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Polish Owczarek Nizinny (Polski Owczarek Nizinny)

Herding Dog Group

The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges.

Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.

Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


It is said that the Polish Owczarek Nizinny, or PON, descended from dogs originally developed in Central Asia. The first written document about this medium-sized, heavily coated herding dog in Poland dates back to the 13th century. The early PONs were selectively bred in the eastern and northern districts of Poland. The PON is indeed a survivor. His working ability, intense desire to please and compatible nature have carried him through two global wars.

The Polish Owczarek Nizinny was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1992.

General Appearance

The Polish Owczarek Nizinny (also known as the Polish Lowland Sheepdog) is a medium-sized dog. It is cobby, strong, and muscular, with a long, thick coat and easy, smooth gait. It is resistant against unfavorable conditions and easy to train, working both as a shepherd and as a watchdog. Its coat, when well groomed, makes it look smart and attractive. In silhouette, the breed is rectangular, rather than square. Height to length proportion is 9:10.

Faults: Nervous, cowardly, phlegmatic character. Legs too high.


The PON is lively but self controlled, watchful, bright, clever and perceptive, with an excellent memory. Transferred to town, it is a very good companion dog.


The medium size head is in proportion to the body, and is not too heavy. The profuse hair on the forehead, cheeks, and chin make the head look bigger than it actually is. The relation between the muzzle and skull are 1:1, but a little shorter muzzle is acceptable.


The skull is not excessively broad and is slightly rounded. There is a palpable forehead furor and the occiput is noticeable. The stop is distinctly marked.


The muzzle is strong and blunt, with a straight nasal bone. The tightly closed lips have edges of the same color as the nose.

Faults: Round, apple-shaped head. Convex or concave muzzle topline. Lack of lip pigment.


A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in a scissors or level bite.

Faults: All faulty dentition.


The medium size, oval eyes are hazel in color and do not protrude. They have a lively, penetrating gaze. The edges of the lids are as dark as possible.

Faults: Light yellow or jackdaw eyes.


The nose has wide open nostrils, and is as dark in color as possible.

Fault: Lack of pigment.


The medium sized, heart-shaped ears are set rather high and wide at the base. The ears hang with the front edge close to the cheeks, and they are very mobile.

Fault: Ears set too high.


Strong, muscular, without dewlap, of medium length, held rather horizontally.

Fault: Neck held too high.


The shoulder blades are wide, medium long, obliquely set, clean cut and muscular.


Seen from the front and from the side, the forelegs are straight with good bone. The metacarpals (front pasterns) are slightly slanted in relation to the forearm.


The chest is deep and moderately wide. The withers are distinctly marked. The back is level and muscular. The loin is broad. The croup is short and slightly sloping. Ribs are well sprung but not barrel shaped.

Faults: Weak or roached back. Feeble loins. Greyhound (flat) or barrel-shaped ribs.


Well angulated.


Thighs are broad and well muscled. The hock is distinct.


Feet are oval shaped, with tight, slightly arched toes. Pads are hard. Nails are short and as dark as possible.


Natural long tail, natural bob, or docked very short. If natural long, the tail should be well covered with hair and carried gaily curved over the back, never curled or lying on the back.

Coat & Skin

The breed is double coated. The whole body is covered with a long, dense, shaggy, thick coat. The undercoat is soft and dense. Characteristically, long hanging hair covers the eyes. A straight or slightly wavy coat is acceptable.

The PON is to be exhibited in as close to natural a state as possible.

Skin is tight, without any folds.

Faults: Curly coat. Short coat. Lack of undercoat.


Every color, including piebald patterns, allowed.

Disqualification: Albinism.


Dogs: 17 inches up to, and including, 20 inches. Bitches: 16 inches up to, and including, 18 inches.

It is not desirable to diminish the size below the standard and make the dog too delicate, as it should keep the character of a working dog.


Easy, ground-covering, and smooth at the walk or trot. At slow speeds, the breed often ambles.


(A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a conformation event, and must be reported to UKC.)
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Viciousness or extreme shyness.

UKC Breed Standards: Polish Owczarek Nizinny

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Official UKC Breed Standard

Revised January 1, 2008

©Copyright 1992, United Kennel Club