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LoWchen – Lion, Companion, and Ancient Dog

Löwchen’s are one of the few breeds that was specifically designed to be a companion dog. This is still the primary role of the dog today. Because it is a companion dog, it is great for people living in apartments or confined spaces. There are two caveats with living close to others with this dog: it is a watch dog and barks and it needs about 20 minutes of exercise daily. As a companion dog, it is very alert and watchful and will alarm when someone is approaching. This can lead to barking randomly for attention, so this could be a problem with apartment dwelling. The Löwchen is happy curling up beside you on the couch (or in your lap), but it does have some exercise needs that must be met. Failure to exercise the dog regularly can lead to a disgruntled dog. It enjoys playing the back yard or taking walks. The good news is that the requirements are pretty minimal – about 20 to 30 minutes of exercise daily will do the trick.

A small dog, the Löwchen, stands about 12 to 13 inches tall and weighs about 15 pounds. Despite this small size, it does like to play and interact with people and other dogs, when socialized early. As with many small breeds, this one tends to believe that it is the center of the universe and that it is more intimidating than it actually is. You may need to protect it from other dogs, as the Löwchen will not back down! These are healthy dogs, with few problems and typically live about 15 years. Löwchen is German for “little lion” and is known as the “lion dog”. Primarily this is due to the typical cut of the fur. The hair of the Löwchen is kept about 1/8th of an inch from the ribs to the tip of the tail and at the ankles. The ankles and tip of the tail are left longer giving it the appearance of wearing cuffs on the legs and lion type tuft at the end of the tail.

Löwchens are lively, energetic, sweet, affectionate and at times, very independent. They are an intelligent breed and can decide to take over the house. They have an even temperament and enjoy children as well as adults. They are sturdy breed and enjoy playing rough house type games with the family. Remember the dog does not back down from anything, so you may need to be mindful of how rough the play becomes. They are designed to be indoor dogs and should not be kenneled outside. They have a tendency to bark – a lot! They also like to dig and this may be your biggest challenge when training your Löwchen. Other than the digging problem, Löwchen’s are easily trained. Regularly exercising your dog may help with this problem.

The coat is a single coat of long flowing fur, trimmed traditionally as described above. This means there are some grooming requirements for the Löwchen. Weekly brushing is needed to keep the long fur from matting. The cut was probably done for sanitary reasons, although some authors state that this was so ladies could warm their feet on the dog. Another area of grooming required for this breed is trimming nails. They grow quickly in this breed and may need to be cut or ground down every couple weeks. If you hear the toenails on the floor, the nails are too long. As with other breeds with fold over ears, check the ears for redness or smell that may indicate mites or infection. Löwchens are not considered hypoallergenic, although some people may dispute this fact.