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Polish Lowland Sheepdog… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

The Polish Lowland Sheepdog or PON (which some folks call them) 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 it 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 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 just to 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.  This is why we wanted to take a moment and discuss the breed in greater detail so that if you’re ever allowed to make a Polish Lowland Sheepdog puppy your own, you’ll know for sure if it’s a good idea.

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 the shoulder

Weight: 25 to 50 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Herding group

Lifespan: 11 to 15 years

Nickname:  PON

Origin of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog Breed

This dog may come from Poland, but the breed’s roots go to Central and South Asia. The Tibetan Terrier and Lhasa Apso were likely used in making this breed when crossing them with sheepdogs like the Puli.  Some people even think that the Bearded Collie and Scottish dog were also used to make the Polish Lowland.


Like with many breeds whose entire breeding stock was limited to central Europe during the early 19th century, WW2 almost wiped them out. Still, 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 had enough samples to “officially” recognize this breed in 1959 using one excellent example named Smok as the “breed standard.”

Also influential 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 most prominent advocates pushing for the dog to be recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). This finally happened in 2001.

But before…

You start thinking that we’ve made a mistake calling these guys PONs since abbreviating their name would 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 refer to them as PON’s.

Physical Characteristics

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, white, brown, or tan. Most of the time, this dog is more than one color, but sometimes they are solid.


Seeing this pup’s eyes will be tricky unless you trim his hair in the face. The dog will likely need to be brushed once or twice weekly to keep the mats and knots out. After a trip to the groomer, this dog’s wavy fur can become smooth and almost silky.

Personality and Temperament

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 significant characteristics, it’s essential to recognize the cons of these things.

For starters…

An intelligent dog will need plenty of mental stimulation during the day to keep them happy.  You can’t just get a PON and leave them to their own devices; you must be an active part of their life. He needs challenges. While it may be impossible for you to allow him to show off his sheep herding skills, you can take them for a hike or a track. It’s also worth looking into doggie playgrounds near you.


Like most dogs, you should train a PON when they are a puppy. Social interaction is also essential to good development in an adult dog. These dogs can be a little uneasy around strangers.

Potential Health Concerns

PONs are pretty healthy, but any dog can have health problems. Dog owners who get their dogs from a reputable breeder will face fewer 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 lineage.

Some of the health concerns that PONs have are:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a 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 essential for diagnosis and treatment. Surgery can help.
  • Hip Dysplasia– many dogs get hip dysplasia, making 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 lower risk of developing the problem.

It’s also essential to…

Remember, these are genetic disorders, but any dog can get sick, have an accident, or acquire a non-genetic disease anytime. The question is, do you think you will 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 suitable 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.

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