This breed is called differently: Bichon Lyon, levhen. Due to its small size, the most popular name has become: a small lion dog, sometimes a dwarf lion. Similarity with a lion arises due to the thick "mane". Without the haircut that Leuchen has been doing for centuries, the lion's appearance is lost.
Bichons or poodles trimmed "under the lion" also become like the king of animals. For an unknown reason, it was levhen that most often wore the lion's hairstyle, in return received its pedigree name. This happened so long ago (around the 14th century) that the breed can be considered the oldest customer of groomers.
Description and Features
Little levhen are known for many centuries, but as an independent breed were entered into the registries of the Union of Cynologists (FCI) only in 1961. The latest version of the FCI standard was created in 1995. It shows some information about the breed and what an ideal dog should look like, like a lion.
- Origin. Europe, supposedly France.
- Destination. Companion dog.
- Classification. Group of companions, a subgroup of Bichon and lapdogs.
- General description. A smart dog, truly domestic, affectionate. It has the best qualities of a companion dog. The animal must be trimmed a la “lion”. The presence of mane is mandatory. The back of the body, including the tail, is trimmed. A brush is left at the end of the tail.
- Head. The short, upper flange of the skull is wide.
- Nose. With a noticeable, black lobe. The nose is slightly elongated.
- Eyes. Large, round with a dark retina. Deep fit and eye shape makes the look smart, attentive.
- The ears. Long, hanging, covered with long fur, hanging almost to the shoulders.
- Neck. Holds the head high enough, which emphasizes the internal nobility of the animal.
- Body. Proportional to growth, slim.
- Tail. Moderate length with the obligatory lion tassel at the end. Levchen in the photo always holds her high enough and proudly.
- Legs. Slender, straight. When viewed from the side and front are parallel to each other, stand upright.
- Paws With fingers gathered, rounded.
- Woolen cover. The undercoat is thick, short. The outer hair is long. Possible straight or wavy, but not curly.
- Color. It can be any. Plain or with spots (except for eyebrows).
- Dimensions Growth from 25 to 32 cm, weight less than 8 kg. Usually 5-6 kg.
Traditionally, the hair on the head, neck, shoulders of the levhen is not sheared, too long strands are trimmed a little. Starting from the last rib, the body is trimmed completely. A long "lion" brush is left on the tail. The limbs, like the body, are cut to zero. Except for the ankles. Fur cuffs are formed on them.
Despite all the signs of a homely “sofa” dog, levhen character the desire for movement is laid. He enjoys spending time outdoors. Needs regular, active walks. When meeting strangers, whether they be dogs or people, levhen does not show aggression, but it is not afraid.
Small lion dogs have been known for centuries. In the history of the breed there have been ups and downs. Dogs inhabited a whole continent - Europe. Under such conditions, the breed gives offshoots. Related species appear that have properties characteristic only of them. This did not happen with levhen. The breed did not crumble, it stood as a whole.
Levhen — small lion dog, according to connoisseurs of this breed, appeared earlier than 1434. This year a portrait of the Arnolfini couple was painted. The Dutchman van Eyck in the picture, in addition to the main characters, depicted a Bichon Lyon or a lion dog.
Not everyone agrees with this. Some dog handlers believe that there is a Brussels griffon in the picture. Be that as it may, Europe was experiencing a Renaissance accompanied by a lion dog. Levchen was present at the paintings of Goya, Dürer, and other artists.
In 1555, the Swiss scientist Conrad Gesner (he is called the second Leonardo da Vinci) in his four-volume work “Animal History” included levhen in the classifier of dogs under the name “lion dog”. This was the first printed mention of a small lion dog.
European countries argued where the little lion appeared. Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, France strove to become the birthplace of a dog. In northern Europe, it was believed that levhen is a relative of the poodle. In the Mediterranean countries they believed that Bichon blood flows in the veins of the dog.
