Temperament: Affectionate, Outgoing, Positive
- Height: 11-13 inches
- Weight: 10-15 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 15+ years
- Group: Non-Sporting Group
A companion dog whose name is German for “little lion,” the Löwchen has been a popular pet among Continental Europeans for more than 500 years. The portable, non-shedding Löwchen is said to be affectionate, lively, and brave as a lion.
A small, bright, and lively dog that originated as a companion breed in pre-Renaissance Europe where ladies of the court groomed it in the likeness of a little lion. Breed characteristics are a compact, balanced body; a relatively short, broad top-skull and muzzle; and a proud, lively gait that accentuates the lion cut with a long flowing mane. These quintessential features, combined with an outgoing and positive attitude, result in a dog of great style.
About the Löwchen
Small dogs with enormous heart, Löwchen (the same singular or plural) stand a bit over a foot tall at the shoulder. The coat is traditionally kept in a “lion clip,” in which most of the hindquarters and tail are clipped down close to the skin. The overall effect is that of a mini lion, with a full mane and plumed tail. The coat comes in several colours and colour combinations. Beneath the coat is a dog that’s strong and sturdy, but elegant and artfully balanced.
NUTRITION The Löwchen should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
GROOMING The Löwchen’s grooming requirements are surprisingly few considering its length of hair—a good brushing every few days, followed by a nice bath every couple of weeks will keep him looking and feeling his best. As a hypo-allergenic, non-shedding breed, the Löwchen’s hair will not come out without the intervention of a brush. Nails should be trimmed and ears cleaned regularly as well. The Löwchen can visit a professional groomer (or his breeder) every couple of months to keep the hair trimmed either into a “puppy cut” or the traditional “lion” trim.
EXERCISE The Löwchen is a charming, lively companion. He loves to play in his fenced yard or accompany his owner on long walks. He is very intelligent and loves having new challenges, and he’s a great candidate for obedience or agility. He won’t be suited to go on long-distance runs, but he is a sturdy little dog who can be happy doing just about any activity with his people.
TRAINING With the Löwchen’s history as a companion to royalty who were under constant threat, he is a very alert fellow and reacts quickly to suspicious noise or activity. He should be taught as a young puppy that barking excessively at every sound or motion is not necessary nor appreciated. He lives to please his owner, which makes training fairly easy, so long as you use positive methods. He does not respond well to harsh correction.
HEALTH The majority of Löwchen are healthy little dogs. Responsible breeders screen their stock for health conditions such as hip dysplasia, patellar luxation (slipped stifle), cataracts, and progressive retinal atrophy. Your dog’s breeder should provide copies of the parent’s health-testing certifications so you can make informed decisions regarding your dog’s health.
Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:
- Hip Evaluation
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
- Patella Evaluation