Polish Lowland Sheepdog
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog has a herding background. He is typically intelligent and easy to train. This, together with his medium size, makes him a suitable family pet. He has a shaggy, thick coat which needs careful, daily grooming. Ideally he needs to live in a house with a garden. He should have plenty of exercise, including the opportunity to run freely. An energetic owner who enjoys grooming would be ideal.
(Known as Coefficient of Inbreeding: 'COI'. It should be as low as possible.)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 10.8% - See 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Gene Pool Size
(Known as Effective Population Size: 'EPS')
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
The Polish Lowland’s long and abundant coat will be a problem for him if it is not looked after. Hair will cover his eyes unless his fringe is trimmed. The nature of his coat will also cause him discomfort in hot weather, unless a cool place is provided.
- Hip dysplasia: breed 5 year mean score 12.9 (parents should be lower)
- Elbow dysplasia: score should be as low as possible
- Eye disease: Retinal pigment epithelial dystrophy (RPED) (annual testing)
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) : No EBVs are currently available for this breed
DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA-rcd4)
Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test.
Other Breed-Specific Health Screening Schemes
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis
- Atrialventricular block (AV)
- Patent ductus arteriosis
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
The breeder should also be familiar with the CFSG/DBRG Code of Practice for Dog Breeding