A small, bright, and lively dog that originated
as a companion breed in pre-Renaissance Europe
where ladies of the court groomed it in the
likeness of a little lion. Breed characteristics
are a compact, balanced body; a relatively
short, broad topskull and muzzle; and a proud,
lively gait that accentuates the lion cut with a
long flowing mane. These quintessential
features, combined with an outgoing and positive
attitude, result in a dog of great style.
Size - Ideally, mature dogs and
bitches are between 12 to 13
inches at the
withers. Height may vary 1 inch
above or below this ideal. Only where the
comparative superiority of a specimen outside
this range clearly justifies it should greater
latitude be taken. Absolute height at the
withers should not take precedence over correct
proportion and substance.
Proportion - The body is just off-square when
properly balanced. The distance from the
prosternum to the point of buttocks is slightly
greater than the distance from the withers to
the ground in an 11 to 10 ratio. The distance
from the ground to the elbow is slightly greater
than the distance from the elbow to the wither.
The L÷wchen should never be low stationed.
Substance: The mature L÷wchen is sturdily built
with strong bone and muscular hindquarters, but
The head is a hallmark breed characteristic.
The expression is bright, alert, and lively.
The eyes are set well into the skull, round in
shape, large, set well apart,
and forward looking. Eyes
brown in color;
lighter colored dogs
may have lighter brown eyes but
darker eyes are preferred. The
ears are pendant, moderate in length, well
fringed, and set on slightly above the level of
the eye. The backskull is broad and
relatively flat from ear to ear.
The stop is moderately
well defined. The length from
nose to base of stop is two-thirds of the length
from base of stop to occiput. The muzzle is well
filled and relatively broad with moderate depth
of underjaw resulting in a slightly rounded
finish to the muzzle. The jaw is wide enough to
accommodate all incisors in a straight row.
Coloration of pigment is in accordance with coat
color. Nose and eye rims are completely
pigmented. The lips are tight with color the
same as the nose. The bite is
scissors and the teeth are rather large and well
spaced with complete dentition.
The neck is of good length with a slight arch,
fitting smoothly into the shoulders and topline.
The head is carried high when the dog is
moving. The topline is level from withers to
tailset. The body is slightly off-square when
properly balanced. The loin is short and
strong. The ribs are well sprung. The brisket is
moderate in width and extends approximately to
the elbows. The underline has a slight tuck-up
at the loin. 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
The shoulders are strong and well laid back with
smooth musculature. The upper arm is of equal
length to the shoulder blade and the two meet in
a near 90 degree angle. The elbows are held
close to the body. Forearms are of good length
and the distance from the withers to the elbow
is slightly less than the distance from the
elbow to the ground. From the front the legs are
perfectly parallel from the elbows to the feet.
The bone is more round than oval and of medium
size with only a slight decrease in size at the
pasterns. The pasterns are short, parallel from
the front, and very slightly bent when viewed
from the side. The forefeet point straight
ahead and are tight and well arched with deep
pads, and the two center toes are slightly in
advance of the two outer toes. Dewclaws may be
removed. The nails are relatively short.
The pelvic bone projects beyond the set of the
tail and is at an approximate 30 degree angle
from a perfectly horizontal line. The upper and
lower thighs are well muscled and of
approximately equal length with medium bone. The
stifles are well bent. The hocks are well let
down and perpendicular to the ground from any
angle. The hindfeet point straight ahead, are
slightly smaller than the forefeet, and are well
arched with deep pads.
The L÷wchen must be shown in the traditional
Lion Clip. The unclipped areas of the coat are
long, rather dense and moderately soft in
texture. The unique L÷wchen coat consists of
hairs of varying 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. Wiry, woolly, curly,
and flat coat textures are not correct and are
to be penalized to the degree of severity. No
scissoring or shaping of the unclipped coat is
permitted. Puppies typically have a softer coat.
Lion Clip - the coat is
clipped to about 1/8" on the following parts of
the body: from the last rib back to and
including the hindquarters; the hindquarters to
the hock joints; the front legs from the elbows
to a point on the legs which is equal to the
same distance from the ground to the hock joints
leaving cuffs of hair on all four legs; the tail
from the base to approximately one-half way to
the tip leaving a plume at the end of the tail;
and the feet are entirely clipped. The unclipped
areas must be completely natural and untrimmed.
On no account should the unclipped
areas be smoothed, shortened, shaped or
otherwise tidied with anything other than a comb
or brush. Any clip other than
specified or any shaping or scissoring of the
long coat are disqualifications.
All colors and color combinations are acceptable
with no preference given to any.
Movement at a trot is effortless with good reach
in front and full extension in the rear. From
the front the forelegs move in almost parallel
lines converging slightly as the speed
increases. From the rear the legs move in
almost parallel lines and in the same line of
motion as the forelegs, converging slightly as
the speed increases. From the side movement is
efficient and ground covering. The forelegs
reach well out in front in a long, relatively
low 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.
The L÷wchen is alert, intelligent, and
affectionate with the overall qualities of a
loving companion dog. It has a lively,
outgoing, and inquisitive personality