Ashford Kennel Löwchen

Löwchen Breed Standards

American kennel Club Breed Standard for LÖWCHEN

General Appearance

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.

Size, Proportion, Substance
Size - Ideally, mature dogs and bitches are between 12 to 13 inches at the withers. Height may vary 1 inch above or below this ideal. Only where the comparative superiority of a specimen outside this range clearly justifies it should greater latitude be taken. Absolute height at the withers should not take precedence over correct proportion and substance. Proportion - The body is just off-square when properly balanced. The distance from the prosternum to the point of buttocks is slightly greater than the distance from the withers to the ground in an 11 to 10 ratio. The distance from the ground to the elbow is slightly greater than the distance from the elbow to the wither. The Löwchen should never be low stationed. Substance: The mature Löwchen is sturdily built with strong bone and muscular hindquarters, but never coarse.


The head is a hallmark breed characteristic. The expression is bright, alert, and lively. The eyes are set well into the skull, round in shape, large, set well apart, and forward looking. Eyes are dark brown in color; lighter colored dogs may have lighter brown eyes but darker eyes are preferred. The ears are pendant, moderate in length, well fringed, and set on slightly above the level of the eye. The backskull is broad and relatively flat from ear to ear. The stop is moderately 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 jaw is wide enough to accommodate all incisors in a straight row. Coloration of pigment is in accordance with coat color. Nose and eye rims are completely pigmented. The lips are tight with color the same as the nose. The bite is scissors and the teeth are rather large and well spaced with complete dentition.

Neck, Topline, Body

The neck is of good length with a slight arch, fitting smoothly into the shoulders and topline. The head is carried high when the dog is moving. The topline is level from withers to tailset. 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 tail is set high and carried in a well-arched cup-handle fashion with the plume touching the back when the dog is moving. A dropped tail while standing is not to be penalized.


The shoulders are strong and well laid back with smooth musculature. The upper arm isof 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 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.


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. Wiry, woolly, curly, and flat coat textures are not correct and are to be penalized to the degree of severity. No scissoring or shaping of the unclipped coat is permitted. Puppies typically have a softer coat.

Lion Clip - the coat is clipped to about 1/8" on the following parts of the body: from the last rib back to and including the hindquarters; the hindquarters to the hock joints; the front legs from the elbows to a point on the legs which is equal to the same distance from the ground to the hock joints leaving cuffs of hair on all four legs; the tail from the base to approximately one-half way to the tip leaving a plume at the end of the tail; and the feet are entirely clipped. The unclipped areas must be completely natural and untrimmed. On no account should the unclipped areas be smoothed, shortened, shaped or otherwise tidied with anything other than a comb or brush. Any clip other than specified or any shaping or scissoring of the long coat are disqualifications.


All colors and color combinations are acceptable with no preference given to any.


Movement at a trot is effortless with good reach in front and full extension in the rear. From the front the forelegs move in almost parallel lines converging slightly as the speed increases. From the rear the legs move in almost parallel lines and in the same line of motion as the forelegs, converging slightly as the speed increases. From the side movement is efficient and ground covering. The forelegs reach well out in front in a long, relatively low stride, and the rear legs come well under the body and extend behind to maximize propulsion. The body remains nearly square in outline and the topline is held firm and level, with the tail being carried curved over the back and the head held above the level of the back.


The Löwchen is alert, intelligent, and affectionate with the overall qualities of a loving companion dog. It has a lively, outgoing, and inquisitive personality


Any trim other than specified. Shaping or scissoring of the long coat

Approved May 11, 2010 Effective July 28, 2010 

Click here to read previous official standard that was approved in 1986

Löwchen Standards

Federation Cynologique International (FCI) Standard No233/02.4.2004/GB


Group 9 Companion & Toy

Alternative Names:Little Lion Dog, Petit Chien Lion

 ORIGIN: France.


 UTILIZATION: Companion Dog.

 FCI'S CLASSIFICATION: Group 9 Companions and Toys Section 1.3 Bichons and related breeds Without Working Trial.

 BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: In the Amiens Cathedral, the construction of which dates back to the XIII° century, one can see, carved in stone, two Lowchen which perfectly represent the breed. In the XV° century its distinctive silhouette was often depicted in tapestries. The breed was cherished by the ladies of the court of Burgundy. It was especially in the 17th century that the breed was represented in old masterpieces. Buffon describes it very precisely in his "Histoire Naturelle", stressing its rarity. At the same period the Swedish naturalist, Linné also mentions it. The Lowchen was once called "Bichon Little Lion Dog". The French Breed Club was founded November 18th, 1947.

 GENERAL APPEARANCE: A small intelligent dog, gay with a lively and alert expression; overall robust with good bone- short and well proportioned body- head carried high - pronounced tuck-up. The movement is proud and determined, accentuated by the floating mane from the lion clip; the unclipped areas should be completely natural and on no account should they be shaped.
The lion clip is obligatory for showing.

 IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The body is square. The length of the body (point of shoulder to point of buttock) is equal to the height at the withers. The length of the muzzle represents approximately 2/3 of the skull.

 BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT: Very affectionate and obedient with its masters, attentive and receptive, at ease in all circumstances; capable of being calm and discreet on command. His forthright and tender look tries to understand what is expected of him.

 HEAD: Relatively short and quite broad from the top of the skull to the muzzle; carried high.
Cranial Region
Skull: Relatively flat : as broad as it is long.
Stop: Moderately marked.
Facial Region
Nose: Black (total pigmentation is obligatory), except for brown coats and derivatives. In the latter case, the nose is dark brown (total pigmentation obligatory). The nose is well in line with the topline of the muzzle.
Muzzle: Rather broad, straight.
Lips: Tight and black, except for brown coats and derivatives, in which case, the lips are dark brown.
Jaws/Teeth: Strong teeth, complete dentition with scissor bite. Absence of the PM1 is tolerated.
Eyes: Set well forward, the eyes are large, very dark, round and well spaced; must be forward looking. The lids are totally pigmented.
Ears: Set low (level with eyes). Moderately long, capable of almost reaching, if pulled, half the length of the muzzle; pendant, well fringed. The fringes can reach, at least, to the end of the nose.

 NECK: Of good length, slightly arched, merging smoothly into the shoulders and withers.

Topline: Straight.
Loin: Short, broad and muscled.
Chest: Well developed, down to elbow.
Tuck-up: Well defined.

 TAIL: Set on slightly below the topline. Carried elegantly arched over the back without touching the latter. Only the plume touches the back either when standing or in action..

Shoulders: Well inclined, mobile, well muscled.
Elbows: Close to the body.
Metacarpus (Pastern): Short and straight viewed from front; slightly sloping viewed from the side.
Forefeet: Small and round, toes tight and well arched.

Upper & lower thigh: Well muscled, the tibia is the same length as the femur. The point of buttock is slightly prominent.
Hock: Relatively strong, the point is at approximately ¼ of the height at the withers, normal angulation.
Metatarsus (Rear pastern): Robust, perpendicular to the ground.
Hind feet: Small and round, toes tight and well arched.

 GAIT / MOVEMENT: Lively, energetic and with good reach; legs parallel in action, head carried proudly.

Hair: The coat is silky, long, wavy, dense; without undercoat.
Colour: All colours and combinations of colours are permitted.

Height at withers: 26 to 32 cm at the withers, with a tolerance of +/- 1 cm.
Weight : 6 kgs approximately.

 FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.


Aggressive or overly shy.

Total or partial depigmentation of the nose, lips and eyelids or other colour than black, or other colour than dark brown for brown coats and derivatives.

Turned up nose.

Absence of one or more incisives or canines.

Non consecutive absence of more than two teeth (PM2, PM3, lower PM4).

Consecutive absence of two teeth (PM2, PM3, lower PM4).

Absence of a carnassial tooth (upper PM4, lower M1) or of another molar except for M3.

Overshot or undershot.

Eyes: small, almond shaped, protruding, too light or wall.

Entropion, ectropion.

Ears: not long enough or without fringe.

Tail curled in a ring.

Coat: curly, too short, lack of waves.

Severe anatomical malformation.

Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

 N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Website Builder