Breed History by Miroslaw REDLICKI

~based on the article by prof. Dyakowska, founder member and long-time Chairman of the Polish club

The first information on the breed in writing is dated on XVIth century. Paradoxally, it was first published in England. The late Mrs Willison, who has developed Bearded collie into a modern show dog, informed in her book.

  A pre-war PON (looks like Ali!)

"About 1514 the Pole were being to trade of other contries and there is a record of the trading of a ship wich owner K.Grabski sailed from Gdansk to Scotland with grain in exchange for Scottish sheep. With him he told six lowland sheepdog."

Finally three of them were traded for a ram and ewe to a Scottish shepherd, who admired the dogs for their excellent work.

Next information comes of XVIIth century. The long coat, medium size sheepdog is mentioned in written instruction by Princess Jablonowska, who ordered that such dogs should be kept by shepherd in her estates in Podlasie (North-east Poland), for their superb working qualities. In 1779 Christopher Kluk, a reputable author on zoology and botany, described a dog, which can easily regarded to nizinny ancestor. Because of its shaggy coat, he used the word "poodle" :

"...poodles usually medium (sized), shaggy, are the most clever dogs, having almost human intelligence. No other dog can be compared to them in herding flocks."

The record showed, that medium-size, shaggy coated herding dog existed for centuries in Poland, mostly in its eastern and northern part. No doubts that this dog originated from an asian sheepdog (tibet terrier type) who also the ancestor of puli, catalan, schapendoes and others. As the breed was kept mostly for working qualities, no special attention was paid to the type. In fact, we know the picture, dated in XIXth century ("A shepherd boy" by F.Maslowski). There is a small, shaggy coated, bob-tailed dog at the picture, but seems that its ears are almost pricked. Nothing more can be seen, as the dog is pictured from behind.

In the beginnig of present century, when the interest of pure-breed livestock, also dogs started in Poland, some people turned their attention to these intelligent country dogs. The foundations for breeding where given by three ladies, namely Maria Czetwerynska-Grocholska and Wanda and Rosa Zoltowska. Princess Grocholska had bough a few dogs of similar type and started their breeding at her estate in Planta (east of Poland). For the first time she exhibited two of them in 1924. The dogs were of unknow origin, but from 1930 she regulary exibited dogs bred herself. Her top brood bitches were FAJKA and FRYGA, top studs - SEP and WYKOP.

Mesdames Zoltowskie started breeding in thirties and their foundation stock originated of Planta. (namely FAJKUS z Planty and TUSKA z Planty). They bred five litters from this pair. All those dogs showed general uniformity of type. They were of medium size, pure white or biscuit with darker marks on the heads. Most of them were natural bobtails.

The pioneer work of the above ladies resulted in arising interest in the breed. In 1937 "My Dog" - an official paper of " The Working Dogs Society", published a research programm for establishment and development of the breed. Ms Zoltowska wrote there :

" In our region (i.e eastern part of the country) we recognized particular type of herding dogs. The breed type remains strong and uniform, even being neglected by countrymen. In our breeding we have never seen puppies of different type, coat and colour. These dogs are very keen for herding sheep and cows, and guarding. They also make very intelligent, friendly pets."

All the beginnings were totally destroyed in Second War. Ms Zoltowska had survived the war and Warsaw Uprising (1944) with two of her dogs. Later she settled in Cracow - and we know nothing more about.

It was not before 1948 when Polish Kennel Clubwas founded and new attemps to rescue and establish the breed started in Bydgoszcz (northern part of Poland). Pionner breeders found strongs support from officials there, and tribute must be paid here to the late Mrs Dubrowinowa, who organized the whole plan.

The pionner breeders were the late Mrs Kusionowicz in Bydgoszcz ("Babia Wies" - existed to 1956) and the pillar of breed - Dr Hryniewicz with her "Kordegarda", who continues her breeding up to date. Dr Hryniewicz settled in a small village at the sea coast in 1945 (later she moved to a small city - Leba, where she lives until now). Being a vet and breeder of some other breeds, she was attracted with the native shepherd dogs. She purchased two of them from the countryman (namely KURTA and LASKA) and soon she contacted Mrs Kusionowicz and bought two of her puppies. Finally she was given a bitch from Cracow, which showed very close ressemblance to pre-war dogs. It's most possible, that she had originated from Zoltowska's surviving pair.

In 1957 four polish lowlands were exhibited in Bydgoszcz. There was no breed standard, but the predominant and preferred type was medium sized, lively, alert and shaggy (never silky or woolly) coated, showing no ressemblence to poodle or maltese. The breed standard was accepted in 1959 (written by Ms Dubrowinowa).

