The Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso comes from Tibet and its name comes from the sacred city of Lhasa. For at least 2,000 years the Lhasa Apso was only bred in Tibet by either holy men or nobles and was often used to guard temples and monasteries and they were considered a sacred animal. Luckily because of the Dalai Lama the breed spread to other parts of the world as he would present them as gifts to visiting foreign diplomats. The breed was first seen outside Tibet in Britain in the 1920's and then they were introduced in the US in the 1930's.
The Lhasa Apso is part of the AKC Non Sporting group and was admitted to the American Kennel Club in 1935 in the Terrier Group and where then reassigned to the Non Sporting group in 1959.
Height: 10-11 inches
Weight: 13-15 pounds
Longevity: Generally about 15 years but some have been known to live past 18 years
The Lhasa Apso has a long, heavy double coat which drapes over its entire body to the floor and looks like a smaller version of the Old English Sheepdog. The coat of a Lhasa Apso is straight, hard and heavy and it should cascade from the head over their eyes. It should also have a dark beard and moustache and the muzzle is not square but is of medium length. They have small dark deep set eyes with heavy feathered ears and the tail is also feathered and carried over the dogs back. Color: Gold, Cream, Honey, also comes in Smoke, Dark Grizzle, Slate, Various shades of brown and White & Black.
The Lhasa Apso is very friendly although assertive as well as being intelligent and lively. They are spirited and devoted pets and are naturally suspicious of strangers and can be very affectionate to their owners. However, some Lhasa Apso's can be quite willful whilst other will do anything their owner asks them to do. It is important that this dog can be quite noisy and their persistent loud bark gives the impression of them being a bigger dog than they really are.
Generally the Lhasa Apso is a very healthy dog, but they may sometimes suffer from skin problems if their coat is not kept free of parasites. Some of them may have a slight tendency to suffer from hip displaysia as well as kidney or eye problems and on occasions some may suffer from bleeding ulcers.
The Lhasa Apso is able to cope with living in an apartment and can be very active when indoors. They do in fact like to be walked and enjoy scrambling about and if given the chance will like to run about and play. But the Lhasa Apso is a breed of dog which does not demand much exercise.
Because they have a long coat which parts at the pine and falls straight down on either side it needs to be trimmed or stripped. But when they have a full coat they need to be brushed once a day to stop the coat from matting. They can be dry shampooed when it is necessary and the feet should be checked regularly for hair matting or foreign objects getting stuck in them. The eyes and ears of a Lhasa Apso should be cleaned meticulously as they tend to tear. The Lhasa Apso is considered to be an average shedder breed.
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