Löwchen Club of American Collection
5.25 linear ft in 11 boxes
Processed by Norma Rosado-Blake and Kari Dalane, 2006; revisions by Brynn White, 2016
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The Löwchen Club of America records contains materials created by, collected by, and related to the Löwchen Club of America and its efforts to promote the Löwchen breed. The collection is a great resource for information on some of the first Löwchens in America through registration and stud book records. Present club records provide insight into the efforts of the Club to get the breed recognized by the AKC.
The collection is arranged into three groups based on format and/or content:
- Studbook, 1971-1996
- Publications, 1974-2006
- Club Administration, 1989-2003
The Little Lion Dog Club of America was formed in 1971 by Jane and Charles Cook along with Bob and Carol Yhlen. The club aimed to advance the rare breed that had recently made its way to America, known then as the “Little Lion Dog”. This name is a direct translation from the French “Petit Chien Lion”, as the dog is known in France. The main goals of this club were to protect and promote the Little Lion Dogs in America, as well as begin a studbook for the dogs. The Little Lion Dog Club of America modeled its studbook after the American Kennel Club's registration procedures.
Mrs. Jane Cook imported three dogs from England in 1971. The dogs came from Cluneen Kennel, owned by Mrs. Eilish Banks, and they became the first three dogs in the LLDCA studbook. There were two females, Cluneen Dana and Cluneen Erinna, as well as one male, Cluneen Fergus. Jane and Charles Cook had made a trip to Europe to learn more about the breed, and when they returned with the three dogs, newsmen were waiting at the airport to document the arrival of the Little Lions in the United States.
The LLDCA had the French standard for the “Petite Chien Lion” translated into English and this became the standard for the dog in America. A point system was developed by Liz Vargo and Bob Yhlen in 1984. The first Little Lion Dog specialty show was held in 1987.
The Club voted to change the name of the breed to Löwchen in 1991, and the name of the club accordingly became the Löwchen Club of America. The dog is also known as the Löwchen in Germany and England, while it remains “Petite Chien Lion” in France.
Around this time the club also began work on revising the standard to make it more specific. The new standard was passed by vote in 1993. Also in 1993, the Löwchen Club of America voted to seek American Kennel Club recognition for the breed. The Club revised its Constitution and Bylaws and the Breed Standard in order to meet AKC's requirements. The American Kennel Club voted to recognize the Löwchen Club of America as a licensed club. Beginning in 1996, the Löwchen began to compete in the Miscellaneous class. It moved to the Non-Sporting Group in 1999 when the breed gained full AKC recognition.
The Club's major activity originally focused around maintaining the studbook. Now activities have shifted to holding specialty shows and studying the health of the breed. A 2002 survey conducted by the club in cooperation with Michelle Marini at Virginia Maryland College of Medicine showed that the breed is a relatively healthy one with no major health problems. Minor problems include eye troubles such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy. The club also focuses on judge education and has a Löwchen rescue program.
Scope and Content
The studbooks constitute the bulk of the collection, consisting of registrations based on a system developed in the earliest days of the Löwchen in America. The first three dogs registered were in fact the first three Löwchen in the United States. There are over 700 registrations dating from 1971- 1996, at which point the American Kennel Club took over the studbook. Each registration includes a pedigree and many also include photos and certificates. The studbook provides detailed records of the Löwchen in the United States from the beginning.
The publications consist primarily of club newsletters, dating from 1988-2001, and yearbooks from the 1990s and 2000s which document club activities as well as histories of the breed. They include photographs of dogs from well known kennels, such as Lowe-Ray Kennel, Pepperland Kennel, Duncara Kennel and Ashland Kennel. There are additional non-club publications and clippings, several from photo contests held by the LCA.
The club administration materials include the LCA presentation to the American Kennel Club lobbying for the recognition for their breed. It provides a concise overview of club history and activities, as well as photographs of the ideal Löwchen. Also present are membership lists dating back until 1988, a seminar folder that contains much of the same information that can be found in the AKC presentation series, and miscellaneous documents, including one set of meeting minutes from 1989 and some documents relating to discussion of a code of ethics for the club.
A gift of Carole Kramer, President, on behalf of the Löwchen Club of American, 2006.