Did you know?
The Löwchen was once considered the rarest dog in the world. Even today, only a few hundred are registered each year worldwide.
The greater love is a mother’s, then comes a dog’s, then a sweetheart’s. – Polish Proverb
Often referred to as the “Little Lion Dog”, the ancient Löwchen is a member of the Bichon family of dogs and originated in France. He is related to the Bichon Frise, the Havanese, and the Maltese.
His exact origins and ancestry are lost to time. It is thought the breed descends from dogs that were brought into Europe by travelers from far eastern countries including Tibet. These imports then bred with local Spitz type dogs and terriers.
At one time, the Lowchen was the rarest dog in the world and is still considered at risk for extinction.
Bred to be a companion and watch dog, the Löwchen fits well into both city and country life.
Photos displayed courtesy of Gillian Robertson, Tapestry Kennel Perm Reg’d, Ontario
The Löwchen stands up to 13 inches (33 cm) tall at the shoulder. His long, silky hair is typically cut to resemble the lion, from which he takes his name. The unclipped areas of the coat are left in their natural, shaggy state. The Löwchen ‘s coat may be any colour and does need regular grooming.
He has been featured in old paintings, tapestries, engravings, drawings, and in literature since the 1400s and was popular throughout the Middle Ages with European nobility.
In much of the artwork the Löwchen is featured in his signature lion cut. The haunches, back legs, front legs and up to 1/2 of his tail are shaved. The rest of the coat is left in its natural shaggy state. The exceptions to the shaving are the front legs which sport fur bracelets around the ankles and the tip of the tail.
Considered to be one of the hypoallergenic breeds, this dog makes a wonderful companion for those with allergies, in spite of all that hair.
With a spunky, high-spirited, and lively personality, the Löwchen makes a wonderful family pet who will be with you for 12 to 14 years. He is active, affectionate, and loves curling up on a convenient lap. As a companion dog, he is not happy if left alone and can suffer from separation anxiety. The Löwchen gets along well with other household pets.
A good watchdog, the Löwchen will sound the alert when necessary. He can be slow to housebreak but he does take well to obedience training. If not socialized properly, he can become shy and suspicious. Both training and socialization should begin early. Training should also discourage a tendency to bark and dig.
His exercise needs can be met with short walks or active play in the garden.