Lowchen Adopt a Lowchen Today!
The Dog Search is temporarily unavailable.

Please take me to Adopt a Pet.
Ads by Google

Country/Date of Origin: France/1500s

A member of the Bichon group of dogs that contains the Maltese, Bichon Frise and Havanese, the Lowchen has been the cherished and pampered pet of nobility for almost five centuries. The custom of clipping the dog to look like a little lion is an old one and is found in paintings from the 1500's. If a knight did not have the good fortune to die in battle, he was depicted in paintings with one of the little lion dogs at his feet to symbolize his courage and bravery. The tiny dogs, the darlings of the French court, dropped in popularity when nobility did and are enjoying a renaissance at the present time. Imported into the US about 25 years ago, it has gained enough supporters to be accepted into the AKC Miscellaneous class in June of 1995.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

Back to Top

Little Lion Dog

AKC Group: Miscellaneous

Breed Club: Lowchen Club of America, Corres. Secretary, Bonnie Van Oosterhout, 3811 Granger Road, Akron, Ohio 44333; phone: (330) 666-8279; fax: (330) 665-3299; Email: [email protected]

Rescue Club: Lowchen Rescue

Back to Top

Body Type:

  • A tiny dog in the Bichon group that is trimmed to resemble a lion
  • Height: 10- 13 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 8-18 pounds. This is a lot of variation between the sexes
  • Tail is carried high, curling forward over the back. It is shaved except for the hair on the end which is left long to resemble the tassel on a lion's tail
  • Ears are hanging and lay flat against the head


  • An affectionate, lively little lap dog
  • Bred to please, the Lowchen seems to have built in good manners
  • Better suited to adults than children
  • Very intelligent and wants to please. Easily trained


  • A long silky coat that is shaved and trimmed in a pattern to make the dog look like a lion; this is required for the show ring
  • Professional grooming required to keep the distinctive clip
  • Any color or combination of colors is allowed
  • Nonshedding

Health Concerns:

  • Generally healthy although greatly inbred
  • Eye irritations caused by hair
  • Subluxated patellas
  • Skin irritations on shaved areas
Back to Top
Tasty Tidbits:
  • Lowchens were used like little hairy hot water bottles; they would crawl under the bedcovers and stay very still with their shaved skin next to cold feet or hands
  • The little charmer, Freeway, an unclipped Lowchen that appeared on the television show Hart to Hart, gave the breed a popularity boost

Dog Breed Groups

By Continuing to use our site, you consent to our use of cookies to improve your experience. Learn more