Obedience & Agility
The Löwchen is agile, smart, wants to please, loves to learn, gets jokes and makes jokes, and is physically muscular, sturdy and sound. This is not a sissy dog; in fact, the Löwchen's lack of fear, especially as far his body is concerned, can be a mixed blessing. The Löwchen has great prey and play drive and loves to retrieve. Add to this the fact that they're just so darn cute (you can't look into that face and not smile), and you have to wonder why everyone in agility, obedience and tracking doesn't have one!
Truth is, the Löwchen is the best-kept secret in Companion Events. Yes, they're a rare breed, so getting a puppy isn't easy, and yes, they have a very limited track record so it takes sort of a pioneer personality to want to work with one, but the potential is all there. Want to make or break records with your best friend? Here's your chance! To date (spring of 2003) there has yet to be a UD, UDX, OTCH, MACH, TD, TDX or VST Löwchen, and that's just in AKC. There are also plenty of records to be set in UKC, NADAC, ASCA, and USDAA. Of course you'll have to get used to hearing, "I give up...what is it?" every time you step into a ring, but that can be fun, too.
Based on the limited sample of Löwchens now competing, you're probably going to want a male rather than a female, as males seem to have more drive. You're definitely going to want to get your puppy from a reputable breeder who is acquainted with and interested in Companion Events. It's best to get your puppy at about 9 weeks of age so you can socialize it and expose it to every single thing it will have to deal with as an adult. A Löwchen puppy is exceptionally impressionable and has a great memory, so you'll want him to have lots of varied and positive experiences. This is also why, when you begin formally teaching him things, you'll want to be sure he gets it right the first time and that the learning experience is always fun. This is not a breed that can handle negativity, pressure, or correction. Make it fun, however, (this means that you have to have patience and a great sense of humor, as well) and there seems to be no limit to how much your Löwchen can be taught or how long he's willing to work.
The Löwchen Club of America offers awards each year at the National Specialty for the Highest Scoring AKC Novice, Open, Utility, and Overall Obedience Löwchen; Top AKC Novice, Open, Excellent and Overall Agility Löwchen; and every Löwchen that earns a Tracking title. By 2004, the LCA hopes to offer a licensed obedience trial along with conformation at their annual National Specialty.
Video clips from the 2009 AKC Agility Invitational:
Video clips from the 2008 AKC Agility Invitational:
Video clips from the 2007 AKC Agility Invitational: