Among the characteristics of the Polish Plains Sheepdog, its muscular and hairy body stands out. Its character and demeanor is lively, docile, alert and vigilant . Faithful and very brave, it is a dog that is used to living and working in unfavourable conditions. At Petlifey, we explain everything about the Polish Plains Shepherd breed.
Character of the Polish Plains Shepherd
The Polish Plains Sheepdog has a lively but moderate temperament, watchful, docile and alert. In addition, its behaviour reflects that it is an animal endowed with a good memory and is very receptive.
Indeed, it is a dog endowed with great intelligence and an extraordinary memory, something fundamental in its work to know the exact number of cattle that it controls and to be able to perceive their absence.
Its main function as a shepherd dog that watches over and guards the flock and the territory of its master has made the specimens of this breed be vigilant and suspicious in the presence of strangers or in any circumstance that alters the normal routine of their daily life. .
Therefore, it is convenient to start their socialization from a very early age, accustom them to cope naturally in any circumstance and to be calm in the presence of strangers and even other animals.
Less and less used as a shepherd dog, the fundamental use of the breed is as a companion animal, although its qualities for working with animals are excellent and it can also shine in other tasks such as obedience, agility or dog functions. therapy.
- Energy: Medium / high level. You need to exercise daily and run outdoors.
- Temperament: Intelligent, dominant and faithful, it is lively but moderate. Vigilant, endowed with a good memory and receptive, you need to be very clear about who your leader is and that it / she continually entrusts you with tasks.
- Adaptability: High. It prefers life in the country, outdoors, but adapts easily to living in the city. It is resistant to adverse atmospheric conditions.
- Sociability: High. It likes to feel integrated into a family and to be useful to them. Tolerates strangers if properly educated.
- Health: Very good. It is a rustic, healthy and robust dog, very suitable for work.
- Longevity: High. Quite long-lived, it lives between 12 and 15 years.
- Utility: Very versatile. It can work in herding and as a guard and companion dog. It is good at detecting explosives, in rescue tasks or in disaster rescue.
- Use: grazing, surveillance and guarding.
Can you live in an apartment or in the city?
The Polish Plains Shepherd, at heart, is a working dog. For years its natural environment has been the great Polish plains, therefore, although it is a very adaptable breed, the city or a small house are not its favourite places to live.
The only way to ensure that you live well in these conditions is to ensure adequate daily exercise doses. Simple walks are not enough, or letting them run freely in safe areas, it needs to exercise for a specific purpose.
That is to say, it requires a great deal of stimulation work on the part of the master and that it is entrusted with any task to do, it needs to know that it is fulfilling a function, no matter how inconsequential it may seem: to take a flying disc, or Frisbee , in the air, or training and participating in agility competitions , a discipline in which it excels.
Characteristics of the Polish Plains Shepherd breed
The general appearance of the Polish Plains Shepherd is that of a medium to large sized animal. It is a compact, strong, muscular dog, with long and dense fur, and very attractive and interesting if it is cared for properly. It is resistant to adverse atmospheric conditions.
Another of the characteristics that make this dog one of the most desirable breeds is that it hardly loses hair, and this automatically makes it one of the favourites of many housewives and one of the most suitable for people who suffer from some types allergies.
Likewise, its peculiar physique, with long hair, of strong texture, dishevelled and with an informal appearance, has even made them an object of desire for cinema, television and advertising.
Physical characteristics of the Polish Plains Shepherd
It is a not too big dog, compact and very covered with hair. It has a rather rectangular body structure, since the length of the body slightly exceeds the height at the withers, which is about 48 cm in males and about 45 cm in females.
It has feet that look compact and somewhat curved, the feet are oval in shape. They have very dark and short nails, and very hard pads.
Regarding the tail, there are many specimens that lack it or have the tail docked, but in those that have it intact, it is quite long and hairy. In rest it hangs up, but in alert it is up.
The head is proportionate to the rest of the body, it gives the feeling of being larger than it is because it is covered with a lot of hair. With a well marked stop, the muzzle is strong and flat.
Their eyes are oval and of medium size, with dark eyelid rims. Hazelnut in color, they are often semi-hidden by the abundant fur on the face.
The ears are broad at the base, heart-shaped and medium in size. They are set quite high on the head and hang down next to the cheeks.
Hair and color
The whole body is covered with abundant rustic, strong, thick and dense hair. Double-coated, the undercoat is made up of a soft undercoat
The Polish Plains Shepherd can be presented in almost any color, but the most common combinations are those that have white, in its largest surface, black and some shade of gray, or even completely gray specimens.
Standard of the breed Polish Plains Sheepdog
- Origin: Poland.
- Size: Medium / large.
- Other names: Polish Lowland Sheepdog / Bergerpolonais de plaine / Polnischer Niederungshütehund / Polski Owczarek Nizinny.
- General appearance: Of medium size and solid constitution, strong and muscular, it is vigorous, agile and very observant.
- Height at the withers: between 45 and 50 cm for males and between 42 and 47 cm for females.
- Weight: between 17 and 20 kg for males and between 15 and 18 kg for females.
- Head: Medium in size and well proportioned, but with thick fur on the forehead, cheeks and chin, it gives the impression of being larger than it really is.
- Skull: It is not exaggeratedly wide and it is somewhat domed.
- Naso-frontal depression (stop): Well marked Muzzle: With a straight nasal bridge, it is strong and flat.
- Nose: It is quite dark, harmonizing with the color of the coat. The nostrils are wide.
- Jaws: Strong, with regular scissor or pincer bite.
- Eyes: Medium in size, oval in shape and not bulging. They are usually hazel-colored, with dark eyelid edges. Its expression is lively and penetrating.
- Ears: Hanging, set fairly high, medium in size, heart-shaped and broad at the base. The front edge appears close to the cheeks.
- Neck: Of medium length, it is muscular and without dewlap.
- Body: The silhouette is slightly rectangular.
- Back: Flat and very muscular, it has broad and well-structured loins, and a short and slightly truncated rump.
- Chest : Deep and of medium breadth, the ribs are quite rounded, not flattened or barrel-shaped.
- Tail: It is quite long and very hairy. It wears it slumped when at rest, but happily raised on its back when alert. There are some specimens that are born with a very short and rudimentary tail, and others are docked.
- Forelimbs: They are vertical and, thanks to their powerful skeleton, their position is very balanced.
- Shoulders: Broad, of moderate length, oblique and clearly delineated, they are endowed with strong muscles.
- Forearms and arms: The arms are positioned slightly obliquely in relation to the forearm.
- Hind limbs: They are vertical and have good angulation.
- Legs: Broad, well muscled. Hocks: Well developed.
- Feet: Oval, compact and slightly arched, with very hard pads. The nails are short and very dark,
- Movement: The Polish Plains Shepherd’s movement is light and covers a lot of ground. The walk or trot is symmetrical, without a great vertical movement, and in the slow walk the breed has the tendency to carry out the ambling step (the two feet on the same side move simultaneously).
- Skin: Well adhered to the body, does not form wrinkles.
- Coat Hair: Double-layered, it has a soft undercoat, and the whole body is covered with an external coat of abundant, strong, dense and thick hair, generally straight or a little wavy. The hairs that fall from the forehead, cover it in a characteristic way.
- Hair: It is abundant, thick and thick, with a dense undercoat. Properly cared for, the cloak takes on a very attractive and interesting appearance.
- Color: The coat can be of any color, with or without spots.
- FCI Classification: FCI No. 251. Group 1 – Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs). Section 1 – Sheepdogs .
Education and training of the Polish Plains Shepherd
Being a dependent animal, it is very easy to train. The main job of the master is to convince them that it is the leader, a strong pack leader with clear ideas.
Once this is achieved, the animal’s devotion to its master will do the rest and its only mission in life will be to make its family happy. It’s amazing how quickly you can learn with a good training routine.
However, being such an intelligent dog, it is possible that on more than one occasion it tries to challenge its owner, to know its limits, and if it observes that it may be above him, then there is a possibility that it will become a can stubborn and disobedient.
The Polish Plains Shepherd needs to exercise physically on a daily basis, but it is not enough for them to run around on its own terms, it must be given a specific task to fulfil.
In this sense, agility competitions, a discipline in which it excels, are a perfect solution to meet the dog’s needs.
A small vice or desire that this breed has is to bite or nibble (inherited from its work as a cattle guide).
If it exists, it must be eliminated as a puppy , because it can be used to attract attention, control the family or direct children, a very annoying habit that can even cause an incident of greater proportions if it is done with strangers.
Health and diseases of the Polish Plains Sheepdog
As a good working breed, it is a very healthy and strong dog, which does not suffer from significant diseases, so the rule to keep it in perfect health condition basically consists of complying with routine visits to the veterinarian to complete the vaccination programs.
Frequently monitor the condition of their ears and clean the dog’s ears which, due to their drooping ears and a large amount of hair, can be a source of infections.
Control the health of the eyes by cleaning them with a suitable product and keeping them free of Leganes, and subjecting them to deworming programs, since their matted, abundant and strong hair makes the Polish Shepherd a highly coveted habitat for some external parasites like fleas or ticks.
Related to the puli breed and other shepherd dogs of Asian origin, this breed has been documented in Poland since ancient times along with the Polish Podhale shepherd, which inhabited the mountains, and not the plains, like this one.
He was on the verge of disappearing during World War II, but its exceptional qualities in the field and the adoration it shows towards its family have guaranteed its survival.
Feeding of the Polish Plains Shepherd
Another aspect that must be taken care of is the feeding of the animal. Being a strong, athletic and very active dog, it needs a diet rich in protein that gives its muscles the necessary strength.
Strong, agile, fast and curious, what you want is to be continually carrying out some task, because if it is not likely that it will seek it out on its own, sometimes with disastrous consequences.
For the rest, it is a very adaptable breed, which gets used to any circumstance, task or situation, and constitutes an ideal travel companion or the perfect complement to any type of activity.