Lhasa Apsos are considered "ambassadors of happiness and peace". All over the world, the proud dogs are highly appreciated for their character and appearance.
The appearance is characterized by its long, dense and heavy coat. The hard outer coat protects the small dog from moisture. At the same time, the undercoat provides ideal insulation against cold temperatures. The hair, which reaches down to the ground, covers the robust, muscular body. The head with the hanging ears is abundantly hairy. The short tail is carried erect, somewhat bent in the last third.
The friendly lion dogs are very affectionate and playful. Towards strangers they react somewhat suspiciously in the getting-to-know phase. As soon as the self-confident dog has gained trust, he shows his charming character.
The Lhasa terrier can be a good family dog. However, he has retained independence and at times behaves in a distant manner. With loving, consistent training, he is friendly with children. However, some dogs of this breed prefer to be around calmer adults.
Despite the small body size, the Lhasa Apso likes to be on long hikes. The persistent dog likes to accompany its owner in various sporting activities. In his own territory, he is very vigilant. At the slightest suspicion, it immediately reports. Nevertheless, the dog does not tend to bark constantly.
For the Lhasa terrier applies "small but mighty". The temperamental dog is very intelligent and is often underestimated. He gladly accepts loving and consistent leadership. If the dog is treated like a lap dog, he tends to take the lead himself and set the tone. The trusting relationship with its owner is based on mutual respect.
The independent and self-reliant dog attaches itself closely to its caregiver.
Through positive motivation, the attentive and docile little dog is easy to train. If the owner tries it with strictness, he will fail because of the stubborn stubbornness. The Lhasa Apso is a very adaptable dog. He is a good companion for single people. He integrates just as well in larger families.
The right food
The dogs of this breed have individual different requirements to their food. Some dogs are calm and cozy, others are lively and need a lot of exercise.
The composition of the feed ration must be adapted to age, weight and nutritional status. Depending on age, the need for nutrients changes. Pregnant and lactating bitches need more vitamins and minerals. Puppies need food and fresh water throughout the day. From the sixth month of life, feeding twice a day is sufficient.
When feeding dry food, the shape of the kibble should facilitate food intake. The dog is encouraged to chew. The closely positioned teeth are cleaned mechanically. In addition, sodium triphosphate binds the calcium of saliva. The formation of tartar is delayed. If the dog is barfed, the food ration should consist of 50 % meat and offal. The rest of the food portion is composed of vegetables, fruit, rice and pasta.
Especially well tolerated poultry meat or white-fleshed fish. Hard-to-digest pork is not suitable as food for the small dog. Lion dogs are very picky about their food. After a few experiments, a palatable food composition can certainly be found.
As a reward and small snack for in between, air-dried chews are suitable. However, the pieces should not be too large, so that the small dog can still chew them well.
A Lhasa Apso should never be fed directly from the table. The "it is only an exception" will otherwise quickly become permanent. The dog will no longer stop begging insistently.
Lhasa Apso care
The coat is made up of two layers. The hard top coat protects the small dog's body from wetness and cold like an outdoor jacket. The insulating undercoat is very dense in winter. It falls out during the coat change in spring and is replaced by a thinner undercoat for the summer. The hair, which partially covers the eyes, protects them from dust, wind and UV radiation.
Regular care of the coat is very important for the long-haired dog breed. Frequent bathing is not necessary. Dry dirt can be brushed out of the coat well. A grooming spray that moisturizes the hair should be applied before each coat grooming. It prevents the long hairs from breaking off during brushing.
To work through the dense coat, the easiest way is to brush the dog in the lateral position. The hair is parted and combed through layer by layer. A brush with natural bristles will prevent the hair from becoming electrically charged. For paws and belly, a metal comb with wide tines can be used.
Re-greasing shampoos with jojoba oil or cocoa butter care for skin and hair. Some Lhasa Apsos are shorn short in summer to facilitate grooming. The hair that partially covers the eyes should be trimmed regularly. This is the only way to ensure a clear view in all directions.
A weekly check of the hanging ears helps to detect parasites quickly. Beginning inflammations can be treated in time. Twice a week, the external ear canal must be cleaned with a mild ear cleaner.
For cleaning, the auricle is cleaned first. Then the ear is lifted slightly. The cleaner is dripped into the ear canal and massaged in. A soft cloth is used to remove the dirt that has been rinsed out. Cotton swabs push the dirt into the depths. They should not be used for cleaning the ears.
Regular control of the paws is necessary. In older dogs, the claws do not wear well. They tend to grow into the paw pads. Regular shortening of the claws is necessary to avoid injuries. The pads should be creamed with a care balm in summer and winter.
Lhasa Apso have a very short muzzle and closely set teeth. The formation of tartar is prevented by removing the plaque. Special toothbrushes and toothpastes for dogs can be used for this purpose.
As basic equipment, the dog needs a bowl of food and water. The long hair must be protected from contamination with food residues. Food bowls with a raised edge or food bars will help. A soft resting place in a quiet corner makes the dog's happiness complete. Nevertheless, he would like to be able to observe everything.
For the care of the coat will need a brush and comb. Shampoos with mink oil increase the shine of the long hair coat. Conditioners, balms and grooming spray protect the keratin layer of the hair.
Lhasa Apsos can be walked with a collar and leash. The collar should not be too tight to protect the hair as much as possible. A winter coat is not necessary. The undercoat sufficiently protects the small dog from low temperatures. Short clipped fur must be protected with a raincoat in wet weather.
Intelligence toys are just right for the lion dog. He enjoys the mental challenge of challenging games.
Origin & History
The Lhasa Terrier is one of the oldest dog breeds. Its original home is the Tibetan highlands. The elegant dog looks back on a millennia-old tradition of temple dogs. For the monks of the monasteries, the noble dog was considered a lucky charm. The lion dogs were revered as the reincarnation of deceased monks.
Farmers used him to guard the farm and livestock because of his vigilance. From the combed out, dense undercoat wool was made for clothing. The noble dog even managed to conquer the court of the Chinese emperor.
The English brought the Lhasa Apso to Great Britain for the first time in 1901. Shortly after, the English king received some dogs from the Dalai Lama as a gift for breeding. Through breeding selection, the dog breed could be adapted to modern demands.
In 1933, the first breed club was founded in England. In 1934, the first breed standard could be established. The recognition as an independent breed was made by the FCI in 1960. In the rest of Europe, especially in Germany, the targeted breeding began only around 1970. Even today, the Lhasa terrier is a rather rare dog breed. The preservation of the breed is one of the tasks of Great Britain. In England, the current breed standard is also determined.