Kennel Bumir
wchen, The Little Lion Dog
Sonja & Anders Bj÷rklund, Sweden

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L÷wchen is a companion dog that can live both with a family with children and a fairly activ elderly person. It is eager to be a part of activities, from a short walk to training obedience or agility, but it relaxes again afterwards and will not say no to a moment in its favourite chair.
The best a l÷wchen knows is to be with the family. It is sometimes hard for it to understand why it has to be isolated from the rest of the family. It is breed to be a companion and does not suit a life in an outdoor kennels. If a l÷wchen has the chance to choose between people and other dogs it will choose people. A l÷wchen loves everyone but often choose one favourite.

Temperament
The person that has no experience in dogs might very well make a good choise in a l÷wchen, but you have to be aware of that it is a "big dog" in a small package. It is important that you dont let the little sweet puppy fool you and let it do as it want to. No, you need to tell the l÷wchen where the lines is drawn early. It is most often enough with a straight correction. To force a l÷wchen to do as you want to is not a good idea. Most efficiant is to find a way to explain WHY you want it done a special way. As an intelligent little dog it likes to use the brain and likes to find things out itself.
At the same time you have to be aware of that every dog is an invidual that takes effect of both inheritence and envirement. All l÷wchen have their own distinct personality.
The one that chooses a l÷wchen will have a faithful, loving and fun companion in all sorts of weather and in all situations, a friend for many years to come. It is a healthy breed with no specific diseases connected and they are known to have a long lifespan. Most l÷wchens live until 14-15 years of age, some even longer.

History
L÷wchen (little lion dog) is a companion dog that got the name from the clipping. The breed is from the middle age and the dogs that lived around in south of europe. There are small dogs clipped as a lion on old copperplates from the 14th century. We know that this sort of dog was popular in the french castles during 17th and 18th century. The ladies carried them around and kept them in the bed instead of hot water bottles. They were also in use for attracting fleas etc that were very common this days. It was just to comb the unwanted parasites out of the coat in the morning. Thanks to the dogs the ladies were spared from this nasty little bugs. Until this days a l÷wchen loves lie in the bed, thankfully not as a collecter of fleas.

In sweden there were at least one l÷wchen in the 17th century. 1653 Hendrich Munnichiven painted a perfect clipped and combed l÷wchen on the wedding picture of count Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie and his wife. Maybe the couple got the little l÷wchen as a wedding gift from friends in France. Such a gift was highly seen as it was almost only the aristocrats that could keep dogs as companions. The painting is found today in a museum in Stockholm, during winter and at Lńck÷ Castle outside Lidk÷ping in summer time.
L÷wchen is often seen on paintings from this period of time. The l÷wchen symbolized faithfulness and the legend says that when a knight died at home, a l÷wchen was painted (=the little lion) on his portrait but when he died in battle there were a real lion on the painting.

Regarding the lionclip, it is speculated that the l÷wchen could have been used as a retriever in water. That fishermen could have used l÷wchen as they did with poodle and portugisian waterdog - to collect the net from the water.
It is said that L÷wchen comes from the barbet, a mediterrean breed and retriever in water with very old ancestry. To confirm this many l÷wchen loves to swim. They are good at diving, to swim under the water and to avoid rapid current.

L÷wchen today
Today mainly the l÷wchen is a companiondog. Most people choose l÷wchen for this reason and therefor there are not so many seen training and competing yet.
When you decide to choose a l÷wchen you have to remember to raise it with a firm hand and that it needs coatcare. It needs to be active in some way every day and you have to be aware of that it might need a grooming after a walk in the forest.

L÷wchen is a lively and alert dog that loves to learn new things - even on their own. They love to participate in their owners life, both indoors and outdoors. There are even a big chance that you never will be lonely in the bathroom any more and they will keep a big interest in your cooking and cleaning. They love to play with other dogs, breed and size do not matter. Even cats can be nice to play with.
A l÷wchen enjoys to be cuddled on your lap as well as to go a long walk in the forest. Long walks in the mountain is okej as well as running beside you while biking. Most l÷wchens are not interested in hunting, but there has been they who hunted elks when they have had the opportunity! So it is best to have control of the dog in the forest. But mostly it stays close to the owner. They do not want to miss anything you do.

They are tough little dogs that can be quite stubborn. It is important to early show it who is in charge. But it is not always easy when they use their charm and humour! When they learned what the rules are they are easy to deal with.
It is wrong to say that a l÷wchen barks alot. It might guard your home and tell you when someone is coming or when it hear noises it is not familiar with. It will stop bark when you tell them to or when they get a chance to take a closer look at the visitor. In a l÷wchen you will have a robust and happy friend that will amuse you often with ideas and mischiefs.
A l÷wchen enjoy most of the things in life. Many of them are incredable observant and sees the slitest change, f.ex if there is a new painting on the wall. It will take a close look at it for a while. And that they watch TV is not unusual even if there is not every program that amuse them...

There is no problem to have a l÷wchen in the home. But you have to be aware of that it want to be with you all the time. Despite this it is no problem to leave the dog alone for some hours.
It does not need much exercise. One hour daily walk is enough if it has the opportunity to run free for a while. It also exercise itself if it is together with other dogfriends in the yard. A l÷wchen loves to play "come and get me" with other dogs. Then it is full speed wether it is in the wood, the park or home in the yard.
The l÷wchen is fairly small and light, brisk, patient for stress and positiv so it is perfect f.ex agility. A l÷wchen loves the most activities even if it does not demand it. They can very well be a rescuedog and also make nice points in the obedience. So far, in sweden, the breed can be proud of one champion of obedience. Track is another activity that many l÷wchen do well in.
The best thing with a l÷wchen is that it accept everything that happens. It thinks it is okay to have a week full of activities and for the next spend the whole time in the sofa.

 

Clipping etc
The l÷wchen is clipped in the traditional lionclip. An easy clipping that is no problem to learn. A petdog is clipped 4 to 6 times per year. There are clipping machines in all rates and the cost for it does easy pay out if you clip it yourself.
An adult l÷wchen has an easy coat. Often it is enough to comb it carefully once a week. It might then take about 20 to 30 minutes. But the coat needs a lot more of care during the time when the l÷wchen change from puppy coat. This happens between 1 and 2 years of age. Then it might need a daily combing for 10 to 20 minutes.
Thanks to the clipping there is less trouble with the coat comparing to other breeds with long coat. The coat is clipped away on the parts were the dirt easy get stucked. But there is not just the coat that needs to be taken care of. Do not forget claws, teeth and ears etc.

The l÷wchen likes food. It often "says" that it has not eaten for several of days even if it just have eaten. You must be strong and say no, a fat l÷wchen does not feel well. It is a bigger risk that it will get different diseases. A l÷wchen can easy live on some of the premium foods that is on the market.
There is some l÷wchens that's been over 16 years old. It is a healthy little breed so if you decides to get one you will have a member of the family for many years ahead. A member that will follow you in all sorts of times and weather!

 

 

 

 

Contact us here ! lowchen@bumir.se