The Polish Owczarek Nizinny has a few names. Some people shorten it affectionately to the abbreviation PON. Others call it the Polish Lowland Sheepdog. This dog is the epitome of the shaggy dog. It has a very thick coat that is considered non-shedding and hypoallergenic. The tail is naturally bobbed. The dog has a long lifespan ranging from 11 to 14 years of age.
This breed has nearly died out a couple of times. The Polish Owczarek Nizinny was a dog used as a watchdog and sheepherder and this probably had to do with the fact that they were killed to silence them. Many dogs were shot or killed during World War I and only about 150 survived in all of Poland. The PON population began to recover when World War II struck and it similarly began to be exterminated by war.
After World War II, the breed needed help to be re-established. Luckily, a Polish veterinarian devoted her life to help bring the PON back into circulation. From two dogs and six bitches, she pretty much saved the breed from extinction.
The dog is considered a rare breed. It is now more available in Poland, but difficult to procure in other countries. There are long waiting lists for this dog as it becomes more popular and the prices are high. A PON can set you back anywhere from $1000 to $2500.
The Polish Owczarek Nizinny has a peculiar tendency to nip at people's feet in herding behavior. It will even chase the children or small animals around the house. It can push and shove people too, as it asserts its role as the sheepherder of the house. These antics can be cute and troublesome at the same time.
The dog does best in cooler climates, but it can survive and adapt anywhere. It does like to swim. It can live well in the country or in the city, but should be surrounded by its loving family most of the time.
A PON that is ignored or left to itself is a dog that is headed for trouble. It will become very agitated and produce mischief if left alone for long periods of time. You cannot leave a PON to roam the neighborhood as it will chase and potentially hurt the neighborhood cats. It does have a good prey instinct even though it can be equally as protective of cats it was socialized as part of its herd when young.
A PON requires a very firm and consistent owner willing to spend time in obedience training with it. This dog is highly intelligent but somewhat stubborn and willful. Without proper training, the dog will try to assert its dominant character on the household and can become difficult to deal with. That's why obedience training and socialization should take place as soon as possible and while it is still young.