All About Polish Lowland Sheepdogs

Learn more about this breed of sheepdog.
By: PawCulture Editors
Polish Lowland Sheepdogs

About This Breed

The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is lively, clever, and self-controlled. It has an intense desire to please, which makes it an excellent herder. It also has excellent memory.

Physical Characteristics

The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is a medium-bodied dog with a large round head, dropped ears and a short tail.


The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is commonly seen in black and white, cream, or wheaten.


The outercoat of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog is long and shaggy with a rough texture, often covering the eyes. Its undercoat, meanwhile, is soft and dense.

Personality and Temperament


Moderate to high


The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is loving and loyal to its human family. It enjoys playing and learning new things, which makes this sheepdog perfect for sporting activities. It also gets along well with children and other animals.


The Polish Lowland Sheepdog needs to be groomed on a regular basis, and has been known to be aggressive toward strangers.



The Polish Lowland Sheepdog fares the best in a country setting.


The Polish Lowland Sheepdog requires daily exercise and grooming, as it does tend to shed.


The following conditions are commonly seen in Polish Lowland Sheepdogs:

  •         Hip dysplasia

History and Background

In many parts of the world, Polski Owczarek Nizinny is the common name for the Polish Lowland Sheepdog. In the U.S., its popular nickname is “PON.” The origins of the breed probably go back to Central Asia, to a Tibetan breed like the Tibetan Terrier that traders introduced to Eastern Europe. Tibetan dogs with long coats were said to be interbred with Hungarian sheepdogs that had corded coats and were said to have been introduced in the 4th century by the Huns.

The big, flock-guarding dogs kept away large predators; the small PONs, meanwhile, moved and controlled sheep along with shepherds, and they even acted as vigils against intruders. They did not scare the sheep like the larger dogs and could work throughout the day. For centuries, they continued to work on the Polish lowlands until there was an interest by Europeans in purebred dogs late 19th and early 20th centuries.

This, as well as Polish national pride after the First World War, created interest in selectively breeding and promoting the Polish Lowland Sheepdog. Many dogs of this breed left the plains to work and stay on large estates.

PONs were displayed at a Warsaw dog and poultry show in 1924. And just as breeders were about to start a registry for the PON, in 1939, Poland was invaded by Germany. After the war about 150 PONs remained, but many dog lovers sought to revive the breed.

The Polish Kennel Club registered the first PONs in 1957. A particular PON named Smok is often attributed with setting the breed standard, which was sanctioned in 1959. The 1965 World Dog Show further drew spotlight on the breed, causing dog fanciers worldwide to want them even more.

The American Kennel Club admitted the PON in 2001 under its English name, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog.