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Lhasa Apso FAQ - Home Page
This is the FAQ for the LHASA APSO. Compiled and written by Susan Giles,
Chairperson of the American Lhasa Apso Club, BREED STANDARD COMMITTEE. This
is the only recognized and official publication for our breed.
Table Of Contents
* Health Issues
* AKC Standard
* Breeder Referral
Early references to the Lhasa Apso date back hundreds of years ago in
Tibet. His primary function was that of inner guard dog in Tibetan
monasteries and palaces, where his intelligence, acute hearing and
natural instinct for being able to identify friend from stranger made
him well suited for his role.
Prized by the country of Tibet, the Lhasa Apso was not allowed to
leave the country except as gifts from the Dahli Lhamas. The first of
our breed to enter directly into the U.S. were a gift to Mr. And Mrs.
C.S. Cutting, noted world travelers, who received their dogs directly
from the 13th Dahli Lhama. The Cuttings, who owned Hamilton Farms in
Gladstone, New Jersey acquired their Lhasas in 1933. These two dogs a
male and female were the foundation stock of the Hamilton Farm Lhasas.
The Lhasa Apso was accepted as a breed by the American Kennel Club in
1935, thus making them eligible to be registered and shown in the U.S.
The Lhasa Apso exhibits a regal attitude when looking his best; seldom
a pet, but rather a companion; often a clown, but never a fool. The
Lhasa Apso temperament is unique. [INLINE] His rather independent and
stubborn nature requires patient understanding, and he resists harsh
and strict discipline. He is rather calm and deliberate, although
chary(suspicious) of strangers, a direct reflection of his
long-standing heritage of seclusion in Tibet.
The Lhasa Apso is a big dog personality in a small package. They view
themselves as big and important. It is said "when a Lhasa looks in the
mirror he sees a lion." Maybe this is where they get the name "Little
Lion Dog." They adapt easily to their environment and your schedule.
We do not recommend the Lhasa for families with children under age 3.
This is because of the small size of a Lhasa puppy, who can be easily
hurt by a child possibly falling on them.
Parted from the tip of their nose to the base of the tail the hair on
the Lhasa is long, heavy and floor length with the tail carried well
over the back. About 10 to 11 inches at the shoulder and around 12 to
18 pounds, they are lap dog size. [INLINE] A Lhasa in proper weight
and condition will be in good hard flesh, well muscled and neither too
fat or too thin. Pets, for easy care, are often kept in "Teddy Bear"
or "Cocker" clips. Otherwise, grooming is required every 3 or 4 days.
Relatively free of health problems, kidney disease is the single most
dreaded health problem in the Lhasa. Still not enough is known about
the possibly inherent qualities of this disease. Careful breeding by
conscientious owners is the best deterrent we have at our disposal.
Kidney disease can kill puppies between the ages of 6 months and 2
years. This should not be confused with the kidney dysfunction
sometimes observed in old age dogs. Hypo-thyroidism is seen quite
often in the breed. However, medication can control this and it is
usually not life threatening. The Lhasa ages gracefully and keeps a
youthful appearance and attitude well into their teens. Their life
span is generally 12 to 18 years. For additional information about our
breed contact: ALAC - Lynn Jamison, 801 Linda Lane, Raymore, MO 64083.
Telephone number is (816) 331-7764.
The Official Standard of the Lhasa Apso was last revised and Approved
on July 11, 1978
Character - Gay and assertive, but chary of strangers.
Size - Variable but about 10 or 11 inches at the shoulder for dogs,
bitches slightly smaller.
Color - All colors equally acceptable with or without dark tips to the
beard and ears. [INLINE]
Body Shape - The length from the point of shoulders to point of
buttocks longer than the height at the withers, well ribbed up, strong
loin, well developed quarters and thighs.
Coat - Heavy, straight, hard not woolly or silky, of good length, and
Mouth and Muzzle - The preferred bite is either level or slightly
undershod. Muzzle of medium length; a square muzzle is objectionable.
Head - Heavy head furnishings with good fall over eyes, good whiskers
and beard, skull narrow, falling away behind eyes in a marked degree,
not quite flat, but not domed or apple shaped; straight foreface of
fair length. Nose black, the length from tip of nose to eye to be
roughly about one-third of the total length from nose to the back of
Eyes - Dark brown, neither very large and full, nor very small and
Ears - pendant, heavily feathered.
Legs - Forelegs straight; both forelegs and hind legs heavily
furnished with hair.
Feet - Well feathered; should be round and catlike, with good pads.
Tail carriage - Well feathered, should be carried well over back in a
screw; there may be a kink at the end. A low carriage of stern is a
The American Lhasa Apso Club, Inc. has a nation wide breeder referral
service available to anyone that is interested in the Lhasa Apso.
Write or call Amy Andrews, 18105 Kirkshire, Beverly Hills, MI 48025 or
telephone at (810)644-9194.
The American Lhasa Apso Club, Inc. has a nation wide breed rescue
program in place as well. For more information write or call Mary
Schroeder, 5395 S. Miller St., Littleton, CO 80127. Telephone (303)
Books - written by ALAC members (past and present) -
_How to Raise and Train a Lhasa Apso - P and T Chenoweth, T.F.H.
Lhasa Lore - Sally Ann Helf, Alpine Publications, 1983
The Lhasa Apso - Frances Sefton, MacArthur Press, Australia, reprint
The Complete Lhasa Apso - Norman and Carolyn Herbel, Howell Book
Your Lhasa Apso - Robert J. Brendt, Denlingers,1974_
Magazine - published by ALAC members -
The Lhasa Apso Bulletin - ed. Marianne Nixon, 13216 NE 40th St.,
Bellevue, WA 98005. (Bi-Monthly publication of the American Lhasa Apso
Club received with membership)
The American Lhasa Apso Club,Inc.(ALAC) For information and/or
Joyce Johanson,126 Kurlene Dr.,Macomb,IL 61445. Telephone
For information of the closest Lhasa Apso club in your area write or
Michael Santora, 12525 SW 240th St.,Princeton,FL 33032. Telephone
This page and contents are the copyrighted material of American Lhasa
Apso Club, Inc. and TCW Communications Corp. Your mail and comments
are always welcome. Please send inquires or comments to:
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