"The Little Lion Dog"

Photo of Lowchen


French nobility adored these little dogs, and the ladies often carried them to court. They are probably related to the bichon breeds. During the war years, when people struggled to survive, they often set the dogs loose to scrape for their own existence. Because of this, the breed became extremely rare. A lady in Brussels, Belgium, admired the breed and set about to collect those dogs she could find of the correct type, thus reviving the Lowchen breed.


Their outlook on life is definitely “glass half full.” Lowchens are content with a play session in the yard or walks on leash. Although they're lively and ready to go when you are, they also crave lap time and enjoy cuddling up next to a loved one in a chair. They will bark, but this doesn't mean much more than “Are you here to play with me?” Toddlers can be too rough or clumsy with pets, accidentally dropping them or squeezing them too tightly.


A Lowchen's coat is dense and slightly soft. The coat style leaves the hair long on the head and body to the last rib, making it look like a mane. Lowchens can be found in many colors. They're big enough to be sturdy playmates and small enough to pick up easily and fit anywhere.


An apt student, the Lowchen is willing and quick to learn, making a sharp obedience dog, whether for formal competition or household manners. His comely appearance and happy demeanor make him an appealing therapy dog. Tricks draw applause from appreciative audiences that enjoy petting and holding him as well.

Grooming & Care

Hair sheds into the coat, thus making little hair on the floor. If not brushed regularly, however, the Lowchen will become uncomfortable. Feet and tip of the tail are also long. Trimming the loin, hind legs, and a portion of the front legs and tail makes them look more like a lion, hence his nickname “the little lion dog.” The Lowchen was developed as a companion and needs to be with people on a daily basis. If your schedule is filled with appointments, out-of-town trips, and long hours, this little dog can suffer separation anxiety. Plan to spend quality time, every day, with your Lowchen to keep him content.

Health Concerns

Whereas large breeds tend to have the hip dysplasia, patellar luxation can occur in small breeds, so ask about OFA as well as CERF clearance on parents. Eye problems occasionally appear.

Famous Lowchen

Freeway, the famous unclipped Lowchen star of the TV series "Hart to Hart."

Ideal Owner
Activity Level 3
Schedule 5
Home 44
Children 48
Experience 11
Quick Facts
Grooming 57
Exercise 61
Challenges Grooming, coat will mat if not taken care of; finding one!
Height 12 to 14 inches
Weight 12 to 18 pounds
Life 14 to 16 years
Home Alone 82
With Kids 86
With Strangers 91
Availability 95

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

© Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.

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