The Very Friendly Lowchen
'Little Lion Dog'

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Dog breed info
‘Little Lion Dog’
Weight: 10 — 18 lbs
Height: 12” — 14”
AKC Rank 2008 #135
Lifespan: 13—15 yrs
Group Non Sporting
Origin: France-Germany

Dog Breed Info - The Lowchen

Little Lion Dog
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Breed Overview

Origin: 1500’s. Original function: Companion. Today: Companion dog.

“Lowchen” means Little Lion Dog. In France, the breed is known as “Le Petit Chien Lion.” This dog shares common roots with other members of the Bichon family which includes the Bichon Frise and Havanese, among others. Germany, Russia and France have all laid claim to the breed. The precise time and place of the origin of this dog is not certain but dogs resembling this breed and showing the distinctive lion shape have turned up in sixteenth century German art. By the 1960’s, the breed size had shrunk to a serious level. Efforts by two breeders made an attempt to revive the numbers. The dogs were interbred and formed the basis of the breed in Brittan as well as America. The breed was registered by the AKC into the non-sporting group in 1999. In spite of the many advantages this dog offers to families, it remains one of the rarest breeds alive.


The Lowchen is usually easy to train but you need a firm, dominate but friendly hand. They are intelligent and want to please their owner. The most effective method is with clicker training and positive reinforcement which is easy to do and learn.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Lowchen? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Most Lowchens learn easily when it comes to house training, potty training, toilet training, housebreaking or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

This Lowchen needs grooming
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This is an active, lively, inquisitive and affectionate breed. They are loving, playful, intelligent and a fine companion for quiet, relaxed families. The Lowchen is ready to please, responsive to commands and devoted to its’ family. They get alone with kids, other pets in the house and generally with most dogs. The breed, as with most dogs, must be handles with a firm alpha “pack leader” master who can keep control over the dog at all times. The Lowchen tends to dominate and be head-strong so there’s an area to work on by a family that maintains the leadership role..Otherwise, this is one fine, happy little companion and friend to own.

If you happen to get a Lowchen with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Yes. Good with most other dogs. Not usually aggressive, especially females.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Yes, known to be friendly with most animals including small non-dog types such as gerbils and rabbits.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Yes, gets along with most people so this is a poor guard dog. She’s “everybody's friend.”


Very playful. Has energy and loves to play any game you can come up with.


Very affectionate and bonds strongly with her family and kids.

Good with children?

Excellent with kids. Loves to play and romp with kids, especially older, well-mannered children. The Lowchen is an especially good breed for children.

Good with Seniors over 65?

The Lowchen is an excellent choice for seniors. Easy to care for, playful, affectionate, needs little exercise, good with grandchildren and healthy so this should be a great choice for the senior.

Living environment

Apartment, flat, condo, farm, ranch all okay. This little dog needs only minor exercise and can live just about anywhere as long as it is indoors with family.

Energy level

Moderate energy but surprisingly low exercise needs.

Exercise needs, daily

Low. A brief walk several times a day is all this dog needs plus time for potty calls. The dog is playful so maybe a little fetch-the-ball in the yard or park would be nice.

The Lowchen does need a mental challenge so a walk or two daily and maybe a training session are necessary along with some chew toys to keep her busy.


Good watchdog. Will announce anyone at the door.

Guard dog

No. Loves people too much.


Does not shed.


Brush the coat every day to prevent matting. Clipping needed monthly to maintain the traditional “Lion Dog” look or let the dog go into a simple “puppy clip.”

Prone to sunburn if clipped close to the skin. Be aware.


Suggested Reading For The Lowchen
Click on the cover photos for more book information and reviews.

2nd book from left - "A Dog Who's Always Welcome" shows how to train your dog way past normal obedience and into the THERAPY DOG world of focus and polite manners.

3rd book from left - "101 Dog Tricks" is stimulating mental exercise for your dog. There are things in this book I had no idea existed!

The book on the far right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog illness, emergencies and injuries. It's a valuable reference manual for all dog owners.


Dog Health Issues For The Lowchen
Below are the illnesses or medical problems listed for the Löwchen by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. These are dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • This is a somewhat rare breed and very little has been documented for medical problems. It appears this is a healthy breed with few known illnesses.

  • Patellar luxation—Limping, Hind Leg Held Up, Can’t straighten back leg, weak legs. Caused by an unusually shallow spot on the femur, weak ligaments and misalignment of tendons and muscles that align the knee joint and allow the knee cap (patella) to float sideways in and out of position. This can be caused by injury or be present at birth and can affect both rear legs. It’s most common in small dogs like the English Cocker Spaniel. If your dog has trouble straightening the leg, is limping, lame or is walking on three legs and holding one hind leg up, look for patellar luxation. Several of my dogs have had the problem and all I’ve done is reach down, massage the knee a little until they drop their leg, and we’re good to go for another 3 or 4 months. Severe cases require surgery for a fully lame leg.

  • Mitral stenosis (Mitral valve insufficiency)—Hereditary heart problem. A weak mitral valve allows blood to flow backwards and to simplify this, the net result is an enlarged heart and when the heart can no longer compensate, look for a loss of desire for exercise, trouble breathing, coughing at night and liquid in the lungs. As this progresses, the Lowchen may collapse. There is no cure... but if you act quickly, the vet may be able to make the dog more comfortable with medication and diet.

Other health problems could occur with your Lowchen. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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