Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Your Pet, Our Passion.

Lowchen (Little Lion Dog)

The Lowchen is a surprisingly robust and sturdy breed for its small size. Under the profuse, long coat they are squarely built with a good length of leg, eyes are bright and intelligent and the muzzle is reasonably long with a clear stop. 

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Basic training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Needs under an hour of walking a day
  • Small dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming daily
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Generally friendly with other dogs
  • Gets along with other pets with training
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a small garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left occasionally with training
Generally healthy breed

The Lowchen breed can suffer from:
- Patellar luxation

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
None but there are several recommended schemes that the Kennel Club recommends which can be found here.

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
Weight:  4 – 8kg 
Height:  25 – 33cm 
Colours:  Any colour or combination of colours
Size:  Small
UK Kennel Club Groups: Toy


Family-friendly: 3/5
Exercise needs: 2/5
Easy to train: 3/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 3/5
Grooming needs: 5/5
Shedding: 3/5
Lowchen is standing in the yard in a sunny summer day


Clever, sensitive, quick-witted, the Lowchen is a delightful little companion, absolutely capable of training and tricks more commonly taught to larger breeds – being a toy breed is no excuse for a lack of education! The Lowchen is also friendly and affectionate to family and close friends and will warm well to new friends if treated kindly and patiently. They are alert and capable of being loudly vocal so will let you know about anything unusual or worrying nearby.

Lowchen is standing in the yard in and looking forward

History and Origins

Country of Origin – Germany/France/Netherlands

The Lowchen’s origins are a little unclear. The name they go under now and have been known as since the 1970s is German and means ‘little lion’ however prior to this they were known as ‘Little Lion Dogs’ across Germany, France and the Netherlands. How many of these little lions were actually genetically related to today’s Lowchen is unknown, as the traditional haircut is their defining feature and this was a popular cut for companion dogs as early as the 1400’s. Underneath that coat there is a tall-ish terrier-ish type dog with no extreme features. Potentially they are related to the Tibetan Terrier and Lhasa Apso types of Tibet, and the Bichon types of the Mediterranean - they are certainly of a similar size and construction. 

Did you know?

Did you know?

Lots of small fluffy breeds were clipped into the ‘lion clip’ over the centuries as it was a popular look for coated companion breeds, with the dubious idea that a dog that looked like a lion would protect an owner with the strength of the lion. This trend unfortunately makes the Lowchen’s roots hard to trace, as many paintings purporting to show the Lowchen may be showing another breed entirely, just in the same haircut!

A Lowchen called Betsy features (briefly) in the short story ‘A Very Tight Place’ by Stephen King (part of the ’After Sunset’ compilation), and for those who remember the 1970’s TV series McMillan and Wife, their dog, Freeway, was an unclipped Lowchen.