This is an unusually gentle sheepherding breed. The Polish Lowland Sheepdog uses its eyes and only a few gentle shoulder nudges to manage the movements of the flocks. In the early part of the 16th century, Polish sailors brought a male and two females to Scotland, where they were traded for a ram and a ewe. That trio of PONs introduced the shaggy sheepherding dogs to the British Isles. With time, those dogs contributed to different emerging breeds, such as the Bearded Collie, the Bobtail or Old English Sheepdog, the Welsh Collie and the Old Welsh Grey,.
When Poland regained its independence after World War I, sheepdog fanciers focused on developing this native breed. Unfortunately, World War II almost caused the extinction of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog. In 1950, the Polish Kennel Club appealed for information on surviving PONs, including those from one of the premier pre-war kennels. Thankfully, this saved the breed.
Dr. Danuta Hryniewicz, a veterinarian from northern Poland, is credited with bringing the PON back from the brink of extinction. She scoured the country and found six bitches and two males of sufficient quality to rebuild the breed. Due largely to her efforts, the PON became popular in Europe in the 1970s. In 1979, the first PON was imported to the United States. The big breakthrough for this breed in America occurred in 1982, when Betty and Kaz Augustowski purchased their first Polish Lowland Sheepdogs and founded the Elzbieta Kennel. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed into its Stud Book in 1999, and allowed full competition as a member of the Herding Group in 2001.
This breed thrives in any of the performance disciplines, including agility, obedience, herding and tracking. They are lively, affectionate family companions as well, and are becoming competitive in the conformation ring. They also are great watch dogs and guard dogs. These are playful, smart and fun dogs with an endearing enthusiasm. Their strong herding instincts will appear in the house with them, so be fore-warned….
The average life span of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog is 12 to 15 years. This is a reliably healthy breed.