Intelligence:Lowchen are very smart and learn quickly. As long as performance training is conducted from the viewpoint of making it fun, the Lowchen is an easy learner making them ideal candidates for obedience and agility competition. They will respond best to people they respect, and that respect must be earned by treating them with fairness and consistency and establishing a hierarchy with people at the head. They are problem solvers and will quickly size up situations and develop solutions ? usually including what is best for them!Energy:(Medium to High) Lowchen tend to be excitable with acute hearing. This can lead to barking but seldom excessively. They are a playful and affectionate breed looking for enjoyment. They are very athletic, sturdy and adaptable. Lowchen love long walks especially with some 'off leash' time where they really get to run. As they can be very athletic and agile, Lowchen will happily hike all day, or do daily jogs for miles and miles. When you do not want to go out, they will run laps around your sofa and curl up on your lap. Even though the Lowchen does not have a particularly hardy coat, they love to play in the snow and tolerate cold temperatures well even when kept in their 'lion' cut. They love to play but enjoy a nice quiet snuggle too.Behavior:Lowchen tend to be individuals. But they are smart and quickly figure out who is the alpha leader in the pack and try to ingratiate themselves in the next most senior position! Lowchen love children but tend to see them as litter mates. Training activities that reinforce the chain of command are helpful in avoiding dominance behaviors. They get along with other animals but love to be the center of attention. They will bond to whatever they are raised with, which is why early socialization is so important. Lowchen are companion dogs. It is their sole purpose in life. They are incredibly adaptable so that they can endeavor to be with their owners at all times. They are house pets and not suited to being left in the yard or kennel for lengthy periods of time. A well-fenced area is nice it is not essential to a Lowchen well being as they will happily go for walks for exercise and be litter trained indoors. They are very loyal to their owners and see themselves as protectors. They are not generally aggressive to anything that they see as being part of your ?clan? ? again early socialization will encourage them to include a large as scope of acceptable clan members.
The Lowchen breed origins can be traced back in history as far as the 1400's. Although the official country of origin is France, and there has been speculation that the Lowchen originates from the Mediterranean, we know that the breed has strong roots in both Germany and Holland since most of the breed's early evidence stems from these two countries. The breed's name is German meaning "little lion dog". The Lowchen was popular with nobility on the continent and was featured in paintings by leading artists. The breed appears in several woodcuts and paintings by German artist Albrecht Durer, 15th century tapestries from Lyon, and paintings from Belgium, such as Goya?s 1795 portrait of the Duchess of Alba. It is through following the life of the artists that historians of the breed have been able to piece together their history.The Lowchen seemed to slowly fall from favour towards the turn of the 19th century. That, in combination of turbulent times in Europe for the first half of the 20th century, might have seen the demise of the breed if it had it not been for Madame Bennert, a Belgian lady, who gathered up Lowchen during the World War II era to keep the breed going. The breed has twice appeared in the Guinness Book of World Records - once as the most expensive dog in the world and once as the rarest dog in the world.The Lowchen in Canada:Although the Lowchen can be found in the chronicles of European history for centuries, their history in Canada started in the late 1970's with the importation of foundation stock from England. During the past twenty five years, the Lowchen breed has slowly gained popularity in Canada. In 1994, Lowchen were officially recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club and entered the show rings in 1995 as part of Group Six (Non-Sporting). Also in that year, the Lowchen Club of Canada was founded and recognized by the C.K.C. Since 1996 to the present, more Lowchen have been imported from England, France, Australia and the United States to strengthen our gene pool and establish new Lowchen breeders/exhibitors. From these imports and the Canadian bred Lowchen, a strong foundation has been laid.
Coat:The non-shedding coat is soft, silky and may have a slight wave.Do they shed?The Lowchen is an ideal dog for people who suffer from allergies or asthma, as they do not shed. They have a very soft non-oily coat that does not collect dirt or pollens. However for every up side there is the down!Grooming:"Do they grow that way?" Folks are inclined to ask of the leonine look sported by the breed. The answer is "no." They're clipped to resemble miniature lions but, unlike the Poodle, the unclipped portions are not trimmed or shaped but left shaggy and natural. Is their coat difficult to maintain? The Lowchen hair readily turns to dread knots (mats) if left unattended. They must be treated like one of your children - one that never grows up and learns to comb their own hair! They need a quick comb daily or a thorough combing after their weekly bath. They are only a foot off the ground so they will get wet and dirty easily - hence the need for the regular bath (especially if you suffer from allergies). A fifteen-pound dog that fits into the kitchen sink is not difficult to bath. Keeping the dog clean and the hair well conditioned will help eliminate any reactions. If kept in the traditional lion clip, all of the 'dirty' hair is removed and you have half the coat to brush. However, many pet owners are not attracted to the show coat and prefer to keep their Lowchen is a 'puppy' cut. Regardless of the trim, the Lowchen coat will need to be groomed every four to six weeks.Colour:All colours or combinations of colours are accepted. All patterns of white are found as well as Lowchen with no white at all. And to keep things interesting, most, but not all, Lowchen tend to change colors over the first few years fading and then darkening back up to a new shade!
Nancy Inlow - President of the Lowchen Club of Canada