Polski Owczarek Nizinny
(Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Valee Sheepdog, Berge Polonais de Vallee)

here to read the FCI-standard


The Polish Owczarek Nizinny has a long wire-haired coat, with a soft under-layer. All coat colors are permitted, but white with grey or black, or plain grey are more common. 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. The PONS has a lot of hair on its forehead, cheeks, and chin. The legs are covered with dense harsh hair. The thighs are well muscled and broad. The tail is a natural bobtail or is docked short.


This animated, happy, and alert dog has a good memory. It is obedient, intelligent and affectionate. Somewhat reserved and watchful with strangers, it will announce visitors loudly. The PONS should be accustomed to people at an early age. Dependable and fairly easy to train, once convinced something is the right way, the PONS will make the owner happy. It learns quickly and is very willing to please; however, it can be willful at times. This breed is responsive to firm, fair obedience training; but he is also clever, strong-willed, and likes to think for himself and make his own decisions. The PONS is a serious, responsible dog who could bite if provoked. This sheepdog may nip at people's heels, displaying herding behavior. The PONS is excellent with children when raised with them from puppyhood, and can be friendly with other dogs; but they will hold their own if another dog tries to knock them out from being the leader. The PONS will usually do okay with other non-canine pets. As a working dog for many centuries, the PONS is happiest when it is given a job to do. This breed is lively and clever enough to work sheep alone. This cute, shaggy dog does not grow into a calm, little lap-dog. The PONS is a curious, muscular, agile dog, that is liable to find trouble if left alone. This breeds needs an owner who is firm and consistent. Socialization and training are important. This breed is adaptable and makes a good traveling companion.

Height, Weight
Height: 16-20 inches (41-51 cm.)
Weight: 30-35 pounds (14-16 kg.)

Health Problems
This is a fairly hardy breed.

Living conditions
The PONS can live in an apartment if it gets plenty of exercise and has a job to do. It prefers cool climates.

The PONS is a working dog at heart. It once watched over herds and flocks on the Polish plains. This dog is definitely not suited to town or city life, unless you plan on spending a lot of time exercising and stimulating. This intelligent dog needs stimulation and a job to do. Playing an active game of catch or Frisbee, or joining agility classes are just some of the things you can do to keep the PONS simulated and happy.

Life expectancy

About 12-15 years.


The long wire-haired coat of the Polish Owczarek Nizinny needs to be groomed thoroughly with a brush once a week to prevent matting. This breed is an average shedder.


The Polish Owczarek Nizinny is sometimes affectionately shortened to PONS, and is also sometimes called the Polish Lowland Sheepdog because it worked on the lowland plains. It is likely that this medium-sized, robust sheepdog evolved from ancient, corded herding dogs from the Hungarian plains, which were bred with other small, long-coated mountain herders. The damage of World War II very nearly led to the breed's extinction. Breed enthusiasts consider this PONS to be an important link between ancient, corded Asian herding dogs, brought to Europe over 1,000 years ago, and more recent, shaggy herders, such as the Scottish Bearded Collie and Dutch Schapendoes. This breed was revived by diligent Polish breeders after World War II. Popular in Poland and elsewhere, it is generally kept as a household companion, although it remains an excellent herder. It can also work in obedience, tracking agility and therapy.




FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
NKC = National Kennel Club
NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
CKC = Continental Kennel Club
APONC = American Polish Owczarek Nizinny Club

Information provided by, and used with kind permission of Dog Breed Info Center,