The Polish Lowland Sheepdog or PON (which some folks like call them) kind of looks like an emoji dog. With long hair flopping in its eyes, this guy may not be the most popular breed in the American Kennel Club, but he’s still one of the cutest in our humble opinion.
But is cute enough to bring one into your home forever?
That’s the real question, and one that only you’ll be able to answer for yourself. The good news is that in addition to just being super cute, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog also has a lot of other great things going for it which is why so many families feel that they are the “best” breed for them.
We here at IndulgeYourPet, don’t want you to just run out and adopt one of these cute little guys because you “think” owning them “might” be a good idea. We want you to be able to make an informed decision.
Which is why…
We wanted to take a moment and discuss the breed in greater detail so that if you’re ever given the opportunity to make a Polish Lowland Sheepdog puppy your own, you’ll know for sure if it’s a good idea or not.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Polish Lowland Sheepdog Fast Facts
Country of Origin: Poland
Original Purpose: Flock guarding
Height: 17 to 20 inches at shoulder
Weight: 25 to 50 pounds
Dog Breed Classification: Herding group
Lifespan: 11 to 15years
Origin of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog Breed
This dog may come from Poland but the breed’s roots go to Central and South Asia. In fact, it’s likely that the Tibetan Terrier and Lhasa Apso were used in making this breed when crossing them with sheepdogs like the Puli.
Even think that the Bearded Collie and Scottish dog were also used to make the Polish Lowland.
Like with many breeds who’s entire breeding stock was limited to central Europe during the early 19th century, WW2 almost wiped them out of existence, but luckily Dr. Danuta Hryniewics, a veterinarian, kept the dog bred. She started Kordegardy Kennels and had 140 PON puppies!
The Federation Cynologique Internationale dog organization to have enough samples to “officially” recognize this breed in 1959 using one particularly fine example named Smok as the “breed standard”.
To the breed, was breeder Moira Morrison who imported two PONs to America. Kaz and Bettey Augustowski bought a PON and became PON breeders in the USA. They also were the biggest advocates pushing for the dog to be recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). This finally happened in 2001.
You start thinking that we’ve made a mistake calling these guys PONs, since abbreviating their name would actually spell PLS, we should point out that in Poland, these dogs are often referred to as Polski Owczarek Nizinny, which is how and why some folks just refer to them as PON’s.
Physical Characteristics of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog
This is a medium-sized dog with a topcoat and undercoat and can be a variety of colors. Their shaggy coats can be: white, black, patchy, grey and white, brown, or tan. Most of the time, this dog is more than one color, but sometimes they are solid in color.
It will be hard to see this pup’s eyes unless you keep his hair trimmed in the face. The dog will likely need to be brushed once or twice a week to keep the mats and knots out. After a trip to the groomer, this dog’s wavy fur can become quite smooth and almost silky looking.
Personality of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog
This dog is known for his intelligence, loyalty and excellent memory. These are the kind of traits that most people would love in a dog. And while they’re all great characteristics, it’s important to recognize the cons of these things.
A dog this smart will need plenty of mental stimulation during the day in order to keep him or her happy. Which means that you can’t just get a PON and leave him or her to his own devices; you need to be an active part of his or her life. He needs challenges. While it may be impossible for you to give him the opportunity to show off his sheep herding skills, you can take him or her for a hike, or a track. It’s also worth looking into doggie playgrounds near you.
Like with most dogs, you should train a PON when he or she is a puppy. Social interaction is also important to good development into an adult dog. These dogs can be a little uneasy around strangers.
Polish Lowland Sheepdog Health Concerns
PONs are pretty healthy, but of course any dog can have health problems. Dog owners who get their dogs from a reputable breeder will face less health problems. That’s because trained breeders do their best to eliminate the risk of genetic disorders. However, this doesn’t always work as some can slip through – nobody can trace a dog’s entire lineage.
Some of the health concerns that PONs have are:
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – this is a pretty common problem among dog breeds. This is not a single problem, but a variety of retinal disorders and diseases. Any time the retina atrophies or breaks down, it’s categorized as a PRA. There are many causes, so getting to the root is important for diagnosis and treatment. Surgery can help.
- Hip Dysplasia– many dogs get hip dysplasia, which can make it hard for a female dog to give birth without a c-section. It can also cause walking problems. If neither dog parent has hip dysplasia, a puppy has a much lower risk of developing the problem.
It’s also important to…
Remember; these are genetic disorders, but any dog can get sick, have an accident, or acquire a non-genetic disease at any time. The question is, will you be prepared financially?
This is why…
We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.
Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?
No, probably not. But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?
For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.