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.
LOWCHEN IN UK AND IRELAND
Mrs. Stenning imported the first lowchen, CHERRYCOURT AMYNTA in to the UK in April of 1968, of which she was also the first lowchen registered in the UK.
Mrs. Banks (originally from Ireland, of the Cluneen prefix) imported BUTZI V.D. LOWEN, a four year old bitch and her one year old son, ITZI V.D. 3 LOWEN. Mother and son were mated producing a litter of six, on the 13th September 1969. One pup from this litter, the famous CLUNEEN ADAM ADAMANT became the first UK Champion in the breed, he was also an Irish champion. In 1969 litter sisters, NADINE & NICOLE were also imported by Mrs. Banks, and Mrs. Maeve Cleary (also Irish) imported their litter brother, NECK, bred by Dr. Rickert. Also at the same time Mrs. Banks also imported sisters ODETTE and ORFY and their brother OCKE V.D. 3 LOWEN.
Others followed and imported more lowchens to the UK to widen the gene pool, and set out to establish a firm foundation for the breed and its survival.
Much is owed to Mrs. Stenning, Mrs. Banks and Mrs. Cleary, and other breeders who imported the lowchen to the UK and Ireland and brought the breed to what it is today, through dedication, devotion and love of the breed, we have a truly wonderful happy, lively and affectionate little dog, full of personality.
CHARACTER OF THE LOWCHEN
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. It may not be widely known, but FREEWAY, the dog in the T.V. series, HART TO HART, was in fact an unclipped Lowchen. They make excellent show dogs and like to parade themselves in the ring.