Lowchen Little Lion Dog
The origins of the lowchen are unknown, but it is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean area. These 'little lions' became known further north in Europe, they may have been crossed with other dogs from time to time.
Lowchen means 'Little Lion Dog' in German. They were pets of the Florentine nobels in the 15th century and the ladies in court clipped the hair on their bottoms and used them as hot water bottles. Lowchens appear in many old paintings, one notable one, Goya's portrait of the Duchess of Alba in 1795.
They almost became extinct and much is owed to Madam Bennart of Brussels, who collected up any dogs she thought to be lowchens and guarded them. She eventually allowed Dr. Rickert of Germany to have some and Germany became the source of the lowchens. Madam Bennert died in 1972. In the Guinness Book of Records of 1969, they were recorded as the rarest breed of dog in the world.
The Lowchen is a small, happy, lively, intelligent dog, with a friendly and affectionalte disposition. They are excellent house and companion pets. They are not 'yappy' like some other small breeds. They love their food and enjoy a good run off the lead, but do not require to be walked for miles. The coat does not shed, it is fine and silky and relatively easy to maintain, and come in a variety of colours and combination of colours. They make excellent show dogs and like to parade themselves in the ring.
PRA, hereditary cataracts and patellar luxation have been noted in the breed.