The Polish Lowland Sheepdog

descriptive textDog breed info
Polish Lowland Sheepdog
Polski Owczarek Nizinny PON
Weight: 30 — 35 lbs
Height: 17” — 20”
AKC Rank 2008 #154
Lifespan: 10—14 yrs
Group Herding
Origin: Poland

Dog Breed Info - Polish Lowland Sheepdog

Breed Overview

Origin: Ancient times. Original function: Sheep herding. Today: Sheep herding, Companion. Colors– Any.

The Polish Sheepdog looks like a small version of the Old English Sheepdog but they are not even close relatives. The correct name for this dog is Polish Owczarek Nizinny, or in short in the USA, “PON.” The origin probably goes back to Tibetan breeds or early Hungarian herding dogs. Long coated Tibetan dogs were possibly interbred with corded-coat Hungarian sheepdogs introduced by the Huns in the fourth century. Unlike larger sheepdogs, the smaller PON’s didn’t scare the sheep and was therefore a superb herding animal that could work all day and govern themselves unattended. They worked in the Polish Lowlands for centuries until interest in purebred dogs hit Europe in the late 1800’s. Polish National Pride following WWI promoted and selectively breed the PON. WWII nearly eradicated the breed, though. There were survivors and PON’s were registered by the Polish Kennel Club in 1957. The breed standard was approved in 1959. In 2001 the PON was recognized by the American Kennel Club in the Herding group.


This Polish Lowland Sheepdog is intelligent, wants to please and is fairly easy to train. They can learn obedience and even agility if you have the time. However, the dog may or may not obey the commands so patience is needed. The clicker training method with positive reinforcement is most effective, or you can work with Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer and do it Cesar’s Way. Either way, remember, patience and repetition will work.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your PON puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

The Polish Lowland Sheepdog puppy is not too difficult to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.


The Polish Lowland Sheepdog needs heavy socialization as a puppy and an owner that delivers a positive, “in-control,” “in-charge” environment. The PON, as the dog is known, can be quite stubborn and may obey commands at her own will so an authoritative “pack leader” needs to run her show and control her life. That out of the way, this is a terrific sheep herder and great family pet that is very perky, lively, loyal, full of fun and play and does well with children when they grow up together.. The Polish Sheepdogs can be territorial and wary of strangers. However, if she knows you, she can be quite affectionate. This breed needs heavy socialization all through her life. The important thing is that this dog needs reliable leadership as well as a lot of obedience training. She has high energy and needs constructive things to do or she won’t be happy. She’s playful, bouncy, and very intelligent. This dog can bark, and loudly!

If you happen to get a Polish Lowland Sheepdog with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Generally okay depending on the other dogs. If threatened, the PON’s will put up a fight.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Good with household pets. Introduce the house cat slowly, with care. It’s a better idea if the PON is raised as a puppy with the other house pets.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Likes people and does well with people. This breed needs to be around lots of people and have a steady diet of congregating humans.


Moderately playful. Enjoys games of fetch, catching Frisbees, and jogging.


Very affection with his own family and children.

Good with children?

Should be raised with the children starting as a puppy. If that happens, this is a playful, fun-loving dog.

Good with Seniors over 65?

If the senior can take the dog on two long walks a day and throw a ball or Frisbee in a brisk game of fetch for more exercise, then it might work. The PON is certainly affectionate, playful, lively and loyal enough, and a great watchdog and guardian too.

Living environment

The Polish Lowland Sheepdog would prefer life in the country on a farm or ranch or house with a large fenced yard outside of town. NO apartment, flat or condo. This breed is aggressive enough that it might not be good on narrow stairs or cramped apartment elevators where other dogs and people are encountered.

The PON needs a cool climate.

Do not leave this dog alone for long periods. They don’t do well with nothing to do or people to play with.

Energy level

High energy. Give him 9 bars out of 10. She can run for hours steady herding sheep.

Exercise needs, daily

High. Needs two long walks daily plus a stimulating game of fetch or Frisbee. Great jogging partner or hiking companion. This breed must have plenty of physical and mental exercise every day. They do best with an active family.


Excellent good watchdog. Has a loud bark.

Guard dog

Very good. Protective.


Very little to none for shedding. Good for allergy folks.


The long coat needs brushing every other day. Bathe only as needed.

Dog Health Issues For The English Foxhound
Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Field Spaniel by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. These are the dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • There are very few reported illnesses for this breed. As this is a rare breed, medical problems are probably under reported, but in all, it seems to be a healthy dog.

  • Hip dysplasia CHD- Hind end limping, hind/back leg acts lame, can't move, weak legs. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing the Plott great pain, weakness and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—(PRA) An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.

Other health problems could occur with your Polish Lowland Sheepdog. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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