Polish Lowland Sheepdog – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is a great choice for experienced dog owners. Is that you? Can you handle owning a dog who needs intense exercise and frequent brushing? Read on.
Dog Breed Group:
Herding Dogs
17 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder
35 to 55 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 12 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Polish Lowland Sheepdog is a lively and confident dog of 20 inches and 50 pounds.

They tend to live between 12 to 14 years and prefer every day to be filled with some kind of activity. This shaggy-coated herding dog thrives on exercise and hard work.

They are intelligent, but also a bit stubborn.

Polish Lowland Sheepdog is an adaptable dog who thrives on busy hours. They just love when there is a job to be done.

Polish Lowland Sheepdogs are often called PON, which is the acronym for the Polish breed name, Polski Owczarek Nizinny.

PONs aren’t big dogs, but they sure act like one. However, they are muscular and stocky hard workers.

They are highly popular in Poland. In fact, they are so loved that they have been featured on polish stamps.

Polish Lowland Sheepdog comes with a shaggy coat that is thick and double and requires a lot of maintenance.

If this isn’t something that you’re comfortable with you should rethink getting this breed.

On the other hand, if you are fine with regular brushing, then you might find the perfect furry friend in this breed.

Quick Facts

Real name: Polish Lowland Sheepdog
Other names: Polski Owczarek, Nizinny (Polish), Valee Sheepdog
Common Nicknames: PON, Nizinny, PLS
Origin: Poland
Breed type: Herding Dogs
Weight: 35 to 55 pounds
Height: 17 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Litter Size: 2 – 6 puppies
Color: Pattern of color, including white, gray, and brown as most common
Coat: Double and shaggy coat

Polish Lowland Sheepdog History

Polish Lowland Sheepdog, or shortly PON is an old breed. These rugged dogs have been around for a while now.

In fact, they have been present since the 13th century. It’s yet to be confirmed, but it’s believed that this breed descended from the Puli, Tibetan Terrier, and herding dogs in general.

That would explain their high-energy levels and constant need to be on the move.

Some dog fanciers and do-related legs claim that Polish Lowland Sheepdog is in fact distant cousin on another rugged-looking breed, the Bearded Collie.

Like it was the case with many dog breeds, this breed almost went extinct during World War II.

Luckily, the breed was restored thanks to the hard work of Dr. Danuta Hryniewicz and her dog, Smok, who is considered to be the ancestors of modern PONs.

When breed’s standards were first created the breed was officially accepted by the FCI, Fédération Cynologique Internationale, in 1959. Pictures of Smok can be seen in the book, “The Official Book of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog”.

In 2001, the AKC officially accepted the breed in the Herding Group.

Polish Lowland Sheepdog Physical Appearance

The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is a dog of powerful stand and muscular body. This is a thick-coated dog who comes mostly in white and black color combination/markings.

It’s common for this breed to be all white with black markings. Interestingly, it’s common for colors to fade as dogs reach adulthood.

Their undercoat is soft but dense, and as such requires regular brushing with the right grooming tools.

The hair around the head is a bit longer and makes the head appear longer than it actually is.

It’s common for head hair to cover the eyes. As for the size, males are bigger than females and more robust.

Both males and females can weigh between 35 to 55 pounds, while they can be 17 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder.

The tail is short compared to the rest of the body.

It’s common for their tail to be docked in the States. In Europe, tail docking is strictly forbidden.

Polish Lowland Sheepdog Personality

Polish Lowland Sheepdogs were bred to be hard-working dogs. Their initial role was to herd and guard.

These shaggy dogs are fearless, but good-natured and true people lovers. They are soft when it comes to playing with other dogs as well. However, they tend to be naturally highly protective of what is theirs.

This is why they should know and respect house dog rules. These dogs are confident and stable.

These shaggy dogs are great at memorizing things and can be easily trained if you have experience with dog training.

As a confident and smart breed, they may dominate a novice owner, which is why they aren’t recommended for first time dog owners. These are companion dogs who can easily adjust to almost any living space and condition.

Polish Lowland Sheepdog Training

Did you know that dogs are capable of mastering basic commands as of wight weeks of age?

