The Löwchen, also called a Little Lion Dog, is considered a small dog; although some registries label the Löwchen as a toy dog.
An interesting fact about the Löwchen is that in 1973 there were only 65 registered examples of the Löwchen breed. Today, there are fewer than a hundred registered.
Once known as a rare breed, the Löwchen makes an excellent pet to add to the family. They can be fearless watchdogs and gentle companions at the same time. With a lot of energy as well as affection, the Löwchen offer a lot of personality in a small package.
The Löwchen breed can be traced back to 1442. Images are found in paintings, tapestries and drawings. Literature also describes the Löwchen as well. The history of the Löwchen may be slightly obscure with no definitive description, but the Löwchen does have a solid history as a companion dog to the wealthy and the elite.
The modern Löwchen can be traced back to 1897 in what is now Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, where a few enthusiasts continued to breed the Löwchen. The main breeder was Madelains Bennert; she took on the effort to bring the Löwchen back from almost extinction. Sadly, World War I and World War II threatened the Löwchen once again. Bennert restarted her plan to save the breed after the war, and with the help of other Löwchen lovers—such as Dr. HAns Rickert—the breed was saved.
The first Löwchen came to the United States in 1971 and was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1999.
The Löwchen is considered a toy or a small-sized dog. The average height of a male Löwchen is 12 to 14 inches, while a female Löwchen can be 11 to 13 inches in height. The weight average for a male Löwchen is 12 to 18 pounds. On the other hand, the Löwchen female averages 9.9 to 15 pounds.
Löwchens are overall friendly, happy and healthy. They are very active and playful. The Löwchen is an intelligent breed as well. Being great with children, Löwchens are a good choice for a family. They are very sociable and are great with other pets as well.
They have a history as a companion dog, and they enjoy having the attention of their owners. Long periods of time alone does not sit well with this breed as they need interaction with their family. Also, the Löwchen is a relatively quiet breed and is not known for barking excessively.
The lifespan of a Löwchen is around 12 to 14 years. As a generally healthy breed, the Löwchen are prone to certain health conditions. Some of the Löwchens may suffer from cataracts, Progressive Retinal Atrophy or Patellar Luxation.
It is possible that your Löwchen will never experience any of these problems, but it is important to be aware of what is possible. It is important for all owners to take their Löwchens to the veterinarians for all regular check ups as recommended, just as with other breeds.
Training a Löwchen is actually a fun experience. They are intelligent and learn skills very quickly. They may have trouble with house training, as most toy breeds do, but consistency and patience can change that easily. Once thing to note, Löwchens are not outdoors dogs nor are they kennel dogs. They love to play outside and move around. They want to be near their owners as much as possible.
Socialization and play are very important for this breed. If there is no proper socialization, the Löwchen can become fearful or timid easily. Keep in mind that a Löwchen may not bark excessively, but they may occasionally bark at strangers, especially when they acting as watchdogs for its home.
The long flowing coat comes in different colors and does not shed. It is considered to be a hypoallergenic dog. The coat needs to be regularly brushed to keep it free from tangling and mats, both of which can be a skin problem for a Löwchen.
Dental hygiene is also important, and you should brush a Löwchen’s teeth two to three times per week. Nails need to be trimmed once to twice per month depending on if your Löwchen naturally wears down its nails. Also important is checking the ears of your Löwchen to make sure there are no infections.
Here is a link to a good resource to rescue a Löwchen. Please check your local area for other rescues near you or to learn more about this breed.