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Weight: 9-18 lbs.
Energy Level: Moderate
The American Kennel Club recognizes the Lowchen in the following colors:
Health & Longevity
Average Life Span: 13-15 years
The Lowchen, also known as the Löwchen or the Petit Chien Lion, is generally a very healthy dog with only a few potential health problems.
The Lowchen may experience joint conditions such as hip dysplasia and patellar luxation. Hip dysplasia occurs when a malformed hip joint does not allow the thighbone to fit properly into place, often leading to discomfort, pain, and limping. In more severe cases, arthritis or even lameness can result, sometimes necessitating surgery. Dogs with hip dysplasia should not breed, so ensure your prospective puppy’s parents have no history of the condition. Although it is hereditary, hip dysplasia can be triggered by rapid weight gain or injury, such as falling on a slippery floor or landing improperly after jumping. Patellar luxation involves the knee joint sliding easily into and out of place. This dislocation of the knee can also cause limping, pain, and lameness, which is often intermittent. Surgery can correct patellar luxation, but it may not be possible in some cases.
Hypothyroidism is a thyroid condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient amounts of hormone, causing problems such as lethargy, hair loss, obesity, and infertility. There is treatment for hypothyroidism, but it will require the affected dog to take medication daily for the duration of his life.
The Lowchen may also face eye issues such as cataracts and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). PRA is the degeneration of the retina, ultimately resulting in failed daytime vision. There is no cure for PRA. However, due to the gradual nature of the disease, affected dogs are able to adjust to failing vision, and most of them continue to lead happy lives.
On average, the Lowchen has a lifespan of 13-15 years.
Temperament & Train-ability
The Lowchen is a brave, strong-willed dog who is also charming, good natured, affectionate, and playful. He is a cheerful and gentle dog who can get along well with almost anyone.
The Lowchen has relatively low exercise needs and can live in an apartment as long as he gets at least 20 minutes of exercise daily. This can easily be accomplished through long walks, which the Lowchen enjoys. He is an excellent family companion who thrives on being around his people, and he should not live outdoors. If he is isolated from his family, both physical and mental health issues can result for the sweet, loving Lowchen. He suffers from separation anxiety if left alone frequently or for long periods of time, so he may not be a good fit for owners who must be out of the house often.
This good-natured breed can adapt to almost any household. The Lowchen is able to get along with children, dogs, and other pets. He may be shy with strangers, but proper socialization can address this behavior. Although the Lowchen is generally friendly towards other dogs, he won’t back down from a challenge, and some may challenge unfamiliar dogs, particularly larger ones. Although the Lowchen is a peaceful and gentle dog who loves children, he does like to roughhouse, so he may need to be supervised around smaller or younger children. Lowchens enjoy barking and make excellent watchdogs. Some Lowchens also like to dig, so give them a designated digging area or monitor them when they are outdoors.
The Lowchen is intelligent and can learn quickly, so training him can be a wonderful experience. Food is an excellent motivator for this breed, so use positive reinforcement as an effective training strategy. Do not be forceful, and keep sessions challenging and varied to prevent your Lowchen from becoming bored. Housetraining may be a bit more difficult, but patience and consistency can go a long way in getting your Lowchen housebroken. Crate training is recommended.
The Lowchen’s long coat becomes matted and tangled easily, so ten minutes each night should be spent detangling his coat. Brush his coat more thoroughly at least once weekly. It does shed, but only a very small amount. Some Lowchen owners have his hair cut in a Lion Trim, while others prefer a more natural look. Either one is acceptable. If you like the Lion Trim, expect to take him to a professional groomer every two months.
The Lowchen’s nails may need to be trimmed every two weeks or so to prevent overgrowth and cracking. Check his ears regularly for signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, and odor. Smaller breeds are particularly prone to periodontal disease, so brushing his teeth daily is recommended. At a minimum, brush his teeth 2-3 times weekly.
The average Lowchen should consume 1/2 cup-1 cup of high quality dry dog food daily. The best type and amount of dog food for your individual dog depends on variables such as his age, weight, metabolism, and activity level.
Be sure that your Lowchen has access to clean drinking water at all times.
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Adopt A Lowchen
The Lowchen is quite a rare breed, so expect to spend time on a waiting list. He is also generally one of the more expensive dog breeds, with prices typically ranging from $2,000-$5,000. Some sites report Lowchen puppies costing closer to $500, but these may not be from reputable breeders so beware. Other sites list Lowchen puppies at prices as high as $8,000. Pricing will depend on factors such as gender, breeder location, pedigree, and quality.
If you are able to adopt a Lowchen, expect to spend up to $150 – $300 on adoption fees, depending on your location.
Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking
Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.
Ranking takes into account a few basic factors including cost, skill level needed, high vs low maintenance and how critical regular training is to success. The Lowchen ranks a 3. He is generally very healthy, gets along well with most people and pets, and has very low exercise needs. Training a Lowchen can be an easy and enjoyable experience. However, he barks often and likes to dig, he can be difficult to housebreak, his coat requires nightly detangling, and acquiring a Lowchen puppy may be an expensive endeavor.
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