Introducing the Lowchen aka Little Lion Dog

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lowchen dog standing on grass

The eye-catching Lowchen AKA little lion dog is a sweet-tempered and loyal little lap dog! Lowchens make great companions for both adults and children alike. They are energetic, spunky little dogs. They have a wonderfully even temperament and a big personality that will dominate your home and your life!

A Brief History of the Lowchen Dog Breed

Theories about the origins of the Lowchen breed abound! Some say that this breed of dog originates in Northern Europe. In other words, countries such as Germany, France, and Belgium. The Lowchen was popular among the nobility in Germany, Russia, Holland, France, Italy, and Spain since the Middle Ages. The Lowchen breed descends from the same lines that gave rise to other popular companion breeds. For example, the Maltese Poodle and the Bichon Frise.


Löwchen Means Little Lion in German

Löwchen, in German, means little lion. This companion dog breed derives its name from its lion-like appearance. The coat of a Löwchen is traditionally clipped in a “lion trim”. In other words, most of the hindquarters and tail are clipped short, while the rest of the dog’s body is left natural. This style emphasizes the dog’s mane and plumed tail.

The Appearance of These Little Lion Dogs

This toy dog breed is sturdily built. They are bred to have a strong bone structure and well-muscled hindquarters. The skull and muzzle of these dogs are quite short and wide. Their proud and springy gait accentuates their flowing long manes.

Average Lowchen Size and Weight

These little lion dogs measure between 12 and 13 inches tall at the withers. Löwchens weigh between 9 and 18 pounds (4 – 8 kg).

black and white lowchen puppies

The Little Lion Dog Breed Coats and Colors!

The coat of the Löwchen is dense, long, and wavy. It has quite a soft texture. There are no restrictions on coat color and pattern for this dog breed so all colors and color combinations are acceptable.

What are Their Grooming Requirements

To pay homage to their breed name, Löwchens can be clipped with a “lion trim”. However, it is also acceptable to leave their skin and coat in its natural state.

Little lion dogs shed very little. But, because their coat is so long, regular brushing is advisable as it helps prevent tangles forming.

Lowchen Temperament and Personality

Since the beginning, the main purpose of the Lowchen was that of a companion dog. These people-pleasing pups love loads of attention and simply hanging out with you. Because they are so devoted to their pet owners, they do have a tendency towards separation anxiety. This is not an ideal dog breed for people who must be away from home for many hours in the day.

Being people-pleasers, they are easy to train. With doggie treats and positive reinforcement training methods, your little lion dog will be a quick learner.

They Make Great Family Dogs!

Lowchens are very affectionate and people-focused. They love children and adults. Despite their small stature, they do love a bit of roughhousing. Therefore, they make lovely playful pets for children.

These dogs are alert and enjoy their role as watchdogs. As they do enjoy barking, they make a good alarm. However, if left unchecked, this barking can become excessive and a nuisance to neighbors.

löwchen dog running on grass

How Long Do They Live?

When compared to some other dog breeds, Löwchens have a slightly longer lifespan. If your little lion dog’s diet is healthy and well-balanced, they could live up to 15 years. Add to that, daily exercise, and annual vet checks for lumps and bumps. Certainly, your beloved pet should live a long and happy life.

Potential Health Problems to Look Out For

As with most dog breeds, there are some health issues to know about when looking at a Löwchen dog. That is not to say that your dog will succumb to one of these diseases, however, it is good to be aware of the possibilities.

  • Hip dysplasia. A degenerative hip disorder that can lead to lameness and arthritis. Your good breeder should show health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) that both of your puppy’s parents have a score of fair or better. Once your puppy is two years old, you can ask your veterinarian to take hip X-rays of your dog to rule out hip dysplasia.
  • Patellar luxation. This is when the kneecap (patella) slips out of place. Therefore, also known as “slipped stifles”. A luxating patella can cause lameness in the affected leg or an irregular gait in the dog.
  • Periodontal disease. Dental disease left untreated can lead to loss of teeth. Further, your doggo can be in danger of damaging their heart, kidneys, liver, and joints.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy. This is a canine eye disorder caused by the gradual loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eye. One can detect progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) years before any blindness occurs.
  • Cataracts. The eyes of a dog with cataracts appear cloudy. This is a result of the eye’s lens becoming opaque. Consequently, the dog has progressively more difficulty seeing. Fortunately, with surgical treatment, it is possible to remove cataracts.

Lowchen Puppies for Sale!

The Lowchen is not a well-known breed of dog. Therefore, they are not so easy to find. If you have your heart set on a little lion dog, ask at your local vet or pet store for information about local Lowchen breeders. The American Kennel Club (AKC) website is a good place to start your search for a reputable Lowchen breeder.

black and white little lion dog lying down

Get Your Lowchen Puppy from a Good Breeder!

Responsible dog breeders screen their breeding stock for common health conditions. Having had this screening done can provide pet owners with tremendous peace of mind. Breeders who truly have their dogs and the overall breed foremost in mind will ensure that their puppies grow up in a healthy and loving environment.

Adopt! Don’t Shop! Ask Local Animal Shelters About Lowchen Rescues

As with many other large and small breeds, Lowchens are often purchased with little understanding of the breed. In addition, many people underestimate the responsibilities that come with pet ownership. Contact the Lowchen Club of America to find out about any rescues that are looking for new furever homes.

Common Questions About Lowchen Dogs

Which breed of dog is sometimes called a lion dog?

What are the diet and exercise requirements of a Lowchen?

Do Lowchen make good family pets?

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