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Polish Lowland Sheepdog
History: The Polish Lowland Sheepdog, or PON (Polish Owczarek Nizinny), is partly descended from the Puli. Early in the history of Poland, other blood was crossed with the Puli, most likely the Huns herding dog. This breed was about 19 to 22 inches high, with a rather long coat, and was used for herding and guarding. This cross breeding took place some time before the 16th century, as there is evidence of the PON as it now appears, in both Poland and Pomerania at that time. In about 1514, a Polish ship sailed from Gdansk to Scotland with cargo of grain to exchange for Scottish sheep. This ship carried six PONs to help move the sheep. A shepherd asked for a pair of

PONs in exchange for a fine horned ram. A deal was made for a ram and a ewe in exchange for two females and one male dog. It is believed that these three dogs were part ancestors of the Bearded Collie found in Scotland to which they bear close resemblance both in appearance and character.

The PON is an excellent worker of sheep and will work well with cattle. In recent years, it has gained some following in cities as a pet dog. Most people living in the towns of Poland live in apartments. Hence, the size of the PON is well suited to apartment life.

The dogs are intelligent, active, hardy and attractive. They are a hard working breed, obedient and fearless, good tempered with man and other dogs, but when working with sheep, will attack any fox that threatens the flock. They are sturdy dogs, in a well-balanced way, showing spirit and good sense.

They are good natured and gentle with children. For generations, they have been used as guards for the peasants. They are often aloof and suspicious towards strangers, but remarkably loyal to all members of the family.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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Polski Owczarek, Nizinny and PON

AKC Group: Miscellaneous

Breed Club: American Polish Lowland Sheepdog Club

Rescue Club:

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Body Type:

  • Well balanced due to a strong skeleton
  • Height: male, 18-20 inches, female, 17-19 inches (measured at the withers)


  • Stable and self confident
  • Needs a dominant master and consistent training from a very young age. If this is not provided, they tend to dominate the master
  • When not used as a herding or working dog, they can be a magnificent companion as he seems to fit into any type of lifestyle
  • Extremely loyal, but somewhat aloof and suspicious of strangers
  • Faults: nervous, cowardly or extreme vicious behavior


  • Doubled coated
  • The entire body is covered with a long, dense, shaggy, thick coat that is reasonably straight
  • The undercoat is soft and dense
  • Characteristically, long hanging hair covers the eyes
  • A slight wavy coat is acceptable
  • All coat colors are acceptable
  • The most common colors are white with either black, gray or sandy patches and gray with white, or chocolate. Most carry a dominant fading factor genetically, which results in puppies being born darker in coat color than they will appears as adults, with the exception of those puppies born white

Health Concerns:

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Tasty Tidbits:
  • The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is AKC's 147th breed
  • Another name for the breed is Polski Owczarek Nizinny. Polski translates to Polish and is pronounced pol' skee. Owczarek - the w sounds like a v and cz has a ch sound, ahv cha' rek. Nizinny is pronounced ni gi' nee. In Poland they are referred to as PONs
  • The first standard of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog was accepted by the Polish Kennel Club and FCI in 1959
  • In Poland, the breed has been featured on stamps
    information supplied by the AKC

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