Polish Lowland Sheepdog

Temperament: Confident, Clever, Lively

  • Height: 18-20 inches (male), 17-19 inches (female)
  • Weight: 30-50 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
  • Group: Herding Group 

A shaggy-coated herding dog who thrives on exercise and hard work, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog is clever, confident, and a bit stubborn. Compact, alert, and adaptable, they are beloved companions and watchdogs of Polish city dwellers.


Medium-sized, compact, strong and muscular with a long, thick coat and hanging hair that covers the eyes. He is shaggy and natural in appearance with a docked or naturally bobbed tail. His herding and working ability is attributed to an intense desire to please and compatible nature. He is lively but self-controlled, clever and perceptive. The breed is well known for an excellent memory and the ability to work independently of his master.

About the Polish Lowland Sheepdog

First, about that nickname: PON is the acronym for the Polish breed name, Polski Owczarek Nizinny. PONs aren’t particularly large dogs, standing no more than 20 inches at the shoulder, but they are muscular and stocky. The rectangular body is covered head to toe with a double coat—long and shaggy on top, soft and dense below, and it comes in several colors. The head’s profuse coat covers the eyes, which convey the keen, penetrating gaze so common in watchdogs and herders.

NUTRITION The Polish Lowland Sheepdog should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING The PON’s shaggy, thick, double coat requires a lot of maintenance. The outer coat is crisp, with a water-resistant texture, and the undercoat is soft and dense. A PON kept in full coat will need to be thoroughly brushed at least once a week. A PON who is kept in a puppy or “summer” clip will still need routine brushing to keep the coat free of mats and debris such as grass, weeds, and flower blooms. The ears will also need to be checked weekly and cleaned if needed, and the nails trimmed.

EXERCISE A high-energy, athletic dog, the PON needs ample exercise on a daily basis. At minimum, he should have a large, fenced-in yard to run around in for at least an hour or two daily. PONs bond closely with their owners and love to accompany them on long walks or hikes, or working with their human partner in canine events such as obedience, herding, agility trials, or dock diving.

TRAINING PONs are excellent housedogs: accepting of other animals, gentle and tireless playmates for kids, alert watchdogs, and quick learners. The breed can also be dominating, stubborn, and suspicious of strangers, and early socialization and puppy training classes are highly recommended. PONs are affectionate, bouncy, trainable pets for owners who can handle a confident, territorial herding dog.

HEALTH Polish Lowland Sheepdogs are generally healthy, and responsible breeders test their stock for health concerns such as hip dysplasia and communicate with other dedicated breeders regularly, working together for the health of the breed and preservation of its unique qualities. Regular visits to the vet for checkups and parasite control help to ensure the dog has a long, healthy life.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation

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