Meanwhile, Dr Hryniewicz bred famous dog SMOK z Kordegardy (by Kurta and Laska), who became a true "father of the breed". Soon all the "Kordegarda" stock was heavily inbred on him. Fortunately, this inbreeding resulted with unification of the breed's type with no hereditary defects. The next famous dog of this kennel was DOMAN z Kordegardy (born 1967).

But it was not before 1970 when the breed gained wider popularity. Many newcomers went into the breed then. They mostly started with dogs bred by Dr Hryniewicz, some of them used also bitches of unknown pedigree.

At present, interest remains quite strong and stable, and fortunately the breed has never been as popular as to be spoiled by fashion.

Miroslaw REDLICKI

 

Breed history by Lubomir SMYCZINSKI

Few peoples know this race. It was recognized officially by FCI in October 1963.

Concerning its origin, we can assert that the race comes from Poland, probably stemming, by the migration of peoples, the same canine race that is represented in Hungary by Puli, Pumi or Komondor, in England by Bobtail or Bearded Collie and that is found equally in Russia in the Russian shepherd, far more great, similarly that theTibétain terrier that aside the name has no anything a terrier but is a small shepherd dog.

Today, the homeland of this dog is centered on the Polish coast and regions of the south. In the rear Polish country one finds often dogs of this race at peasants as watchdogs or to supervise herds. But equally out center of the country in the region of Lublin, we find that and there PON at peasants. As a lot others races of soil, he was no considered in the beginning by the dog fanciers. After the first world war, a small fanatics encircles has begun to promote this race and that and there appeared some isolated specimens in canine exhibitions and agricultural fairs. Nevertheless, they were always superseded by costly dogs of import and considered as the "Cinderella" of unknown origin. After the second world war, while pure race dogs had almost disappeared and notebooks of breeding were destroyed, peoples that found a normal life didn't accept to renounce to the dog's company. Pure breed dogs with pedigree were rare, currencies had others destinations that import of luxury dog. Dogs fanciers had to manage alone. This was the case of our modest dog of peasant that, discreetly, had survived to the chaos of the war. The pure breed dogs association and particularly the Bydgoszcz section has been interested in the race. Reasonably they have not held erudite speech on the origin and the standard, but one has rejoiced due to the fact that it existed an interesting dog race. Specify that one has first of all wanted to divide the race in three categories of sizes.  Later, nevertheless, one has privileged the average size (40-50 cm).

In practice, dogs are noted with a lot tolerance if they are typical, well proportioned and possessed the typical step of a bear. Thus were organized several presentations in different exhibitions similarly that small manifestations reserved to the race.  Sometimes it was funny to see with which sort of leave or chains and in what different slovenly state specimens were presented to the jury of confirmation by Pon fancier coming from most distant villages. Some were failed, others confirmed.

Then came the great event for breeders, when at the Bydgoszcz exhibition was the unforgettable " SMOK Z KORDEGARDY "  It was indeed to all viewpoints (including morphologically) the dog models and the race was codified according to it.  Breeders and friends of the breed decided to build a breeding on this dog. It was practically appointed grandfather 1 , protrudes different bitches various origins and always with a great success. Later it protrudes its girls and its cousins. This incestuous method proven full success, the carried were in few time very harmonious and a lot descendants resembled the grandfather . 

SMOK unfortunately no longer lives since very long, but in the breeding, its lineage is preserved and cultivated. As watchdog and shepherd dog, it has an innate senses to defend and protect all what belongs to "its family". It is vigilant but is not a pug. As defender, it can not, obviously, to replace a rottweiler, but it can make escape an occasional thief. And if one trains it to the defense, it can make its evidences. It is extraordinarily intelligent and obedient. It can equally be formed as bloodhound because it has a good nose. It can be a "retriever" because it is a fanatic retriever to earth and to the water.

Nevertheless, it is not made for a mass breeding because it does not supports to be far from with "its family" , and more, for undetermined motives, it is not very fertile (2 to 4 puppies by litter). Breeding and education are well-off , but necessitate a daily care of its coat in order that its hair does not mat and does not shelter parasites.  Brief it is a dog of company for everyone.  Hope that it will find friends and breeders to the exterior of its homeland and that it will collect laurels in many international exhibitions.   ABROAD, the "Polski Owczarek Nizinny" has been exposed for the first time in 1963 to Budapest .

Lubomir SMYCZINSKI