Ashford Kennel Löwchen

My Löwchen Book

Here is the story of my writing the book on Lowchen. It has had some slight revisions recently. If you would like a physical copy, click on the PayPal Button below! If you are not ready to buy this book, read on and go to the link for the book online. 

I had written an article for Dog World which was published In December-January 1985-1986. To write the story, I gathered what I could and was surprised the story was long enough to be 
a two-parter! Leslie Healy of Pepperland Kennels submitted photos to be used in the article. After this was published, my first published work which I even earned $500(!!!) for, I was hooked and began to find ways to write more. I eventually published numerous articles in various dog magazines, in particular Dog World, Show Sight and Kennel Review, where I became a staff writer under the tutelage of Michael Shoop.

While I published the Lowchen Club of America (LCA) Newsletter "Headlions" for a small stint, I surprisingly-looking back, wrote very little for the club. Probably due to the usual club politics-I am sure. I did some writing when I was the Judges Education chairperson over 7 years, even producing a "Judging Löwchen" CD-Rom, just before the breed was accepted in regular competition. The CD was based on the judges education program I had put together and toured the country with. I also published several editions of a "Judging Löwchen" manual. It was only natural that eventually my thoughts would turn to "The Book", which became an obsession for me. 

In 1990, I began to seriously plan, research and write my book on the breed, which was published and sold for the first time in 2002. Titled "The Löwchen, The Breed Forgotten By History", it was privately published, even though I had a publisher (TFH), that wanted the book. I chose against going commercially since the number of photos would have been drastically cut, there would have been generic sections not specifically pertaining to the Löwchen regarding breeding, training etc. I also wanted to retain control over the book since I had spent over 10 years researching the breed. I combed libraries and world renown art museums and galleries, all the while looking for traces of the breed, especially in old books and art works-which I long considered the cameras of the years before photography. I even haunted old print and stamp shops!  I wrote to all the known breeders and exhibitors of the breed back then. I am happy to say many responded, and I have maintained a friendship with many to this day! I so remember the thrill of discovery every step of the way. 

What started out as an article for a magazine grew far bigger than I ever imagined it would. When I first thought of writing a book, I wondered what could I write about and how will I ever find enough material to create a book?! All the information being given out to people by the LCA and current breeders went into the Dog World article. (Featured here on this site) There really wasn't much! To my great pleasure and surprise, there was a wealth of information out there to be mined! 

Initially I set out to prove the, then current, story of the breeds development around the Mediterranean. Imagine my shock to find very little evidence of this story and much more that the breed probably stemmed from a type of dog from the Tibetan/Asiatic regions, that made its way into the northern regions of Germany, Holland and Belgium. I found little evidence of the breed actually developing in France, despite its breed development being attributed to France by Madame Bennert. I came to believe that the dog that wandered into the regions we now recognize as Germany, Holland and Belgium, mixed with the local dogs, including the forefathers of today's Schnauzers, Spitz's and other dogs; melding into the little dog we all know and love so much! I am proud to find that my discoveries seem to have become the accepted history of our breeds origins, as I see it so mentioned, in much of today's breed information and literature. 

Another motivating factor for writing the book was the realization that American breeders were seriously straying away from what the breed was supposed to be. They became larger and type was seriously becoming non Löwchen-like in comparison withe the rest of the world. The LCA drastically changed the standard, calling for a larger dog, with TWO head types!!!! Scary!!!! To try to affect change, I knew the book would have to not only be information in words but with many pictures to help influence a trend back to what the breed should be! I am happy to say that this has happened and feel that our American dogs are certainly competitive world-wide.

I believe contributing factors are not only the book, but a series of imports into the country, especially Ch. El Guarda Captain Starlite, who I imported from Australia and eventually gave on co-ownership to Richard & Jennifer Lawless, cementing a very successful partnership that lasted years. The combination of Richards bond with the little guy and their great teamwork in the show ring and Jennifer's incredible grooming skills made Captain a show stopper and top winning Löwchen! People took notice and began copying Jennifer's styling of the dog. Also, we had two world congresses, which produced a flurry of importing and exporting in subsequent years. This interchange of information and dogs helped bring the American breeders more firmly back in line with Europe and what the breed is supposed to look like. 
My research and writing process took place years before the internet made communication and research so easy! I came away much richer with many friends in the breed, in particular Felizitas Dylla, of the German Burgwald Kennel. A past President of the German Löwchen Klub, and devoted lover of the breed, we became fast friends and shared many adventures together when I came to Germany on fact finding trips! We even went so far as to almost, literally, kill the son of Dr. Rickert, when visiting him for information on his fathers dogs. The story will be told later on this website, I promise, because it is laughable today!

There are 12 chapters in the book, and over 200 hundred photos. This book is now available for free!!! Details below! To see what is covered in the book; the chapters are as follows: 

Chapter 1:  Emerging from the Mist's of Time, the Löwchen Beginnings. I discuss how dog breeds came to be, postulate on orgins of the Löwchen as well as the Toy Poodle, which I believe derived out of the Löwchen. (Heresy in some circles, I know!)

Chapter 2:  Early Löwchen History.  Here I tell the story of the breed from the early 1900's on to the days of Madame Bennert, Dr. Rickert and Frau Ostertag. Even back then, there was some bickering, and dissension between breeders! I also tell the story of an unknown Löwchen kennel, from which Madame Bennert acquired her third Löwchen with which to begin her breeding program!

