In Poland, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog is called the Polski Owczarek Nizinny or PON, for short. Breed Enthusiasts in the US have adopted the nickname PON for the breed. PONs are compact, medium-sized, muscular dogs with a thick, fluffy coat that hangs all over the body and covers the eyes. All colors are acceptable and the most common are white with black, gray, chocolate, or sandy patches, and gray with white, or chocolate and white. Underneath the layers of fluff, lies a strong, cobby dog with a lively expression and thoughtful eyes. The tail should be short, and when a dog is born with a long tail, it is usually docked. The drop ears are medium-sized hearts.
Size and Weight
Adult males should ideally stand from 18 to 20 inches at the shoulder and females should stand 17 to 19 inches. They are just slightly rectangular in build thanks to the abundant coat that grows on the chest and rear and the proper ratio is 9:10. The average weight for the breed is 40 pounds.
Coat and Color
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog wears a fluffly double coat that is made up of a soft undercoat and a long, dense topcoat. They may be many colors including white with black, white with gray, white with sandy patches or gray with white or chocolate patches. Some are solid white, solid black or black and tan. As puppies, PONs are born with a dark coat which lightens as the dog matures.
It takes a lot of work to keep a Polish Lowland Sheepdog's coat looking its best. Enthusiasts of the breed stress the importance of not trimming the coat, but instead to let it grow free. Daily brushing and combing of the coat is required to keep it free of tangles and prevent mats from forming. Some dogs may need to be brushed twice a day, as the fluffy coat is a dirt and debris magnet. The face should be wiped after meals to remove food and keep the face from smelling. The rear end should also be wiped and tried to remove any feces that may be trapped in the hair. Some owners who can't keep up with the daily maintenance may opt to trim the hair, but the distinctive appearance of the dog is lost when he wears a short cut, and he may begin to shed, whereas long haired PONs are virtually non-shedding.
The ears should be checked on a regular basis for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean them with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser; never use a cotton swab in a dog's ear canal. Teeth should be brushed on a weekly basis to prevent tartar buildup, promote gum health and keep bad breath at bay. Trim nails monthly if the dog does not wear the toenails down naturally outdoors.