Looking at these ragamuffin little dogs, you have to ask yourself, why on earth would anyone consider a Löwchen? They have a funny clip, which certainly defines the breed and which we, as breeders, love—but to the general public who keep them in a typical puppy clip, they really don’t look like what people expect a “purebred” to look like. That is, they certainly do not look like a Poodle or a Schnauzer.
The very reason we have and love purebred dogs is that they were developed to perform a function for mankind, be as hunters, herders, or guarders—or, as in this case, for companionship.
While many people select their breed based on its look rather than its temperament, the Löwchen is easily overlooked, as he might be considered by many as just a rather plain little dog with a funny clip. Other companion dogs are considered cuter by some, and the poor Löwchen has been sadly overlooked as people are drawn to the cute Bichon Frise or the distinct look of a Yorkshire Terrier. People seem to prefer a more polished, neater-looking dog in their household. This scruffy little Benji-type dog is rather nondescript to most, and I tend to think that most people feel if they wanted this “look,” they could find it at any time in the local pound.
However, here’s the thing: A Löwchen isn’t just about his outward appearance. It’s about the essence of the breed’s temperament that makes them special. That predictability is one of the reasons we have purebred dogs; we breed not only for looks but to secure the type of temperament or function we want in specific breeds.
Löwchen are true companion dogs. Loving and being devoted to their owners is paramount for them. It is in their DNA to want to be with you, please you, and make you laugh. This is a dog whom you can connect with in a very special way. Their expressive eyes lock onto yours, and there is a silent and very clear communication taking place between you. Unlike any other breed I have ever owned, the Löwchen gets under your skin and connects like no other. They seem to have an uncanny ability to understand what you need from them.
However, this is definitely not a cookie-cutter breed. Like people, Löwchen come with many different personalities, from the athlete to the couch potato and everything in between. For that reason when you deal with a breeder, you will find they usually will ask a lot of questions about your lifestyle. Are you active? A homebody? A social person who has lots of company all the time? Are there children in the household? Seniors?
There is a Löwchen for every type of lifestyle. However, the key to finding the right Löwchen is trusting and finding a breeder who understands the need for the right fit. The wrong Löwchen in the wrong environment can be a disaster for everyone concerned.
As a breeder I will actually suggest which breeding is the most likely to have a puppy to suit the person’s lifestyle. With Löwchen especially, for a breeder it’s not just a matter of keeping a list and selling puppies. It’s a matter of fitting the right personalities together—and when you do, it’s magic. When you have had a Löwchen, the right Löwchen, you can’t imagine your life without them.
Whether you like the ragamuffin look or want something tidied up, this breed is overlooked and yet has so much to offer.
—Gillian Robertson, Löwchen Club of America, from the March 2015 AKC Gazette