Lhasa Apso Dog Breed | Top 10 Amazing Facts About Lhasa Apsos
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Lhasa Apso Dog Breed | Top 10 Amazing Facts About Lhasa Apsos

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Lhasa Apso – Dog Breed

The Breed History
This breed originated in the mountains of Tibet, in the city of Lhasa where the harsh environment and high elevations led to the selection of a very hardy dog type. They had been bred for their heavy insulating coat to cope with the extremes of climate. They were so prized in Tibet that they were considered good luck and over a few thousand years, were only found in monasteries or in the houses of nobles. They were also sent as gifts to China, where they contributed to the Shih Tzu and Pekingese breeds. They join the Tibetan Terrier and Tibetan Spaniel in the same group from this region. This breed was first accepted into the AKC registry in 1935. The first US imports came as gifts from the 13th Dalai Lama.

Breeding for Function
They served as guard and alarm dogs for dwellings and monasteries, and also for companionship.

Physical Characteristics
Height at Withers: female 10 ” (25.4 cm), male 11″ (28 cm)
Weight: females 13-15 lb (6-7 kg), males 13-18 lb (6-8 kg).
Coat: Many colors are accepted, but the haircoat density is significantly developed as protection against harsh conditions. The beard is often dark, and hairs are often mixed color throughout the coat, and have a straight medium texture. The colors most often seen are described as leonine (lion-like); honey, wheaten with dark on the extremities. Parti-color, white, black, and slate are less commonly seen.
Longevity: 14-15 years.
Points of Conformation: The dog is built longer than high, and the head, carried high, is well endowed with whiskers and beard hairs, the nose is black and the face profile is straight. Eyes should be dark brown in pigment, with keen bright expression, and the ears are pendulous and well covered with long hair. The skull is brachycephalic, and jaw is normally mildly prognathic. The tail should be carried well up, and sometimes a screw tip is noted at the terminus of the tail. The topline is straight with a slight slope, and the back is short. The feet are compact and hair-covered as well for warmth.

Recognized Behavior Issues and Traits
Reported breed characteristics include: They are dogs that generally train easily, though some are a bit independent. They will respond to gentle handling and are a trustworthy companion to their families and are loyal. They enjoy plenty of close human contact. They are wary of strangers and should be socialized when young to both other pets and people.Some are aggressive; especially males. They are good alarm barkers, and because of their historical function as a watchdog they will respond to intruders. They are active dogs, but require low exercise levels. High shedding, and high grooming requirements characterize Lhasas so some owners elect to have them clipped once or twice per annum. They do well in town or country settings.

Normal Physiologic Variations
None reported
Drug Sensitivities
None reported

Inherited Diseases
Patella Luxation: Polygenically inherited laxity of patellar ligaments, causing luxation, lameness, and later degenerative joint disease. Treat surgically if causing clinical signs. Reported 3.4x odds ratio versus other breeds. OFA reports 10.3% affected.
Hip Dysplasia and Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: Polygenically inherited traits causing degenerative hip joint disease and arthritis. Reported 6.7x odds ratio for Legg-Calve-Perthes versus other breeds. OFA reports 6.4% affected.