Other Names : Little Lion Dog
Country of Origin : France
Dog Group : Toy
The origin of the Lowchen is unclear, it is believed that the breed may have been developed in Eastern Europe between Russia and the Mediterranean. It was the Europeans who first embraced the breed and by the 1500s they were hugely popular in France, Germany, Italy and Spain where they were kept by the aristocracy. It was then that shaving the dogs became popular as they were apparently used as hot water bottles. The shaved area of the dog allowed the owner to have direct contact with the skin of the animal and this provided instant warmth.
Lowchens are considered part of the Bichon group, but are highly recognisable due to their unique clipped and shaved appearance. Unclipped dogs have a scruffy long coat. They have a short small body with a short head and dark nose.
Feeding & Ownership
These dogs are relatively easy to feed, not requiring any supplements or special diets.
The Lowchen needs grooming whether it is kept in lion clip or not. However, if the dog is clipped all over, like many pet dogs, it will need less attention. Any dog kept with long hair will need to be brushed twice a week, to keep their coat free from matts and tangels. The classic leonine look of the Lowchen requires a professional grooming every four to six weeks. Bathing should be done on a weekly basis. It is also important that sunscreen be applied to the shorn area to prevent sunburn. The Lowchen is a cheerful, playful, and gentle natured. They are active and lively dogs that enjoy playing with the family and this kind of behaviour will continue for the duration of the dog's life. Some owners say they can be "clowns" and are not that easy to train. Despite this, they are truly lovable and settle into a home very quickly.
The dog has been traditionally clipped as the "king of the beasts" to mimic the look of a lion. The tail is clipped along the part, leaving just a plume of hair. The hind quarters are closely shaved also leaving the feet. Clipping is done at close range with an electric shaver to reveal the spotted skin.