Lowchen or Little Lion: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health

The lowchen or small lion dog breed is cheerful, playful, intelligent, affectionate. Very brave, it is not afraid of anything or anyone. It is very obedient, faithful, alert and understanding. Its main physical characteristic is the lush mane of its head similar to that of a lion. At Petlifey, we explain the character and characteristics of the little lion dog.

Character and behavior of the Lowchen breed

It is lowchen or small lion dog has a very affectionate and obedient character with its. It has an attentive and receptive temperament, with a frank and warm look. It is formal, knows how to remain calm when asked and is very brave.

In fact, beyond its peculiar appearance, the little lion dog stands out for its extraordinary behaviour, since it is an affectionate, active, intelligent dog , with stable behaviour, very sociable and easy to train. In principle it adapts without problems to all kinds of life, both in the country and in the city.

Despite being a companion animal, it is a brave dog, that does not feel fear of anything, and that can become a bit arrogant if it is made to believe that it occupies a higher position than it really is. corresponds within the family order.

But it is also sensitive, so it does not tolerate the use of force and does not respond well to overly coercive training methods.

  • Energy: High. Energetic and active, you need to get some exercise every day, even if it’s moderate.
  • Adaptability: High. It seamlessly adapts to any environment, rural or urban, and knows how to remain calm and discreet if asked. It does not tolerate loneliness at all.
  • Sociability: High. It is a dog very attached to its family and that gets along well with everyone
  • Health: Good. It is a very healthy animal that hardly has any serious diseases associated with the breed.
  • Longevity: High. Live 12-15 years or more.
  • Utility: Company. It is basically a companion breed, but it can work as a therapy or sports dog.

Is it a good family dog?

The lowchen is a dog very attached to its family. It loves feeling accompanied by its family and participating in any activity with them.

It gets along especially well with children and is also a good playmate. In the same way, for the elderly it is a very suitable pet.

How does it behave around other dogs and pets?

It is not a problematic animal in this regard, since it maintains a good relationship with other dogs, regardless of breed, size or sex.

Likewise, with animals of other species and other pets, their relationship is good. However, to avoid possible behavioural problems at this point, it is advisable to accustom them from puppyhood to the company of other animals.

Can it be left alone?

It does not like to be left alone, so it is not suitable to live in a chenil or in an isolated courtyard or lot, without the permanent contact of the people in the house. You need the proper care from your family to feel fulfilled and happy.

Characteristics of the little Lion Dog

The general appearance of the little lion dog is that of a small and strong animal, with a cheerful and always alert expression. It is athletic, with good bone structure , a rather short back and proportionate legs.

How is the Lowchen physically?

The physical characteristic that most attracts the attention of this dog is the mane that is reminiscent of that of lions. It is precisely from this fact that it derives its name.


It is a small animal, with a robust, short and well-proportioned body, with strong and compact bones. Its structure is square, since the length of the body from the shoulders to the pelvis is equal to the height at the withers.

The animal has a haughty and firm demeanor, accentuated by the floating mane that it exhibits on its head and reminiscent of the lion’s mane.

Their feet are small and round, with the toes close together and the nails rather short and dark in color. They support muscular legs and of medium length.

The tail of this animal has the insertion somewhat below the line of the back and, both in movement and at rest, it appears curved and with the plume touching the back.


It carries its head high, and the back of the animal, with its belly tucked up, may be somewhat reminiscent of the greyhound. Its elegant bearing is emphasized by the floating mane, lion’s mane, of the head.

It is wide from the top of the skull to the muzzle. This is wide and straight, with a black nose, except in brown-haired dogs, where the nose is dark brown.

The eyes are located at the front of the head, looking straight ahead. They are large, round and dark, with well pigmented eyelids.

The ears are set low, at eye level, stretched up to about the middle of the muzzle, although their long-haired fringes make them appear longer.


The coat is long, quite silky, wavy and dense. The coat can come in any color or combination of colors. It has no undercoat of hair.

