Bred to herd and guard, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog temperament is lively, even-tempered, and agile.
PONs (as they are called) also exhibit intelligent, self-confident traits and do not easily trust strangers. Therefore, if you are considering a Polish Lowland Sheepdog it will serve you well to get to know this breed's temperament before you bring a puppy home.
Polish Lowland Sheepdog Temperament and Personality
They are extremely intelligent
Polish Sheepdogs are very intelligent and perceptive with an excellent memory. Their owners remark on their ability to remember what they learn – both good and bad!
Keep this breed on their toes by regularly throwing them challenges. They love agility training and obedience classes.
If you have a farm where they can herd livestock, this is a great way for them to exercise their mental (and physical) muscles as well.
They love their families
Polish Sheepdogs have a devoted and loyal temperament when it comes to their humans. They make great companions for both individuals and families, but they don't always come that way naturally.
As with many breeds, you get out of this breed what you put into it. With a lot of hard work and patience, you can make a fantastic housedog out of this breed.
They get along with kids and animals
When raised together, Polish Sheepdogs do well with children and other animals. However, don't be surprised if your Polish Sheepdog asserts his dominance over other dogs he doesn't know, especially dogs of the same gender.
They are wary of outsiders
Due to their herding and guarding heritage, this breed is naturally apprehensive around people they don’t know. While Polish Sheepdogs may be aloof with strangers, they will warm up to friends and other pets when socialized.
The positive side of this is this breed makes a fantastic watchdog. You just have to help them mold it, else it can lean toward the extreme and make them permanently suspicious or shy.
They are adaptable
While they are best suited for life on a farm, the Polish Sheepdog can adapt to apartments or houses without backyards as long as they receive enough exercise.
Not only that, but they are much calmer dogs who are easier to work with and who can settle down better indoors once you have met all their needs.
They have a reputation as a thief
Polish Lowland Sheepdogs are, in a word, thieves. They love to steal items around the house – like towels, shoes, or tools – and stash them away.
Don’t be surprised if you can’t find a shoe only to spot it at your PON’s favorite stash spot days later!
Some have a strong prey drive
It's not a widespread trait across the entire breed, but some Polish Sheepdogs may exhibit a higher prey drive than other Polish Sheepdogs. Some will even take after “prey” as small as a butterfly. It all boils down to the temperament of the individual dog.
If you have one of those Polish Sheepdogs with a higher prey drive, be sure to keep him on a leash at all times, and make sure you properly fence in your yard.
They are incredibly stubborn
This breed is an incredibly stubborn one.
So stubborn, in fact, that if you don't help them get it under control while they're still young, it can develop into a lifelong habit.
That is certainly not something you'll want to have to deal with forever!
A Brief History of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog
An old breed, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog (a.k.a. the Polish Sheepdog, Valee Sheepdog, Lowlands Herder, or Berger Ploanis de Vallee) has herding and guarding in their blood.
They originated in Poland and their name is a translation of their Polish name, “Polski Owczarek Nizinny”.
Both Poland and the United States call them “PONs”.
Polish Lowland Sheepdogs almost became extinct post-World War II but made a comeback during the 1950s.
While they are relatively rare in the United States, they are popular in Poland. In fact, they are the unofficial national dog of Poland.
How to Train a Polish Lowland Sheepdog?
Strong Consistent Leadership match their Smarts
This highly intelligent, hardworking dog loves to learn, but they need an owner who will provide consistent leadership.
This breed wants to solve problems, and for them, a “problem” may be how to overcome your rules so they can engage in the bad behaviors that interest them.
You must stand your ground with them to prevent them from walking all over you.
Use Positive Reinforcement
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog’s exceptional memory makes them fairly easy to train. But they can be stubborn and willful.
Consistent, positive reinforcement training