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Lowchen Temperament: The Brave Little Lion in your Living Room

The Lowchen temperament is best described as brave, bold and loyal. No wonder the name “Lowchen” literally translates to “little lion dog” in German.

Photo of Lowchen  Puppy

When you give the Lowchen a traditional “lion clip,” this portable pooch even looks like a miniature lion!

The Lowchen is part of the American Kennel Club’s non-sporting group.

Like many dogs in the non-sporting group, the Lowchen’s “job” has always been to provide companionship and affection.

Lowchen Temperament and Personality

Enthusiasts of this breed describe the Lowchen as a small dog with an enormous heart!

If you are thinking about adding a Lowchen to your life, take a moment to review these personality traits to ensure the Lowchen temperament is right for you.

He’s Fearless

The Lowchen is quite the little protector! He weighs only 15 lbs., but he thinks he is much bigger and will not back down from a fight with dog three times his size.

He has hardcore devotion for his master and will bark to alert you at any potential sign of danger.

However, some lines of Lowchen tend to be more on the timid side. You can combat this by socializing him early and often, no matter how young he may be when you get him.

He Likes to Chat

The Lowchen has a tendency to be vocal, so he may not be the best choice for apartment living.

You should not encourage excessive barking anyway. Rather, you should train him to restrain it for only when necessary.

He’s Lively

The Lowchen are energetic little dogs. They enjoy daily exercise, such as walking, jogging or playing in the backyard, and they excel at agility, Frisbee, and other canine sports.

They may be pint-sized, but they can still keep up with more athletic owners.

He’s Loyal

The Lowchen bonds deeply with his family. He thrives on human interaction and becomes depressed or anxious if he senses you’re neglecting him.

He needs to be part of the action. If you work long hours, consider a dog walker or doggie daycare so as not to leave him alone.

He is a Lot of Fun

Lowchen love to romp and cavort and play! They bring joy and amusement to their guardians, and they adore children so long as you socialize them properly.

They also enjoy the company of other animals – provided you introduce them carefully and slowly.

He’s Neurotic

Some Lowchen tend to express behavior that is more on the obsessive side. They may bark too much or incessantly dig up your flower bed.

One way to combat this is, surprisingly enough, not to give him more than he can handle when it comes to exercise.

Don’t encourage him to engage in behaviors that could become obsessive or damaging, like chewing, digging, or jumping. The less he knows about ways to express himself, the better.

Lowchen Size and Appearance

The Lowchen weight, on average, is no more than 15 lbs. As for their height, they tend not to stand taller than 14 inches high.

Their coat comes in a variety of colors and patterns, such as combinations of black with silver and tan, or just straight-up black, along with blue, chocolate, or cream.

A Brief History of the Lowchen

The name “Lowchen” is German, so most people believe the breed originated in Europe in the vicinity of Germany, France and/or Belgium.

However, there are some alternative theories that actually place the breed’s origin somewhere in the Mediterranean region.

We know that the breed dates to at least the 16th century because Lowchen dogs are actually depicted in Renaissance art.

The Lowchen likely shares ancestors with other small companion dogs, such as the PoodleBichon Frise, and Maltese.

Some people speculate that Lowchen served as living hot water bottles for nobility. The clipped part of the dog would remain under the covers for warmth. The furry part would remain outside the covers to draw fleas away from the sleeping royal.

Breeders and fanciers have been careful to protect the breeding lines of this breed.

Today’s modern Lowchen dog looks almost identical to the Lowchen of 500 years ago.

How Do You Train a Lowchen?

Lowchen are intelligent and therefore very trainable. Keep training sessions fun and upbeat.

Training should be a positive experience for both you and your Lowchen.

Always use positive reinforcement methods.

Never use harsh or physical reprimands, else you risk the dog withdrawing from you entirely. He’ll never learn anything if he doesn’t trust you!

If you start early and use positive techniques, training your Lowchen will help you form a bond with your dog for life.

And definitely make sure you lay down the law. This little “lion dog” will assert his dominance if you don’t do it first!

In general, Lowchen pick up new commands quickly. The one area where they occasionally struggle, though, is housetraining.

Like all small dogs, they have small bladders. If you work long hours, you might need to make special accommodations, such as wee-wee pads, a doggie door, or a dog walker.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

For help with training your dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.

How Do You Groom a Lowchen?

Professional groomers typically clip the Lowchen’s coat into a traditional “lion cut,” with a fluffy mane and a tuft on the tail. Their hair requires professional grooming every few months.

The Lowchen’s fur is non-shedding and hypoallergenic, which makes them an excellent choice for dog-lovers who suffer from allergies.


A Lowchen requires about 20 minutes each day of exercise.

One of his favorite things to do is walk, which can help you get in shape, too! He needs a few brisk walks every day to use up his extra energy.

