Occasionally, ringside buzz emanates as observers note Löwchen entering conformation events sporting an apparent verboten coat. Indeed, our CKC Löwchen coat standard is most concise: “Fairly long and wavy but not curly. Fine and silky. Clipped in the traditional lion clip.” As Canadian Löwchen compete in the U.S., the very detailed AKC standard is often consulted, as well; it leaves little to personal interpretation and includes the following assertion: “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.”

It’s unclear why the occasional breeder, or handler, utilizes scissor techniques, but the result is often a profile similar to that of a Poodle or Bichon Frise. Some backcomb and spray to lift hair into a “helmet head”, believing this creates the illusion of a longer necked Löwchen. Others grab straightening irons with hopes that an unacceptable wiry textured terrier coat will appear to meet breed standard. At the opposite end of the coat texture spectrum, there’s the adult Löwchen retaining a soft puppy coat; here, our bad hair ways technician may use gobs of hair product; few fault competitors doing a quick spray, but hair should still move freely. Such coat artistry never fools judges. Indeed, as U.K. Löwchen pioneer, the late Anne McDonald maintained, you can’t judge a Löwchen ringside; hands on inspection is essential.

Happily, there are no bad hair ways for pet Löwchen, as anything goes. Most sport an easy care short clip. A few have full coats. The distinctive lion profile trim is rare amongst pets. Sure, breed recognition diminishes; yet, our “well kept secret breed” perseveres.

This fun-loving, compact dog has earned its spot as a noteworthy companion. Some days are just meant to share puddle jumping, coupled with cuddling. A quick shower and blast of warm air are all that are needed to recapture centre stage!