Lowchen Dog Breed

lowchen

The Lowchen dog breed is more commonly known as the Little Lion Dog. It was originally bred to serve as a family or companion dog. However, it surpasses all expectations that you might have from an average family dog.

Lowchens are very active dogs which is why they love to participate in and win various dog competitions such as obedience and agility. They are also very adaptive and can adjust to any living condition including an apartment setting.

Like most other breeds, the Lowchen dogs also like to bark, which can prove to be annoying for your neighbors. However, it is very easy to train a Lowchen puppy with simple positive reinforcement techniques.

About the Breed

lowchen

There is more than one theory pertaining to the existence of the Lowchen breed and how it came about to be.

The most popular of these theories is that the Lowchen breed emerged from the Northern part of Europe, from countries including France, Belgium, and Germany. According to this theory, this breed was one of the founding members of the creation of the Toy Poodle.

A second theory declares that Lowchen dogs are linked to the Bichon breeds and emerged from the Mediterranean region. Other theories trace the origin of this wonderful breed to Tibet and/or Russia.

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All theories, however, concur with the fact that the Lowchen dog breed was developed to serve their purpose as companion dogs. It was briefly also used as a hunting dog to prey on rodents. Additionally, this breed is also a great alarm dog and can serve as a watchdog as well.

The most surprising factor about the Lowchen breed is that its ownership is not restricted to any specific cast or social circle. You can find this dog on farms but also in castles.

History of the Lowchen 

lowchen dogs

The name for the Lowchen breed comes from the German language, combining two words that mean “little lion.”

Wood carvings and paintings from the 15th century indicate the presence of a dog that looked much like the current-day Lowchen. This proves that the Lowchen breed existed as early as the 1400s.

The earliest evidence of the Lowchen dog breed was found in 1422 in the shape of one of the most popular pieces of artwork by Jan Van Eyck in the painting titled “The Birth of the Baptist.”

The work revealed the shape of a dog that appeared to be immensely curious. Another piece of evidence was found in the wood carvings of Albrecht Durer, an artist from Germany.

The Renaissance was a time in history when symbolism was prevalent everywhere. During this period, the Lowchen breed was symbolic of bravery and courage, as they had the shape of little lion dogs.

The Lowchen dog breed had become famous among the matrons of honor. These ladies made good use of the dog to warm their feet, catch fleas, or simply as lap dogs.

However, with the passage of time, the Lowchen dog breed became less and less popular. After Second World War, these dogs had almost become extinct and were considered to be extremely rare.

Fortunately, a woman from Belgium decided to save this breed. It was Madame Bennert who increased the population of Lowchen dogs with the help of only two male and two female dogs.

She took the help of breeders from Germany and started the mating process between male and female Lowchen dogs. She not only increased their number but also managed to preserve the key characteristics and quality of the Lowchen dog breed.

In 1968, the Lowchen dogs were imported by breeders in the United Kingdom. In the United States, these dogs entered during the year 1971 when a couple decided to import them for their family.

It was not until the 1980s that the popularity of these dogs increase. This happened when the first Lowchen starred in a television show called “Hart to Hart.” The dog was untrimmed and co-starred next to another dog of a different breed. It soon gained fame and fortune in the pop culture world.

The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Lowchen breed in the year 1999. Today it stands at the 147th position of all the dog breeds registered with the AKC.

Lowchen Facts

Now that you have become familiar with the Lowchen dog breed and have found out about its history, let’s take a look at some interesting facts about this dog that you may also find strange.

löwchen dog
  • Like their name, they appear to resemble lions if you leave their coat untrimmed.
  • Because it is a highly famous and rare dog breed, the Lowchen can cost up to an astounding $13000 with the lowest cost being $7000.
  • The Lowchen female adult dogs can produce anywhere between 3 to 6 Lowchen puppies
  • Lowchen dogs have a running speed of an average of 12 mph or 19.3 kmph.
  • Other common names of the Lowchen dog are the little lion dog or the petit Chien lion.
  • They can befriend cats very easily because of their appearance which resembles the lion.
  • They are hypoallergenic dogs and are ideal for people with allergies.

Lowchen Appearance

lowchen puppies

The Lowchen dog breed is famous for its lion-like appearance, which is a result of a special trim that is a trademark of this breed.

These dogs have ears that look like small pendants, along with small brown eyes. Their bodies are somewhat square-shaped and are longer than tall.

