Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic
fast facts

About Lowchen

9-18 lb
12-14 years
AKC Non-Sporting
Best Suited For
Families with children, singles and seniors, apartments, houses with/without yards
Calm, happy, playful, affectionate
Comparable Breeds
Bichon Frise, Havanese
12-14 inches
Lowchen Basics

Many believe that the Lowchen is the perfect breed of dog. He is extremely friendly and loves everyone; however, he will alert if someone is lurking around the house or knocking on the door. The Lowchen will welcome a burglar and enthusiasts say “direct the robber to the finest silver”. This breed is reliable with kids and his playful nature will have all of them outside and active.

Affectionately known as the Lion Dog, the Lowchen’s coat does require a fair amount of grooming. The grooming is well worth the final look. For more information about the Lowchen, read on.

Many believe that the Lowchen is the perfect breed of dog.


The true origin of the Lowchen is widely disputed. Some believe this breed originated in the Mediterranean while others believe it originated in Holland, Germany, France or Holland. Whatever the Lowchen’s origin may be, he was bred to catch vermin as well as live in the lap of luxury, even sleeping in beds during the 1400s.


A favorite pet of aristocrats and royalty, ladies of the court spent much of their time grooming the Lowchen to resemble a lion. The lion has always been a symbol of strength, power and courage. Possessing a lion-like dog was believed to show the person’s status in the region. The Lowchen was also believed to have been a living and breathing hot water bottle for ladies. The exposed skin area was warm and kept their owners comfortable during the night.

In the middle of the 20th Century, the Lowchen was said to be the rarest of all dog breeds. The World Wars had sent the breeds’ population plummeting. In 1973, there was less than 70 Lowchens in the world! Mrs. Bennett of Belgium and Dr. Rickert of Germany changed that with a careful breeding program. Their effort to revitalize the breed was a success. Although the Lowchen is still a rare breed of dog, it is no longer in danger of becoming extinct.


Lowchens should be fed a high quality diet of dry kibble. Dry food is best for their overall oral health. Be sure that the food is designed for your Lowchen’s activity level.

One of the great things about Lowchens is that they are quick learners and simple to train.


One of the great things about Lowchens is that they are quick learners and simple to train. These tiny guys are super smart and catch on fast as lightning. They have an inherent desire to make their owners happy so training is usually a snap. As training sessions should be fun. Excited praise and a large supply of yummy treats are the best training tools possible. Consistent and positive methods will have the Lowchen acting much better behaved than the average child!

Lowchens will do well in obedience trials and with additional training, agility courses. Considering this breed’s personality and trainability, he will more than likely make an awesome therapy dog too!


The Lowchen weighs between 9 and 18 pounds and stands between 12 and 14 inches tall at the withers.


A good natured and personable dog, the Lowchen is always a pleasure to be around. He’s always in a great mood and is the living proof of the theory that “wherever he is, is the coolest and most wonderful place to be.” Although small, the Lowchen is energetic. He loves to be outside with his family and will play chase the ball for hours. This is a sweet breed and the Lowchen believes that everyone in the world is his best buddy, even kids! His friendly nature and playfulness makes the Lowchen an incredible family companion.

No dog breed is perfect. The Lowchen does attach so closely to his family that if they need to leave for work or school, he can have Separation Anxiety. This syndrome can result in excessive and continual barking, scratching at the door or even destructive behavior. The Lowchen should not be left alone for long periods of time.

Common Health Problems

The Lowchen is an exceptionally healthy breed of dog. The only notable health concerns are cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy and patellar luxation. It is believed that the strict and careful breeding program of the 1970s is the reason the breed is so healthy. Once the breed increases in population and popularity, it is likely that more health issues will occur.

Life Expectancy

The average Lowchen can live to be 12 to 14 years old.


For a little dog, the Lowchen has amazing energy. Although not overwhelming, this breed does like to run and play outside. The Lowchen will also need a couple of brisk walks each day. Believe it or not; this little dog makes a really good jogging companion. His little legs can keep up with the best of them however; runners should consider adding weight training to the regimen and carry the dog on their outings.

Lowchens make wonderful family companions. They love kids and love to play so this would be a win-win situation for all. The Lowchen will happily play chase the ball or fetch with the kids in the afternoon. This would free up the adult’s time so they can prepare dinner without having everyone underfoot!

A good natured and personable dog, the Lowchen is always a pleasure to be around.


The American Kennel Club writes: “Meaning “little lion” in German, the Löwchen is a small, bright, and lively dog. The breed’s trademark is their traditional “lion” trim, where the coat is left natural and untrimmed on the forequarters and clipped close to the skin on the hindquarters. Cuffs of hair around the ankles are left on all four legs and the tail is clipped except for a plume left on the base. All colors and color combinations are acceptable. Today, the Löwchen’s agility and quickness make them especially suited for the obedience and agility rings.” The AKC first recognized the Lowchen in 1996.


The long and mildly wavy coat of the Lowchen sheds minimally. This makes him a good candidate for those with allergies or who are neat freaks. The coat is truly as soft as it looks and one could become addicted to petting it. All colors are acceptable under the breed standard.

The lion-like haircut that is necessary for the proper look of the Lowchen is called the Lion Trim. From the final rib to the rear is trimmed. Only 1/8 inch of coat remains. This is also done on the legs and the tail however; the tail tip keeps a plume and the “wrists” have cuffs of coat. Daily brushing of the coated areas is needed to prevent matting of the coat. Bathing and trimming should be done every four to six weeks.


Lowchen puppies are a pleasure to be around. They are easily potty-trained and as a matter of fact, all training for this breed goes quite smoothly. Socialization is necessary; although, the Lowchen is a naturally friendly and social dog.

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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