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The Lhasa Apso is a small breed of dog originally from Tibet. They were used as watchdogs inside Tibetan monasteries for over 1200 years, for which they are uniquely suited with keen intelligence, acute hearing, and instincts for identifying friends from strangers. Having been bred to be sentinel or watch dogs, Lhasa Apsos tend to be alert and have a keen sense of hearing with a rich, sonorous bark that belies their size (some are known as "singers"). Most Lhasas will often bark when something is out of the ordinary, such as if someone is at the door.
The Lhasa Apso is a low-shedding breed. While not completely hypo-allergenic, it comes very close. It is cleanest if regularly groomed. If properly raised it will come to appreciate bathing, hair combing and cutting. The Lhasa Apso is a long-lived breed, with some living in good health into their early 20s.
The heavy coat of Lhasas can also be explained by the geographical features of Tibet: the temperature frequently drops below freezing thus making it hard for a dog to survive without sufficient insulation. Lhasas were rarely groomed by their owners thus allowing the breed to adapt to the harsh weather. In 1901 Mrs. A. McLaren Morrison brought the Lhasa Apso to the UK where it was registered as an official breed in The Kennel Club in 1902. The original American pair was a gift from Thubten Gyatso, 13th Dalai Lama to C. Suydam Cutting, arriving in the United States in the early 1930s. The American Kennel Club officially accepted the breed in 1935 in the Terrier group, and in 1959 transferred the breed to the Non-Sporting group.
Recently, DNA Analysis has identified the Lhasa Apso as one of the 14 most ancient dog breeds. In the 1950s the Lhasa Apso and Maltese were accidentally bred creating a type of dog that later became known as the Kyi-Leo rare dog breed in the 1970s. Train your pup using Cesar Millan's Dog Whisperer tips!
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