Lowchens are a small and very rare breed of dog that can trace their origins to Medieval Europe. They used to be even rarer than they are today- in the 1970’s, there were fewer than 70 Lowchens in the entire world! Thanks to a renewed interest in the breed (probably because they were so rare) there are a couple hundred Lowchens in the world today (though that’s still very, very few!)
Lowchens have sort of hazy origins. We know that they are a European breed, and that they likely come from France and Germany, but not much else is known about their origins. Records of Lowchens, both pictorial and written, exist as far back as the mid 1400’s. They were mostly owned by members of the European aristocracy (and are often featured in paintings of royals and other noble families.)
Lowchens are often referred to as “little lion dogs,” because of the unusual way that most owners cut their hair. They shave the back portion of the dog’s body, so they have a bare rear end, but leave a long tuft of hair on the tip of their tails. This makes the front portion of their body, which is left fluffy, resemble the mane of a lion. But honestly, there isn’t much that is “lion like” about the Lowchen. They are professional lap dogs, wanting nothing more than to snuggle up with their beloved masters all day. They are very loving, sweet, and happy little dogs, and make fantastic pets. Families of small children should be careful when considering bringing a Lowchen into their family, as Lowchens can be delicate and may not stand up well to any potential roughhousing. However they make excellent pets for families with older or otherwise responsible children. They like other dogs and get along well with other pets, such as cats.
Luckily for you city dwellers out there, Lowchens make exceptional apartment dogs because of their size and temperaments. They are an active little breed, so require exercise (just like any breed of dog) but are well suited to apartment life. They will also do well in the suburbs or the country, but bear in mind that Lowchens are strictly inside dogs and will not like to be left alone in the yard or left outside to their own devices. In fact, Lowchens won’t want to be left alone anywhere- they are very devoted to their families and will want to spend as much time as possible with them, so are not a good breed for a family that is out at work most of the day and evening.
As we already said, Lowchens are rare. They are also pricey! If you want to add one to your life, be prepared to wait on a list to get a puppy and to pay a higher price than one might normally expect to spend on a puppy.
Lowchens are featured in a vast array of royal paintings, spanning from France to Spain, and are frequently featured in the laps of children or seated loyally next to their master.
Explore some Embark dogs that share Lowchen ancestry.