Type: Companion Dog

Height: 10 - 14 inches.

Weight: 8 - 18 lbs.

Life Span: 12 - 15 years, although many have lived to 18+ years. The oldest recorded Lowchen lived to an astounding 29 years old!

Litter Size: 3 - 6 puppies.

Country of Origin: France

Activity: Medium - Low.

Watch-dog: High. The Lowchen is a very alert breed.

Guard-dog: Low. Although alert, they are quite friendly to everyone, except perhaps another dog threatening its dominance.

Description: The Lowchen or Little Lion Dog is a member of the Bichon group. They have a long, silky coat trimmed in the traditional "lion clip", with a shaved backside and hair left natural on the tip of the tail, feet, and front of the body. They are not toy dogs, but they are small. Lowchens are attractive in the show ring, and more rarely kept as just pets. They have been around since at least the 1500s, and appeared in royalty paintings and were a favorite among royal European women. A spunky, high spirited dog, they are also happy to just curl up in your lap. Originally used in France as a watch dog and hot water bottle, they are gaining international popularity. While Lowchens are not considered a rare breed, they are still uncommon. Little Lion Dogs are active and affectionate. They can be dominant towards other dogs of the same sex, and are unafraid of a challenge to prove their dominance. They will even take on much larger dogs. Other than that, however, the breed mostly gets along with everyone, including people and animals. Lowchens are eager to please, lively and intelligent - they are a fun dog for the whole family to enjoy.Lowchen

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Other Names: Little Lion Dog, Little Chien Dog, Little Lion

Colors: They come in any doggy color, with any type of pattern.

Coat: Wavy, long and silky, but not curly. They have no undercoat.

Temperament: Lowchens are active, affectionate, and gentle. They are unafraid of a challenge to authority, however, and will fight other dogs of the same sex for their dominance. They are a fun breed, however, and are intelligent and somewhat lively, although not overly exuberant in any way. They outgoing, alert and adaptable. Lowchens are robust and tough, and can be arrogant and strong willed. But, to oppose this trait, the Lowchen will hardly leave an available lap empty.

With Children: Yes, gentle with well trained children. Lowchens are robust enough to enjoy plenty of games with children.

With Pets: Yes, friendly to other animals. May be same-sex aggressive, even to dogs much larger than itself. Males particularly like to assert their dominance.

Special Skills: Family pet.

Care and Training: Grooming of the Lowchen should consist of combing or brushing their coat ever other day. Professional clipping every other month should be done to maintain the traditional lion trim. If you are showing your dog in the ring, professional grooming advice and service should be sought. Lowchens enjoy ample exercise such as a short walk or an active game of play. They do not use a lot of energy, however, and should be exercised daily so that they do not become obese. Quick learner and intelligent. Should be trained early not to bark or dig.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - High. The Lowchen is actually thought to enjoy obedience training. Problem Solving - High. They are very good at solving problems.

Special Needs: Grooming, socialization and training.

Living Environment: An apartment is okay for Lowchens as long as exercise is given. Lowchens need to be around people, so they should not be left alone by their owners. This breed is very adaptable and can survive in the country, suburbia or the city.

Health Issues: Patellar luxation, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), and cataracts.

History: The Lowchen is a member of the family of Bichons, which consist of the Bichon Frise, Maltese, the Bolognese and the Havanese. These breeds were developed into separate breeds from common ancestry. All are thought to have originated around the Mediterranean. Even though it is recognized as a French breed, the Lowchen have been known in both France, Spain and Germany. A painting of the Duchess of Alba by the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya features one of this breed, and dates back to the late 1700s. The breed is actually thought to date back at least the 1500s. The breed is often depicted on the tombstones of armored knights in churchyards. The reason for this is that the belief in the Renaissance time was that if a knight was killed in battle he had a lion at his feet to demonstrate courage. If not, he had this little lion breed at his feet on the tombstone. Some believe that it originally came from Germany, and others credit the current breed's development to Belgium, as it was resurrected by a Belgian breeder named Madame M. Bennert of Brussels. After the breed fell into endangerment, Miss Bennert set out to recover the breed and combed the land for any of the species. She found the breed and went to work to revive it. After her death, a German breeder by the name of Dr. Richert carried on her work. By the 1960s the popularity of the Lowchen had declined to such an extent that it was listed as the rarest dog in the world in the Guinness Book of World Records. Today the Lowchen's numbers have improved.

First Registered by the AKC: 1995

AKC Group: Non Sporting Group

Class: Non Sporting

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 9), KC (GB), UKC