AN EXTENSION OF THE LOWCHEN BREED STANDARD
General Appearance. The clip of the Lowchen is a breed specific, not shared exactly by any other breed, showing off the well rounded bottom which is typical of the breed, and this is required for the show ring. The clip easily identifies the breed. The long coat should be natural and unscissored. Exhibits should give the impression of a short, strong and muscular animal, alert, happy and with an interest in its surroundings. Finely drawn specimens and those with heavy bone and coarse frames are untypical. A balance between the body, with the necessary short loin, and leg length is essential to give a compact dog.
Substance and temperament are concepts to be kept in mind.
Characteristics. Lowchen should have happy, friendly dispositions and appear full of fun.
Temperament. This breed is relatively easy to train and has a history as a circus performer. They should be friendly and outgoing by nature. Both aggression and nervousness are highly undesirable traits and should not be tolerated. Remember this is a companion dog.
Head And Skull. The head proportions are of a shorter foreface to the length of the back skull (approximately 1/3 to 2/3), the back skull being slightly wider side to side than from the stop to the occiput
(front to back). The head should be fairly broad, but not coarse. To the hand the skull should not present as a dome, but looking from the front the hair on the head and the ears does give the head a rounded appearance. The stop should form a sharp angle with the broad forehead. Muzzles should not be snipey, but rather should have a squarish appearance. Good specimens have a big prominent nose, always dark and reflecting the coat colour, with comparatively large nostrils. There should be sufficient width to the bottom jaw for the six incisors giving the desired shape and strength to the foreface.
Eyes. The eyes, a dominant feature of the breed, should be rounded not oval, be proportioned to the width of the skull and not exaggerated, be well set apart and be as dark as possible, subject to coat colour. Livers/chocolates will often have a somewhat lighter eye colour than the darker pigmented specimens.
The expression is one of intelligence and kindness. Hard, staring expressions are very untypical. The skin around the eyes should be fully pigmented and a break in eye rim pigment is a fault. The dogs with paler shades of coat may have less dominant eye rim colour but this should still be as dark as possible.
Ears. Set on just above eye level, pendant with relatively short leathers and long fringing. The hair covering the head and ears broadens the head and gives the skull a rounded appearance.
Mouth. The combination of width at the incisor level and shortness of muzzle are required to give the strength to the foreface. A perfect, regular and complete scissor bite is required.
Neck. The neck should be of good length with a proud arch, which is a sign of strength in a specimen. A short neck can give a “stuffy” appearance (with the head carried too close to the body and not held high enough nor far enough forward from the withers).
Forequarters. The breed needs the “conventional” optimum canine construction with a right angle at the shoulder joint between the equally lengthened scapula and upper arm that is necessary for free front movement. The right angle is made up by two equal 45 triangles. From the point of shoulder, at the front of the chest, the scapula slopes upwards and backwards to the withers and the humorous downwards and backwards to the elbow, forming the right angle. The withers are set back to the start of the ribs and should not be felt in the neck. The fore chest should have a slight curve, not be a straight line, with the point of shoulder palpable at the front of the chest. Elbow close set with no gap at ribcage. With the correct angulation the forelegs are well set under the body to support the front assembly. Looking from the front and side the forelegs are upright and straight, with round bone and not too fine.
Undesirable Practices To Be Discouraged.
The sculpting of the coat to alter the outline.
Scissoring of any part of the dog’s coat.
Especially scissoring or clipping round the eye, which could be detrimental to the health of the eye.
The backcombing of the head hair to give the impression of a deeper stop.
Beneficial books to read. R H Smythe – Judging Dogs
Tom Horner – Take them round
Robert J Berndt – The Science and Techniques of Judging (Highly Technical)
The only commercially available book on the breed “Lowchen” by Juliette Cunliffe
Watch the KC Video/DVD – Conformation and Movement