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.
They are generally 10 to 11 inches at the withers and weigh between 15
and 25 lbs. 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. 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.
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