Activities For Lowchens

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Introduction

Lowchen breed dogs, sometimes referred to as little lion dogs, were developed some four hundred years ago in Europe, though there are many theories as to where they originated and from what breeds. They were in favor with the aristocracy and royalty throughout Europe for their appearance, their sweet nature, their fierce loyalty, and their warmer than average skin, a trait that was particularly useful when it was cold. This breed fell out of fashion at some point during the eighteenth century, however, and the 1973 version of The Guinness Book of World records named them as the rarest breed in the world, with only sixty-five to seventy examples reported as of March of that year. While still rare, this loving and cheerful little breed has been gaining in popularity again since the 1970s and has since been officially recognized by all the major kennel clubs worldwide.

Doggie Daycare

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Any Day
Moderate
Easy
8 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Immunization Records
Activity description

The Lowchen breed dog is believed to have been developed as a companion animal, and they desire human attention and affection, particularly from their favorite person. Unfortunately for these bright and social little dogs, the constant contact that they desire is not always possible and most pet parents must leave home without their canine companions on occasion. Enrolling your pooch in a doggie daycare when you are going to be away from home for more than a few hours not only helps to prevent separation anxiety, it also helps to ensure that your dog is well socialized with other canines, particularly if doggie daycare is started when the pup is young. 

Step
1
Types of daycare
There are many different types of Doggie Daycare available to enroll your dog in. Not only are there large commercial facilities, but there are also canine daycares set up on large ranch style properties, and smaller home-run private daycare facilities. It is also wise to check and ensure that they have all the proper certifications as well as reading reviews and considering recommendations from trusted individuals. This is also a good time to review costs between facilities as they can vary quite a bit, with averages ranging from as low as $12 up to $38 for a full day, often depending on which amenities each group offers, such as training, trained veterinary staff, one on one time with staff, or even swimming or herding practice.
Step
2
Questions
Asking questions about the rules, regulations, and safety measures of the facilities can help to ensure that your dog remains happy and healthy even when you can’t spend all of your time with them. Most reputable centers will have at least one individual on staff at all times that is trained in canine first aid and CPR, and clear and reasonable cleaning protocols in place to prevent the spread of illness between canines. With small-sized canines like Lowchen breed dogs, it is crucial that you inquire about what interactions are allowed between dogs; many places will keep smaller dogs separated from larger dogs for the safety of both, while others may allow dogs of all sizes and shapes to mingle.
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3
Preparation
A well-run doggie daycare will require your dog’s medical records, particularly their shot records and information about any conditions that may require medications or additional care such as heart disorders, patellar luxation, or cataracts. An evaluation of your dog’s behavior when you are not present is also routine in many cases, a standard that helps the facility to better understand your dog and ensure that they are a good fit. The evaluation may include components such as touching and petting the dog to find out where they are sensitive as well as introducing them to another dog in the room to see how they respond to other canines.
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Teeth Brush Session

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
5 - 10 min
Items needed
Canine Toothbrush or Infant Toothbrush
Canine Toothpaste
Activity description

Lowchens, in general, tend to be rather healthy animals with very few diseases that are related to their genetics. They are, however, more prone to dental disorders that many other breeds, a problem that can often be avoided by brushing their teeth on a regular basis. While veterinarians recommend brushing your canine’s teeth on a daily basis, most pet parents find it to be a difficult chore, particularly as many dogs don’t enjoy the process. Getting into the habit of brushing your canine’s teeth on a regular basis not only keeps their teeth white and sparkling and keeps their breath fresh, but it can also extend their lives by helping to prevent bacterial and viral infections. 

