Most assume a black/cream female mated to a black/cream male with a pedigree strong in blacks and creams would produce a litter with similar coat colouration, but Löwchen breeders will quickly dissuade one from placing bets on coat colours. Such a mating by Jocelyn Creffield, UK Löwchen Club of Canada member, “produced a white/gold parti, a white/black parti, a chocolate and a dilute chocolate with yellow eyes and light pigment”.

Even if one researches pedigrees, deeply, another guessing game arises. The CKC lists 24 colours and variations; many breeders, such as an LCC founder, Donna Cullen, register pups individually, around 9-12 weeks. “The colours exhibited at this age will not be the ultimate ones. A glossy black and silver puppy coat will occasionally result in a lighter colour, due to a fading gene in some lines. Once a pup is six months old, there’s a clearer indication of coat colour at maturity. There’s an element of chance in attempting to predict adult coat colour in a puppy”.

Donna Jones (Musicbox Bichons and Löwchen) concurs that colour determination is challenging, stating, “The hardest to determine are sables as they can go to gold sable, cream sable or silver sable. What is a beautiful brown at 6 months can end up silver at 2 years. Usually you can tell what will become a silver/cream within a few days. Parti colors are of course much easier as they will always be parti’s, since this is a marking, not a color, but the actual primary color can change. What starts as a black parti can end up a silver parti”.

Jocelyn Creffield (Melfield Löwchen) offers an additional clue: “Pups, at birth, usually look black unless they are parti colour; first, rub the body coat up and if the skin is blue, they will most likely be black with cream points, or white, which is obvious to see; if you lift the tail and it looks gold, or pale, and the skin is not really blue/black, they will be cream/sable”.

Best tip? Refrain from placing wagers on Löwchen adult colour, as nature holds the best hand.