Country of OriginGermany and France
Nicknames and Other NamesPetit Chien Lion
Little Lion Dog
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiars
Breed TypePurebred
GroupToy Group
Bred ForCompanion Dogs
Life Span13-15 years
Ideal Weight15 pounds (male and female)
Ideal Height12-14 inches (male and female)
Fur Typeflowing coat, smooth, wavy
Common ColorsBlack, Blue, Black and Silver, Blue Brindle,
Fawn, Cream, Chocolate, Gold, Gold Sable,
Black and Tan
MarkingsParti-color, Silver markings, Parti Belton,
Irish Pied
AvailabilityRarely available
AchievementsKnown as the “Lion Dog”
Suitable for ApartmentsYes
Used in World WarNo
Most Similar ToLhasa Apso

Löwchen, which is also known as a “little lion dog” is a small dog bred for the purpose to give love and get love in return. They are a very fun dog who loves to be with their family playing or cuddling. It is said that Lowchen barks at any pets and any strangers but if they come close, they will just wave their tail and want a gentle pat from them.

The appearance of Lowchen is like a lion but in a smaller version. The head is broad and always held high like a proud dog. Their muzzle is short and slightly rounded. The eyes are round, dark and set wide, whereas the ears are pendant and covered with hair. They have a long flowing mane and have a high set feathery tail.

Origin and History

The original birthplace of Lowchen is still unknown. Since the name is from German, some believe they are from Germany and others believe they are from France, Italy, Holland, and Russia. They were famous among the noble women at the middle-age. The American Kennel Club recognized Lowchen in 1999 as a member of the non-sporting group.

Lowchen history
Lowchen in its ancient look.
Image Source: AKC

After World War I, Lowchen was considered as one of the rarest breeds. In 1973, Guinness World Records stated that Lowchen was rarest dog breed in the world with only 65-70 total recorded. However, Madame M. Bennert of Brussels of Belgium started the program to save Lowchen and soon the number increased. After her death, Dr. Hans Rickert, a German veterinarian continued the work of saving Lowchen.

Is Lowchen Child-Friendly?

Lowchen does great as a companion with both older and younger children. They are unexpectedly gentle and loving with them. They like to be around them playing most of the time. However, children should be supervised and taught to be gentle. If they play rough, Lowchen might try to defend him by biting or snapping.

Lowchen is child friendly.
Lowchen playing with two children.
Image Source: Instagram- @sarahloe7828

Temperament, Behavior, and Personality

Temperament: Lowchen has a positive and out-going temperament. They are very friendly and welcoming of both pets and strangers. They have a high barking tendency so if they see anyone or anything, they just start barking. However, if that person comes near and becomes gentle with him, he makes him his friend. Therefore, Lowchen does not make a great guard dog but can be a good watchdog as they will alert you if someone is approaching.

Behavior: Lowchen love to be around people, so if they are left alone for a long time, separation anxiety can be seen in them. They are also quite an excessive barker. Lowchen barks at the sight of any strangers approaching and will warn their owner of the strangers coming in the house.

Personality: The Lowchen have a lion-like personality but they are not a fierce breed. They are outgoing, lively and playful. They love the people of all ages and get well with everyone well. Lowchen loves to be with people and does not do well in the kennel. They expect to be invited in to sleep with people.


Lowchen is a people pleaser, so training them is easy as long as you can establish firm leadership on them. They are smart and can learn a trick rather quickly. Positive methods of training would do a trick while training your Lowchen. Reward them with treats and vocal praise to motivate them. Once basic obedience training is done, jump to advanced obedience, agility, and tricks.


  • Lowchen ranks 171 of 193 (as of March 2019) registered dog breeds.
  • In 1972, Lowchen Club of America was formed.
  • The correct pronunciation of Lowchen is “lervchun.”
  • The average life expectancy of Lowchen is 13-15 years.

Health Issues

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesCataracts, Progressive Retinal Atrophy,
Patellar Luxation
Vaccination RequiredRabies, Canine Distemper,
Canine Parainfluenza,
Kennel Cough, Canine Coronavirus,
Canine Parvovirus, Leptospirosis
SheddingNone to Minimal Shedder
DroolingLow Drooler
GroomingProfessional Grooming Required
Weight Gain PotentialAverage
Separation AnxietyHigh Chance
Diets and SupplementsProtein: 20%
Fat: 5%
Digestive Enzymes

Lowchen is generally a healthy breed that can suffer from some of the following canine diseases:

  • Patellar Luxation: Patellar luxation is considered as one of the most common health condition in small dog breed like Lowchen. It is the condition in which the kneecap is dislocated from its original location. It is caused mostly by congenital defect or obesity. Its symptom is, your dog will have trouble in moving and will skip a step.
  • Cataracts: Cataracts is cloudiness in the eyes. This is caused mainly due to hereditary but it is also caused by not giving proper protein, calcium, and nutrition. You could see the white cloud-like in your dog’s eyes. So, as soon as there is a sign of the cloudiness, take your dog to the veterinarian.

Coats and Colors

The coat of the Lowchen is long, dense and slightly wavy. The hair is soft and sheds very little. Therefore, Lowchen does not need much grooming.

The lowchen comes in a lot of variety of colors. Some of the preferred colors and markings are listed below:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Chocolate
  • Cream
  • Fawn
  • Gold
  • Red
  • Silver
  • White
  • Markings are Cream, white, Irish pied, parti-color, silver, tan and silverpoint.


Cost: The average cost of the Lowchen puppy is between $5000 up to $8000. However, they can be adopted at much less cost. The adoption cost $300 on average with the expenses of taking care of the puppy.

Height and Size: The average height of the Lowchen is 12-14 inches. The average weight is around 15 pounds.

Similar Dog Breeds to Lowchen

Lhasa which is similar to Lowchen

Lhasa Apso

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