Did you know?
Traditionally, Lhasas are revered as it is believed they hold the reincarnated souls of Dalai Lamas. Golden Lhasas in particular are worshipped for this reason.
Money will buy you a pretty good dog, but it won’t buy the wag of his tail. – Henry Wheeler Shaw
The most well known and popular of the breeds that come from the towering mountains and deep valleys of Tibet, the Lhasa Apso is believed to date back to 800 BC. He takes his name from the capital city of Tibet, Lhasa, and the word “apso” meaning “bearded” in the Tibetan language.
Recently, DNA Analysis identified the alert and watchful Lhasa Apso as one of the 14 most ancient dog breeds. He was an indoor watchdog bred as a companion and indoor guard of the Buddhist monasteries and homes of the upper classes. His keen eye and hearing coupled with his sharp bark made him the perfect alarm system.
The dogs were never sold but presented as gifts. It was as a gift from the Dalai Lama that the Lhasa Apso first came to North America. The Lhasa is believed to bring good luck which may explain his popularity.
Photos displayed courtesy of Janet Lacasse, Lasacas Reg’d, Ontario
The heavily-coated Lhasa Apso stands no more than 11 1/2 inches (29.2 cm) tall at the shoulder. His coat is long, straight, dense, and hard, and completely covers him. Daily grooming is necessary to prevent tangles and matting in the thick undercoat. The coat comes in all colours and combinations of colours although the golden shades are the most common. The Lhasa carries his tail curled proudly up over his back.
An alert, watchful, and suspicious little dog, the Lhasa continues today the work for which he was bred over 2,000 years ago – to alert his masters to intruders. He is loyal, gentle, and loving with his family. With a happy and assertive nature, he makes a good companion for children as he enjoys playing. His small size makes him suitable for the smallest accommodation.
Having a Lhasa involves a serious commitment as the little dog typically lives 15 to 18 years.
Although he is a quick learner, the Lhasa can be strong-willed, so his owner will need to exercise patience during training. He requires a short amount of daily exercise to keep him in shape.