Polish Lowland Sheepdog
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is a medium stature breed of sheepdog originating in Poland. Characterized by a shaggy and hairy appearance with most of it covering its head and eyes, a muscular built, square-shaped body, and a short or bobbed tail, this breed is popular for its sharp memory and loyal disposition.
Polish Lowland Sheepdog Pictures
|Other Names||Poiski Owczarek Nizinny, Valee Sheepdog, Berge Polonais de Valle|
|Nicknames||PLS, PON, Nizinny|
|Coat||Rough straight or wavy outer coat, soft and dense undercoat|
|Color||White (Black, sandy or gray markings); gray (chocolate or white markings)|
|Group||Herding dogs, Rare dogs|
|Lifespan/ Life Expectancy||12 to 15 years|
|Height||Male ( 18 to 20 inches); Female (17 to 19 inches)|
|Weight||Male (40 to 50 lbs); Female ( 30 to 40 lbs)|
|Litter size||4-6 puppies|
|Temperament||Alert, affectionate, obedient, intelligent|
|Good with Children||Yes ( especially when brought up with them)|
|Climate Compatibility||Preferably cooler climate|
|Barking||Loud and frequent|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/ Information||ACA, APONC, DRA, APRI, ACR, KCGB, FCI, NKC, NZKC, NAPR, CKC|
Polish Lowland Sheepdog Puppies Video
These dogs were popular in Poland as early as the 13th century. Having its lineage linked to the Puli, Tibetan Terrier, as well as other working breeds traded to Europe from Central Asia, its herding ability was probably realized by a Polish merchant, Kazimierz Grabski, who had purchased six of them for tending his sheep. In fact, he was so impressed with their skills that he exchanged as well as two ewes to get three more of the PLS. Certain Scottish herding breeds like the Bearded Collie were developed by breeding the Polish Lowland Sheepdog with some local Scottish canine breeds.
Though this breed was on the brim of extinction after the Second World War, the initiatives taken by Dr. Danuta Hrynniewicz helped in reviving the PON. In fact, her PON named Smok, having a perfect body and soothing temperament is considered to be the “Father of the modern PLS” and was known to have sired 10 of the PONS during the 50s. By the year 1969, Dr. Hrynniewicz’s, Kordegardy Kennels produced close to 140 puppies, most of them being champions. Keeping the traits of Smok in mind, the FCI wrote and accepted the first official standards of this breed in the year 1959. The AKC recognized them as a herding breed in the year 2001. Though their numbers are less in the U.S., they are popular in Poland, their country of origin. In the United Kingdom, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog Club was set up in the year 1985, for the purpose of promoting this breed.
These dogs are good-natured with a sharp memory but tend to have an independent nature that may result in stubbornness and a strong-willed disposition. However, if managed firmly they can emerge as great companion dogs.
They share a great bond with their family but are quite selective while choosing their company. In fact, apart from the members of their household, they prefer maintaining a sense of aloofness with others, particularly strangers. On sensing any threat they would even alert their owners by howling and barking loudly.
Though they would have a great rapport with kids particularly when brought up with them, their herding instincts might provoke this breed to herd or nip at the children.
Keeping their high energy levels and active nature in mind, these dogs need at least an hour of daily exercise which may include a long walk, jog and ample play time. If you have a fenced yard or a garden, allow them to play a fetch game or anything else. You can even enroll them into agility classes particularly if you live in the city or town where your PLS does not have much to do. Provide the PONs sufficient mental stimulation by giving them a host of interactive toys especially if they live in apartments to keep them occupied. They remain happy and contented when they have a task to do while boredom makes them destructive prompting them to bark or nip.
The long, shaggy coat of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog needs a bi weekly brushing with a soft, bristle brush to keep it free from mats and tangles. Bathe it after every two months or even a little early if you think it has got dirty. Its love for water would make it enjoy the bathing sessions. Apart from this follow the regular hygiene measures such as trimming its nails on a monthly basis and wiping its ears using a damp cotton cloth to keep a check on infections.
Though the PONs are healthy in nature, they might be prone to certain health conditions like hip dysplasia along with certain eye ailments like Progressive Renal Atrophy (PRA).
Though their intelligent nature and sharp memory can make the training process an easy one, the independent and stubborn attitude of the PLS may pose a barrier. They would try to master a timid owner, thus a firm and tactful trainer is needed to deal with them in a positive way.
- The Polish Lowland puppies need to be socialized right from the beginning by exposing it to different kinds of people as well as dogs. While guests are at your place, make them give your pup a treat, every time it comes near them or behaves gently. Organize puppy parties quite often or take it to puppy training classes so that it gets acquainted with more dogs and people.
- To keep its behavior of barking unnecessarily at any one under check, expose it to varied situations and experiences so that it may soon be able to distinguish a friend from a foe. Train it to follow commands so that when you say “Stop” it may discontinue barking.
- To mend the Polish Lowland Sheepdog’s urge to herd or nip at people, it is essential to tell the other person (which would be convenient if he is a family member) to remain calm when the PLS is on the run. Yelling or screaming may trigger the behavior further. If he nips at your ankle while you are moving stop right away, express your discomfort and wait for him to release. Once he has done so give him a toy or treat only to make him realize that you get a reward for doing something good. You can even engage in a tugging or fetching game with your pet PLS, however, make sure that he does not get too aggressive with it and controls himself on hearing the “ Leave” or “Let go” command.
The PLS needs one and a half to two and a half cup of dry dog food on a daily basis. Moreover, it is essential to provide them with a diet which is low on protein.
- This breed is referred to as the National Dog of Poland, though unofficially.