8-18 lbs
France, Germany
Little Lion Dog

The Löwchen was the dog of 15th century nobility in prominent European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Spain, and France. Bred for its small size, dense fur, and affectionate nature, it was kept as a companion and often carried to court by the ladies of the day. Traditionally, the hair was clipped close to the skin on the legs, hindquarters, and part of the tail to give the dog a lion look, hence the name “little lion”, or löwchen in German. Today, the breed is still celebrated for its loving nature, and forms close bonds with its human family.

purpose Purpose
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry
Bichon Frise, Bolognese, Maltese, Havanese

Lowchen Health

Sketch of Lowchen
Average Size
Male Lowchen size stats
Height: 12-14 inches Weight: 8-18 lbs
Female Lowchen size stats
Height: 12-14 inches Weight: 8-18 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Diabetes
Minor Concerns
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Cataracts
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Heart
  • Hips
  • Blood And Urine Protein Screens
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination

Lowchen Breed History

It has been debated where the Löwchen comes from,  with answers ranging from such European countries as Germany, Spain, or Russia. Many agree that France is the country of the breed’s origin, although the word Löwchen is German for “little lion.” The breed is believed to originate in the 15th century where it was favored as a companion by the nobility. Ladies of the court often groomed the Löwchen so that it resembled a little lion, giving the breed its name. The breed is often referenced in words and pictures of the time, and even in Goya paintings of the 16th century. The French nobles particularly loved this dog, and often carried them to court. During times of war, people often set the dogs loose to fend for themselves, which caused the Löwchen to become rare dogs. A Belgium lady so admired the breed, that she collected as many as she could find and revived their numbers. The Löwchen is most likely related to the bichon breeds, but they may also have been bred from Maltese, Havanese, or Bolognese dogs. Löwchen numbers saw a decline again in the 1960s, when the Guinness Book of World Records gave them the title of “Rarest Breed.” Two breeders set about to revive the breed in Britain and imported several related dogs in this effort. Slowly, the numbers rose again, and by 1995, the Löwchen breed was registered with the AKC under the miscellaneous class. By 1999, the breed was transferred to the non-sporting class.

Lowchen Breed Appearance

This small and compact breed is square in shape with a balanced and strong body. It has an effortless gait that often accentuates its signature coat style. The Löwchen boasts a short, broad skull and muzzle. A bright and alert face features intelligent, forward looking brown eyes and pendant shaped ears that have feathering. The teeth land in a good scissors bite. The most distinguishing feature of the breed is the preferred style of coat. Hair is long and thick, with a soft texture that has a wave. Traditionally, the hair is clipped close on the hindquarters and on the lower half of the tail. The legs are also close clipped, leaving a small amount of hair near the paws. This gives the Löwchen a lion appearance, with a thick mane around its face, neck and upper body, with tufts near the paws and at the end of the tail. The coat can be in a variety of colors, but white, lemon, and black dogs are the most popular ones.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Lowchen eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Lowchen nose
brown Lowchen nose
Coat Color Possibilities
red Lowchen coat
sable Lowchen coat
black Lowchen coat
white Lowchen coat
brown Lowchen coat
fawn Lowchen coat
silver Lowchen coat
brindle Lowchen coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Lowchen straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Lowchen Breed Maintenance

The dense coat of the Löwchen requires frequent brushing, about every day or so. Without this routine grooming, the hair will become tangled and matted, making the dog very uncomfortable. Clipping in the traditional lion style requires a close trim on the legs, hindquarters and tail, and will need to be done once every one to two months to maintain. This is a breed that sheds little, making it an ideal choice for those with pet allergies. An occasional bath is recommended to keep the Löwchen clean. They have fast growing nails that need regular trimming to prevent splits and cracks. Ears should be routinely cleaned of wax and debris, and teeth should be brushed. The Löwchen is an active dog that needs frequent exercise. Due to its small size, it can easily be active indoors. This breed is adaptable to many living conditions, including apartment life, so long as there are daily walks and activities.

Brushes for Lowchen
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Lowchen requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Lowchen Temperament

The Löwchen was bred to be a companion, and this shows in his loving and affectionate nature. He is a people pleaser, and needs to be with his human family every day. This breed craves giving and getting attention, and enjoys the activeness of playing and the relaxation of cuddling with their favorite someone. If the Löwchen does not get the time with his family that he needs, he can be prone to separation anxiety. Though Löwchens can be rambunctious in puppyhood, they often grow into a calm, though alert dog. With a fearless nature, they can be prone to excessive barking as they take their role of watchdog seriously. Though they can be snappy, they do enjoy playing with children. While they can be friendly to animals, they have been known to challenge other family dogs, even if they are much bigger. An intelligent breed, the Löwchen needs early training to prevent bad habits from forming, such as barking or digging. They are eager and can quickly learn obedience. The energetic and playful Löwchen loves activities such as carting, herding, and water trials. Their positive demeanor also makes them excellent therapy dogs.

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
6 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
30 minutes
activity minutes

Lowchen Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1.2 cups
cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$1.20 - $1.40
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00
food bag monthly cost

Lowchen Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Lowchen at six months
Male Lowchen size stats at six months
Height: 6.5 inches Weight: 8.5 lbs
Female Lowchen size stats at six months
Height: 6.5 inches Weight: 8.5 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Lowchen at 12 months
Male Lowchen size stats at 12 months
Height: 11.0 inches Weight: 11.0 lbs
Female Lowchen size stats at 12 months
Height: 11.0 inches Weight: 11.0 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Lowchen at 18 months
Male Lowchen size stats at 18 months
Height: 13.0 inches Weight: 13.0 lbs
Female Lowchen size stats at 18 months
Height: 13.0 inches Weight: 13.0 lbs

Top Lowchen Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Lowchen breeders of 2024.
Top Lowchen breeder Marday Lowchen
Marday Lowchen
Caledonia, New York
Top Lowchen breeder Potrero Lowchen
Potrero Lowchen
Sonoma, California
Top Lowchen breeder Lordocs Lowchens
Lordocs Lowchens
Punta Gorda, Florida
Top Lowchen breeder Roseland Farm Lowchens
Roseland Farm Lowchens
Webster, New York

Lowchen Owner Experiences

3 Years
The Lowchen's that I walked were very loving and were very welcoming when I arrived to the walk. They were never vicious and had very mellow temperments. They kept a pretty steady pace on the walk and never pulled or were aggressive while walking. They enjoyed meeting other dogs and were not aggressive at all when encountering other dogs on walks.
6 years, 2 months ago
3 Years
7 People
House & Yard
Mazie is a smart, funny and sassy dog. She definitely gets separation anxiety if she is apart from us. She will whine/cry loudly and relentlessly. She is extremely intelligent and a fast learner. She loves to sit near or next to us, but does not like to be cuddled, carried etc. If we pick her up for a cuddle, she’ll participate for about 30 seconds before she’s done and pushes away. Lol. She is definitely a barker and it is loud an shrill. But it’s quick. Not persistent barking. Good watch dog. She has the stamina for exercise of a big dog. She can walk/jog for miles at a time. Crazy! She loves her stuffed animal “babies” and especially loves to play tug of war or catch with them. Also loves to play fetch with balls. She’s good with my 5 kids ages 5-14. She can sometimes get snippy if you’re bothering her and will do a little snap if she’s really irritated. She LOVES car rides and will hop in any and every car that comes into our driveway. Overall, I really do love this breed. The löwchen breeders in the US are very strict and are good to their dogs. Not over bred. This leads to what i consider a very healthy breed. I highly recommend to people that want a smaller, non-shedding dog, but they definitely do not like being alone.
5 years, 6 months ago
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