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Taken from the Canadian Kennel Club's Official Standard for the Lhasa Apso:

The Lhasa Apso is a medium-small, exotic, very hardy breed with a well-developed body, strong loins, good quarters and thighs. The long, straight, hard dense coat enhances the beauty of the breed and completely covers the dog. Ideal size of dogs: 10-11 inches, bitches should be slightly smaller. All colours and mixtures of colours considered equal.


Having been bred in Tibetan monasteries for more than 2000 years the Lhasa Apso was and is esteemed as both a companion and watchdog. It is said that while the large Tibetan Mastiff stood guard outside of the homes and monasteries it was the job of the fearless little Lhasa to bark and warn of intruders who may have slipped passed the giants outside.

The origin of the name "Lhasa Apso" is somewhat disputed. Some believe it is derived from "Rapso," meaning goat-like, referring to similarities between the small dog (when its coat is long and unkempt) and a small Tibetan goat. Others believe the name comes from "Abso Seng Kye" meaning Barking Lion Sentinel Dog, believing the breed symbolizes the lion protector of Buddha. Legend has it that lamas who failed to reach Nirvana were reincarnated as Lhasas.

Lhasas were also regarded as good luck talismans, keeping evil away, and so were never sold but instead given as gifts to those lamas held in high esteem. As recently as 1948, Tenzing, the Sherpa guide amongst climbers of Mt. Everest, was presented with two Lhasas from the Tibetan monastery in Ghanghar. Tenzing became so interested in Lhasas that he subsequently bred them.

Similarly in 1921 a member of the Indian Medical Service was given two Lhasas by a grateful patient. These dogs were later given to the wife of a British officer serving in Tibet who brought them with her upon returning to Britain. Other imports would follow and by 1933 the breed was established and granted official status by The Kennel Club.

Lhasas are always most comfortable indoors and have never lost the characteristic of keen watchfulness they were so valued for. Owing to the moderate popularity of the breed poorly bred specimens abound, because of this the breed has sometimes earned an undeserved reputation for bad temperaments. Lhasas possess a naturally sweet, but stubborn temperament. It is important for all family members to use a firm hand when dealing with any misbehaviour as being lax, even with the best bred Lhasa, can lead to problems. Keeping your dog well groomed and free of matts and tangles will also contribute to a healthier, happier dog.

All of our puppy's are fully guaranteed against temperament and genetic health defects.

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