Lowchen (Little Lion Dog)



The Lowchen has a history as a companion dog to the wealthy and elite. It is possible to trace the modern history of the breed to late 19th century enthusiasts in what are now Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. It is thought the breed's ancestors were dogs that were brought in by travellers from the far eastern lands of Tibet and mingled with local dogs such as Spitz and terrier-type dogs. (2.3.)


The Lowchen's coat is long and flowing and comes in many colours. The coat should not be thin and fluffy like a Bichon Frise, but wavy with a mix of thicker hairs amongst the fine ones. This allows for a flowing coat that is not frizzy or fly-away, and a Lowchen coat should not be harsh like many terriers. The Lowchen does not shed, and this breed has very low allergic effects, and are considered hypoallergenic. The head of the Lowchen is one of its most important features, with its relatively short, wide muzzle, broad skull, lively round eyes, and pendulant ears. They can come in all colours, including brown, that allow for dark eyes and nose. The head, when in proportion to the body, is neither too big nor too small, but helps to emphasize the friendly, regal, and leonine personality of the Lowchen. 2.

The Lowchen's long and wavy coat is presented in a lion cut. This means that the haunches, back legs, front legs (except bracelets around the ankles), and the 1/3–1/2 of the tail closest to the body are shaved, and the rest of the coat is left natural to give the dog the appearance of a male lion. The lion cut is the traditional way of presenting these dogs but it is not known where the practice comes from. Dogs in lion clip may need some protection in wintertime on the shaved parts. (2. 4.)

The Lowchen's life span is around 12–14 years. (2.4.)

Temperament & Suitability

The Lowchen is a friendly, healthy and happy dog. Dogs of this breed are both active and playful, and very intelligent. The Lowchen is an excellent house pet. The Lowchen makes also a good pet for families with children. This breed has a history as a companion dog and the dogs need the attention of humans and they are not happy left alone for longer periods of time. The Lowchen doesn't bark excessively, it is a rather quiet breed. (2.4.)


Height: 25-33 cm (10-13 ins) at withers. 1.

In Conclusion

Now you know a little about the Lowchen, you may think that this is the dog for you. Before you make a decision, please make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the Lowchen and its needs, and whether this breed would suit your lifestyle.


  3. American Kennel Club
  4. The dog selector, David Alderton, 2010

    Image: Animals Adda