Polish Lowland Sheepdog or PON – Appearance and Temperament

Let us look at Polish Lowland Sheepdog or PON in detail.

Polish Lowland Sheepdog is the most popular dog from Poland. They are also popularly known as PON as an abbreviation of their polish name Polski Owczarek Nizinny. PON is the national dog of Poland.

They were originally bred as shepherd dogs. They are large and active dogs who love to be along with the family but are wary of strangers.

PON is ranked 170 out of 195 recognized dog breeds in the USA by the American Kennel Club.

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Polish lowland sheepdog at a glance

Size17 to 20 inches
Weight35 to 55 pounds
TemperamentFriendly, Loyal and Intelligent
Lifespan10 to 12 years
Price$1500 – $2200
PurposeCompanion dogs


The first thing that you will notice about this Polish dog breed is their long thick shaggy coat that also covers their eyes.

Body: PON is a medium size dog with a compact, squarish and muscular body.

Face: He has a balanced head that looks larger due to long hairs covering the same.

Eyes: This Polish dog has medium size oval shaped brown color eyes.

Ears: Ears are heart-shaped and hang down close to the cheeks

Coat: PON has a long thick shaggy double coat that covers his whole body. The outer coat is long and thick whereas the inner coat is short and soft.

The most common colors of PON coat are white with black, gray, or its patches; or gray with white or chocolate. Seldom you may see an all-white or all-black PON as well. 

Size: A full-grown PON can grow to a height of 17 to 20 inches tall and weigh approximately 35 to 55 pounds.

Lifespan: Average life span of this Polish dog is 10 to 12 years.

Temperament of a Polish lowland sheepdog

Polish lowland sheepdog is an energetic and active dog. He would need to be engaged actively in work or play. If he is not engaged, he will find something of his own like continuous barking, chewing or digging.

Good Memory

PON are known for their excellent memory and that makes them easily trainable.


As like with other shepherd dogs, these dogs are highly loyal.

Self confident and Independent thinker

They are self-confident dogs as they were originally bred for herding. With their independent thinking and medium size, they may also try to dominate the owner. He does need training since puppy age so that he obeys commands of the owner.

Highly Intelligent

PON dogs are known to be intelligent dog breeds. This, along with good memory, makes them easily trainable.

Stranger is Danger

He is wary of strangers and makes a good watchdog. He tends to bark at folks whom he doesn’t know.

Friendly with family

This Polish dog loves his family. Being loyal, affectionate, and intelligent, he makes a great companion dog.


He knows what he wants and also knows how to get it. He will just stare at the object that he wants and then would look back at you communicating his desire effectively.

Be cautious of this Thief

If he is not able to communicate or doesn’t get what he wants, he can become a thief by stealing and hiding things away.

There is a common saying about PON “First they steal your heart, and then they steal your underwear!”

Apartment friendly

Polish lowland sheepdog is highly adaptable. They can live in houses as well as in apartments given they get their exercise needs met.

Fun facts about PON ?

It is said that there was one Polish lowland sheepdog called Psyche who could predict when bombs were going to be dropped on Warsaw, giving people time to take cover in shelters. Read more here.

Another popular dog was Morris, a Polish lowland sheepdog, who had a skill that made him an invaluable employee at Baker Funeral Chapel.

He had a knack for comforting those dealing with loss and was used to be paid with biscuits. Read more here.


Care – Polski Owczarek Nizinny


It is recommended that you give 1.5 to 2.5 cups of high-quality dry food divided into two meals in a day. He is a greedy eater and you should be careful with the amount of food based on his size and activity level.

Protein should be the number one ingredient for healthy muscles. We recommend Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food.


PON is an active and energetic dog and would need a lot of exercises. It is best if he has a long fenced yard to play. He may still get adjusted in an apartment as well if you can do a couple of long walks daily.


These polish dogs do not shed much and are considered hypoallergenic. At the same time, their double coat requires quite a lot of grooming.

This could be too much to handle for a beginner. Their coat attracts dirt and is also prone to matting.

Ideally, you should brush him daily and do it thoroughly once a week. We recommend Chris Christensen Oval Pin Brush.

It is also recommended to bathe PON once every 6 to 8 weeks with a dog-specific soap. We recommend oatmeal-based shampoo like Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo. You should also clip your pooch’s nail once every month.


It is recommended to start the training for Polish Lowland Sheepdog since puppy age as once he grows, his independent thinking would make him dominate. You should do obedience and crate training for him.

Early socialization with other humans and pets is also recommended. This will help to make him a well-rounded dog.

Health – Polski Owczarek Nizinny

PON is generally a healthy dog breed. They are still prone to a few ailments common to dogs.

  1. Hip dysplasia – This is a medical condition when the thigh bone doesn’t fit properly into the hip joint. This is an inheritable disease and dogs suffering from this should not be bred.
  2. Progressive retinal atrophy – This is a disease that starts with night blindness leading to complete blindness within a couple of years.

Pros and Cons

Highly IntelligentRequires lots of maintenance
LoyalCan be obstinate
HypoallergenicNeeds a lot of exercise


When the Roman Empire declined, the Huns migrated to central Europe. It is believed that PONs were bred by cross-breeding Hun’s dogs with native dogs of Poland.

They were used to drive the cattle during the day and as a guard dog during the night.

After WW2, these dogs were almost extinct. Dr. Danuta Hryniewics is credited to bring this dog breed back.

She began efforts to save the breed with the help of her PON, a male named Smok. By 1969, her Kordegardy Kennels had produced more than 140 PON puppies. All PONs these days can be traced back to Smok and his progeny.

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