Dogs: Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso is an ancient breed which originated in Tibet. Lhasa is the capital of Tibet. Their history as a recognisable breed dates back to 800 years before Christ was born. Read more about the early history of dog breeds. Tibetan monks kept Lhasa apsos inside the monasteries to raise the alarm should strangers approach. They were once called "Apso Seng Kyi" which means "barking sentinel lion dog." The dogs were never sold, but were given as gifts.
Apso means "long-haired or goatlike" and can be applied to the Tibetan terrier as well as the Lhasa.
Lhasas have long, thick hair which reaches the ground. It should not be cut, but left long. The coat needs daily brushing to prevent it matting. Long hair droops from head, cheeks, ears, back and from the tail, which curls over the back. The dense undercoat kept the dogs warm in the high mountains of Tibet (the Roof of the World) and the tough long topcoat gave more protection from the elements.
They make good house dogs and need little exercise, but they enjoy walking merrily on the lead for walks.
Lhasa apsos are often confused with the Shih tzu, but Lhasas have a longer nose.
The Lhasa Apso makes a good watch dog. They are wary/chary of strangers.
They live long, so if you're over 90, don't buy a puppy!
Colour: Lhasas come in many colours - golden, honey, black, grey, white, and parti-coloured.
Height: Males: 25.4 cms at shoulder, females can be slightly smaller.