Löwchen Dog Breed Information

Löwchen (Small Lion Dog)

Löwchen (Small Lion Dog)

Löwchen, or the Small Lion Dog, is a breed of indoor and decorative dog, which has a very ancient origin. It was bred in France presumably in the 12th-13th century. Lövchen is a wonderful companion, intelligent, obedient and friendly, moderately active and playful. Needs haircuts and simple, but regular care.

Löwchen Dog Breed Information
Löwchen Dog Breed Information


1 Origin story

2 Appearance

3 Character and behavior

4 Education and training 

5 Content Features

5.1 Care

5.1.1 Löwchen haircut

6 Health and longevity

7 Where to buy a Levchen puppy

7.1 Price 8 Photos and videos

8.1 Video about the dog breed Levchen (Small Lion Dog)

Origin story

Very little is known about the origin of the small lion dog. Basically, the history of the breed has to be traced through paintings, tapestries, and other objects of art. So in the Amiens Cathedral, built at the end of the 13th century, the carving on the stone depicts two typical representatives of the lichen breed. In the 15th-17th centuries, images of these dogs are found on tapestries and paintings. It is known that the Levkhens were very fond of the court ladies of Burgundy in the 18th century. In their writings, the breed is mentioned by Carl Linnaeus and Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon. Naturalists describe it very accurately and emphasize the rarity of small lion dogs.

Cynologists believe that levkhen occurred as a result of crossing various breeds that existed at that time. It could be poodles, lapdogs, barbets, terriers, and others. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the popularity of the breed declined sharply. In 1960, the small lion dog (fr. Petit Chien lion) was listed as one of the rarest breeds in the world. Since then, its popularity has increased slightly, but the breed is still little known and unpopular. Worldwide, only a few hundred new puppies are registered each year. The National Breed Club was founded in France in 1971. Löwchen was recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) only in 2004.


Lyokhin is a small, strong dog with good bones, and a compact, harmonious physique. The head is carried high, thanks to which the general smartness is even better expressed. Movement proud. Height at withers 26-32 cm; weight – about 6 kg. The head is relatively short, rather broad. The length of the muzzle is approximately 2/3 of the length of the skull.

The skull is flat. The stop is expressed moderately. The muzzle is straight, rather broad. The nose is black, and brown only in dogs of the corresponding color. The bridge of the nose is straight. The lips are tight, black or brown (in brown dogs). Teeth strong, complete, scissor bite.

The eyes are set straight, very dark, round, large, set wide apart, looking straight ahead. The eyelids are pigmented. The ears are set at eye level, moderately long, hanging, and the fringe is well developed and can reach the tip of the nose.

The neck is slightly arched, of good length. Square body. The topline is straight. The loin is wide and short. The chest is well developed and lowered to the elbows. The abdomen is well tucked up. The tail is set just below the topline. Carried elegantly curved over the back. Limbs with strong bones, vertical and parallel set, strong. The paws are small and rounded, and the fingers are tightly knit, and arched. The coat is single-layered, long, silky, dense, and slightly wavy, without an undercoat. Any colors: all colors and combinations are allowed.

Character and behavior

Levkhen (a small lion-dog) is a companion by nature and vocation. He is cheerful, smart, agile, always affectionate, friendly, and playful. He loves attention very much and gets upset or even offended if he does not receive it. Strongly attached to the owner and does not like annoying attention from outsiders. Levens get along well with other pets from small hamsters to large dogs.

On walks, they enjoy playing with relatives, but some dogs prefer the owner’s company. They treat children well, support games with pleasure, and tolerate petty pranks. They can be intolerant of intrusiveness, so for life in a family with babies, a dog must be well socialized and brought up or raised with children.

Lövchen owners note that they are very obedient, attentive, and sensitive dogs that are able to restrain themselves and quickly calm down on command, strive to understand what is expected of them, try to bring joy to the owner, and share the hobby.

In everyday life, Lövchen behaves quietly and reservedly. He has a very pleasant character due to the ability to adapt to the lifestyle of the family and quickly understand what the owner wants in the process of education. Strangers behave cautiously or friendly, gullible. Of course, the levkhen will not be able to protect the owner or his property in case of danger, but he is a good watchman who will react loudly to any extraneous noises or the arrival of guests.

In everyday life, he is not too talkative, barks only when it is really necessary, during the game or when he is very excited. It is interesting that the hunting instinct is quite well developed in the Levkhen, only it is somewhat modified. Seeing, for example, a squirrel, the dog will run after it, and when it catches up, it will not know what to do with it.

Education and training 

Like many other decorative dogs, the levkhen does not require special training. In the process of education, he himself remembers the basic commands necessary for life, for example, “come”, “place”, “sit”, etc. If desired, the owners can teach their mini lion many other commands, including simple circus tricks. Tweens are very smart and capable. In Europe and America, they can be seen at agility, flyball, and freestyle competitions.

Content Features

The Small Lion Dog is great for keeping even in a small apartment. Needs moderate exercise. A daily walk of about 30 minutes will be enough. In the cold season and in bad weather, walks can be reduced to a minimum, or even stay at home if the dog is accustomed to walking on a diaper. Undoubtedly, the fact that the level practically does not shed will please. At home, he is neat, rarely messes up, and spoils things.

Owners and breeders recommend setting up personal space for the dog with a bed and a few toys. In the warm season, dogs with a traditional haircut should be protected from direct sunlight or sunscreen should be used on shaved areas of the body during long walks. In winter, levkhen need additional warming with clothes selected according to the weather.


In order to maintain the cleanliness and natural beauty of the coat, it is enough to comb the dog several times a week and bathe with shampoo and conditioner every 7-10 days. From time to time they clean their ears and teeth and cut their claws. Eyes are wiped daily, making sure that they remain dry and clean.

Lichen haircut

A very complex lion haircut is a mandatory attribute only for show dogs. It is trimmed every 2 months and a few days before the show. Dogs that do not participate in the show can walk in any hairstyle, very short or long. The traditional lion haircut of the lichen resembles that of the Portuguese water dog, with a few differences. The hair on the head, muzzle, chest, and front of the body to the last rib is left long. The back of the body, as well as the hair on the hind legs above the hocks, is cut out. Only the extreme half of the tail and paws remain intact. The front legs are cut from the shoulder-scapular joint to the metacarpus.

Health and longevity

In general, levhens are healthy dogs. Life expectancy is 12-14 years. Little is known about hereditary diseases. The breed has a predisposition to the following diseases:


  • Progressive retinal atrophy;
  • Dislocation of the kneecap;
  • hip dysplasia;
  • Atopic dermatitis.


Where to buy a Levchen puppy

It will be very difficult to buy a Lewchen puppy. Not only because it is very expensive, but also because very few puppies go on sale. In good nurseries, babies are booked in advance, and those who want to buy a pet lion have to line up. The main population of dogs is concentrated in France and the United States of America. There are large nurseries in Canada, Germany, Spain, and Finland. In the CIS countries,

\there are single representatives of the breed, there are no breeders and even more so there are no nurseries yet. Tips for choosing and acquiring a dog are no different from those for buying a puppy of any other breed. In this matter, it is important to choose a competent breeder with livestock tested for health, character, and conformation. Babies must be healthy and vaccinated on time. Assess their compliance with the standard and temperament.







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Written by Amma

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