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AKC Meet the Breeds: Polish Lowland Sheepdog

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

Developed in Poland, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog is better known by his native name: Polski Owczarek Nizinny, or "PON," as he's called in the United States. Popular in his home country (they are even featured on stamps!), PONS are intelligent, spirited working dogs that fearlessly protect their flocks from any predators. The breed's long, shaggy coat hangs over his eyes and can be many colors, including white with black, gray or sandy patches; gray with white; or chocolate.

A Look Back

It is thought that the PON descended from the coated working dogs developed in Central Asia, including the Tibetan Terrier and Lhasa Apso. The Tibetan people were avid traders, so the dogs moved across Asia and into Europe, where the sheepdogs were intermixed with local working dogs. The PON has been known in Poland since before the 16th century, where he is used for herding and guarding.

Right Breed for You?

When not used as a herding or working dog, the PON can fit into any type of lifestyle. His medium size makes him suitable for apartments or the farm. While affectionate and loving toward their family and children, PONs may be suspicious of strangers. Training should start early, as the PON is independent and can be stubborn. The breed's coat requires daily brushing to prevent mats.

  • Herding Group; AKC recognized in 2001.
  • Ideal size: 17 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Sheep herder.

AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.