One of the largest of the toy breeds, the adult Lowchen dog stands at 25-33cm and weighs 4-8kg. His long, silky coat has the characteristic lion clip, where the coat is long and mane-like around the chest and forequarters and trimmed short over the hindquarters. The coat comes in any colour or combination of colours.
Known as the Little Lion Dog because of his traditional coat trim, the Lowchen dog breed's origins are not known. It has long been considered one of the Bichon family of breeds that originated in the Mediterranean, and was found in the south of France, in the Lyon region. Another theory suggests that the Lowchen is actually from Germany and possibly derived from a Tibetan Terrier type of dog. What is known is that a similar dog has been in Europe since the 1500s. Once the rarest dog in the world – in 1969 just 40 dogs were in existence – the Lowchen is no longer on the brink of extinction though is still fairly rare.
A happy, playful, affectionate dog, as you'd expect of a companion breed, sometimes the Lowchen can be protective of his loved ones and so early socialisation is particularly important. He is alert to his surroundings and has a tendency to be vocal, so needs to be trained not to bark at the slightest noise.
Like many small breeds, the Lowchen can suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place (luxating patellas).
The Lowchen dog doesn't need very much daily exercise – about half an hour will keep him happy, though he is capable of more if you can offer it. This is a clever dog who also enjoys training.
Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
The Lowchen has a single coat of long, wavy, silky hair that needs brushing two or three times a week. The coat is clipped from the last rib and over the hindquarters, leaving plumage on the last third of the tail and also the feet (from above the wrist). The breeder will provide you with full grooming instructions.