Löwchen Breed Magazine - Showsight


By Gillian Robertson

“ S ense of humor” is a description that many of us use when asked about these little clowns. Referring to both ours and the dogs themselves. Th rough the ages, Löwchen were sometimes used as jesters to entertain the court. Today, whether it’s their antics in the ring or out, they have a propensity for getting into mischief. I suppose they have to have a sense of humor when you look at their traditional clip. With the Portuguese Water Dogs popularity increasing, people are becom- ing more accustomed to seeing the clip, and like the PWDs it is the most identi fi - able feature of the Löwchen. While the concept of purebred dogs has only been around since the 19th century, the “Löwchen” type dog, with its distinctive clip, can be traced back through art to the 16th century. It is believed that the clip came from the need for cleanliness. From historical accounts, there is a story that if a knight died in battle a lion was carved on his tombstone at his feet, if he died during peace time a Löwchen was placed there instead. Th rough the art work of the period, par- ticularly Albrecht Durer, we know that this little dog was held in high esteem

and was probably used in the castle for both killing vermin and as a family pet for the children. Almost extinct after the Second World War, credit is given to Madame Bennett of Belgium who saved the breed. Th anks to her devotion and careful selection our breed has survived and thrived with relatively few health issues. All of our modern day dogs can be traced to the ones she gathered together at that time. Löwchen can be found in the usual venues of Conformation, Obedience and Agility. However they are also in some very unusual ones such as nose work, tracking, herding and dock diving. Recently the AKC has recognized titles in a new sport called “Barn Hunt” which is similar to the Terrier Go-To Ground Tri- als and yes, Beth Haberkorn Sternitzky, has a Löwchen competing in it too. Rally has established itself as a very popular sport. Barbara Cecil’s Petey achieved a 4th place in the RAE Class (the top class) at the 2013 AKC Rally National Competi- tion March 15, 2013 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Laurie Boyce’s “Pree” has his Tracking Dog Excellent title. We even have some Löwchen that are into sailing which isn’t a surprise as the majority of them seem to love water. Th ese diverse little dogs are willing to take on any challenge present- ed... as long as you make it fun.

Fun is the one thing that a Löwchen thrives on more than anything else. Th ey want to see a smile on your face, hear the excitement in your voice and glee at their achievements. If you are too serious and too regimented a Löwchen is certainly not the breed for you as they will just shut down. Repetitive exercises just bore them. Some people have referred to the breed as stubborn. I disagree. Th ey simply need to be trained in an upbeat positive man- ner. We have several Löwchen that have achieved the highest level in agility. Gary Nordahl’s “Tucker” has MACH 15 and counting and Don Roback’s “J” has the equivalent of a PhD in obedience holding the much revered OTCh title. Both have quali fi ed for the National team several times. Barbara Cecil, Löwchen owner and author of two books on training a small dog, still holds the record of having the most titled Löwchen in our history with her late “Pistol” collecting a whopping 115 di ff erent titles. While Löwchen love to be active and work with you, they are fi rst and foremost a wonderful family pet. Th ese smart, loving, versatile little dogs are well suited to many di ff erent lifestyles. Most are just as happy to sit by your side or at your feet watching a movie as running an agility course. Some actually prefer it, as like people, not every- one is into sports.

“While Löwchen love to be active and work with you, they are first and foremost a wonderful family pet.


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