Another of the ancient Tibetan dog breeds, the Lhasa Apso used to be given as a gift to the Chinese court by the Dalai Lama who ruled Tibet. The unusual name of these dogs translates as ‘goat-like’, and it may have been that their ancestors were actually kept as guardians for herds of goats before they acquired legal status. Traditionally, they lived inside homes, with the Tibetan Mastiff being kept as a guard outside. Lhasa Apsos first reached the West in the early years of the present century, and there was initially some confusion between these dogs and the larger Tibetan Terrier. By 1930, however, the Lhasa was established in its own right and has since become the most commonly seen of the four Tibetan breeds.
Coat Type/Colour: Long, flowing; smoky-grey, white, brown
Height: 10 Inch (25 cm)
Weight: 13 – 15 lb (5.9 – 6.8 kg)
Nature: Alert, intelligent; long-lived
They are attractive, affectionate dogs, but their long, flowing coats obviously need careful grooming on a daily basis, otherwise the hair will become badly tangled and, in extreme cases, the dog may have to be anaesthetized to have the mats removed painlessly. As companions, there are few dogs as long-lived, with Lhasa Apsos frequently living into their late teens and beyond – up to 29 years in one astonishing case!