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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Polish Lowland Sheepdog

The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is, beneath the thick shaggy coat, a medium sized dog with a cobby, muscular build and a rectangular outline. The coat is harsh in texture with a slight wave and has a soft, insulating undercoat. With their drop ears and hair falling over the eyes, they have a soft and appealing expression.

The need-to-know
  • Dogs suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Medium dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
  • Gets along with other pets with training
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a small garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left occasionally with training
Generally healthy breed

The Polish Lowland Sheepdog breed can suffer from:
- Hip dysplasia
- Retinal pigment epithelial dystrophy which is where deposits form in the eye and this can result in damage to the eye and blindness in dim light.
- Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis¹ which is a disease affecting the nervous system.
Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
- Hip dysplasia screening scheme

¹M. L. Katz, 'A missense mutation in canine CLN6 in an Australian shepherd with neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis', 2010, Journal of Biomedicine 

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Weight:  18 – 20kg
Height:  42 – 50cm
Colours:  Coats come in all colours except merle.
Size:  Medium
UK Kennel Club Groups: Pastoral


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 4/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 3/5
Polish Lowland Sheepdog is playing in the yard


Quick to learn and sparking with intelligence, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog is a natural herder and watchdog. They enjoy training and working with their owner so long as a strong, healthy relationship of trust and reinforcement is built.  

Affectionate and friendly to family, they can be aloof and reserved with strangers and care must be taken to socialise and habituate the PLS from early puppyhood.  

Enjoying the company of their family, the PLS is not inclined to spend time alone or without a task to do and this is a breed to keep busy otherwise they go self-employed or get themselves into trouble! 

Polish Lowland Sheepdog is standing and looking forward

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Poland 
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog’s origins can be traced back to at least 1514, when a Polish sheep trader was persuaded to leave three examples of the breed behind in Scotland in exchange for extra sheep.  


In their native Poland, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog or Polski Owczarek Nizinny, is used as a herding and flock guarding watchdog. Likely originating from the pastoral types that moved with the nomadic people of Tibet/Mongolia, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog shares some features with other dogs, particularly the Tibetan Terrier (not in fact a terrier but another small, long coated, agile, pastoral breed). Once in Scotland it is thought that the Polish Lowland Sheepdog was crossed with native herding dogs, and contributed to the development of the Bearded Collie.  

The Second World War left the breed virtually extinct and it took a vet, Dr Danuta Hryniewicz, to re-establish the breed from the few remaining examples - and now every Polish Lowland in existence can trace their ancestry back to her dog Smok, the founder of the post-war PLS.  

Did you know?

Did You Know?

  • Of the very few lucky Polish Lowland Sheepdogs who survived the Second World War, one in particular was rumoured to be able to predict air-raids, giving local residents time to find shelter from incoming bombs and it was this skill that led her to being hailed a canine heroine and was protected from harm.
  • The breed is said to have an extraordinary memory - and in tests, this does seem to be true.
  • As well as herding sheep, the Polish Lowland would also move wild boar but as this is not without danger, they would do this by running into the side of them and then running away very quickly!