Choosing a Polish Lowland Sheepdog

The Polish lowland sheepdog looks somewhat like a small version of the Old English sheepdog with his shaggy coat. Hailing from Poland, this dog is an excellent sheep herder and great family pet but can be a bit stubborn if not trained.

History and Origin

As the name implies, the Polish lowland sheepdog originated in Poland hundreds of years ago. It is also known as the Polish Owczarek Nizinny or PON and may have descended from the Lhasa apso, Hungarian herding dogs and herding breeds from Tibet. A polish veterinarian, Dr. Danuta Hryniewicz is credited with promoting the modern day sheepdog after the breed almost became extinct during World War II. Still a rare breed in the United States, this breed has been gaining popularity since their arrival in the 1980s. Sometimes used as a herding dog, the Polish lowland sheepdog is now more commonly a companion.

In 1999, the Polish lowland sheepdog was recognized by the American Kennel Club as a member of the herding group.

Appearance and Size

The Polish lowland sheepdog is a heavily muscled dog with a deep, broad chest and level topline. The head is medium sized with lots of shaggy hair. The eyes are oval and the ears are heart shaped, set high and drop. The tail is naturally bobbed or should be docked short.

The coat of the Polish lowland sheepdog is long, dense and shaggy with a soft undercoat. Usually, there are long hairs covering the eyes. Coat colors can be numerous but the more popular colors are white with grey or black or plain grey.

The adult Polish lowland sheepdog stands around 16 to 20 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 30 to 35 pounds.


The Polish lowland sheepdog is a loving dog with his family but can be aloof and hesitant around strangers. A good worker or companion, this dog does best when he is around people and has a job to do. He needs lots of socialization early in life to prevent behavior problems.

Home and Family Relations

The Polish lowland sheepdog is a good family dog that can do well with children if introduced to them at an early age. This breed needs to spend as much time as possible with people. A good guard dog and watch dog, this sheepdog will bark when strangers approach. The Polish lowland sheepdog prefers cooler climates and would rather live in the country than the city. He needs plenty of exercise and enjoys living with an active family.

The Polish lowland sheepdog can live in an apartment as long as he is taken on long daily walks. He can get along with other dogs and household pets if introduced to them early in life.


The Polish lowland sheepdog requires early obedience training since some tend to have a dominant or stubborn streak, especially if not trained by someone with a firm but loving and kind hand. This breed has been used in tracking and therapy work.

Special Concerns

The Polish lowland sheepdog does not like to be left alone with nothing to do. They are intelligent dogs and need mental stimulation to prevent destructive behaviors. As a herding dog, he may try to herd small children or other pets.

Common Diseases and Disorders

The Polish lowland sheepdog is a hardy breed that has few known diseases. The most common are hip dysplasia, allergies and progressive retinal atrophy, a disease that causes nerve cells at the back of the eye to degenerate, leading to blindness.

The average life span of the Polish lowland sheepdog is 11 to 14 years.

We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.