Breed Type: Toy / Bichon
Country of Origin: Likely Russia, but no definite records
Male: Weight 5.5-8kg Height 30-35cm
Female: Weight 4.5-6.8 kg Height 28-33 cm.
Life span 12-14 years
Exercise Requirements: Low
Care Requirements: Medium
Best Suited as: Family Pet wanting a permanent puppy
The origin of the Lowchen is not altogether clear that some people leaving the first Lowchen breeding program was established in Russia other saying in eastern Europe closer to the Mediterranean. Regardless of which is true they became massively popular within the various European royal families of France, Spain, Germany and Italy. It is thought that the practice of shading the back half of these dogs and cutting their third to give the appearance of a lion was started at this time both for aesthetic reasons and apparently because they would give off more heat to their cold owners were kept in bed with them!
For one reason or another the day came and went and by the 1960s they rather sadly were declared the world’s rarest dog breed. The 1970s saw return a favour perhaps because of their previous proof a rarity and though far from a common breed they are no longer considered rare or endangered. They have been in Australia now since the 70s.
Dogs within the Bichon dog breed type share a kind of scruffy terrier look. When her coat of fur Lowchen is left to grow naturally is no exception. When kept as pets very often their coats are left in this natural condition the clipping is generally only done in show dogs.
For shows, their long wavy coat is clipped into Lion’s mane shape around their head whilst being totally shaved at the back of a. There are a small dog on a short small body. Their faces expressive with a dark nose and a generally stand no taller than 35 cm. Colours range from chocolate maker got, chocolate and cream sable, gold, black and tan, blue and cream.
The Lowchen often remains an excitable puppy in temperament well into old age. As guard dogs they may noisily greet an intruder, then scramble away excitedly, then return hopefully half parking half seeking a pat. They are friendly and don’t lack intelligence but they do lack a strong desire to learn as seen in the working breeds, rather they have a strong desire for fun. They make very active and energetic family pets as suitable as playmates for young and old. Due to their size however they should be well supervised around a very young and may injure them.
Care and maintenance
Their long fur will require clipping regardless of whether you wish to look natural or lion otherwise their fur will grow to an unmanageable length. Their hair does require brushing at least every second day or so or otherwise it will match and tangle.
Whilst they are small and a suitable to keep as an indoor dog even in an apartment they are quite active and will enjoy games as fetch, chasing and light rough housing. They need to be walked daily though this can be on or off lead.
For a breed that was reduced to such a small gene pool they are remarkably healthy breed with few health problems and individuals often living to 14 years or more. They have been instances of hereditary joint problems such as luxating patellas so make sure you see the parents and if possible the grandparents of your intended puppy and speak to your breeder regarding whether any of their breed stock had never suffered from this problem.
They are rare in Australia and finding a breeder may prove difficult.