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Polish Lowland Sheepdog

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Polish Lowland Sheepdog
Alternative names
Polski Owczarek Nizinny
Valee Sheepdog
Country of origin
Common nicknames
PON, Nizinny, PLS
Classification and breed standards
FCI: Group 1 Section 1 #251  
AKC: Herding  
ANKC: Group 5 (Working)  
CKC: Miscellaneous Class  
KC (UK): Pastoral  
NZKC: Working  
UKC: Herding Dog Breeds  
Not recognized by any major kennel club
This breed of dog is extinct

The Polish Lowland Sheepdog (Polish: Polski Owczarek Nizinny), also just PON, is a medium sized, shaggy-coated, sheep dog breed native to Poland.


The PON is a stocky, muscular, thick-coated dog. The double coat can be of any color or pattern, although white, gray, and brown are most common, with black, gray, or brown markings. It is common for colors to fade as the dogs reach adulthood. The undercoat is soft and dense, while the topcoat is rough and either straight or wavy, but not curly. The hair around the head makes the head appear to be larger than it actually is, and typically covers the eyes.

Males are 45 — 50 cm (18 — 20 in) in height at the withers, while females are 42 — 47 cm (17 — 19 in). The body is not square, but rectangular; the ratio of the height to the body length should be 9:10 (a 45 cm tall dog should have a body 50 cm long). The tail is either very short or docked. Some undocked dogs have tails that curl over the back.


PONs are stable and self-confident, but are wary of strangers. They have an excellent memory and can be well trained, but may dominate a weak-willed owner. PONs adapt well to various conditions, and are popular as companion dogs for apartment dwellers in their native Poland. PONs require a moderate amount of exercise daily.


Known in its present form in Poland from at least the thirteenth century, the PON is most likely decended from the Puli and the herding dogs of the Huns.

Kazimierz Grabski, a Polish merchant, traded a shipment of grain for sheep in Scotland in 1514, and brought six PONs to move the sheep. A Scottish shepherd was so impressed with the herding ability of the dogs that he traded a ram and two ewes for a dog and two bitches. These dogs were bred with the local Scottish dogs to produce the Scottish herding dogs, most obviously the Bearded Collie.

Almost driven to extinction in World War II, the PON was restored mainly through the work of Dr. Danuta Hryeniewicz and her dog, Smok (en:Dragon), the ancestor of all PONs in the world today, who sired the first ten litters of PONs in the 1950s. The breed standard was written with Smok as the model, and accepted by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1959.


In general, PONs are a very healthy breed. Animals should be checked for hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy before being used for breeding. PONs require a low protein diet. Their food intake should be carefully monitored, as they tend to obesity. The life expectancy of a PON is 12 — 15 years.


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