Portrait of the Breed
The Lhasa Apso comes from the Mountains and the plateau of Tibet, a country that often has been called the 'Roof of the world'. The regions lie up between 3500 and 5000m and the climate there is extremely rough. Icy, long winters and hot summers rule up there and influence human and animals in their way of living, and... surviving. That's the reason Tibetan dogs are so robust.
Almost all Tibetan breeds have dense, full coat as a protection against the strong weather conditions. In the past, not many visitors entered this isolated, mystical land, which is the reason that Tibetan dogs appeared seldom in western worlds. Not until the until the beginning of the 20th century, more and more Tibetan breeds came to Europe and North America where they started the foundation of the nowadays existing Kennels.
Believing historical reports, the Lhasa-Apso already existed 800 B.C. in Tibetan monasteries and royal yards. The Lhasa was the symbol for luck and is most probably the only real Tibetan lion dog which has been stylized as 'Buddha's Lion' in Tibetan arts.
It has been never sold but has been given away to special friends as a symbol as luck or companion. Tibetans call the beloved Lhasa 'Little People' and its been told that nuns and monks that have been unworthy will be re-incarnated as Lhasa Apso in their next life.
The privileged status of the Lhasa Apso, which earned a special and deep admiration of the tibetans, inspired its spirit. It is a proud, confident, intelligent and self-willed dog. It is a pleasant fellow at home, devoted and flexible dog, once the owner managed to win its trust. The Lhasa does not know obedience and using force on it won't bring you anywhere. It wants to be friend and desires close contact to the owner. Without that close contact, it becomes stunted. The Lhasa is suspicious most of the time towards strangers, and alert. It is a great guard for home and yards, without keep yapping dog.
Joyful by nature the Lhasa somewhat got a 'good sense of humor'. It is an actor often that enjoys performing on stage. Each Lhasa got its own personality: some are arrogant, others are clowns, some are collectors that collects anything that comes into their way. Then there are the 'mud lark' that won't leave out a puddle to step it, or those snobs that won't even leave the house to enter the yard when it looks wet or uncomfortable.
Because if of its small height - a good Lhasa is about 24 to 28cm high - it is easy to keep it in an apartment. Its special feature is its beautiful dense coat which offers the Apso a cozy 'apparel' necessary due to the rough climates in Tibet. The coat is the true beauty of the Lhasa and its easy to maintain as long as you follow the instructions from the breeder. Important is to take care of its coat regularly.
Encouraging of getting a Lhasa is the great variety of colors and its constant change of color. Each Lhasa is somewhat a 'special edition' since its rare you will find two Lhasa's that will look (and behave) alike. For those that seek for a beautiful, long haired little fellow, which is devoted and jolly and for those that do appreciate the special features of this breed, will be very happy with a Lhasa as a new family member.