Lowchen breed standard

  • Origin: France.
  • Size: Small.
  • Height at the withers: between 25 and 33 cm both males and females.
  • Weight: between 5.5 and 6 kg both males and females.
  • General appearance: It is a strong, athletic and robust dog, endowed with good bone structure and a short and well proportioned body. Its appearance is somewhat haughty.
  • FCI classification: FCI nº 233. Group 9 – Companion dogs. Section 1. Bichons and similar breeds.
  • Use: Companion dog.
  • Other names: Little Lion Dog / Petit chien lion / Lówchen.
  • Head: It is relatively short and quite wide from the top of the skull to the muzzle. The head is high and the muzzle is shorter than the skull.
  • Skull: It is rather flat, with the same length and width.
  • Nose-frontal depression (stop): Moderately arched.
  • Muzzle: Rather broad and straight.
  • Nose: It is located in a straight line in the prolongation of the nasal bridge. It is black, except in the brown-haired specimens, in which case it is dark brown.
  • Jaws: The teeth are strong and complete, and have a scissor bite. The lips are black, except in animals with brown fur, which are dark brown.
  • Eyes: They are located in the front part of the head and well separated, directing the glance towards the front. They are large, round, and deeply dark. The eyelids are fully pigmented.
  • Ears: Set low, almost at eye level. They are hanging and have abundant fringes, which can reach at least the tip of the nose. If stretched they can reach about half the length of the muzzle.
  • Neck: Of good length, slightly arched and harmoniously fused at the shoulders and withers.
  • Body: The body is square, with a length equal to the height at the withers. Back: The upper line is straight and the loin is short, wide and muscular.
  • Chest: Broad and well developed, reaching to the elbows.
  • Tail: Set slightly below the back line. Both in movement and at rest, she is gracefully hunched over her back, but without touching it, except for the plume.
  • Forelimbs: They are well poised.
  • Shoulders: Well sloping, flexible, with muscular shoulder blades. Forearms and arms: They are presented with the elbows close to the body.
  • Hind limbs: They are well poised.
  • Legs: They are muscular. The length of the tibia is the same as that of the femur. The tip of the buttock is slightly prominent.
  • Hocks: Quite strong. The point is approximately a quarter of the height at the withers and its angle is normal.
  • Feet: They are small and round with the toes arched and close together.
  • Movement: Its step is firm and determined. It is an agile, energetic animal with wide movements. The limbs are well parallel when the dog is in motion. The bearing of the head is haughty.
  • Coat: The coat is quite silky, long, wavy and dense. It has no undercoat of hair.
  • Color: It can be presented in any color or combination of colors.

Lowchen health and nutrition

The Lowchen is a healthy and very longlived breed of which it is possible to find specimens full of life, with the desire to do things and with a puppy attitude even beyond 15 years.

But for this, you have to give them the love they need, the right food and the right exercise, in addition to following very rigorous health and hygiene routines that include vaccinations, deworming and weight, eyes, ears, skin, mouth, etc. controls .

Despite being a rare breed, thanks to its conformation and temperament, the little lion dog has fans in many countries of the world who defend its versatility and demonstrate it by going with their pets to beauty showsagility tests , obedience tests. , dancing with dogs … or using them as therapy dogs.

Care and maintenance of the Lowchen breed

The löwchen needs to be subjected to a very specific aesthetic arrangement to maintain its traditional aspect. It is absurd to get hold of a specimen of the breed and not respect this grooming, which is what gives it its name.

Lowchen hair care

Owners of a lowchen must be willing to submit their pet to the specific arrangement of the breed, since this is the one that gives it its most characteristic and identifying image.

Fortunately, once the basic rudiments are learned, the arrangement is quite simple, since this dog is characterized by having a simple coat, without undercoat, although hairs of different thickness are intermingled in it.

In any case, if the owner does not dare to carry out this work themselves, it can always go to a professional hairdresser or some other more experienced owner who knows how to do it.


The basic and most important routine that must be undertaken if the mane area is to grow healthy, long and shiny is to subject the dog to a good weekly brushing.

In the first place, you have to get a suitable brush, and the most recommended for the type of coat of this breed is the one that mixes natural bristles with other harder artificial ones.

From a line drawn along the spine of the dog, the hair on both sides of the body should be brushed deeply and always downwards.

Likewise, the brush must be vigorously passed over the chest and the entire belly area, so as to eliminate any possible tangles or knots that may have formed in the fur.

Finally, once all the hair has been brushed well, the coat should be reviewed again, but this time with a metal comb, which will help to leave it looser and more voluminous.


The task of bathing is reserved for when the dog is really dirty, and it is advisable to always use a specific shampoo suitable for the breed’s hair and the pH of its skin.

After a good lathering, the dog must be thoroughly rinsed and then thoroughly dried, first with the help of towels or blotting paper and then with a good dryer or air ejector.

It is interesting to take advantage of this moment of the bath to check the state of the nails and cut them if it is considered that they are too long and that they can hinder the movement of the dog or cause some type of erosion.


The traditional cut and grooming that is usually applied to this dog, in the style of a lion, is very attractive and peculiar, and the truth is that it is relatively easy to maintain once the basic and general appearance of the dog has been achieved.

First, with the help of a hair clipper, the body’s fur is trimmed to a minimum from the hocks to the last rib, and the tail proceeds in the same way, shaving it from the base to the middle, more or less , and leaving the rest with all its fringes.

The front legs are then shaved starting at the elbows and working down to just above the pasterns.

From there, and until reaching the hands, a kind of hair pompom is left . And the same is done with the feet. Both hands and feet are groomed and kept clean of hair in the same way that it is done with poodles.

Finally, the rest of the body hair is left to its full length and only the scissors are used to equalize the areas where the fringes are irregular. This gives more coherence to the final silhouette of the dog.

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