The Löwchen head tends to define the breed and be a hallmark charac- teristic much like the distinctive and easily recognized lion trim. In order to achieve the bright, alert expression the eye must be of correct shape and color; never protruding or buggy. The Löwchen head should be well boned with correct proportions. The back- skull is broad and relatively flat from ear to ear. The top of the skull should be relatively flat, never having a domed appearance (although puppies may be slightly rounded). The stop should be moderate with a relatively broad muzzle and a strong under jaw. These features combine to create the beautiful, soft, soulful look of the classic Löwchen. I believe they are a “head breed” as they should be sweet and pleasing to the eye. You stated the Löwchen is a moderate breed. Does this mean we should not expect to see good movement? Strong rears are another defining fac- tor of the breed. They should be well muscled and rounded. Correct angula- tion will allow for correct and efficient movement. Movement at a trot is effort- less with good reach in front and full extension in the rear. From the front the forelegs move in almost parallel lines and reach well out in front in a long stride and the rear legs come well under the body and extend behind to maximize propulsion. The body remains nearly square in outline and the topline is held firm and level, with the tail being carried curved over the back and the head held above the level of the back. They should have good, solid movement, but they are not a
Sporting dog and do not need to move like a Sporting dog.
All hair is shaved off the feet up to the dewclaws on both the front and back feet. Unlike the Poodle there is no puff. The bracelets are left untrimmed and hang down over the shaven toes. Is there a preferred coat color for the breed? The Löwchen comes in all colors and none are to be considered over the other. It is interesting to note that some color combinations and patterns of the Löwchen tend to change color over the life of the dog. What you see one day may be totally different 6 months later. (See Figure 2.) The dam and puppy dem- onstrates the dramatic changes that can occur with coat color. This dam was just as dark as her puppy is now. We see some different tail sets in the ring. What is the correct tail set? The tail is set high and carried in a well-arched cup-handle fashion with the plume touching the back when the dog is moving. A dropped tail while standing is not to be penalized. A tail not up when moving should be penalized.
How important is the side gait as compared to a good down and back? They are equally important. Since in the past fronts have been an issue in the breed, it is important to pay attention to fronts. Describe the Löwchen coat. The Löwchen must be shown in the traditional lion clip. The unclipped areas of the coat are long, rather dense and moderately soft in texture. The Löwchen has a single coat. This unique coat consists of hairs of vary- ing diameters with a more noticeable collection of denser hair around the neck and withers. The coat may fall to either side but must never be artificially parted. It has a slightly to moderately wavy appearance. No scissoring or shaping of the unclipped coat is permitted. This is the only disqualifier in the breed. How is the puppy coat different from the mature dog? Puppies typically have a softer, cottony coat. Remember the coat will appear trimmed or more shaped than a mature dog. They have not had the time for the coat to break off. This starts to happened with the puppy coat drop at about 9 months. There sometimes is a misunder- standing with the trimming of feet. Can you clarify how the feet should be trimmed properly in the “poodle feet”?
Is temperament important in this breed?
Temperament is crucial—sweet, ani- mated, fun, never timid or shy. They are happy little clowns. They tend to make you laugh when you least expect it. My happy little clowns are collectors of things. Mine prefer shoes and socks which often leads me to walking about the house looking for two shoes that actually match. On more than one occa- sion I have found a Löwchen blissfully
244 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M ARCH 2017
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