Lowchen

LOWCHEN DOG BREED

Description:

This breed has a European origin. It was bred in the 14th century, in France. Lowchens are often called the little lions, and they were the darlings of the aristocracy. Unfortunately, in the early 20th century, dogs of this breed almost went extinct. But then, in Belgium found a certain Madame Bennert who gave all their forces out to preserve and revive the breed Lowchen. In the Guinness World Records book, the Lowchen (which still bears the name of the Loach) is listed as the most expensive, and as the rarest dog breed in the world.

Height: 12-14 inches  Weight: 9-18 pounds  Lifespan: 12-14 years

Characteristics:

Active, well-balanced and athletic breed, the Lowchen is a mixture of calmness and perky playfulness. Lowchens are graceful and adorable, and they make excellent family companions. The Lowchen is extremely positive, sociable and playful, showing a truly royal bearing and dignity. Comparable Breed: Havanese, Bichon Frise.

Character:

The Lowchen (also called Little Lion Dog) is an extremely intelligent, affectionate and friendly dog. He is loyal, skillful and courageous, always ready to earn a praise. This breed is very tender, it gets very attached to humans, and is considered to be a full member of the family. The Little Lion Dog gets along well with children, other dog breeds and other animals living in the house. He has a subtle and elegant appearance, but in fact, he is quite hardy and firmly opposed to all the difficulties of life. Moreover, this small dog is arrogant and sometimes overly stubborn. Despite its size, the Lowchen is always ready to protect his loved ones. Hence, he will bark to warn the family about the presence of unexpected visitors or suspicious sounds. Dogs of this breed are cheerful and playful. They do not exhibit hyperactivity nor nervousness though.

Coat / Care:

Little Lion Dogs are covered with soft, silky coat, which is often trimmed in such a way that the dog resembles a lion. In essence, they are cut like poodles. Hence, while the hind legs (except bracelets around the ankles) and the rear part of the body is cut off all the way to the skin, the hair on the head is left natural to give the Lowchen the appearance of a male lion. Tip of the tail is adorned with a small brush. The coat comes in many colors and can change several times during the dog’s lifetime. Shedding is completely absent. However, the Little Lion Dog requires a thorough brushing at least one a week to prevent tangling. In order to give the breed a classic ‘lion’ look, it needs professional trimming, at least once in every four to six weeks. The remaining, unshorn mane and tail need daily combing, to prevent tangling. The Lowchen should be subjected to bathing on a weekly basis. Teeth should be brushed regularly. It is very important to lubricate the dog’s skin with a sunscreen every time before going out, in order to avoid sunburn. Little Lion dogs are generally healthy animals, although there is a tendency to subluxation of the knee joint, skin irritation and eye diseases caused by long hair.

Training:

High level of intelligence and strong desire to please the master makes the Lowchen very easy to train. He exhibits special talents in agility and obedience. Little Lion Dogs have a persistent tendency to dig. Therefore, it is very important to socialize them and to conduct obedience training at very young age. Also, this will teach the Lowchen not to bark excessively. The best results can be achieved by using kindness, fairness and consistency. Indeed, teaching sessions should be short, fun and motivational.

Activity:

This breed loves long walks in the fresh air and is happy to go jogging with its owner. Little Lion Dogs are very suitable for apartment living, provided that they spend enough time exercising. Even though these dogs prefer being indoors, they also love running freely and exploring the environment in a large, fenced yard.

Photo credit: John M. P. Knox/Flickr



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