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 the Lowchen’s fur is clipped in the 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, their “job” has always been to provide companionship and affection.

Lowchen Temperament

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 make sure a Lowchen is the right dog for you.


The Lowchen is a 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 is devoted to his master and will bark to alert him to any sign of danger. The Lowchen has a tendency to be vocal, and may not be the best choice for apartment living. Excessive barking should not be encouraged.


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 keep up with athletic owners.


The Lowchen bonds deeply to its family. It thrives with human interaction. The Lowchen becomes depressed or anxious if it is neglected. It needs to be part of the action. If you work long hours, consider a dog walker or doggie daycare.


Lowchen love to romp and cavort and play! They bring joy and amusement to their guardians, and they adore children as long as they are socialized properly. They also enjoy the company of other animals as long as they are introduced with care.

A Brief History of the Lowchen

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

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

We know that the breed dates back 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 Poodle, Bichon Frise, and Maltese.

Some people speculate that Lowchen were actually used as living hot water bottles for nobility. The clipped part of the dog would be under the covers for warmth. Meanwhile, the furry part of the dog would remain out of the covers to draw fleas away from the sleeping royalty.

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 from 500 years ago.

Lowchen Size and Appearance

The Lowchen weighs no more than 15 lbs and stands no more than 14 inches tall.

The coat is usually clipped in a traditional “lion cut” with a fluffy mane and a tuft on the tail.

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

The coat comes in a variety of colors and patterns, and the hair requires professional grooming every few months.

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:

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

Note: if you agree that your health and your dog's health should be a top priority then get a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health.  Your Lowchen friend will love you for it.

Training your Lowchen

Lowchen are intelligent and trainable.

Keep training sessions fun and upbeat. Training should be a positive experience for you and your Lowchen.

Always use positive reinforcement methods. Never use harsh or physical reprimands.

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

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

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

Lowchen Rescue

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

The Lowchen Club of America 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.

The adoption fee for a dog from a shelter or rescue group generally runs between $75 and $200. Lowchen from adoption agencies are already vetted, altered, and sometimes microchipped.

Finding Lowchen Puppies for Sale

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

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

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 puppies are being raised 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.”

The Lowchen price will almost certainly be over $2,000 and the price can easily climb even higher than that depending on the breeder.

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.

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 that “the Little Lion Dog” is the right match for you