Their muzzles are wide and dark, while their hindquarters have a muscular build. The tails of these dogs are set high on their torso and resemble the shape of a well-rounded cup.

Size

Lowchen dogs are not a very tall breed. The average height of these dogs, regardless of whether they are male or female, lies somewhere between 11 to 14 inches or 28 to 36 cm.

Weight

russian lion dog

These dogs are heavier than an average small-sized dog. Their weight is an average of 9.9 to 18 pounds or 4.5 to 8.1 kg. This is true for both male and female Lowchen dogs.

Coat 

The most distinctive feature of the Lowchen dog breed is its soft and wavy long coat.

The coat is trimmed around the rear and front legs, torso, and half or one-third of the tail. This trim gives them the famous lion-like look staying true to its name of a Little Lion Dog. Near the hocks, forearms, and the ends of their tail, the coat is left untrimmed.

Overall, this way of grooming the Lowchen dogs is known as the lion trim and is a trademark for the dogs of this breed.

What makes them really adorable is the fluffiness of their coat which will make you keep petting them for hours!

lowchen breeders

Color

The Lowchen dog breed is born with a solid black coat. Other common colors for these dogs are white and lemon. Lowchens can also be blue, chocolate, cream, fawn, red, and silver in color.

Lowchen Temperament and Personality

lowchen dog breed

Lowchens have the hearts of a lion! They love being petted by their owners and give twice as much love as they receive.

As a first-time dog owner, you will find your Lowchen poking and prying in odd places around the house. This habit is fueled by their inherently curious nature.

What you will love the most about Lowchens is that although they are not known for being the most active dogs, they would love to accompany you for a walk or a jog. They simply love the outdoors and enjoy playing with their families. In other words, these dogs can prove to be the four-legged best friend you are looking for.

The best part of owning a Lowchen is that you do not need a huge backyard for your pet dog to race around in. Because they do not need too much exercise and are happy with a 30-minute walk, they adjust very well to apartment life.

As long as they are receiving love and attention from their owners, they are happy and content. Adding other pets and dogs to their environment is a great way to increase their adaptation to a smaller living space.

If you leave a Lowchen dog alone with nothing but spare time to themselves, they do not enjoy their me-time at all. In fact, they have a tendency toward developing separation anxiety. Hence, it is important to provide them with regular human interaction.

You will have to learn how these dogs communicate in order to provide them with the right care and attention. If you find your dog barking, it is a rare habit, and you should pay immediate attention to the pet. Find out whether it is just hungry or alerting you against some danger.

These dogs can also whimper, which simply means that they are fearful or shy. In some instances, you may also find these dogs growling, which indicates their anger. It is best to stay wary of your dogs from a distance when this happens.

These dogs are also known for their sense of humor, and they love to clown around. They can please everyone with their vivacious personality.

However, this does not make them great watchdogs. They are more likely to lick and pet strangers and openly welcome them into your house. Needless to say, your jewelry box is not safe at the mercy of your Lowchen.

Lowchen dogs have the ability to charm anyone they meet. They can turn strangers into friends in just a matter of minutes. It is hard not to fall in love with these dogs, given their cute appearance and adorable personality. They shower people with their affection.

Lowchen Health and Care

lowchen puppy

Lowchen dogs are generally very healthy and live a very happy life throughout. However, they are prone to a few health problems during their lifespan. Before arriving at the decision of buying a Lowchen dog, it is important to be fully aware of the health problems that come with the new pet.

Having said that, it is also recommended that you do not adopt your new pet from just anyone. It is important to do your research and arrive at a trusted breeder. It is also important that you seek a few health clearances from your breeder before purchasing the pet. These include:

  • The clearance for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand’s disease is provided by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or OFA.
  • The clearance for thrombopathia is provided by the Auburn University.
  • The clearance for eye diseases is provided by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation or CERF.

This will help prove that both the parents of the puppy you are planning to adopt, do not have any of the hereditary health problems. You can also crosscheck and validate the health clearances by visiting the official OFA website at offa.org.

Now let us take a look at the commonly found health conditions in the Lowchen dog breed.

Cataracts

This is a condition in which there is mild to severe opacity of the lenses of one or both of the eyes. This causes blurry or hazy vision, and the dog has difficulty spotting objects. Early detection of this eye condition is difficult.

