Little Lion Dog

Other names: Lowchen

Little Lion Dog

The Little Lion Dog, commonly known as the Lowchen, is a bubbly, loving, smart, alert and intelligent small dog breed. This breed is a fantastic companion pet who thrives on human company and is extremely protective of its family (perhaps a little too much sometimes!). 

While the Little Lion Dog may look small, it’s actually a tough, resilient and adaptable dog who’ll be just as happy accompanying you on a walk as curling up in your lap for a cuddle. Getting along well with children and other pets, they make a perfect family dog or companion.

Key facts about the Little Lion Dog

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Affectionate Playful

Size :

Origins and history

The Lowchen is believed to have originated around 400 years ago in France, Germany or Spain - truthfully, no one knows for sure! Due to their similar looks, many believe the Little Lion Dog is closely related to the Bichon breed. For a long time, it was popular with wealthy people across Europes, often used as a foot warmer for ladies (yes, really!). However, their popularity quickly decreased after WWII - now, the Lowchen is a fairly rare breed.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 9 - Companion and Toy Dogs


Section 1 : Bichons and related breeds

Physical characteristics of the Little Lion Dog

    Adult size

    Female : Between 10 and 13 in

    Male : Between 10 and 13 in


    Female : Between 11 and 15 lb

    Male : Between 11 and 15 lb

    Coat colour

    Type of coat

    Eye colour



    Small yet sturdy, the Little Lion Dog is one of the bigger toys breeds. Despite their petite size, the body is surprisingly strong, with straight, well-muscled legs and relaxed shoulders.

    The head is small but broad with a defined stop, a strong muzzle and a long neck. Ears are dropped and beautifully feathered, while eyes are big, dark, alert and friendly looking.

    Good to know

    The Little Lion Dog is relatively uncommon, to the point that in 1960, the race was defined as "the rarest dog in the world". Since then, its popularity has increased slightly, but it still deserves a wider distribution.


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      Your Little Lion Dog will be your biggest fan! This breed thrives on human company and is known to be affectionate, loyal and warm towards family and friends alike.

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      The Lowchen is like a forever puppy - chirpy, animated and playful throughout their life.

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      This breed is generally gentle and calm with everybody, but they do have an element of the ‘small dog, big attitude’ in them which can rear its ugly head occasionally.

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      This is a smart, intelligent breed which learns rules and tricks with ease. They’ve got a good little brain on them, and like to perceive meaning in commands they receive.

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      The Little Lion Dog isn’t known for its prey drive and it shouldn’t be a problem. However, as with most dogs, certain pups may still be prone to chasing smaller animals - early and consistent socialization can combat this.

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      Fearful / wary of strangers

      While the Lowchen is super friendly and lovely towards familiar faces, it can take them some time for them to get to this point with new people. They’re likely to be a little wary of strangers at first, but proper socialization can help this problem.

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      Exclusively a pet dog, the Lowchen is therefore quite dependent on his master.

      Behaviour of the Little Lion Dog

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        Tolerates solitude

        This pup loves human company and is prone to separation anxiety. They can get used to short periods of alone time, but if you work out of the house all day or need to leave your dog for long periods of time, the Little Lion Dog is probably not the right breed for you.

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        Easy to train / obedience

        This smart breed is able to pick up training with ease - you should have no problems whatsoever! As previously mentioned, early socialization is particularly important for the Lowchen, as they tend to be rather timid around new people.

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        Unfortunately, this dog does like to bark. They’ll alert you to any passers-by or visitors, which could get rather annoying if you live on a busy street.

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