A small, bright, and lively dog that originated as a companion breed in pre-Renaissance Europe where ladies of the court groomed it in the likeness of a little lion. Breed characteristics are a compact, balanced body; a relatively short, broad topskull and muzzle; and a proud, lively gait that accentuates the lion cut with a long flowing mane. These quintessential features, combined with an outgoing and positive attitude, result in a dog of great style.
The head is a hallmark breed characteristic. The backskull is broad and relatively flat from ear to ear. The stop ismoderately well defined.The length from nose to base of stop is two-thirds of the length from base of stop to occiput. The muzzle is well filled and relatively broad with moderate depth of underjaw resulting in a slightly rounded finish to the muzzle.
The body is slightly off-square when properly balanced. The loin is short and strong. The ribs are well sprung. The brisket is moderate in width and extends approximately to the elbows. The underline has a slight tuck-up at the loin.
The shoulders are strong and well laid back with smooth musculature. The upper arm is of equal length to the shoulder blade and the two meet in a near 90 degree angle. The elbows are held close to the body. Forearms are of good length and the distance from the withers to the elbow is slightly less than the distance from the elbow to the ground. From the front the legs are perfectly parallel from the elbows to the feet. The bone is more round than oval and of medium size with only a slight decrease in size at the pasterns. The pasterns are short, parallel from the front, and very slightly bent when viewed from the side. The forefeet point straight ahead and are tight and well arched with deep pads, and the two center toes are slightly in advance of the two outer toes. Dewclaws may be removed. The nails are relatively short.
The Löwchen must be shown in the traditional Lion Clip. The unclipped areas of the coat are long, rather dense and moderately soft in texture. The unique Löwchen coat consists of hairs of varying diameters with a more noticeable collection of denser hair around the neck and withers. The coat may fall to either side but must never be artificially parted.
It has a slightly to moderately wavy appearance.
The pelvic bone projects beyond the set of the tail and is at an approximate 30 degree angle from a perfectly horizontal line. The upper and lower thighs are well muscled and of approximately equal length with medium bone. The stifles are well bent. The hocks are well let down and perpendicular to the ground from any angle.The hindfeet point straight ahead, are slightly smaller than the forefeet, and are well arched with deep pads.