Chapter 3:  Löwchen Throughout The World. This was a continuation of the Löwchen story, telling of the early kennels in Europe, many of which can be found in our pedigrees today, if you go back far enough. I tell the story of start of the German Löwchen club and some of the early breeders. Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Holland, Ireland, New Zealand Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Canada. 

Chapter 4: Löwchen In Great Britain. Because the English had a large hand in saving the breed from extinction, I had to devote an entire chapter to them. The English are masters at promotion and because of this, they were able to interest others around the world, to take up the challenge of saving this breed from extinction. Without their devotion to this breed, I question that we would have heard of it at all. 

Chapter 5:  Löwchen Club of America. In this chapter I tell the story of the breed in America in the first years. You will see pictures of the early dogs found in almost every pedigree here in the States. I detail the early Löwchen Club of America club history at length, even the details of a "revolution", that took place at one of our first nationals! The foundation kennels are fleshed out, including this kennel. Of the kennels written about, only Nadine Pelleschi's "Kismet Kennel", Earl Marie Dingles "Lambert Kennel " and my "Ashford Kennel" are still in existence and active in the breed. Obviously there are many newcomers, by the three of us, our standard's, so it is definitely time for a revision or update to the book!

Chapter 6: The Structure Of The  Löwchen. Here I began the meat and potatoes of the breed, a discussion of standards, including the breed standard found in the book "Hunderassen" (Dog Breeds), which was published in 1905. This chapter features all the breed standards as they were at that time. There are some wonderful photos of some of the breed "Greats". I write a section titled: Defining The Ideal Löwchen" which breaks down the dog in parts with specifics. 

Chapter 7:  Buying Löwchen. You will find details on how to find a quality breeder, how to decide which sex you might prefer, and information on contracts. If you want to import, there is information on the what to do's and not to dos. I have a great photo of "Young" Jari Partenen showing Ch. Wanted Take A Bow in this chapter! 

Chapter 8:  Grooming The Löwchen. I cover the history and development of the cut as we know it today. Most of this chapter applies to American grooming for the show ring. A future revision will include the styling of the breed around the world today. Also a quick take on pet grooming is included. 

Chapter 9: Showing Your Löwchen. This lengthy chapter covers the gamut of how show classes are organized, how to show your Löwchen and what to wear in the ring, even! A brief discussion of what helps shape a judges perspective is covered. If you want to see Juha Kares as a young man you need to see this chapter!

Chapter 10: Breeding Löwchen. This important chapter is very definitely written to cover breeding specifics of this breed. Breed issues and nuances are covered, as well as selection of breeding pairs and use of pedigrees. The bitch in whelp, birthing and care of puppies to the day of placing them is all covered here. 

Chapter 11: Tips To Your Puppy's Education. This great chapter was co-written with Felizitas Dylla, while I was visiting her in her home in Münchausen, Germany. Felizitas was always the better trainer between the two of us. I just sort of have my dogs do things with out really trying to train them. A dog trainer friend of mine told me I was an instinctive trainer, that was why I was so terrible in explaining how to train a puppy. So naturally I enlisted the help of someone I felt was the perfect person for this! I am very proud of this chapter, since it really covers the details needed to ensure a successful puppyhood and beyond of our highly intelligent Löwchen puppies. I like this chapter so much, that I used to give it out to puppy buyers when they came to get their puppies. I give permission to anyone that wants to do this, but ask that they give credit to Felizitas Dylla and myself, as the writers,and include the title and web address of the book in the credits!

Chapter 12: Löwchen in Art. This was easily one of my most favorite chapters to write. I love art, and researching this book gave me the perfect excuse to go to art museums throughout Europe, whenever I was in a city overseas, or even here in the States, I would hightail it over to the art museums. I tell about the search for Löwchen in art, the symbolism of dogs and Löwchen in particular, when depicted by artists in the renaissance years. I reveal the earliest known example of a Löwchen in art (at that time), which dated to 1422. I have a brief listing of examples of art with our favorite breed featured in it, but as we all now know, there are many more examples known to us today than were known to us back then! One of the points of the chapter is that the breed of today still looks relatively like it did way back when. I urged readers to consider this when making choices for breeding. I hope the breeders don't stray too far from the original look of the breed. 

I began a quest some years ago to have the book published online, since it is important to me that new-comers to the breed have access to this information. I want them to see the early dogs, especially the Littlecourt dogs. I have always felt that Freda McGregors presentation of the breed was flawless in her day, and the photos she had taken of her dogs were so helpful in getting across what the breed essence should be. It is important that today's breeders and exhibitors have knowledge of where their breed came from and to take caution to protect it, keeping it much as it always was. I was fortunate to hear from Canadian Linda Pringle who was building a website known as "the Löwchen Guardian". She approached me about including the book in a "library" online. I was thrilled! Even though nay-sayers said I should not give the book away, I should charge for it, I went ahead and gave her permission to use it. I had earned enough through sales of the book,  to partially pay for the expenses (which were large). I felt it was more important to make this information available to the general public, than to continue to profit from the book. I also do this since I am grateful to the many that shared information, time and encouragement to make the book the success that it was and still seems to be. 

If you would like to buy this book, through PayPal, Click on the link below. 

 Here is a link to Linda Pringles Web Site and the book I wrote so long ago!

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