As a herding dog, the PON (Polish Owczarek Nizinny) has a natural intelligence and independence to make its own decisions. It has developed this capacity to learn and to judge its environment from years of breeding. This can be a good character trait as well as a bad one, depending on how the dog fits into the family unit.
A dog that is highly intelligent, like the PON, will need some mental as well as physical stimulation to keep it happy. This is not really a lap dog and certainly not a couch potato. The independence of this breed is often viewed as stubbornness because they will try to take the dominant position in the household. In order to keep them from getting the upper hand, you must be willing to be a firm, authoritative, and consistent trainer.
This dog will get into a lot of trouble when it wants to assert its personality. You have to keep it busy at all times and find something for it to pour its energy and intelligence into. This can take the form of obstacle training, obedience training, or even just making it in charge of a small flock consisting of your children and other household pets. To do this, however, it needs to be properly socialized and trained first.
A dog that wants something, whether it is the steak off your counter or your favorite couch pillow as a toy, will try all manner of tactics to get what it wants. You have to be very aware that the dog is very clever and will try to get what it wants through multiple means. You can expect to feel somewhat manipulated and sometimes even cheated if the dog gets to the steak while your back is turned.
The dog is a natural problem-solver. If it is trying to do one thing and can't meet it's objective, it will try a different tactic. Don't expect it to give up. This is why obedience training is so important. You have to be able to develop guidelines and rules while the dog is young. This dog is easy to trained because of its natural intelligence and once it knows what its role is in the home, it can become very eager to please its master. It takes any task given to it seriously and will attempt to perform to the best of its ability, unless it feels it is being mistreated. In that case, you may find the dog willfully misbehaving until it thinks it has made its point.
Many people who own PONs find the dog very affectionate and warm. It is eager to please and highly intelligent. This can make it easy to train, but not completely predictable.