs. CHIC is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC/Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
- AKC Canine Health Foundation — Working towards developing scientific advances in canine health.
- Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF)
- Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
- Ontario Veterinary College (OVC)
- University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHip)
- HealthGene — HealthGene Corporation is the leading provider of veterinary DNA diagnostic services in Canada.
- Labgenvet — Laboratory of Veterinary Genetics is a Canadian diagnostic laboratory that offers a comprehensive service of DNA tests for veterinary genetic diseases.
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is considered a non-shedding breed. His double coat does, however, require regular brushing and it is important to get your PON accustomed to being brushed from a young age. The new puppy should be gently brushed daily. Between the age of 6 to 12 months, the undercoat will start to grow in and care must be taken to prevent matting, especially behind the ears and under the arms.
- Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.
The PON, like all breeds of dogs, should be socialized from a young age to as many experiences as possible. He also requires positive and consistent training or he will tend to want to dominate. This is a herding dog who wants to protect his flock and he may perceive his flock to be anything from other animals to children. Therefore, early exposure to children and pets is also highly recommended.
- Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.
- Is a Dog from the Herding Group Right for You?
- Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
- Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.
*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit: www.caninehealthinfo.org
*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.