This is a period when dogs should start learning first commands, know the house rules, and move freely around strangers inside the house.

The socialization window is what matters the most when it comes to having a well-behaved dog. That being said, training your Polish Lowland Sheepdog should be a struggle.

All you have to do is to:

  • Provide regular training sessions
  • Think about indoor games
  • Have enough interactive toys when your PLS arrives
  • Provide mental puzzle toys
  • Reward good behavior
  • Use many positive reinforncment methods
  • Keep training sessions fun and short
  • Always serve a nice treat after a well-performed trick

If you feel like training your Polish Lowland Sheepdog is too much work, think about extra support.

One of the most common ways to train your dog is to enroll him in puppy classes. This can even be a mutual activity, where you too can bond even more.

Another option is to hire a professional dog trainer. This way your dog will get to work with an experienced handler.

On top of that, you will get to learn some of the best training tips first-handed.

All in all, when it comes to training arm yourself with patience, a great sense of humor, and a lot of treats.

Polish Lowland Sheepdog Exercise

Are you into dog sports? If so, you should know that this breed can compete in dog sports, such as agility, obedience, flyball, and even tracking.

As a herding breed, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog should do fine in herding events.

If you are not planning to walk your Polish Lowland Sheepdog more than two-three times per day, this breed isn’t for you. This dog needs activity.

To keep them strong, healthy, and fit you should provide at least 60 minutes of exercise each day.

Polish Lowland Sheepdog Grooming

The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is a breed of the wonderful coat.

To keep his appearance neat and clean you will have to invest some time when it comes to grooming.

Provide brushing at least once a week. Make sure that you use the right brushing tools.

If you need extra help, think about hiring a professional groomer. This may be pricey, but it will save you an enormous amount f time.

Even if you decide to go with the professional groomer, you should still brush your Polish Lowland Sheepdog at least once a week – brushing should be seen as a bonding experience as well.

Dogs love body language and brushing them is a sign that you care for him.

The rest is basic care:

  • Trim or grind nails monthly
  • Bathe when needed
  • Check gums and eyes weekly
  • Brush weekly

Polish Lowland Sheepdog Health

Polish Lowland Sheepdogs are considered to be healthy dogs.

To know for sure how healthy your puppy is deal with responsible dog breeders only. They will screen puppies for most common health issues and present you with medical documentation on puppies.

Reputable breeders will also present you with the facilities, let you meet the bitch, and ask you a lot of questions.

Serious dog breeders want to be sure that you’re a good fit for their canine. Otherwise, they will not let you take the puppy with you.

No matter how reputable the breeder might be, you should still take your PLS to your veterinarian for a full check-up.

Some of the conditions that may be seen in this breed include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy)
  • Neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis
  • Autoimmune hypothyroidism
  • Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia

Polish Lowland Sheepdog Nutrition

When it comes to having a healthy dog, nutrition plays a big role.

Serving the right food, and providing regular exercise will keep your PLS healthy and strong for years to come.

They should do fine on high-quality food. Always feed your dog based on his age, size, sex, and exercise needs. They should be given the right amount of protein, healthy fats, and vegetables.

Learn which human foods are bad for your PLS and which are safe to share in minimal amounts.

For example, human cholate and onion are a big no, while the cucumber is a nice and safe treat, especially during the hot summer days.

Always provide easy access to clean and fresh water.

Is Polish Lowland Sheepdog For You?

Polish Lowland Sheepdogs are a great choice for experienced dog owners.

When it comes to getting a dogGetting A Dog – Everything You Need To Know, and choosing the best one you need to think about responsibility and lifestyle.

It’s important for your dog’s temperament to meet your and that you can provide what a dog needs to be happy.

This breed isn’t for you if you don’t want to deal with:

  • Potential aggression toward other animals
  • Lots of brushing and combing
  • Shaggy dog syndrome
  • Intense exercise requirements
  • Destructiveness when bored

On the other hand, if you want a medium-size dog of shaggy appearance, who loves intense exercise and is calm indoors (once you provide enough exercise outdoors), then this breed could be for you.

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