The Lowchen, meaning “little lion,” is a breed of small dogs that were raised as four-legged companions for people. Although it does not have the fierce disposition of a lion, it was named the Little Lion Dog for its coat that is often trimmed and shaped to resemble the appearance of a lion. It has a compact body with a broad skull, wide muzzle, round eyes, droopy ears, short, strong loin, smooth, muscular shoulders, and a high-set, medium length tail.
|Alternative names||Petit Chien Lion|
|Coat||Long, dense, soft, slightly wavy|
|Color||Black, brown, white, silver, blue, gray, red, black and tan|
|Group of Breed||Toy, Companion, Non-Sporting|
|Size/Height||Small; 13-14 in|
|Size of Litter||3-6 puppies|
|Temperament||Affectionate, playful, lively, alert, responsive|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Country Originated in||Medieval Germany and France|
|Competitive Registration/Qualification Information||ACA, ANKC, APRI, ACR, AKC, FCI, DRA, CKC, KCGB, NKC, NAPR, NZKC|
The origin of Lowchen dogs remains unclear though they appear in old literature and works of art dating back to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. However, its modern history traces back to the nineteenth century, during which travelers from Tibet and other far eastern regions brought dogs to Germany, Belgium, and France, and mixed them with local breeds including Terriers and Spitz.
During and after the World Wars, the Lowchen population declined. Madame Bennerts started breeding these dogs in 1944, and with the assistance of a veterinarian Dr. Hans Rickert, she was able to save the breed from extinction. The breed was acknowledged in 1996 by the AKC.
The Lowchen’s demeanor can be described as cheerful, intelligent, sociable, gentle, and sensitive. Being a loving, friendly, and people-oriented pet, it enjoys plenty of human attention. Leaving it alone for a long time causes not only temperamental issues for the dog but also ill health.
It makes a wonderful playmate for kids and fits into the household with other dogs and non-canine pets. However, the owner should be assertive enough otherwise the Lowchen could become arrogant and display dominant behavior. Known for its fearlessness, it will alert its owner to anything unusual, thus emerging as an efficient guard dog.
Lowchen’s inherent smartness and even temperament make it an easily trainable breed.
Depending on its size, age, and activity level, the amount of food and frequency of meals should be determined. An adult Lowchen should be fed half to one cup of dry food per day.