Polish Lowland Sheepdogs
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog, or PON (Polish Owczarek Nizinny), is partly descended from the Puli. Early in the history of Poland, other blood was crossed with the Puli, most likely the Huns herding dog. This breed was about 19 to 22 inches high, with a rather long coat, and was used for herding and guarding. This cross breeding took place some time before the 16th century, as there is evidence of the PON as it now appears, in both Poland and Pomerania at that time.
In about 1514, a Polish ship sailed from Gdansk to Scotland with cargo of grain to exchange for Scottish sheep. This ship carried six PONs to help move the sheep. A shepherd asked for a pair of PONs in exchange for a fine horned ram. A deal was made for a ram and a ewe in exchange for two females and one male dog. It is believed that these three dogs were part ancestors of the Bearded Collie found in Scotland to which they bear close resemblance both in appearance and character.
The PON is an excellent worker of sheep and will work well with cattle. In recent years, it has gained some following in cities as a pet dog. Most people living in the towns of Poland live in apartments. Hence, the size of the PON is well suited to apartment life.
The dogs are intelligent, active, hardy and attractive. They are a hard working breed, obedient and fearless, good tempered with man and other dogs, but when working with sheep, will attack any fox that threatens the flock. They are sturdy dogs, in a well-balanced way, showing spirit and good sense.
They are good natured and gentle with children. For generations, they have been used as guards for the peasants. They are often aloof and suspicious towards strangers, but remarkably loyal to all members of the family.