LOWCHEN LEGEND: MRS FREDA McGREGOR
LITTLECOURT LOWCHENS

~Compiled and written by Sandy Steward, Pridesden Lowchens, Aberdeen, Scotland

Freda with Emma, one of her three favourite Littlecourt Lowchen

 

Freda who is now in her 103rd year - yes, you read that correctly, it is not a typo, puts her long life down to having always been active, with tennis, dancing, horse riding, hockey and lacrosse representing but a few of her activities. Not to be one to rest on her laurels, she learned to play Bowls and Bridge in later life.  Freda married and had two daughters, has two grandsons, a granddaughter and a great granddaughter. Phew, I’m exhausted just reading it back so far!!
 
Having been involved with dogs for most of her life and after leaving Agricultural College, she studied under an American Vet in Brighton and became a Veterinary Receptionist, Groomer and Canine Nurse.  Other activities in the canine world involved exhibiting (show and obedience), kennel management, training dogs in obedience and tracking trials with Miniature Schnauzers, Poodles and Bichons and, of course, judging at home and abroad. All in all, (Freda already had) a totally comprehensive grounding in the world of dogs.
  
Freda had always been interested in “new” and rare breeds and her interest in Lowchen was first sparked when she spied a clipped bottom of a non-poodle dog at the Maidstone Show. A conversation was struck up with the dog’s owner, Mrs Eilish Banks of the Cluneen Kennel. That one conversation (and bare bottom) resulted in a new breed going to live at Littlecourt.
 
The first Lowchen puppy (Cluneen I’m Innocence of Littlecourt) came to live at her Kennels. The puppy was by Cluneen Itzi vd3 Lowen and Cluneen Nadine. Freda describes her as a small reddish-brown with cream bracelets having a lovely temperament, very compact short, sturdy body with a level top line, rounded bottom and ribcage, well-set tail, broad skull and short foreface. Innocence went on to produce a great look alike to herself, Littlecourt Can Can, who went to Jenny Williams (Jinglejoys).
 
Breeding was not easy in the early days of Lowchen, as Freda explained that there were so very few in the world let alone the UK. So, other breeds had allegedly been used to keep the Lowchen alive.  There were obvious faults arising in the early days, such as smooth Pom (Pomeranian) faces and feet and hard coat texture, plus curly poodle-type coats.  These days, thankfully, most of these “peculiarities” have been bred out.
  
The Littlecourt “A” litter (Innocence’s first) included a dog that was a pioneer in Sweden, and “Aquarius” became the first champion in Scandinavia.  This was Freda’s first ever export. Later, Marina Rentersward was sent a “wife” for him - Littlecourt Bantam. Bantam became a Swedish and Finnish Champion and produced the first Lowchen litter born in Sweden.  Several other exports from the Littlecourt Kennels were sent to Scandinavia and did very well both in their showing and breeding capabilities.
  
Freda has always been grateful to Eilish that her foundation bitch did so well for the Breed and down the line bore many champions and earned Freda the coveted titles that her Kennel won over the years. 

  

  
Considered as her best dog, Ch. Littlecourt Pippin was selected into the last five exhibits in the Toy Group at Crufts (no mean feat in those days) and was Lowchen of the Year in 1979.

  
Eng. Ch Littlecourt Pippin JW (1978)

 

* Judge R. Flavell on awarding CC Best of Breed: “A dog I have always admired, full of charm with his lovely head and expression, good mouth, correct eye, short well proportioned body, sound legs and neat feet, and moved well and showed well. (I was) delighted to hear that this was his third CC.”
 
Twenty-seven Champions graced the statistics in Freda’s Littlecourt Kennel, all of which she bred herself, apart from two.  Sweden, Finland, Norway, Canada and Australia have reaped the rewards of Freda’s early pioneering work with the breed and I know they were all extremely grateful to her (and still are).
 

A few more stats for you to absorb:
 

  • Top Lowchen Breeder award in 1982, 1983 and 1984.
  • Judged the first Scandinavian Poodle and Lowchen Show in Sweden in 1982
  • Attended the first Lowchen World Congress in Germany
  • Judged Lowchens at Crufts in 1988
  • A founder Member and now Patron of the Lowchen Club in the UK


Freda considered her best Lowchen to be: Pippin, Can Can and Emma.


Here is a sampling from Freda’s personal archives:  

 
 

Littlecourt Akela (1973)

 

 

Eng S N Ch Littlecourt Emma (1974) Exp Sweden 


   

    

Eng Ch Littlecourt Gregi (1978)


  

Eng Sw Ch Jinglejoys Bright Baron of Littlecourt (1979) Exp Sweden

*Baron has won seven CCs, three reserve CCs nd numerous bests of breed, including Crufts, 1982, where Littlecourt Elizabeth won the bitch CC. Baron has a marvellous show temperament, and is siring lovely puppies.




  

Eng N S Ch Acajou (1981) Exp Norway

*This young dog has won two CCs, He is siring lovely puppies. Other stud dogs include Ch Jinglejoys Bright Baron of Littlecourt, winner of seven CCs and three reserve CCs, top Lowchen of the year 1981 and 1982.


  

Eng Ch Ballatina Bonllwn (1982) BWG1 JW
Best of Breed Crufts 1990 


  

Eng Ch Littlecourt Itma JW (1984)
*Junior Warrant holder. Siring beautiful puppies.

  
 


Eng Ch Marron Glace of Littlecourt (1985)


  

Aust Ch Gaylea Likea Steelcat (1990)~ Sire Littlecourt Simba (1988)

 


 

 

 

My first actual meeting with Freda was at the Scottish Kennel Club Show when I was showing my first ever show exhibit in 1982.  She gave my little bitch “Rascal” a first in a class of 14 Post Graduate bitches, so qualifying her for Crufts. In those days we had huge classes, unfortunately not the case now.  Competition was indeed fierce.

 

It has been a great pleasure and honour to be involved with this article for The Lowchen Guardian.  All the information I have compiled here was sent to me in bundles by Freda.  Some of the notes were very detailed, named all her Champions etc. etc. In fact I could have written for days and days about this wonderful lady.  She truly deserves her place in the history of the Breed and is, by nature, a very unassuming, gentle and modest person. In fact, she was quite taken aback that anyone would want information about her to go on the website!! You got it Freda so I will flaunt it for you!!
 
Freda, it is a pleasure to know you and I and everyone who reads this article now knows more about you than we ever expected to.  You were and continue to be a very remarkable and AMAZING person and I’m sure there will be no disagreements with that from anyone.