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Polish Lowland Sheepdog Dog Breed Profile

Polish Lowland Sheepdog

General
Other Names
Polski Owczarek Nizinny, commonly abbreviated to PON 
Dog Group Kennel Club
Pastoral 
Breed Classification
Polish Lowland Sheepdog belong to the pastoral group; they were originally used as sheepdogs and flock protectors, today they are more often family and companion dogs and seen in the show ring. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
£4-7.50 per week
Feeding Requirements
It will cost around £5.00 per week to feed a PON. 
Other Expenses
The average price of a puppy is £600 - £700 
Lifespan
9 - 15 years
PON’s live, on average, 10 to 12 years; they have been known to live up to 16 years. 
Average Litter Size
An average litter is 4 -5 puppies, much larger litters do occur but are infrequent. 
General Physical Description
PONs are strong, muscular, compact dogs who appear alert and lively. Their coats are fairly long, dense and shaggy with a soft under-layer and they do not shed! They have a smooth walk and trot and can be inclined to pace. They are much stronger than the size their body may imply. Physical maturity is reached at about 18 months of age.

Height Min Max
Bitch 40cm (16") 46cm (18")
Dog 43cm (17") 52cm (20")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 16kg (35lbs) 18kg (40lbs)
Dog 18kg (40lbs) 20kg (44lbs)
Size Category
Medium 
Weight Height Range
Bitches measure between 40-46cms at the withers and weigh around 16-18kgs, whilst dogs measure between 43-52cms and weigh around 18-20kgs.  
Ailments
Little veterinary research is available on the breed because of the PONs’ relative rarity, and insufficient evidence is available from breeders and vets in Poland. However it would appear that the breed is subject to the common hereditary problems that affect all dogs. That said, the conditions affecting this breed are more individual than breed-specific. It is recommended that the usual precautions of screening for hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy are taken. Some skin inflammation and allergic reactions have been reported, this may well be diet-induced. The PON does not require a high protein diet and such a diet may lead to overheating and obesity problems  
Common Ailments
 
Susceptibility To Illness
Low 
Other
History
Written references to medium sized, shaggy Polish sheepdogs date back to the 16th century. These dogs were strong and stocky for their size, very agile, extremely intelligent with excellent memories. They were faithful companions with a natural distrust of strangers, fairly resistant to illness and capable of thriving on low quality diets. In 1514, three dogs were traded by a Polish merchant who had sailed from Gdansk to Scotland and here the breed is said to have contributed to our own Bearded Collie. Just a handful of dogs survived the ravages of World War II but luckily a few Polish breeders managed to trace and register some and set about reviving the breed. Two dogs and one bitch were the key foundation dogs for the breed. The PON now enjoys well-deserved, worldwide recognition.  
Intelligence
PONs have incredible memories and are therefore easy to train. They are also happy to do things for their handlers – if they are in the mood. This is a highly-intelligent working breed and the dogs will therefore make decisions for themselves and, because of this, will test the patience of their owners regularly! They will not follow commands blindly.< 
Show Characteristics
The head should be of medium size but the profuse hair on the forehead, cheeks and chin make it appear larger than it really is. There should be a well-defined stop and the nose is big, with wide nostrils and dark pigmentation. The eyes should be medium-sized, oval-shaped with a lively penetrating gaze and hazel to brown in colour. The ears should be medium-sized, heart-shaped and set moderately high. The jaws are strong with a complete scissor bite, the lips being tightly closed and as dark as possible. The neck is of medium length, strong and muscular. The body should be rectangular with a muscular, level back with distinctively marked withers. The forelegs should be straight with slightly slanting pasterns and the hind legs well angulated with broad and well-muscled thighs. The feet should be oval, slightly arched with tightly fitting toes and hard pads. If the dog has not been born tailless, it is customarily docked. If undocked: any length is acceptable but longer tails should be well covered with hair. The tail set is a continuation of croup and should be carried high and slightly curved over back when alert. It should never be curled over the back. At rest, the tail should hang low. All colours are acceptable.  
Country Of Origin
Poland 
Famous Examples
Smok z Kordegardy, born 1949, considered as the ‘father’ of the post War PON. 
Records Held
 
Characteristics
Energy
Medium 
Overall Exercise
20 - 40 minutes per day.
Polish Lowland Sheepdogs need a reasonable amount of exercise! They are herding dogs in heart and mind and must therefore be given ample opportunity to stimulate their minds. 2 short walks a day will not suffice. This type of dog can do well in agility, obedience or fly-ball, activities in which they will relish! They are very playful, with a great sense of fun and enjoy chasing a ball or toys. 
Distress if Left Alone
High 
Personal Protection
Low 
Guard Dog Suitability
High 
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Medium 
Tendency to Bark
High 
High 
Level of Aggression
Low 
Compatibility With Other Animals
Medium 
Suitable For Children

Medium 

General Character And Temperament
PONs are animated, happy and alert. They are lively but self-controlled, watchful and clever; they can also be very stubborn. They are affectionate and very loyal to all the family members but can be wary with strangers although they should never be cowardly or aggressive. They make excellent family pets as they are exemplary with children, dogs and other pets. They will announce visitors at the top of their voices, making them good guard dogs as well. Physical maturity is reached at about 18 months of age. 
Grooming
Coat Length
Medium/Long 
Grooming Requirement
Once a week 
Trimming
 
Requires Professional Groomer
 
Grooming
A thorough grooming must take place at least once a week, with a brush over again in the week to prevent tangles caused from exercise, such as small bits of twig in the coat.  
Colour
All colours are seen in this breed, the most usual being white with grey or black patches, or plain grey. 
Shedding
None 
Suffers From Allergies
 

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