Polish Lowland Sheepdog Breed History
It is believed that those Tibetan dogs with long coats may have been bred with Hungarian sheepdogs. The larger specimens of the PON worked to guard flocks and ward off predators, but the smaller ones were used to control the movement of sheep and also watch for danger. Because of their smaller size, these dogs were able to work throughout the day and didn't scare the flock. It is said that this breed was working in the Polish lowlands for several hundred years. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, interest in purebred dogs and livestock grew. Poland became interested in promoting and breeding the PON after World War I. It is thought that a number of the dogs were brought to work on larger estates outside the plains. It was in 1924 that the Polish Lowland sheepdog was featured at a poultry and dog show in Warsaw, and breeders were trying to begin a registry in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. While many of the dogs were abandoned, it is believed that a PON named Psyche living in Warsaw was kept because of her ability to sense incoming bombs. She apparently alerted residents to go to shelters. There were only about 150 dogs remaining after World War II, but thanks to the determination of a handful of fanciers, the breed was able to make a comeback. It was in 1957 that the first Polish Lowland sheepdogs were registered with the Polish Kennel Club. The breed standard was approved in 1959, supposedly based on a PON named Smok. The breed was shown at the World Dog Show in 1965, which introduced it to the rest of the world. The American Polski Owczarek Nizinny Club was formed by eight fanciers in 1987, and in 2001, the AKC admitted the breed under its English name, Polish Lowland Sheepdog.
Polish Lowland Sheepdog Breed Appearance
Slightly longer than it is tall, the PON is a medium-sized dog that offers great agility. The head is proportionate to the body, but the profusion of hair on the head makes it look larger. The medium-sized eyes are usually brown or hazel in color and offer a lively expression and a penetrating gaze. The ears are also medium in size and are covered with long hair. The muzzle features strong jaws with teeth that meet in a scissors or level bite. The large nose is generally black or brown in color. The muscular neck is strong and broad. The tail is usually quite short and can be docked if it is too long. The shoulders of this breed feature strong muscles. The front feet are larger than the back, and they are oval in shape. They have hard pads and dark nails. The hindquarters have good muscle and heavy bone. The gait of this breed is described as fluid and ambling. The double coat of the Polish Lowland sheepdog consists of a shaggy, thick outer coat and a soft, dense undercoat. One characteristic of this breed is the long hair that hangs over the eyes. The coat can come in a variety of colors, including: gray and white; chocolate; or white with black, gray, or sandy markings.
Polish Lowland Sheepdog Breed Maintenance
The long shaggy coat of the Polish Lowland sheepdog needs to be brushed every other day or so to keep it looking good. This breed is a working dog that is happiest when it has a job to do. Daily mental and physical exercise is necessary. It enjoys herding and will do well with agility training. It should not be confined for long periods of time and does best with access to the home and outside.