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Subject: rec.pets.dogs: Polish Owczarek Nizinny Sheepdog Breed-FAQ

This article was archived around: 21 May 2006 04:23:22 GMT

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Archive-name: dogs-faq/breeds/pons Posting-frequency: 30 days URL: http://www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/breeds/pons.html Last-modified: 03 Mar 1998
======= There are many FAQ's available for this group. For a complete listing of these, get the "Complete List of RPD FAQs". This article is posted bimonthly in rec.pets.dogs, and is available via anonymous ftp to rtfm.mit.edu under pub/usenet/news.answers/dogs-faq/faq-list, via the Web at http://www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/lists/faq-list.html, or via email by sending your message to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with send usenet/news.answers/dogs-faq/faq-list in the body of the message. This article is Copyright 1997 by the Author(s) listed below. It may be freely distributed on the Internet in its entirety without alteration provided that this copyright notice is not removed. It may NOT reside at another website (use links, please) other than the URL listed above without the permission of the Author(s). This article may not be sold for profit nor incorporated in other documents without he Author(s)'s permission and is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty. ========== Polish Owczarek Nizinny Sheepdogs Author Harold Stiffelman, S001085@umslvma.umsl.edu Created January 1996. Table of Contents * Introduction * History of the Breed * The Polish Owczarek Nizinny Standard * Additional Resources _________________________________________________________________ Introduction Pronounced "ov-cha-rik nee-shinny". The American name for the breed is the Polish Lowland Sheepdog or the Valee Sheepdog. Still somewhat rare in the United States the PONS is very well known in Europe. PONS are well known for their even temper, intelligence, keen memory and, of course, their shaggy coat. They are ideal family pets for both city and country dwelling and they adapt well in surroundings that vary from apartment life to farm living. Quite often the PONS adopts the family to become their "flock" and they become very good protectors. PONS are a medium sized dog and are easily trained. _________________________________________________________________ History of the Breed The PONS is partly descended from the Puli, the Huns herding dog, which was about nineteen to twenty inches high, had a long shaggy coat and was used for herding and guarding. The breeding of the PONS is not a recent event. The breed was known in the 16th century both in Poland and Germany. In the early 1500's a Polish ship sailed from Gdansk to Scotland with a cargo of grain to exchange for Scottish sheep. The ship carried PONS that were used to move the sheep. A shepherd asked for a pair of PONS in exchange for a ram. A deal was made which included two females and one male. It is commonly believed that these three PONS were part ancestors of the Bearded Collie found in Scotland. This explains the close resemblance of the PONS to the Bearded Collie. The PONS is a very old breed of dog most likely descended from dogs originally developed in Central Asia such as the Tibetan Mastiff, Tibetan Spaniel, the Lhasa Apso, and the Tibetan Terrier. Exactly how the breed was obtained is uncertain but all these breeds have many characteristics in common. The dogs were used by various peoples who relied on animal herding. It is suggested that the Huns, who relied on plundering sedentary cultures were instrumental in spreading the breed throughout the world. There are two types of herding dogs. The larger more aggressive dogs were used to guard the flock and to protect from intruders. The shepherd needed a second type of dog to move and control the sheep. The larger dogs were too aggressive for delicate work. Dogs like the PONS were much more agile, intelligent and handy to care for the flock. PONS guided the sheep, prevented them from venturing toward obstacles, and kept the flock together. Young PONS lived with the sheep, played with the lambs and grew as one of the flock. Because of these conditions over an extended period of time modern day PONS tend to be squarely built, strong and loyal. Their herding instincts are very strong and they are also somewhat suspicious of strangers. They have a highly developed sense of territory and a strong sense of independence. All PONS today can be traced back to the dogs owned by a Polish veterinarian who had the foresight to save the breed. Her name was Dr. Danuta Hryniewics and she began her efforts around 1955. Through extensive inbreeding and careful planning Dr. Hryniewicz bred her first litter with full pedigrees in 1958. By 1969 her Kordegardy Kennels had produced over 140 puppies and many champions. _________________________________________________________________ The Polish Owczarek Nizinny Standard The PONS is a medium sized dog, muscular and strong, with a thick dense coat. They are a little longer than they are tall and remain a medium sized breed (approx. 