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Early Breeders.
The earliest mentioned breeder is of the 19th century. Dr. Walthier, of Germany. He explained that the breed was called Leoninus merely because of the trim, not by possessing a fierce lion-like personality. The next breeder we know of actually played a part in the Löwchens resurrection. Breeding and exhibiting Löwchen at the turn of the century, as the breed was making what seemed its final bow, was Maximillian Coninck from Belgium.

The most important client he had came to him in 1897. She was Madame Bennert, then a young married woman, acquiring her first Löwchen. This was the start of a lifetime love affair between Madame Bennert and her pride of lions.
A little known person also emerges as having a hand in the resurrection of the Löwchen. Herr Professor Kurt Konig, from the Zootechnisches Rotenburg in Germany began gathering Löwchen at the turn of the century for genetic research. He called the dogs gathered into his breeding program Kobaldt-Mascotts and Kobaldt-Daumlinge. He and his research associates gathered dogs that were extremely hardy, healthy and outgoing. He did not tolerate shy dogs. After they gathered the dogs best suited for the program, they closed their breeding programs to dogs from outside. It was not until he was elderly and made contact with Madame Bennert, that his dogs contributed to the gene pool of today's dogs. Madam Bennert and Professor Konig determined that their dogs stemmed to common ancestors and so they would be of use to both breeding programs.

On December 6th, 1957, a black and white bitch named Quinte was transferred to Madame Bennert, and registered by her with the ALSH registry as Fgitane, on June 11th, 1958. Fgitane was bred to Blaguer and on September 27th, 1958 she produced the litter that Judith came from. Whether Madame Bennert sent dogs to professor Konig is unknown. Sadly Fgitane was the only dog from his program to be incorporated into Madame Bennerts breeding program. What became of his dogs is unknown.

Madame Bennert Steps Forward.
Madam BennertIn Brussels, 1896, Madam Bennert was a young married woman. Looking for the ideal family pet, she discovered the Lowchen. She bought her first Löwchen from Maximillian de Coninck in 1987. While she had no intention of becoming a breeder, she was keenly interested in the breed. It was not until World War 11, that she realized she would have to step forward to save the breed. By the end of the dark days of World War 11, breed registries had become disorganized and disappeared. Madam Bennert realized that there was no one breeding or registering Löwchen any longer. Her fear was that the breed would disappear into the mists of time as so many other breeds did during that period, and as had done during World War 1. She resolved to save the Löwchen and began research to find quality specimens of the breed. In her words: "After a long and disappointing search I finally found two wonderful females; one was blue and came from (the town of) Lille, and the other was biscuit colored and came from the area of Dieghem. After a long search I finally found a blue male and this was the beginning of the breed's second chance."
The first three Löwchen registered and used for breeding were Ulan, born in 1946, Sirginia who was born in 1944, and Z'Marquise whose birth date is unknown but was registered in 1949. Madame Bennert bred Ulan and Sirgrina. Her first litter was born April 13th, 1948. Madame Bennert kept Xandre, a male out of the litter, and her breeding program was underway.

Through the years Madame Bennert traveled far and wide to publicize the breed. Her travels took her to Germany where, when searching for a hunting dog for her nephew, she met Dr. Rickert.

Madam Bennert with LowchenDr. Rickert was a veterinarian who had a special interest in genetics. Madam Bennert asked him to advise her with her breeding program, which he agreed to do so. He and his wife became close friends with Madam Bennert. They traveled back and forth between Belgium and Germany. Their visits were consumed with discussion of the breeding program to save the breed. As Madame Bennert aged she began asking Dr. Rickert to take over the breeding program, but he did not really have an interest in breeding the small dogs. But, as Madam Bennert became more infirm with age, he was struck with the realization that if he did not begin to take over, Madam Bennert's work would be for nothing!

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