If you remember Freeway from the popular 1980s television series Hart To Hart, you’ve seen a Lowchen, albeit one without the breed’s distinctive lion trim. It’s not surprising that one of these charismatic little dogs became a TV star. They have a clownish personality and love to be the center of attention. The name comes from German words meaning “little lion,” and the breed’s history dates to the Renaissance, as evidenced by paintings and woodcuts from the era depicting the breed.
Curious and smart, but sometimes stubborn, the Lowchen is playful, fast on his feet, and enjoys the outdoors. Despite his small size, approximately 15 pounds as an adult, he lives up to his name and won’t back down from anything or anyone. That seems cute, but it means you have to protect the dog from himself. He won’t fare well if he tries to take on a bigger dog and isn’t restrained.
He’s alert to everything going on around him, and you must teach him early on to temper his desire to bark. He learns quickly and can do well in agility and obedience trials. He has a happy, cheerful personality and can get along well with children and other pets.
You may hear from breeders that the Lowchen is a hypoallergenic breed, but that’s not true. It’s not a dog’s hair that triggers allergies, but dander (d e a d skin flakes) and saliva. There’s no escaping any of those when you live with a dog, no matter what breed it is. If a hypoallergenic dog is important to you, meet and interact with as many Lowchen as possible to find out if you react to the breed.
Exercise is good for every dog, so make sure the Lowchen gets some activity daily. While it’s tempting to carry this little dog everywhere you go, resist the impulse and let him walk on his own four feet. He’ll be happier and better behaved for it.
Lowchen were bred exclusively as companion dogs. They need to live in the house and never outdoors.
Lowchen puppies are adorable, and it’s one of the reasons they are so popular. Cute puppies sell, and that makes the Lowchen a favorite of puppy mills and greedy, irresponsible breeders. Do your homework before buying one of these little dogs, and you’ll be well rewarded with a charming and affectionate friend. The Lowchen is an uncommon breed. You may have to wait several months or even a year or more before a puppy is available for you to take home.
Other Quick Facts Except to achieve the distinctive “lion” look, the Lowchen’s coat should not be trimmed. It comes in all colors and combinations of colors. The Lowchen can vary in size. European dogs may stand only 10 to 13 inches, while American dogs can range from 12 to 14 inches. The lion cut probably originated as a sanitary measure, but a more romantic story is that court ladies would warm their feet on the dogs’ warm, exposed skin.