The name of this breed in French is Petit chien lion, in German - Löwchen. It gets its name because of the special haircut that resembles the appearance of the king of animals.
It is hard to trace and ascertain the origin of this ancient breed. Traces of this dog can be found even in the 14th and 15th centuries in some paintings, which depicted a dog as a companion. It was a favorite of the aristocracy for centuries (especially in Burgundy) and a model for many artists. The closest relative of the Little Lion Dog is the French Bichon Frise.
It fell into oblivion in the 19th century, but in the 50s of the 20th century the breed was revived. Twice it was facing extinction - during the First and Second World Wars. In 1960 was declared the rarest breed in the world. Puppies for sale of this breed are still very hard to find, but there are special kennels who try to keep it safe. In France, about 100 Little Lion Dogs are born year. The last standard was approved in 1995. The International Dog Federation officially recognized the breed Little Lion Dog in 1961. It was created to be a pet and cannot be used for any kind of work.
The Little Lion Dog is very durable, well built little dog. The head is relatively short, but with broad skull. The nose is black, the eyes are large, round, dark in color. The ears hang down and are covered with dense hair. The body of the dog is short and muscular. The tail is elegantly curled over the back, but without touching it. The dog's coat is long, wavy, but not curly and single-ply. Its color can vary, but most often is chocolate brown, silver-black or silver-blue.
The average height is between 26 and 32 cm and the weight – between 5 and 7 kg.
Character and behavior
The Little Lion is playful, clever and friendly dog. It is cheerful, sometimes hyperactive and loves to be in the company of the whole family. The dog has a "lion" character, despite his small stature. It is brave and furious, barks to protect its family.
Training and education
This breed is tireless in games, so you should spend more time playing, throwing toys and running with it.
The Little Lion is a smart and obedient dog that easily lends itself to dressage. It is important to be socialized early. It likes to cuddle with its master, but at the same time is sporty and can make long hikes alongside its owner.
Grooming and care
This breed needs serious maintenance of the fur. The tail, abdomen and back should be clipped to bare. The natural length of the hair should be on the head, neck, tail tip, and paws. You should bathe your pet frequently. The coat should be brushed regularly.
This breed doesn't get sick. It is enough to follow the dosing instructions of food for each age and everything will be fine.
Some representatives have problems with the respiratory and cardio-vascular systems. There are also cases of disease of the knee joints.
The average life expectancy is 12-14 years, but many dogs live more.
Children and other pets
The Little Lion Dog is a wonderful companion for all family members. It has a soft temper, it can coexist with other animals and even with cats. The dog is gentle and attentive to children, it loves to play with them. It likes to be in the company of its owners.
One of the first images of a Little Lion Dog is located in the crypt of the cathedral "St, Firmin" in the French city of Amiens (14th century). In the crypt there are two sculptures of these dogs. The breed is found in paintings and engravings of Durer and Goya, and famous Flemish artists such as Lucas Cranach Senior, Bruegel and others.