“So, is this the third poodle in group six?” Try uttering that while observing Löwchen. Even the most show weary Löwchen breeder will snap to attention while providing an ad hoc lesson in Löwchen breed standard!

Let’s start with the obvious, the distinctive trim: It’s stated that Löwchen are to be shaved in the traditional lion clip; the long wavy coat must never be trimmed or shaped and must flow naturally. Backcombing, spraying and straightening the coat are verboten. Hence, elements of the artful, yet historically correct coiffure that one expects with Poodles are discouraged from Löwchen competition.

Occasionally, Löwchen owners are asked if their dog is a Chinese Crested, or a distant relative of the hairless variety. No, the Löwchen coat does not naturally grow this way, but has been maintained in a lion clip, for centuries. Ladies of the court warmed their feet by placing them on shaved Löwchen buttocks. Now, there’s an energy conserving thought, for present times!!!

Away from kennel club shows, another misconception arises: Trendoids, upon spotting our Löwchen, occasionally squeal with glee: “Oh, look at the funky do on that Shih Tzu!” Suddenly, we’re elevated to fashion forward status. Yet, even from forty feet, consultation of club breed standards shouldn’t be necessary: The Shih Tzu has a domed head and is rectangular in body; whereas, the Löwchen head is relatively flat between the ears and the body is just off square.

Potential owners often conclude that this small breed is perfect for the busiest of households. Careful observation should set that thought to rest. Note the best Löwchen at kennel club shows and it becomes apparent Löwchen aren’t low maintenance couch potatoes, as many presume; they’ve got a gleam in their eyes, jaunty tails, combined with a willingness to seek out the fun challenges of life! In fact, many are star agility contenders. This is a companion dog which must be included in family activities, including cuddle times, to achieve full potential.

Be forewarned. Mistaking a Löwchen for a Poodle, Chinese Crested, Shih Tzu, or a couch potato may result in a breed standard tutorial!