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The Lowchen is thought to have originated somewhere in Europe, most probably France or Germany, around four hundred years ago. Many assume that Germany will be the most likely place of origin though, with “Lowchen” meaning “Little Lion” in the German language. Its unique features mean that many people actually refer to this breed as the “Little Lion” as well. Unfortunately, there are very few Lowchen’s around these days and it’s actually referred to as the rarest breed in the world. A rather bizarre use for this breed many years ago was that of a foot warmer, with ladies across the globe using the breed’s exposed skin to warm their feet. Nowadays the very few Lowchen’s that are around are simply pets and the breed was recognized in the AKC back in 1996.
Standing between ten and thirteen inches and weighing between nine and thirteen pounds, the Lowchen can only be described as an exceptionally small breed. While some may believe that the “Little Lion” nickname simply stays because of the German translation, the breed actually resembles that of a lion with many owners cutting the coat so it leaves a mane around the neck. On the subject of the coat, the colors of white, black and lemon are the most common while the style is long and wavy. The breed does not have any other apparent features and stands in very good proportion.
In terms of temperament, the Lowchen can only be described as very positive. Very sociable and confident, the breed will not be afraid to challenge another dog – whatever the size. With that said, in general they get along very well with other household pets and similarly they are renowned as being good with children. Potential owners certainly shouldn’t have any worries about training as unlike a lot of breeds, the Lowchen possesses both the intelligence and willingness to learn and take training on board. All of the above attributes make the Lowchen an ideal family pet. Their intelligence, energy, love and affection make them absolutely perfect for any household – whether the owner is experienced or not.
The Lowchen may be tiny, but they are hard inside and suffer from very few health problems. Pattelar luxation and cataracts are the two most common complaints but other than that the breed is quite healthy. While they do not require vast amounts of exercise, a daily walk is certainly recommended and if possible, providing the Lowchen with a yard should make them a much happier dog. Due to the lower number of health complaints the Lowchen has a very good life expectancy and most live between thirteen and fifteen years.
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