Löwchen Breed Magazine - Showsight


B reeding and judging some of the rarer breeds confidently sometimes seems impossible. How can judges and people new to a breed determine the finer points that distinguish one breed from another? In the case of the Löwchen, those unedu- cated in the breed liken it to a Benji dog with a fancy haircut cut, claiming the cut makes the breed. Th ey’re unaware Löwchen are more than a haircut. Th ose having studied the breed are privy to the traits that make this breed. Being such a rare breed, few are aware of the fascinating story of the Löwchen, extending to early Renaissance days. Th rough hundreds of years Löwchen developed traits that now make up its breed type. Keeping these traits intact are crucial to preserving the breed. Remarkably, today’s Löwchen still resemble their ancestors of over 500 years ago. Th ose that love the breed want to keep it that way! Once breeders and judges understand what these traits are and their importance, they are on their way to mas- tering and preserving the breed. What to look for? Foremost, the Löw- chen should be a moderate dog with no exaggerations of any kind. Th is is an important point to note since this breed could easily become a caricature of itself through exaggeration of traits, but for the diligence of breeders and judges. Löwchen are not a head breed, since to be one, the head would have to stand out over all other features. Th eir pleasing head with large round eyes and pretty face should blend into their overall look, which is that of a small lion. Th eir neck is moderate, not too long to be an exaggeration and not so short that the head appears stuck directly onto the body. Height ideally is 12-13 inches at the withers. Löwchen are compact, well muscled, sturdy, yet elegant. Th ey sport a teacup handle tail, that wags with enthusi- asm. Th eir coat lends itself to easy groom- ing, if of correct texture and comes in any color imaginable. For the show ring, they are clipped to resemble a lion. Lastly, they must have a happy outgoing temperament. Understanding the head is key. Heads have markedly improved from the early days of the breed in the US. Th is can be

credited to the 2010 standard revision as well as increased co-operation between breeders internationally during the last fifteen years. One of the most important American standard changes was elimina- tion of two head types. Th e previous stan- dard allowed for a muzzle equal in length to back skull as well as a muzzle to be shorter than back skull. Now the standard calls for a muzzle to be 2/3 the length of the back skull. Crowned with a large nose, the muz- zle also has width thanks to large teeth. Th e ideal Löwchen head is proportionate to the

body with substance and bone. Th e stop is described as moderately defined. Löwchen skulls are broad, relatively flat and appear squarish if the hair is flattened down. Long narrow or broad and shallow back skulls can ruin the appearance of the dog, but are easily hidden by coat so it’s important that Löwchen be closely inspected by hand. A mandatory trait is round eyes, pref- erably large and dark. Th e historic rule of thumb in this breed is if confronted with two equal dogs, one with dark almond eyes, the other with round light eyes,


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