Polish Lowland Sheepdog
By Margaret Korzeniowska
he Polish Lowland Sheep-
dog is also known as the
PON, which is an acro-
nym for Polski Owczarek
Nizinny. The PON is a
medium-sized dog, large
boned and shaggy. When judging a Polish
Lowland Sheepdog it is necessary to remem-
ber that it is a herding and guarding dog
developed on the farm settlement. His many
responsibilities required a strong, capable,
independent worker.
PONS are adored by their owners and
loved for their dedication, faith and stub-
born but clowning personality. They are
devoted to those who care for them, which
is why so many have great relationships with
the handlers.
When you invite a Polish Sheepdogs to
enter your ring you can immediately see the
hallmarks of the breed – Large head and a
lush-coated rectangular silhouette. Skeleton
proportions should be 9 to 10; however, the
large coat on its chest and rear makes the dog
appear even longer than it is.
Look for type, balance/soundness, and
movement and pay special attention to
the head. Remember that since the major-
ity of the dog’s structure is covered by a
thick double coat it is necessary to put
your hands through it to achieve a good
physical examination.
Usually we do not use the ramp but if
you decide to do so please allow extra time
for the dogs and new handlers to get used to
the procedure.
When the class enters the ring instruct
the handlers to take their PONS full circle
around the ring and then free or hand stack
them rather then directly proceed with
examination. Dogs will get familiar with the
surroundings, stretch their bodies and show
in more relaxed manner. This will save you
time and make less work for the handlers to
show the PONS at their best.
When approaching a well-stacked PON
remember his eyes are covered by fringes
of hair so make your presence known to
him – “head on” would be appreciated. It
is a guarding dog dedicated to his master
and sometimes protective of him so after
you acknowledge your presence examine
the body and then head and lastly the bite.
That will save some dogs from pulling away,
getting scared and having to be restacked.
PONS have excellent memory, and you want
them to have a positive experience to remem-
ber so that they want to come to other shows.
The head of the PON, even though
medium size, should be strong and powerful
appearing to be even bigger due to the abun-
dance of their hair. Head should be much
larger on the adult male than the female,
but both should have strong necks cov-
ered with a thick mane. When judging one
should remember that the coat on the head
grows longer than on the rest of the body –
so younger dogs, even though strong boned,
may appear as having smaller heads. The
muzzle should be equal or SHORTER then
the skull in length and be parallel to each
other, but separated by a noticeable stop. The
skull can be slightly rounded without being
apple shaped, which can happen if the head
is too narrow or too delicate and small.
The standard calls for strong wide jaws
with scissors or a level bite covered with
well fitting dry lips. Teeth should be large
and appear strong. In the last years we have
encountered dogs with their lower jaw too
narrow, which in many cases may lead to one
or both lower canine teeth protruding into
the palate or upper gums causing physical
discomfort to the dog (obviously this should
be avoided). When checking the bite we
encourage a soft hand and lifting the lips to
check the bite; it is not necessary to pry the
mouth open to count the teeth.
One of the breed characteristics is the big
size of the nose with the front tip slightly
turned down. Depending on the dog’s color
nose should be black or chocolate. Pigmen-
tation should be fully filled on the lips and
nose and eye rims.
Eyes are oval and medium in size, pro-
tected by beautiful long eyelashes with fully
Strong mover with proper neck set and reach,
year-old male
year-old female, note light
chocolate pigment
year-old male, great head, wide jaw,
wonderful pigment and expression
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