Noble ladies were little interested in the origin of the dog. They were pleased to command a tame, tiny lion. In addition, empirically, the ladies found that the dogs have warm skin. Especially in the back of the body. Levkheny began to be used as heating pads. To enhance the effect, the second half of the body was completely cut.
Levchen even got the nickname "Warmer of Europe." After all, all castles, palaces and other high-society mansions were poorly heated. Dogs not only warmed princesses, countesses and princesses, they often ended up in rural houses.
Living on peasant farmsteads, the Lefkhanes warned the owners about the appearance of strangers. They mastered rodent fishing. In palaces and on farms, lion dogs won the favor of the owners primarily by their optimism, cheerfulness and devotion.
In the 18th century breed lehven started to leave the scene. To replace the small lions, pugs, Bichons, Pekingese made their way into aristocratic salons. They climbed onto their knees to high-born women. Terriers and shepherd dogs worked tirelessly on farms. Little lions have no place in this world.
The breed almost completely disappeared by 1950. Enthusiasts took up the restoration of a Bichon Lyon or a small lion. All thoroughbred lefkhenes were collected, no more than a dozen of them remained. The recovery process went quickly. In 1961, the FCI recognized the breed. Now nothing threatens the existence of small lions.
Levchen - Lion Dog naturally endowed with a positive attitude. The combination of toy regality and sociability led the animal to aristocratic salons. Here the dog felt a taste for nobility. For several centuries, among graceful ladies and gallant gentlemen - as a result, the dog acquired impeccable manners.
At the same time, the animal did not lose the sincerity and devotion that the aristocracy lacks. Constantly demonstrates an open friendship, love for people and other animals. The little lion gets along well with children. Tolerate childish pranks is not easy, especially for a dog that looks like a toy.
With strangers can be wary. With sudden movements, screams, in situations that, from the point of view of the little lion, are a threat, they begin to bark. But they don’t raise their voices in vain, they don’t belong to “bragging” dogs. When attacking, it can rush to the defense, even if the enemy is stronger and larger. I.e levhen — dog selfless.
To monitor the environment, he chooses a place higher: the back of a sofa or chair. But most often it tries to be on the knees or hands of a person. The little lion appreciates the family environment. He does not get confused, but he wants to be in the know about everything.
Levchen loves to be paid attention to. If necessary, recalls that the best creature in the world is he. If a quarrel arises in his presence, he will try to resolve the conflict, take measures to smooth out the misunderstanding that has arisen.
The worst test for levhen is to be alone. Dogs do not tolerate separation even for a short time. With prolonged loneliness, they can become depressed. There are cases when stress due to the departure of the owner caused a partial baldness of the animal.
As puppies, small dogs, including levhen, grow quickly. Therefore, a sufficient amount of animal proteins should be present in their diet. Despite the room, "toy" size of the dog, the main thing in the dog menu is lean meat, poultry, offal
Puppies of the breed Levchen should receive a portion, half of which is meat components. A raw egg added once a week is a source of protein no less significant than meat. Bones and dogs are inseparable things. But tubular bones cannot be given to dogs. In addition, all spices, sweets, chocolate and the like are canceled.
Adult dogs can receive animal food about 40% of the total mass of food. Much depends on how much the dog moves. Vegetables and fruits - a source of vitamins and fiber are no less important than meat. If a dog is happy to gnaw a raw carrot or apple, it also cleans its teeth.
Many dogs eat porridge with pleasure. They are useful, but other products cannot be replaced with oatmeal. Boiled cereals, cereals - this is the food of the second row. It should be approximately 20% of the weight of the entire dog lunch. Cheerful dogs have a good appetite. It is impossible to indulge animals or keep them starving.
Reproduction and longevity
Small lion dogs live quite a few, up to 14-15 years. To live so much for a start you need to be born. Unfortunately, thoroughbred dogs, including small lions or Bichon Lyons, have no control over this.
