Page 366 - ShowSight - November 2019
P. 366

                 The Almost Perfect Dog COURTESY OF THE AMERICAN LHASA APSO CLUB continued
 of a challenge to maintain. It does require regular grooming and brushing. However, the benefit of owning a dog that loses its hair similar to that of humans is they are low shedding; and therefore, there is very little vacuuming of dog hair for the owner.
Owners who do not wish to keep the dog in full coat can opt for a puppy cut, which is adorable, still captures the beauty of their dog and requires very little grooming.
If you haven’t guessed the name of this dog by now, it is not surprising. Often, this dog, because of its appearance, is considered a “designer dog” rather than a family all- around dog. Anyone who has owned this breed will tell you that a “designer dog” is far from the truth! In fact, once you give this breed a try, you will be hooked for life, whether you own one as a family pet, show one, or do agility trials or all of the above! The Breed: Lhasa Apso. So, don’t miss a chance to own this “almost-perfect” dog!
Named for the ancient city of Lhasa in Tibet, the Lhasa Apso is the dog from the top of the world near Mount Everest! These highly intelligent and robust little dogs, raised to be companions to Tibetan monks, will bring some Zen to your life. This ancient dog will offer you unwaver- ing affection, love and protection just as his ancestors did for the Tibetan monks.
Gifted with a “way of being” that pro- vides them with remarkable focus and intel- ligence, a keen sense of hearing and a confi- dent and feisty personality, these dogs were partnered with the noble Tibetan Mastiff. The Mastiff guarded the outside of the monastery while the little Lhasa Apsos were inside as sentinels, devotedly alerting the monks to possible intruders!
The Lhasa’s genealogy places it as one of only fourteen breeds with DNA directly linked to the ancient gray wolf. Perhaps this genetic connection to the wolf accounts for the Lhasa being so physically and men- tally tough—with few health problems and longevity, the oldest documented lived to age 24.
The dogs, whether in a short, puppy cut or in long, flowing coat, move with the grace and elegance of a super model. You cannot ignore the Lhasa’s overall physical beauty, coupled with his expressive eyes, often described as human-like, his black gum-drop nose and a personality that can only be acknowledged with lots of hugs!
History suggests these loyal dogs would even crawl inside the sleeves of the monks’ robes to keep them warm and protected at night. Their double coats, which are more similar to human hair than fur, equip them with the ability to comfortably endure hot
and cold climates—just as their ancestors coped with the extreme weather changes near Mount Everest.
Lhasa Apsos are so adaptable to their environment that they can happily live in a small city apartment or on a large coun- try estate. They are happy with a brisk, 30-minute walk with their humans; or they can get their exercise by romping inside with another family member: dog, cat or a rough-and-tumble 10-year-old child!
Once you are owned by a Lhasa Apso, you will feel like you are on top of the world!
  364 • ShowSight Magazine, noveMber 2019
hat does the future hold for the Lhasa Apso? In recent years, the Lhasa Apso has become a “low breed” count at AKC con- formation shows. AKC reports that the number of registered Lhasa Apsos has decreased by 70% in the last ten years! We
also know that in 2018, members of the American Lhasa Apso Club (ALAC) registered less than 40 litters, which is directly related to aging and declining membership with very little new interest in the breed. The time has come: Lhasa Apso breeders/exhibitors cannot just hope there will be a turnaround in our breed’s number and is time to take action before it’s too late.
ALAC has recently put in place, a committee to take on the taunting task of “The Sustaining the Lhasa Apso For the Future Project.” The question is how do we create interest to bring new exhibitors and breeders to the breed? The Lhasa Apso is not alone, several other breeds find themselves in the same position of declining numbers. Working together with these breed clubs, the Sustaining the Future committee has begun a marketing campaign for the Lhasa Apso. After surveying the Lhasa Apso community, it seems that many of the younger generation do not know about the breed or they are under a false impression about the breed’s temperament and personality.
What is the committee’s first step? Promote, promote, and promote! Make the Lhasa Apso a visible presence on the internet through Facebook and other social media. Promote and show the public that the Lhasa Apso’s loyalty, good health and long lives make them wonderful companion and family pets. How- ever, in the last decade the Lhasa Apso has proven to be so much more than just a “non-sporting” companion. The breed has excelled in all aspects of AKC events from agility, to nosework, to barnhunt to tricks titles. The breed is also proving to be wonderful therapy and emotional support dogs.
Members of ALAC want the rest of the dog world and beyond to know that there is so much loyalty, love and versatility within the Lhasa Apso and to take a minute to contact a reputable preservation breeder and find out more about this beautiful, intelligent breed before it’s too late.
Contact or for more information.

   364   365   366   367   368