The Polish Owczarek Nizinny (PON) has had several survival crises since World War I. Many of the dogs that were in Poland were killed by invading armies since they were found to be defending farmhouses that were in the path of the invasion. By the time World War I had ended, there were only an estimated 150 PONs in all of Poland. Despite this, the breeders who loved this very useful and affectionate dog began to breed more Nizinny. This brought the breed back somewhat from its demise before World War II struck. The breed almost became extinct at that point.
After World War II, industrialization removed the need for more rural sheep herding activities and the dogs were not in as much demand. Even so, a woman by the name of Dr. Danuta Hryniewicz decided to bring the breed back from the brink of extinction. This polish veterinarian started a kennel to breed PONs and reintroduce them back to the world from a collection of two dogs and six bitches that had survived World War II. Her dog Smok z Kordegardy was eventually recognized as the father of the modern breed of PONs. The breed has recovered in Poland with three different sizes of PONs available, but in North America there are still only an estimated 1500 to 2000 PONs and they are mostly mid-sized.
It can be very difficult to procure a PON in the United States, even more so if you want one for dog shows. It can be difficult to locate a breeder that has one available for sale. The average price of a PON is $2,000 to $2,500 dollars, although sometimes you can find some for as comparatively little as $1000. You may able to obtain a dog in other countries for less, like Canada, but then you will also have to get the dog through customs. This can be a very difficult and long process with additional costs.
Since the PON is still considered a rare breed of dog, you may find it difficult to locate a breeder. Reputable breeders don't have a problem selling their dogs as they are in high demand. Once you locate a breeder, that doesn't guarantee that you will be able to buy a pup. You will most likely be put on a waiting list. You may even be asked to fill out an application to be screened to see your suitability as an owner. As the dog becomes more popular, the wait for a pup becomes longer. So, to get a Polish Owzarek Nizinny is a real honor. In the meantime, do your homework on the dog and make sure you understand its temperament so you can provide it a happy home.