Step
1
Toothbrush and toothpaste
A normal adult toothbrush designed for humans is typically too large for most dogs, and the bristles are much harder than the bristles used for canine toothbrushes, although a toothbrush designed for an infant will do in a pinch. Toothbrushes designed for canines also tend to be angled differently and have longer handles in order to make it easier to reach all the teeth in the dog's mouth. There are also canine toothbrushes that are designed to fit over the finger, which may be easier to use for some pet parents. Toothpaste designed for dogs is essential, as the toothpaste designed for humans contains fluoride, which can be a dangerous toxin for canines.
Step
2
Getting started
Many dogs initially resist having their teeth brushed, but with just a little preparation they can learn to accept the idea without any major contention. Start by petting their muzzle while slowly lifting their lips for up to thirty seconds, then reward them with a treat to create a positive association. Once they seem comfortable with having their lips handled, start gently rubbing their gums with your finger for up to 20-30 seconds, then praise your Lowchen and give them another treat. After this you can put a pea-sized dollop of the canine toothpaste on the brush and allow them to lick it off; if your dog is unwilling to lick off the toothpaste, try a different brand or flavor of toothpaste.
Step
3
Time to brush
Once your pooch is comfortable with all the components of having their teeth brushed, it is time to put them all together. Use gentle motions to clean their teeth, focusing on the outer surfaces that lie near the lips, the canines, and the back molars. Many dogs are more resistant to having the inside surfaces of their teeth brushed, and most sources indicate that it really isn’t needed so unless your dog seems particularly comfortable with this procedure, you can safely choose to avoid that area. If you notice any damage to the teeth or red or bleeding gums when you are brushing, contact your veterinarian for further advice.
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Therapy Dog

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Training
Certification
Activity description

While service dogs and emotional support animals primarily benefit a single individual over a longer period of time, a therapy dog has a broader focus. The therapy dog and their handler make visits to schools, nursing homes, and hospitals providing comfort and unconditional love to several people, each over a fairly short period of time. Therapy dogs are frequently brought to scenes of trauma as well, therapy dogs provided comfort to the survivors at Sandy Hook Elementary, people dealing with the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy, and have even been known to assist witnesses in court, giving them the emotional support to make their statements on the stand. While becoming a therapy dog does require some basic training and certification, this can usually be achieved in just a few months instead of the years of training required to become a service dog. The sweet nature of these dogs combined with their natural warmth makes the Lowchen excellent therapy dog as long as they are well socialized to avoid shyness or nervousness. 

Step
1
Socialize
While the Lowchen is typically a fairly confident and cheerful animal, it is important to ensure that they are well socialized, particularly if they are going to work as a therapy dog. Socialization should give them exposure to as many people and situations as possible, including new textures, sights, sounds, and smells: textures like the floor of institutional buildings, sights like the glare of lights off of glass, and sounds like school bells or wheelchairs. This sort of exposure will help them to be calm and confident in a number of situations so that they can offer comfort instead of needing it themselves.
Step
2
Training
Therapy dogs often visit buildings and facilities that most canines are not permitted to enter, and in order to do so, they are expected to demonstrate impeccable manners in all sorts of situations. Being overly vocal, jumping up uninvited, and even just being underfoot are all behaviors that can interfere with the day to day workings of these important establishments and will not typically be tolerated in therapy dog situations. Most dogs that are training to become therapy animals start by learning the proper behaviors in order to earn an AKC Good Citizen award, and many continue their training to better prepare them for the work ahead.
Step
3
Register and visit
Dogs that successfully graduate from obedience classes are typically required to pass initial evaluations to ensure that they are well-suited to the task. Those that pass the evaluations will then be eligible to acquire the proper registration with one of the several official National Therapy Dog organizations before they will be able to start making any visits. Once registration applications are received by these organizations, they will often send you and your dog on a few supervised visits before finalizing the registration, and will often provide you with information about required insurances, and additional supporting information.
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More Fun Ideas...

Barn Hunt

Although as companion animals, most Lowchen dogs do not generally have an overly strong prey drive they still performed well as pest control through much of history and many will get a great deal of satisfaction from this recently developed activity.

Photo Shoot

Lowchen breed dogs are attractive and attentive canines that have been the subject of portraits for centuries. They are not only photogenic, but they are also likely to enjoy the attention that comes with getting a photo shoot set up.

Advanced Obedience

These intelligent and eager to please little dogs are sensitive and devoted to their owners. They enjoy human attention and are not inclined to distraction, and they tend to thrive best with consistent training that continues throughout their lives.

Conclusion

These while these friendly and affectionate canines are devoted to their owners, Lowchens are also typically social dogs who are congenial and well-mannered with others of all ages, both human and canine. They are eager to please and easy to train so are well-suited to activities such as advanced obedience and therapy work, but they do not enjoy being left alone and can experience anxiety leading to nuisance barking and destructive behavior.