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| Physical Characteristics:|
Weight: 35-55 lbs.
Energy Level: Moderate
The American Kennel Club recognizes the Polish Lowland Sheepdog in the following colors:
Health & Longevity
Average Life Span: 10-12 years
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog (nicknamed PON for his Polish name, Polski Owczarek Nizinny) is a healthy breed, but there are a few health problems they may experience.
Hip dysplasia, which occurs when a malformed hip joint does not allow the thighbone to fit properly into place, may affect some PONs. Hip dysplasia is a degenerative condition that may cause discomfort, pain, and limping. In more severe cases, arthritis or even lameness may result, and surgery can be necessary. Dogs with hip dysplasia should not bred, so ensure that your puppy’s parents have no history of the condition. Although it is hereditary, hip dysplasia can be triggered by rapid weight gain or injury, like falling on a slippery floor.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) may also be an issue for some Polish Lowland Sheepdogs. PRA is the gradual degeneration of the retina, which ultimately results in failed daytime vision. There is no cure for PRA, but dogs with the condition usually continue to lead happy lives. The gradual nature of the state allows the affected dog to adjust to his failing vision.
Hypothyroidism is another possibility for the Polish Lowland Sheepdog. Hypothyroidism is a thyroid condition stemming from the thyroid gland’s inability to produce sufficient amounts of hormone, and it can lead to infertility, obesity, hair loss, and lethargy. Hypothyroidism can be treated, but it will require daily medication for the duration of the dog’s lifetime.
Temperament & Train-ability
The Polish Sheepdog (PON) is a lively and happy dog with a lot of confidence. He is intelligent, independent and hard-working, like most herding breeds. He makes an excellent family companion but was not intended to be simply a household pet; he needs tasks to complete in order to put his intelligence and stamina to good use.
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is able to live in an apartment if he is adequately exercised and can spend plenty of time outdoors. However, a rural environment, especially one in which he can be utilized as a herding dog, is ideal. If he is not able to herd, he should participate in tasks like agility, advanced obedience, tracking, or hiking. He has excellent stamina and can be a good companion for an active owner. Although he prefers cooler temperatures, he can live in a warmer climate if he is given adequate shelter from the elements.
His intelligence is wasted and he is likely to become bored and destructive if he is not both physically and mentally stimulated. He will dig, bark, or chew if he becomes lonely, under-exercised, or bored. The PON will bond strongly with the people in his household and does not like to be left alone for extended periods of time. He may steal household items that catch his attention and hide them somewhere, so be aware of this behavior. His shaggy coat may track dirt, debris, mud, and water into the house.
The PON is good with children if he is brought up with them, although he may attempt to herd them. He can also be good with other pets if raised with them, but he may try to chase and seize small animals like cats. Unfamiliar dogs of the same-sex may cause him to show aggression or act dominantly. He is typically wary of strangers and may be aloof with them, but early socialization can curb all of these behaviors. When your Polish Lowland Sheepdog is still a puppy, expose him to a wide variety of sights, sounds, places, people, and pets to ensure appropriate behavior.
Training a Polish Lowland Sheepdog can be a bit of a challenge. He is intelligent with a fantastic memory, which allows him to learn quickly. However, he is an independent and strong-willed worker who may try to assert dominance over his owner if able. Be firm and consistent with enforcing your rules and expectations. Do not allow him to do something incorrectly even once, because his long memory may help him form a bad habit. Use positive reinforcement like favorite treats, extra playtime, and verbal praise. Do not be overly harsh with a PON, as this will only cause him to become more stubborn. With persistence, patience, and a firm yet kind hand, the PON can be a very trainable dog.
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog’s shaggy coat sheds quite a bit and requires a good deal of grooming. Brush and comb his coat at least twice each week. Always brush the PON’s coat before giving him a bath. Using a detangling spray at this time is also recommended because the coat gets tangled very easily, especially when wet. Without proper care, the PON’s coat can become a matted, tangled, mess in no time.
The PON’s coat gets dirty quickly, and he will need a bath at least every other month. The assistance of a professional groomer may be necessary to groom this breed properly, especially for an inexperienced dog owner.
Trim his nails once a month to prevent overgrowth and cracking, and check his ears regularly for signs of infection like redness, tenderness, and odor. Brush his teeth at least 2-3 times weekly to discourage bad breath and maintain good health.
The average PON should consume 1.5-2.5 cups of high-quality dry dog food daily. The Polish Lowland Sheepdog will eat all day if allowed to do so, so be sure to enforce a reasonable diet, regardless of the amount of food your PON seems to desire. Remember that the ideal type and amount of food for your individual dog depends on factors such as metabolism, age, weight, and activity level.
Be sure that your PON has access to clean, fresh drinking water at all times, especially in warmer climates.
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The average cost for a PON ranges from $1,500-$2,000. Pricing will vary according to gender, breeder location, pedigree, and other factors.
Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking
Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.
Ranking takes into account a few basic factors including cost, skill level needed, high vs low maintenance and how critical regular training is to success. The Polish Lowland Sheepdog ranks a 4. He is a healthy, happy family companion, but he requires plenty of physical and mental stimulation to prevent him from becoming bored and destructive. He also needs extensive early socialization to ensure appropriate behavior with children, strangers, dogs, and other pets, and training him can be a challenging task due to his stubborn and independent nature. His high-maintenance shaggy coat will require either a significant time commitment or the assistance of a professional to keep it from becoming a matted, tangled mess.
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