At about six months of age, the owner decides whether to be a parent or not to be a dog. Dogs that retain reproductive function can acquire offspring at 1-1.5 years old. It is better to skip the first estrus bitches; males give the best offspring when they turn a little more than a year old.
Thoroughbred animals breed under the supervision of the breeder or owner. Conception, bearing and giving birth to puppies is similar to a well-established technological process. This is understandable - the health of producers and offspring, the purity of the breed and commercial interest are at stake.
Care and maintenance
Large dogs always know their place, often they are not even allowed into the house. Companion dogs do not get away with it, they are in constant contact with a person, they can even climb into bed. Therefore, the health and cleanliness of sofa creatures is the health of the whole family.
Lefen's paws require a thorough examination and purification after each walk. Otherwise, the animal will share with all domestic animals a complete set of pathogenic bacteria, helminths and everything that may be present on soil or asphalt.
The dog’s activity leads to the accumulation of dirt and dust among long hairs. Hair can roll into lumps, tangles. Daily combing is an important procedure that gives the animal a neat appearance and preserves its health.
The eyes of the dog are partially protected by woolen locks. This does not always save you from pollution. Every day, the large, expressive eyes of the Leuchen are inspected and washed. Do the same with the ears. The sinks are completely closed, so they need careful monitoring. Ear diseases are a common phenomenon of lop-eared dogs.
A full haircut is done once every 6-8 weeks. For dogs participating in competitions, the correctness of a haircut is one of the main criteria for success. For animals that do not claim to be exhibiting, haircutting is carried out at the request of the owner. Its absence or another, not a classic kind of coat, does not detract from the merits of the breed.
Despite the efforts of the breeders, the lion dog is still considered a rare breed. In the West, in Europe and in the States, they ask for from $ 2,000 to $ 8,000 for it. In Russia, you can find ads in which levhen price is in the range of 25,000 rubles.
Reputable breeders and famous nurseries adhere to world prices for puppies of a small lion. They can document the high origin of the animal. Otherwise, you can get a dog of an unknown breed, with an unpredictable character.
The first mention of decorative dogs is associated with portraits of French secular ladies of the 13-14 centuries, where they showed off with their pets. But perhaps the history of the origin of the Bichons dates back to the 2nd century. n e. Researchers believe that lion dogs are related by:
- barbets, water poodles, falen, French and Maltese lapdogs, papillons.
The current international standard since 2004 provides the following description of the breed:
- The body is equal in length and height at the withers.
- The straight back goes into a short, wide, muscular croup.
- The chest and withers of Leuchen are strongly pronounced, the shoulders pass into the neck of medium length.
- The straight muzzle is 2/3 of the head, which should be wide and short.
- The nose and tight lips are completely black or dark brown.
- Jaws must have a scissor bite.
- Hanging ears are located on the line of the eyes and reach the middle of the muzzle.
- The gaze is directed forward, the round eyes are wide set, the iris is black.
- The straight front legs have muscular shoulders, elbows close to the body, short metacarpals and small paws with tightly closed fingers.
- The hind legs of a levchen dog with muscular hips, high knees and strong metatarsus end with compact round paws.
- The tail is bent over the back, but does not lie on it, only touching with a brush at the end is allowed.
- Silky, thick, long coat of any color does not have undercoat.
Bichon Lyons are calm and cheerful dogs, which are distinguished by sociability and exceptional fidelity. Thanks to a developed mind and good memory, they lend themselves well to training and training.
A high level of intelligence allows lion dogs to learn basic commands and even some tricks. Best of all, the Bichons manage to complete dexterity tasks and follow the owner's instructions. However, such successes are achieved only with careful education and the presence of the undeniable authority of the owner.
The character of the loucians is playful and cheerful, but not overly active.
Centuries ago, the Loukians served as living warmers for wealthy palace ladies, who constantly kept them with them. A short lion haircut enhanced the heat transfer from these babies. Currently, Bichon Lyon is used only as a decorative companion dog.
