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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Rare breed returns to Crufts

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Crufts—John Lawrence

Crufts has seen a surge in popularity for Lowchen – “Little Lion Dog” – with a nine-fold increase in competitors.

With a revival of the rare breed following a publicity campaign, the number shown at the world-renowned competition on Saturday soared 96 percent.

Forty-six of the animals, which boast a lion’s mane, a shaved rump and a feathered tail, were put to the test, compared to just a handful at the previous show at the NEC in Birmingham in 2020.

Lowchen-John Lawrence

Lowchen-John Lawrence

Lowchen breeders are working tirelessly to make sure the animals don’t go extinct, with one saying, “They’re fabulous family dogs and we can’t lose them.”

Mary Pascoe, breeder and secretary of the Lowchen Little Lion Dog Club, said: “They are wonderful, happy family dogs and are suddenly becoming more popular as a show breed.

“They have good build and movement and beautiful big eyes and look at those perfect white teeth, they are better than mine.”

Crufts—John Lawrence

Crufts—John Lawrence

Crufts - Molly Darlington/REUTERS

Crufts – Molly Darlington/REUTERS

Ms Pascoe, 64, a retired dog groomer from Southport, Merseyside, won the Limit Dog class with her three-year-old pet, Jade Char Flashback Hero.

She said: “It’s his first Crufts and we’ve worked really hard so we’re delighted to have won.”

She recounted how the breed, which originated in Europe and was imported to the UK in 1969, was becoming increasingly popular.

The Lowchen, shown in the Toy Group, must have his coat cut in the traditional style of a lion.

Crufts - Jon Freeman/Alamy

Crufts – Jon Freeman/Alamy

Crufts-Katja Ogrin/Getty Images

Crufts-Katja Ogrin/Getty Images

There are believed to be around 5,000 Lowchens in Britain today, with puppies costing around £1,500, cheaper than Cockapoo puppies by around £3,000-£4,000.

Janet Edwards, Breed Rescuer and Health Coordinator, said: “They are fabulous family dogs and we can’t lose them. They are very versatile, intelligent and easy to train. They have no health problems and can live up to 18 years.” years.”

A Kennel Club spokesman said: “We are pleased to see some of our most historically rare breeds, such as the Lowchen, affectionately known as the little lion dog, with increasing participation figures at Crufts 2022, meaning that more of the dog-loving public dogs will see and be aware of the wide variety of breeds we are lucky enough to have”.


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