A small Lowchen
Lowchen Quick Summary
Also Known AsLittle Lion Dog
Height (at withers)10-13in (25-33cm)
Weight10-17lbs (4.5-8kg)
Hair Colour(s)Wide range
Lifespan12-16 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size3-6
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsLow
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftMedium

The Lowchen is a small, compact but sturdy dog. The square body is well proportioned, and only slightly longer than it is tall, with short legs and a high-set medium length tail. The head is short and broad with a short and wide muzzle, round dark eyes, a dark nose, and pendulous feathered ears. The dense coat is soft and slightly wavy, and comes in many colours. These dogs are often called Little Lions because traditionally their coats are clipped close on the hindquarters and the lower half of the tail, the front legs are close-clipped and the mane is left long and natural.


Lowchens are sociable and cheerful dogs blessed with sweet natures and bags of spirit. These energetic little dogs are fun to be around and entertaining while remaining sensible and dignified. They make great family pets and companions and thrive on attention and mental stimulation, but being adaptable are happy to sit and snuggle. These dogs learn quickly and are intelligent, responsive and eager to please, which makes training relatively easy, and so are suited to novice owners as well as the more experienced. Early socialisation is required with these dogs as they can sometimes tend to be timid. Lowchens get along well with older, more considerate children and other pets when properly socialised, and will tend to be friendly and polite around strangers. Despite their sweet appearance, they are couragous and protective of their homes when challenged and make effective watch dogs that will bark to raise the alarm. Some can have a tendency towards excessive barking and digging.

History & Skills

Lowchens are a very old breed whose origins are a little unclear. Thought to be descended from Tibetan type dogs, some believe they were developed in the Mediterranean before reaching out into Europe. They can certainly be traced back to 15th century Germany and Holland, and were popular with the nobility because of their regal and lion-like groomed appearance. They became rare in the 1960s after their popularity declined, but are now becoming more popular again as companions and family pets.

Breed Specific Ailments

Lowchens tend to live between 12-16 years and are considered to be a fairly healthy breed. Some of the few health concerns noted include PRA, cataracts, luxating patella and allergies.


Lowchens are low shedders and so are therefore suitable for those suffering from allergies. Their grooming requirements are pretty high though, and the coat will need brushing three or four times a week to remove dead hairs and keep it in good condition. These dogs are often clipped in the hindquarters with the front legs close-clipped, which gives rise to their other name of Lion Dog. The hair around the bottom should be kept trimmed for hygiene reasons, and the ears should be kept clean and dry to reduce the chances of infections. For show dogs, regular professional clipping may be required in order to maintain the lion-like appearance, but for pets basic clipping every six weeks will suffice.

Exercise & Environment

Lowchens are very adaptable and tend to live indoors and are suitable for small homes such as flats and apartments. although barking may prove a problem regarding noise. They are fairly active while indoors and this can meet most of their exercise requirements to the extent that a yard or garden may not be needed. A daily walk or run will be greatly appreciated.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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