The unusual appearance of the lion dogs attracts attention at dog shows, looks good in the photo, and because of the high cost, animals are perceived as a sign of luxury.
In communicating with the family of the owner of the dog, levhen show loyalty and friendliness. Despite their small size, they violently protect her and are sensitively watching for possible danger.
Lyon Bichons get along with children and other pets during early socialization. They get along with other dogs if they are calm and not prone to domination. The dog breed Lyon Bichon is not prone to aggression, does not bite, but expresses dissatisfaction primarily with loud barking.
Features of care and maintenance
Bichon Lyon belong to pets and cannot be kept outside the house. The resting place of the animal should be kept dry and away from the draft. Grooming leuchenes leads to the need to avoid hypothermia.
When walking in winter, they need to provide additional heat, and in rainy weather they need moisture-repellent clothing. The dog also requires regular claw trimming, ear cleaning and eye washing.
Long hair requires careful regular care. Cleansing is carried out daily using a special brush with rounded teeth to avoid the appearance of tangles. Seasonal molting is almost absent and does not require more frequent combing.
Levhen dogs must be washed weekly using long-haired dogs. The classic lion haircut, as in all photos, is not carried out independently, it should be performed by a specialist.This is especially true for animals applying for medals, as it is a prerequisite for dogs to participate in exhibitions.
Unlike many dwarf dog breeds, Lyon Bichons need long walks. A day is enough to provide them with a 2-hour walk, broken 2-4 times.
Puppies of a lion's dog can be taught to the tray, in this case they should be able to play and run at home, and walking a pet on the street is enough 2 times a week for 20-30 minutes.
The appearance of the dog is significantly affected by the composition of the feed. The nutrition of small lion dogs must be balanced, rich in vitamins and minerals. You can use ready-made premium food or form your own pet diet from:
- dairy products, meat, fruits, sea fish, vegetables, cereals.
- bones, fatty meat, white bread, mushrooms, leftover food from the table, salt, spices, sweets, legumes.
According to the description of the breed, lion dogs are in good health and not prone to disease. Frequent exposure to cold or wind can cause respiratory problems and cardiac activity. Proper diet and careful care will protect the pet from most ailments. Bichonov should be regularly vaccinated against dangerous infections, as well as antihelminthic prophylaxis.
A small lion dog has a genetic tendency to:
- retinal atrophy, cataracts, heart and respiratory failure, joint dysplasia.
The health of the dog breed Lyon Bichon depends on the time of vaccination. The dog is vaccinated against diseases such as:
- rabies, plague, parovirus enteritis, parainfluenza, leptospirosis, hepatitis.
- at 9 weeks, at 11 weeks, at 1 year.
Dog breeding Bichon Lyon, like other expensive breeds, is carried out by certified breeders. When amateur knitting, a number of features should be considered:
- Dogs reach puberty by the age of 8-12 months.
- Mating is carried out on 2 or 3 days after the start of estrus.
- Childbirth is carried out under the supervision of a veterinarian.
The onset of pregnancy leads to a change in the behavior of the levchen dog.
How much do puppies cost?
The price of puppies petit shien lyon is among the highest due to the rarity of the breed. They cost around 40 thousand rubles in the presence of full compliance with the international breed standard.
Offspring of dog-champions are estimated at a record 85 thousand. Discarded puppies of the pet class, which are not allowed to mate, are much cheaper, about 10-20 thousand.
There are no breeders of a rare breed in Russia and the CIS countries. In order to acquire a puppy petit chien lyon will have to be patient, as there are many who wish, but there are only a few breeders. They are located in France, USA, Germany, Spain, Finland and Canada. At the same time, kennels do not put puppies on free sale, but offer them only with prior reservation.
When choosing a dog breed Lyon Bichon as a future pet, you need to prepare for significant costs. A rare puppy in addition to significant cost needs constant quality care and a balanced diet. With proper upbringing, the baby will grow up in a good, faithful dog, with good health and cheerful character, who will become a real friend to its owner.