There is a lot of energy in this breed’s little package, that’s for sure. One thing that surprises many a Lowchen owner is how this little dog can keep up with his owners on jogs!

They also love to chase balls and play fetch in the yard.

Staying Healthy

Overall, Lowchen tend to be robust and healthy little dogs. Like all dogs, they need yearly check-ups and vaccinations with a veterinarian.

Lowchen are prone to a few genetic conditions, so be sure to discuss these with your breeder/adoption agency and your vet:

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What is the Lowchen Life Expectancy?

With good care, the average lifespan for this breed is 13-15 years.

Feeding Your Lowchen

One thing you may be wondering about a dog as small as this one is how much you should feed him.

Talk to your vet if you’re unsure, as how much to feed a Lowchen relies heavily on his activity level, age, and body type.

Typically, though, a half-cup to a cup of food each day should feel satisfactory to the Lowchen.

Finding Lowchen Puppies for Sale

If you’re interested in bringing a Lowchen puppy into your home, one of the first questions you’re probably asking is “how much is a Löwchen?”

The best way to answer that question, however, is to decide first whether you’d rather buy a Lowchen puppy from a breeder or adopt a Lowchen from an animal shelter.

For instance, if you’re more interested in a Lowchen mix, you’re better off looking for a mixed breed at a shelter, as reputable breeders only sell purebred pups.

The Lowchen Price Tag

The price of a Lowchen will almost certainly be over $2,000 and can easily climb even higher than that, depending on the breeder. In fact, the average price for this breed is somewhere between $5,000 and $8,000!

The adoption fee for a dog from a shelter or rescue group generally runs between $150 and $300. Adoption agencies will vet, alter, and sometimes even microchip their dogs before they send them to their “fur-ever” homes.

Lowchen Breeders

If you decide to purchase a Lowchen puppy from a breeder, a good resource to check out is Lowchenworld.com.

Lowchen World is a website with helpful information about the breed, plus they give you a list of Lowchen breeders in the United States (and other countries).

You can also check out the website for the Lowchen Club of America for additional information.

Lowchen puppies are rare in this country, so you may have to wait for a good while for a reputable breeder to have a Lowchen dog for sale.

Once you identify a Lowchen puppy for sale, set up an appointment to meet the breeder and visit the kennel in person.

Ask to meet the parents of the litter and review their medical records. Make sure the breeding adults have good temperaments and the breeder is raising the puppies in healthy, humane conditions.

It should not surprise you if the breeder asks you questions, too. The breeder will want to make sure that you can provide a lifelong home to a Lowchen.

In terms of the price tag for a Lowchen puppy from a breeder, expect to make a big investment. Lowchen frequently appear on lists of the “most expensive dog breeds.”

Lowchen Rescue and Adoption

When you are ready to add a Lowchen to your family, it is a great idea to look into adoption options first.

The Lowchen Club of America, for instance, has a breed rescue contact. You can contact them directly to find out more about adoptable Lowchen in your vicinity.

Adoption websites such as Petfinder.com and/or Adoptapet.com will allow you to set alerts to notify you when a Lowchen becomes available for adoption.

Although Lowchen are uncommon in public shelters, it is still worth a visit to your local animal shelter or humane society. You can talk to the staff and let them know that you are looking to adopt a Lowchen or Lowchen mix.

Most Lowchen that enter animal shelters and rescue groups are adult dogs. However, adopting an adult can be a wonderful decision.

Most adult dogs have some prior training. They are calmer and less destructive than puppies. You can get a better sense of their long-term personality. Adult rescues bond to their new families just as deeply as puppies from a breeder do.

Lowchen vs. Havanese

Many folks who are interested in the Lowchen also find their interest peaked by the Havanese. Both are small dogs, so this makes sense.

However, there are some subtle differences in their personalities that may make all the difference when it comes to whom you choose.

First, where the Lowchen is playful, the Havanese is affectionate. The Lowchen is more your active buddy, whereas the Havanese is more the cuddly lapdog.

Havaneses are even easier to train than the already easy-to-train Lowchen. Plus, the Havanese rarely barks.

Neither dog likes being alone. However, the Havanese tends to be friendlier toward strangers than the Lowchen.

Another factor that may influence your decision is the price. Havaneses are infinitely more affordable than Lowchen, at an average price of between only $900 and $1,200.

Conclusion: Why the Lowchen?

The Lowchen temperament makes this breed a great choice for many people.

Devotees of this breed love the big dog personality in the small dog package.

The non-shedding, hypoallergenic coat is also a major bonus for many families.

Not only that, but it certainly helps to have a dog that’s easy to train, and the Lowchen is it.

Just don’t get this dog if you tend to be away from home for hours at a stretch. He doesn’t do well without constant companionship.

Adding a dog to your household is a big decision. Visit dog shows, speak with breeders and reach out to Lowchen owners to make sure this “Little Lion Dog” is the right match for you.