Looking for more photos of this adorable breed? Check out Petside's slideshow of perhaps one of the cutest dog breeds: the Lhasa Apso!
Although the Lhasa Apso may at first seem to resemble the Shih Tzu, the Lhasa is a little bigger, is groomed differently and has a different history and character. Shih Tzus were pampered by Chinese royalty; Lhasas originated and developed in the harsh, secluded Tibetan mountains, working as guards of Buddhist monasteries. Mastiffs guarded the outside walls of the monasteries. Lhasas were stationed inside, as the second line of protection. They held the job because of their keen hearing, protectiveness, and ability to know whether a visitor was a friend or a stranger.
Lhasas don't expect to be pampered. They are protective of their people and care for them in a dignified but loving manner. In obedience training, positive, repetitive lessons will win the Lhasa over. The Lhasa can be playful and spirited, but also independent.
The Lhasa is best known for his long, dense, lustrous coat. It is thick, straight, and hard, not woolly or silky. It can be any color, and it needs daily care.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance: Bold and happy, but wary of strangers.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: Height--about 10 or 11 inches at the withers; females, slightly smaller.
Lhasa Apsos guarded Tibetan villages and monasteries for 800 years. The highest priest of the Buddhists, the Dalai Lama, presented Lhasas as gifts of honor to visiting emperors and other important guests. Lhasas were considered symbols of good luck.
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.