However, as the condition progresses, you will notice a cloudy appearance in the front of the dog’s eyes. Unfortunately, this eye condition is very common in old-aged Lowchen dogs. The best way forward is a surgical procedure that can improve vision. But there is no permanent cure for this disease.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy or PRA

Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a condition in which the dog experiences a loss in the photoreceptors placed at the back of the eye. It is possible to detect this disease at an early age before your pet Lowchen dog reaches the stage of blindness.

However, once the dog becomes blind, there is no cure for this disease. Careful breeders get the eyes of their dogs certified on an annual basis. You might seek this certification before buying your pet.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar Luxation is another common disease found in Lowchen dogs as compared to other dogs. Another name for this condition is “slipped stifles.”

The dog’s patella has three important parts: the femur, also called the thigh bone, the patella also called the knee cap, and the tibia also known as the calf. When any or all of these three parts of the patella are not properly aligned, it results in the development of Patellar Luxation.

The occurrence of this condition causes limping, lameness, abnormal walking, or even arthritis in the affected dog. Arthritis is a joint disease that causes degeneration of the joints.

Patellar Luxation is a hereditary disease, and most Lowchen dogs are born with it. However, you might notice the condition until much later in the dog’s life. The disease occurs in four stages ranging from grade I to grade IV.

At the first stage, called grade I, the dog is simply limping, and the joint becomes somewhat dysfunctional. At the fourth stage, called grade IV, the tibia turning has reached a much more severe stage. At this point, it is not possible to adjust the dog’s joint manually, and a surgical procedure is required.

It is important to note that Patellar Luxation is a curable disease at all stages.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the hip joint does not fit properly with the thigh bone of the dog’s body. This results in limping, lameness, severe pain, degeneration of the joint, and in severe cases, arthritis. This is a hereditary condition; hence it is important to get health clearance from the breeder before buying a dog.

Given all the facts stated in this part of the article, it is important to note that with the right care, attention, and high-quality diet, Lowchen dogs can live for a span of 12 to 14 years.

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Lowchen Training

löwchen puppies

The Lowchen dog breed is super intelligent and easy-going. Both these characteristics make training them very easy as they are quick to pick up commands and good behaviors.

They tend to be barking dogs, hence it is important to train them when they are just puppies. This will help control this habit and they will find other ways of communication. Lowchen puppies are well-equipped at learning new things and can understand whatever is taught in the training process.

Positive reinforcement methods work very well in their favor. They can learn to adopt any new behavior as long as they are compensated with high praise or a dog treat. However, feel free to get creative with their rewards.

It is important to note here that Lowchen dogs do not respond well to harsh commands. They are very sensitive toward the tone of the trainer, so be mindful of never getting impatient with them.

Conclusion

The Lowchen dog breed is famous for its traditional lion-like appearance, which is a result of a special trim that is a trademark of this breed. Lowchen dogs are not a very tall breed. The average height of these dogs lies somewhere between 11 to 14 inches, and their weight is an average of 9.9 to 18 pounds.

The most distinctive feature of the Lowchen dog breed is its soft and wavy long coat. What makes them really adorable is the fluffiness of their coat which will make you keep petting them for hours! The Lowchen dog breed is born with a solid black coat. Other common colors for these dogs are white and lemon.

Lowchens have the hearts of a lion! They love being petted by their owners and give twice as much love as they receive. As a first-time dog owner, you will find your Lowchen poking and prying in odd places around the house.

The Lowchen dog breed is super intelligent and easy-going. Both these characteristics make training them very easy as they are quick to pick up commands and good behaviors.

Positive reinforcement methods work very well in their favor. They can learn to adopt any new behavior as long as they are compensated with high praise or a dog treat.

Lowchen dogs are generally very healthy and live a very happy life throughout. However, they are prone to a few health problems during their lifespan. It is important to note that with the right care, attention, and high-quality diet, an adult dog can live for a span of 12 to 14 years.

We hope you enjoyed reading about this adorable dog breed, stay tuned for more interesting information!

Cody Mitchell
Cody Mitchell is a pet lover and a passionate pet writer. He has worked as a professional writer for over 6 years, with a focus on creating compelling content for pet-related brands. His work has been featured in major publications. When he's not writing, Cody can be found playing with his two dogs (a labradoodle and a cocker spaniel) or cuddling his cat.

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