In their native Poland, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog is called the Polski Owczarek Nizinny or PON. These dogs were bred to be sturdy herding dogs who were tasked with thinking independently as they moved and protected herds of sheep. The modern PON is still an independent thinker. He likes to decide for himself how to do things and makes his own decisions about whether or not he will accept a visitor into his home. PONs are active dogs who like to be engaged in activities that have a purpose, whether it be herding on a farm, taking long walks with a backpack or playing organized games of fetch. They make excellent family companions for active and experienced dog owners.
PONs need a lot of activity to remain happy and healthy. They were designed to work long days herding flocks great distances, so they have stamina to spare. They are well-behaved indoors and this, coupled with their medium size makes them attractive to people who live in apartments or condominiums. If your house does not have a yard, a commitment needs to be made to walk your PON and allow him to run every single day.
This is a highly intelligent breed who need to use their minds as much as their bodies. They are not lap dogs and won't be content to lie around all day doing nothing. If you have to leave your PON alone, make sure to leave him with interesting toys to keep him busy.
PONs are happiest when they feel they are doing a job for their family, so if you do not live on a farm, agility training can be an excellent activity. They love the activity, appreciate the ability to think while they exercise and will eat up the extra bonding time.
Polish Lowland Sheepdogs are extremely intelligent and this can make them a challenge to train. They are independent animals who were bred to make their own decisions in the field, and the modern PON still likes to be his own decision-maker. Training should begin early in order to establish leadership, and should be conducted with calm-assertiveness. They respond well to praise and treats, and will ignore harsh discipline.
Once basic obedience is mastered, your PON should move on to advanced obedience or agility training. They like to learn new things and these activities can keep their minds sharp.
These natural watchdogs are very loyal to the ones they love and are naturally wary of strangers. It is important to socialize your PON early and often, so that he knows how to spot a welcome guest versus an unwelcome guest. They also have trouble understanding how children play, and won't take kindly to a neighborhood child playing rough with one of “his” kids. The more experience he has when young, to understand the natural goings-on around your home, the better he is to be well mannered around guests.