The Löwchen or Little Lion Dog (German: Löwchen 'little lion', French: Petit chien lion, 'little lion dog ') is a breed of dog. A small dog, they are considered by some registries as a toy dog and by the American Kennel Club as a non-sporting dog.
The Löwchen once had the dubious distinction, like the Portuguese Water Dog and the Havanese, of being the rarest dog in the world. In 1973 there were only 65 registered examples of the breed. Even today, the breed generally has fewer than a few hundred new registrations each year worldwide.
The Löwchen's coat is long and flowing and comes in many colours. The coat should not be thin and fluffy like a Bichon Frise, but wavy with a mix of thicker hairs amongst the fine ones. This allows for a flowing coat that is not frizzy or fly-away, and a Löwchen coat should not be harsh like many terriers. The Löwchen does not shed, and this breed has very low allergic effects, and are considered hypoallergenic. The head of the Löwchen is one of its most important features, with its relatively short, wide muzzle, broad skull, lively round eyes, and pendulant ears. They can come in all colours, including brown, that allow for dark eyes and nose. The head, when in proportion to the body, is neither too big nor too small, but helps to emphasize the friendly, regal, and leonine personality of the Löwchen. The litter size is usually between three and six puppies. The Löwchen's life span is around 12–14 years.
Löwchen in a lion cut
The Löwchen's long and wavy coat is presented in a lion cut. This means that the haunches, back legs, front legs (except bracelets around the ankles), and the 1/3–1/2 of the tail closest to the body are shaved, and the rest of the coat is left natural to give the dog the appearance of a male lion. The lion cut is the traditional way of presenting these dogs but it is not known where the practice comes from. Dogs in lion clip may need some protection in wintertime on the shaved parts.
Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%B6wchen
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