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» Lhasa Apso
Also known as the Lhasa Terrier, this breed originated in Tibet with its first use being to guard the monasteries. There is something of a religious connection with this breed, with the dog only being bred by holy men and nobles for around 2000 years. It was considered sacred when its master died, with the spirit of the owner thought to enter the dogís body. Initially the breed was hard to get hold of in other countries, with very few people looking to sell their Lhasa Apso. However, over time the breeds would start to enter other countries, with the Tibet ruler offering them as gifts to visiting foreign diplomats.
While the Lhasa Apso was considered a guard dog once upon a time, it wouldnít offer a serious physical threat to intruders. Standing at around ten inches tall and weighing in between fourteen and eighteen pounds, itís fair to say that this breed was reasonably small. Due to Tibet having extremely cold weather at times the Lhasa Apso has a fairly long and heavy coat, that covers the entire body and often touches the floor. The coat can come in a variety of colors including gold, white and black, slate, cream and sometimes brown. According to the breedís standard, the Lhasa Apso should be blessed with a black nose and dark brown eyes.
While the Lhasa Apso is renowned as a friendly dog, itís a breed that shouldnít really be based in a household with children. Itís quite wary around children and will not stand for any rough behavior so for this reason, itís advised not to have this breed if the owner has a family. However, itís a dog thatís very affectionate to its owner and can also be used as a guard dog Ė with its loud bark a quality in making its owner aware of intruders. As well as not being the best breed for children, the dog can sometimes become violent with other dogs so itís also advisable not to get one if you already have pets in the house. While they can be assertive and sometimes stern, if put in the correct environment they will make an excellent pet and be a joy to live with.
Like a lot of dogs, the Lhasa Apso can sometimes develop hip dysplasia and various skin conditions. However, on the whole they are a healthy breed and should live to at least fifteen. They require plenty of exercise and a daily walk is recommended Ė although itís worth mentioning that this breed should be fine living in an apartment and a yard is not essential.
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