To keep a Löwchen in top condition, looking and feeling its best, more than a lick and a promise are needed!
The Löwchen has a "single coat"; if you look closely heavier "guard hairs" and finer "undercoat" are mixed (50/50 is ideal) throughout the coat. When left to grow, the Löwchen coat, with proper care, will be long and flowing. It is important to keep a Löwchen well brushed. If the brushing does not reach the skin, the effort is wasted. A thorough brush and comb out once a week should keep the relatively easy care Löwchen coat in good condition. Mats and tangles in the coat are inevitable. If they are dealt with promptly they are a minor inconvenience, if they are neglected they become a major headache for the owner and a discomfort for the Löwchen. To make brushing easy to remember, place your grooming tools beside your favorite television chair. While you watch your favorite program, spend quality time with your best friend. A ten-minute brush nightly will assure your Löwchen a pristine coat and create a wonderful routine of quality time for you both.
Bathing a Löwchen can be done as often as once a week or as little as once a month, depending on what they have been up to. The coat should ALWAYS be brushed and combed thoroughly BEFORE bathing. Mats exposed to warm water are like a wool sweater washed in hot water! Be sure to use a quality shampoo and conditioner. Always remember after the shampoo to rinse, rinse, rinse and then rinse some more! Bathing in running water is much easier and more effective than bathing in standing water.
Because a Löwchen coat continues to grow, you will need to decide on a trim to keep your Löwchen neat, tidy, clean and easy to care for. Most Löwchen living in loving pet homes should be groomed about every eight weeks. Talk with your groomer about designing a trim that will be easy for you and your Löwchen to live with. The puppy trim is a very popular and comfortable style for a trimmed Löwchen.
The traditional Lion trim, which sets the Löwchen apart from other coated breeds, is attractive and easy to maintain. The Lion trim is also an attention getter and the center of conversation on daily walks and outings.
The Lion trim varies from country to country. In Germany the area around the eyes is trimmed, in Finland and the Scandinavian countries they do not trim the feet. In the United States no scissoring is done on the long coat. This is the only disqualification in the show ring for exhibitors. The pattern is easily set:
BODY: The hindquarters are trim from just above the hocks to just behind the last rib. TAIL: The ½ of the tail closest to the body is trimmed to match the hindquarters, leaving a long plume of hair on the untrimmed end.
LEGS: The front legs are trimmed starting at a line matching to top of the back cuffs or bracelets up to the elbow and all the way around the leg, allowing the long hair from the body to fall over the trimmed area.
FEET: The feet are trimmed in the same manner as those of a poodle, up to the dewclaw (or where the dewclaws were if they have been removed) on both front and back feet.
Good Grooming involves more than just coat care and trimming. The entire Löwchen requires regular attention to maintain its good health and happy disposition.
Toenails should be trimmed on a regular basis. Long nails splay the toes and cause pain for the dog. Trimming once a week will not only keep the nails short but also keep the quick from growing. Be sure to use a sharp nail trimmer and fast cuts to avoid causing your Löwchen distress. Also have a styptic powder (Qwik Stop) on hand, just in case. While clipping the nails check between each toe and the pads to make sure all is in proper healthy condition.