The Löwchen dog is also known as the little lion dog, and at one point, was classed as the rarest breed of dog in the world. They originate from Germany and France, and have a traceable history going back to the 15th century. They are renowned for being playful, active and friendly, as well as generally happy and not overly prone to inherited health problems, and have a long history as companion dogs, lap dogs and pets. One of their most distinctive features is their long, flowing coat that is often trimmed and clipped into the breed’s signature lion cut, although it is also commonly kept natural at its full length.
The coat, like that of many lap dogs and companion dogs, requires a reasonable amount of care and maintenance to keep it in good condition, and if not managed properly can soon get into a mess! In this article, we will look in more detail at the coat colour and type variations of the Löwchen dog, and the classical styles of the Löwchen fur. Read on to learn more!
The Löwchen dog’s coat has four genes responsible for pigmentation, which are black, red, black and tan bicolour, and tortoiseshell.
As well as the genes that define the colour or colour combination of the Löwchen’s coat, there are also an additional four alleles of the four colour genes, which define the patterning of the coat and distribution of the colour. The potential patterns for the Löwchen coat are numerous and varied, and when you combine the possibility for different pattern types on top of the different colour types and variants, you can see why the Löwchen is one of the most diverse dogs around in terms of their coat pattern and colour mixtures!
Left unclipped, the coat of the Löwchen will grow very long, and will be relatively thick and wavy with a combination of both fine hairs and thicker hairs. This leads to the coat flowing rather than becoming frizzy, and the hair should be reasonably soft and not harsh. While the coat is long and requires a significant amount of grooming to keep it in good condition, the breed is very low-shedding.
The lion cut is the most common coat styling for the Löwchen, and is generally the style that is preferred for showing. As the name implies, the lion cut is designed to give the Löwchen a lion-like appearance, and this is usually achieved by clipping off selected sections of the coat.
Generally, the back and front legs, haunches and the base of the tail are clipped off, while the rest of the coat is left long and natural, creating an appearance similar to that of the male lion with flowing hair around the head.
While this is the most common style for the Löwchen and is more common than a coat that is left naturally long all over, it does mean that the dog may need a little extra protection in the form of coats and jumpers during the winter to keep them warm!