AKC Dog Breeds: Polish Lowland Sheepdog

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Herding Group
Height:17-20 inches  Weight: 30-50 pounds  Color: white with patches of gray, sandy, chocolate, and black

Also referred to as the Polish Owczarek Nizinny, this breed originated during the 13th century. The Polish Lowland Sheepdog's were used in the herding and guarding of sheep and cattle as well as companions. This breed was nearly extinct after World War II with only two males and one female surviving. Those three are the foundation of all of the Polish Lowland Sheepdogs of today. This breed is relatively rare in the United States. Medium-sized, cobby, strong and muscular, with a long, thick coat and hanging hair that covers the eyes, the polish lowland Sheepdog's herding and working ability is attributed to an intense desire to please and compatible nature. He is lively but self-controlled, clever and perceptive and well known for an excellent memory. The breed was registered with the AKC in 1999.

General Appearance
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is a medium sized, rugged looking dog with an athletic build, which is sometimes disguised by his shaggy coat. The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is a double coat breed. The outer coat is thick, long, straight, shaggy, and dense. The hair covers the entire body including the head and eyes. The under coat is dense and soft. He has a cute, eager expression, with a floppy fringe and a beard. The eyes are hazel or brown. The nose is dark. The teeth meet in a level bite. The back is level and fairly broad. The loins are well-muscled and broad. These dogs have a strong skeleton that is very well-balanced. They tend to perform well in a variety of activities, and have an intense work ethic along with their desire to please.


The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is a devoted family dog and is always eager to please his owners. These intelligent and loving dogs thrive on the love and companionship of their families and owners, and neglecting the Polish Lowland Sheepdog could lead to destructive behavior. This is not a dog for those with little time to devote to a pet, nor is it the right choice for inactive families, as the Polish Lowland Sheepdog needs plenty of exercise and has bags of energy. These perceptive dogs are very quick to learn and have plenty of enthusiasm although they can be stubborn and very independent. They are also known to have excellent memories. The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is best with an active family and an owner that is confident and experienced in dog ownership and training. The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is a loyal and protective dog towards his family, and this makes him an effective watchdog and guard dog. When brought up around children he is very good with youngsters. Dominance and aggression towards other dogs can prove a problem and he should not be trusted around smaller animals that run. He will usually get along with other more submissive animals, but early socialization is important. His protective streak makes the Polish Lowland Sheepdog suspicious around strangers. Owners should also watch the dog's tendency to try and herd people and other animals, as is their instinct, by trying to push them together.


Polish Lowland Sheepdogs require daily brushing to prevent the coat from matting and to remove loose and dead hair. This Polish Lowland Sheepdog breed is an average shedder. Bathing should be done when necessary.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The life expectancy of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog is around 12-15 years, and these are generally healthy dogs. A few health issues to look out for with the Polish Lowland Sheepdog are PDA, HD, allergies, and thyroid problems.

Activity Level

The Polish Lowland Sheepdog breed is not recommended for apartment living or for sedentary owners. The Polish Lowland Sheepdog requires an inordinate amount of physical exercise and mental stimulation. They do best in a large securely fenced yard or a rural setting with a job to do. They enjoy hiking, biking, running, and family interaction. This breed excels at tracking, herding, obedience, and agility. These dogs can take care of themselves and will find their own activities to tend to. Still, they do need stimulation and will become restless and bored if they are not paid enough attention. Frisbee, playing with balls, and simply playing 'fetch' give them enough activities to share their enthusiasm and Polish Lowland Sheepdogs do well with a change of games, events, and toys. Soft toys and other changes in their individual environment can help them learn new skills, and these dogs enjoy continuous reinforcement and attention.


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