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Lhasa Apso Breed Description

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Breed Organization

The American Lhasa Apso Club

Native Country
Tibet

Other Names
Bark Lion Sentinel Dog, Lhasa, Lhassa Terrier, Abso Seng Kye

Life Expectancy
Approximately 13-14 Years

Litter Size
Average 4-5 Puppies

Breed Group
AKC Non-Sporting

General Description

The breed standard requires dark brown eyes and a black nose, although liver-colored lhasas have a brown nose. The texture of the coat is heavy, straight, hard, neither woolly nor silky, and very dense. They come in a wide variety of colors including black, white, red and gold with various shadings. Lhasas can be with or without dark tips at the ends of ears and beard. The tail should be carried well over the dog's back. The breed standard currently used by the American Kennel Club was approved on July 11, 1978.

Breed Standard

Head: Round. Skull moderately narrow, not entirely flat. Moderate stop. Straight nosebridge. Muzzle not angular. Complete dentition desirable.
Ears: Pendulous, with abundant feathering.
Eyes: Medium-sized, dark.
Body: Long and compact. Neck strong, well-arched. Well-sprung ribs. Well-developed hindquarters. Strong loin. Straight back.
Tail: Set on high, carried well over the back. Well-furnished with hair.
Hair: Long, abundant, straight, and hard, neither woolly nor silky. Moderate undercoat. Abundant topknot hanging over the eyes. Well-furnished mustache.
Coat: Golden, sable, honey, dark grey, slate grey, smokey grey, or parti-color (several distinct colors, black, white, or brown).
Size: Dog: approx. 25 cm. Bitch: slightly smaller.
Weight: 4 to 7 kg.

History

The Lhasa Apso has existed in Tibet for thousands of years. A sacred animal, he was kept in temples and palaces, and the finest specimens lived with the Dalai Lama. Apso means "Tibetan goat". The Lhasa Apso did not appear in the West (England) until around 1930, because exporting the breed was forbidden. The first official standard was defined in 1934.


Behavior

Hardy, lively, courageous, and always on alert, the Lhasa Apso is very strong-willed, confident, and somewhat stubborn. Calm, affectionate, intelligent, and gentle with children, he makes a good pet. He is an excellent watchdog, since he is mistrusting of strangers and has a keen sense of hearing and a sharp voice. He needs firm training.

He can live in an apartment, but he loves to walk. He does not like being left alone. He requires daily dematting, brushing, and combing, as well as monthly bathing and regular attention to the eyes.

Function

Watchdog, Pet.


They are known to suffer from sebaceous adenitis, a hereditary skin disease that occurs primarily in Standard Poodles, but has also been reported in a number of other breeds, including the Lhasa Apso. They are also known to suffer from the genetic disease progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) which can render them blind. Responsible breeders have their breeding dogs checked yearly by a canine ophthalmologist to check that they are not developing the disease, which is inheritable in offspring. Lhasa Apsos are also prone to eye diseases, such as cherry eye and keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS or dry eye syndrome).



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