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The name Löwchen means Little Lion Dog, and this dog has historically been groomed to look as such. The head features a broad, blunt muzzle and topskull, and is flanked by pendant ears. Large, round eyes are set deep in the skull and are dark in color. The dog’s expression is said to be bright and lively. The body is smooth and elegant, and ends in a high set tail that is carried in a loose curve over the back during movement. Left in its natural state, the coat is long, dense and soft; most often, however, one sees this breed with the Lion Trim, wherein most of the hair on the hindquarters and tail is trimmed while the forward portions of the dog are left long. Coloration can be anything.


Fast Facts

13 - 14 years
16th century
10 - 18 lb
8 - 16 lb
13 -14"
12 -13"
Louchen, Low Chen, or Lowchin.
Little Lion Dog

Lowchen Temperament

Energetic and full of life, the Löwchen is a charming companion well suited to both active and sedentary homes....

As one might expect from a dog that has been bred for hundred of years to sit in the parlors of European aristocracy, the Löwchen displays impeccable manners and a great ability to befriend anyone and anything. This dog is friendly toward children, dogs and other pets alike; and while it understandably does not display the same affection toward strangers as it does toward its family or mistress, the Löwchen is nevertheless accepting and polite with newcomers. Vocal and busy, some Löwchens are known to bark and dig.

Caring For a Lowchen

The Löwchen does not need a great deal of exercise, and can often meet its needs with a game in the house; still, a run around the park or brisk walk will always be met with wagging tail....

The Löwchen cannot live outside. Owners who choose to keep their dog in the traditional Lion Trim will have to clip their pet every two months; those who elect to leave the coat natural will still have to comb their Löwchen’s coat about three times a week. Löwchens tend to live long, happy and healthy lives; some of these dogs may develop patellar luxation, though this is uncommon.

Lowchen History

A Brief History of the Lowchen

The Löwchen is thought to be a predominately German breed though its exact origins are unrecorded, and the French and Russians claim to have had a hand in the breed’s development....

It can be said with relative certainty that the Löwchen evolved from the ancient Bichon family of dogs, which hails from the Mediterranean, and 16th century German art – including tapestries, paintings, prints and drawings – makes a compelling case that the breed has been known at least since that time. The most famous Löwchen was Bijou, who lived in Weilburg Castle in Germany during the late 18th century. The story goes tells that Bijou, disappointed that his master had left for the hunt without him, attempted to follow his master by jumping from a 60 foot high window into the Lahn River. Depending on who you believe, the jump either ended with Bijou being rewarded with a seat in his master’s saddle or with his untimely death. Regardless, Bijou became legendary, and his likeness still hangs in the castle today. The Löwchen’s numbers began to dwindle during the 19th century, and by the end of World War II the breed was nearly extinct. A Löwchen fancier named Madame Bennert is credited with saving the breed though extensive breeding efforts beginning in 1945. Within a few years, the dog’s numbers began to slowly but steadily grow, and during the late 1960s and early 1970s the breed was introduced to Great Britain and the United States. The Löwchen was admitted to the American Kennel Club Miscellaneous Class in 1996 and received full AKC recognition as a member of the Non-Sporting Group in 1999. It remains one of the rarest breeds in the world today.