The Polish Lowland Sheepdog (Polski Owczarek Nizinny or PON), dates back to 13th century Poland, and was likely descended from Hungarian Pulis and other herding dogs. His history is well documented: in 1514, a Scottish shepherd traded with a Polish merchant for three dogs, which he bred with Scottish dogs to create the Bearded Collie and others. Like many breeds, the PON was almost lost after World War II, but in the 1950s a Dr. Danuta Hryniewicz bred her dog Smok, who became the ancestor of all PONs in the world today. Today, the AKC recognizes the Polish Lowland Sheepdog in the Herding Group.
The PON’s shaggy coat may make him look huge, but he is actually a medium-sized, compact dog, weighing between 30 and 50 lbs. His long, thick double coat is designed to protect him from the elements, and he usually has hair hanging over his eyes. The most common colors for his coat are white with black, gray or sandy patches, gray with white, or chocolate.
The PON is a smart dog, perceptive and self-confident. He has an exceptional memory and learns quickly, although he will need a firm, consistent hand to train him. Like many herding dogs, he can be good with children if socialized with them from an early age. PONs adapt well to various conditions, and are popular apartment dogs in their native Poland. He requires moderate daily exercise, and can excel in agility, obedience, flyball and herding trials.
Adaptive nature aside, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog is prone to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect his health — not to mention your family’s budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses PONs are prone to include eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy and lipid keratopathy; joint conditions such as hip dysplasia; thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism; and metabolic conditions such as diabetes mellitus.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Polish Lowland Sheepdog inherits anything more than an excellent memory, you’re covered.