For many centuries, the Lhasa Apso has been an almost-mystical dog breed. Its origins, related to the Tibet, have given this dog a colorful background for us to know and enjoy. Once considered a highly exclusive dog breed, only to live and share among the Tibetan royalty, now is enjoying an increasing popularity outside Asia.
The Lhasa Apso is a unique dog breed, with features that will surely amaze us. But before talking about how it looks and behave, we think it’s important to know some of its most relevant and interesting traits.
As we mentioned before, the Lhasa Apso always had an essential place in the Tibetan culture. Local tradition has been telling for 4,000 years that lamas’ souls may reside within a Lhasa Apso after their death, only before reincarnating once again as humans.
Because of this and other reasons, these dogs were exclusive for the royalty. Selling a Lhasa Apso was forbidden and the only way to get one was by receiving it as a gift. That’s why it was a common gift among Chinese emperors and rulers. For a while, the Lhasa Apso represented a vital element of diplomacy and international relations in the region.
Tibetan people also refer to this dog as Abso Seng Kye, which means “Sentinel Lion Dog”. The reason for this may be its abundant mane and its behavior towards tense, dangerous situations, where this dog usually demonstrates remarkable bravery.
The Lhasa Apso is no common animal. This small dog grows up to 25 centimeters with the females being a little bit shorter. When healthy, they remain between 5 and 8 kilograms. But what is more remarkable is their fur. The abundant mane usually covers the eyes and includes cute beard and whiskers.
Long ears, a black nose, and an “inverted scissors” bite are other relevant traits that we notice almost at first sight. The Lhasa Apso also has a strong, athletic muscle composition, even if the abundant fur hides it. Many owners leave their dogs’ hair to go down to the floor. And regarding their hair, it can be white, brown, golden, and black, all of them often combined.
Small Yet Brave
Now, when you see a Lhasa Apso, you can easily feel overwhelmed by how cute and sweet it looks. However, they often hide a very different character. The Lhasa Apso is a calm, peaceful dog breed but it’s also known because their behavior when facing tense, dangerous situations.
Tibetan royalty used the Lhasa Apso as an “indoor guardian”, also present at Buddhist monasteries. Its brave behavior may have a very good reason to be: genetic research has demonstrated that this dog breed is closely related to wolves. With more than four millennia among humans, the Lhasa Apso remains as one of the eldest dog breeds, conserving most of its ancestry.
If you are looking for a small and cute yet surprisingly brave dog, the Lhasa Apso may be an amazing choice. This dog will give you lovely moments while knowing that, in hazardous times, it will behave bravely, defending its position.