The Löwchen, also called the Little Lion Dog, is a non-sporting dog breed that originated in France. They are a member of the Bichon family and were bred as a companion dog. This dog stands between 12 and 14 inches tall and weighs between 8 and 18 pounds. They coat is wavy and variegated.
To care for this little dog you will need to brush its coat several times a week and get it professional groomed every two months. This is an active breed that will appreciate a daily walk and plenty of attention. They are smart and respond well to obedience training.
Origin of the Lowchen
Lowchen means “Little Lion” in German. They have existed for at least 400 years. Originally, they were bred as companion breeds in the pre-renaissance era.
Royalty, particularly the ladies of the court, groomed them in the likeness of a little lion. Popular as foot warmers and comforters, their exposed skin allowed ladies to warm their feet and also prevented matting and infestation.
Appearance and Abilities of the Lowchen
The Lowchen is a small, bright, and lively dog. Lowchens are quick-moving dogs. They have excellent agility which makes them especially suited for the obedience and agility rings. It is compact and has a well balanced body.
The breed’s distinctive feature is their traditional “lion” trim. The coat is left natural and untrimmed on the forequarters and clipped close to the skin on the hindquarters. Cuffs of fur around the ankles are left on all four legs and the tail is often clipped except for a plume left on the tip.
They have proud, lively gaits that accentuate the lion cut and their long flowing mane. All colors and color combinations of the breed are acceptable.
Lowchen Temperament and Tendencies
Lowchens are outgoing and displays positive temperaments. They are fun to be around. They are naturally affectionate and like to be with their families. They enjoy physical activities such as play time and long walks.
The breed is naturally alert, intelligent, and affectionate with the overall qualities of a loving companion dog. It has a lively, outgoing, and inquisitive personality. Sociable and intelligent, they are very eager to learn. These dogs are courageous, but gentle and sensitive to their and especially towards children.
If socialized well, they will do okay with other dogs as well as non-canine animals. They may look fragile; however, it is not the case. They are robust and capable of fairly impressive physical feats.
Training and Care of the Lowchen
Lowchens learn very quickly. They thrive in obedience and tricks training. They are eager to please their owners with tricks and clown-like actions. Lowchens have tendencies to become strong-willed and arrogant if they perceive their human owners as meek and passive.
They will take the alpha position if owners do not consistently and firmly establish dominance. Natural leadership is essential so Lowchens will abide by the set of rules you have defined. As a very common case for small companion dogs like Lowchens, they may develop “small dog syndrome”. It is a human induced behavior problem.
Lowchens need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk around and explore Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off lead, such as a large fenced in yard.
Their single coat needs a thorough brushing at least weekly to prevent matting and their trim should be freshened every two months.