17 to 20 inches). It is not desirable to reduce the size of the PONS as they are a working dog and this would not be preferable. They are easily trained and can make a wonderful companion, family pet, and watchdog. The following is a copy of the FCI standard as accepted in 1973: FCI Registered Number 251a, 1973 1. General Appearance and Character A. The Polish Owczarek Nizinny is a medium sized dog. It is cobby, strong and muscular with a long, thick coat, and an easy smooth gait. It is resistant against unfavorable conditions. It is lively but self-controlled, watchful, bright, clever, and perceptive with an excellent memory. B. Height at shoulders - Dog, 17-20 inches (43-50 cm.) Bitch, 16-18 inches (40-46 cm.). C. Proportions - Height 9 / Length 10 D. Type - Its is not desirable to diminish the size below the standard and make the breed delicate, as it should keep the character of a working breed. E. Utility - It is easy to train. It works as a shepherd and a watchdog. Transferred to town, it is a very good companion dog. It's coat, when well groomed, makes it look smart and attractive. 2. Head A. General Appearance - Proportioned, medium sized, not too heavy, with profuse hair on the forehead, cheeks and chin, which makes it look bigger than it actually is. The ratio between its' mouth and skull is 1:1 or the muzzle may be a little shorter. B. Skull - Moderately broad, slightly domed. The forehead furrow and occiput palpable. C. Stop - Distinctly marked. D. Mouth - The top line of the muzzle is straight, jaws strong. E. Nose - A big, blunt nose with wide nostrils, as dark as possible within the particular color. F. Lips - Tightly closed, with edges of the same color as the nose. G. Teeth - Strong, level or scissor. H. Eyes - Medium size, of lively penetrating gaze, oval, not protruding. Color, hazel, or brown. The edges of the lids must be as dark as possible. I. Ears - Medium sized, lively, heart-shaped, large at the base, set moderately high, drooping, their foredge tightly set against the cheek. 3. Neck A. Strong, muscular, of medium length, without any dewlap, held rather horizontally. 4. Body A. General Appearance - Silhouette rectangular rather than square. B. Withers - Distinctively marked. C. Back - Even, muscular, loins broad, well bound. D. Croup - Short, tightly cut. E. Chest - Deep, ribs moderately cut, neither flat nor barrel-like. F. Belly - Slightly drawn up. 5. Tail A. Innately short, rudimentary, or very shortly docked. 6. Forequarters A. General Appearance - As seen from the front and side, straight. A well balanced stance due to a strong skeleton. B. Shoulders - Broad of medium length, slant, well-bound, and muscular. C. Metacarp - Slightly slant in relation to the forearm. D. Feet - Oval, toes tight, slightly arched, with hard pads, claws short, possibly dark. 7. Hindquarters A. General Appearance - Well angled, straight as seen from behind. B. Thigh - Broad, well muscled. C. Hock - Distinct 8. Gait A. Mostly smooth walking pace or trot. The dog is often an ambler. 9. Skin A. Tight, without any folds. 10. Coat A. The whole body is covered with a long, dense, shaggy, thick coat, with a soft, dense undercoat. The long, hanging hair covers the eyes characteristically. Slightly wavy coat admissible. 11. Color A. Every color and piebald allowed. 12. Faults A. Head - Round, apple-shaped. B. Profile - The top-line of the muzzle convex or concave. C. Nose and lips - Lack of pigment. D. Teeth - All faulty dentition. E. Eyes - Light yellow or jackdaw eye. F. Ears - Set too high. G. Back - Weak or roach back. H. Chest - Greyhound or barrel-shaped. I. Neck - Held too high. J. Loins - Feeble. K. Tail - If not cut it should not be curled over the back. L. Legs - Incorrect stance, too-long. M. Coat - Curly or short, without undercoat. N. Character - Nervous, coward, phlegmatic. _________________________________________________________________ Additional Resources The FCI standard describes an imaginary dog that only exists in the mind of the dog fancier. However, there are many excellent examples of the breed today. The best (and only source that I know of) book on the PONS is "The Official Book of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog" available through TFH Publications, Inc. The book is available through the publisher's normal outlets or by APONC (American Polish Owczarek Nizinny Club) at 1115 Delmont Road, Severn Maryland 21144. The cost is $35 including shipping. If I may put in a personal note - this book is probably the slickest and most beautiful breed book I have ever seen. There are a lot of pictures of wonderful breed examples that are beautifully printed. There is also a lot of information on the breed including foundation pedigrees that go all the way back to Dr. Hryniewics original dogs. I highly recommend it. (the price is merely to cover the cost of printing and shipping - the book is worth well more than $35) For more information on the breed you can write to Harold Stiffelman, 18 South Kingshighway -3T, St. Louis, MO 63108. You will receive information on the breed and a list of breeders and contacts in your area. There are not a lot of breeders in the United States but they are spread from the tip of Florida to Washington D.C., to the coast of California and many points in between. THERE IS NO FEE AND ALL INTERESTED PARTIES ARE ENCOURAGED TO LEARN ABOUT THE BREED. IT IS STRONGLY SUGGESTED THAT THE ALL SOURCES FOR PONS OR PONS INFORMATION THAT YOU SEEK BE CERTIFIED BY APONC.(American Polish Owczarek Nizinny Club) AS ACCEPTABLE AND RELIABLE. THERE IS ONLY ONE PARENT CLUB. THE PRESIDENT OF APONC. (AND THE PERSON WHO INTRODUCED THE BREED TO THE UNITED STATES) IS COMMITTED TO THE HIGHEST STANDARDS IN BREEDING AND EXPANSION OF THIS WONDERFUL AND RARE BREED. _________________________________________________________________ Polish Owczarek Nizinny Sheepdog FAQ Harold Stiffelman, S001085@umslvma.umsl.edu Hosted by K9 WEB