The Lhasa Apso is a small breed of dog originally from Tibet. They were used as watchdogs inside Tibetan monasteries for over 2000 years, for which they are uniquely suited with keen intelligence, acute hearing, and instincts for identifying friends from strangers. more...
They are generally 10 to 11 inches (25 to 28 cm) at the withers and weigh between 15 and 25 lbs (7 and 11 kg). Lhasas should have dark brown eyes with black pigmentation on eye rims and a black nose. They have a straight coat with soft undercoat (depending upon weather conditions) which comes in a variety of different colors. The tail should curl up over the back.
Having been bred to be sentinel or watch dogs, Lhasa Apsos tend to be alert and have a keen sense of hearing with a rich, sonorous bark that belies their size. They are bright and outgoing, but some tend toward wariness of strangers. Wariness does not mean unwarranted aggressiveness but having a discerning attitude towards strangers; people approaching the dog simply need to show that they are a friend. However, many Lhasas are quite friendly from the first introduction. If not properly socialized, some may become aggressive or overly shy toward strangers.
The original American pair was a gift from the Dalai Lama to C. Suydam Cutting, arriving in the United States in the early 1930s. The American Kennel Club officially accepted the breed in 1935 in the Terrier group, but in 1959 moved the breed to the Non-Sporting group.
Apparently monks believe that Lhasas are reincarnated lions and as such hold them in high esteem. Golden Lhasas are said to house the souls of the Dalai Lamas.
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