Showsight Presents The Lhasa Apso

and well proportioned. Run your hand along the neck to accurately determine where it flows into the shoulder. Note the body length. It is measured from the point of shoulder to point of but- tock and should be about one third longer than the height at the withers. Th e standard calls for a well ribbed up Lhasa and this is used to describe a long ribcage that will extend well back toward the loin area. Th is allows for the extra lung capacity desirable at higher altitudes. A Lhasa should be in good weight and be well muscled. Young- er Lhasas may display a tendency toward leanness as the breed is slow to mature. Check the topline as you examine the dog along with the tail set. Th e heavily feath- ered tail is set high enough to allow the tail to be carried well over the back in a screw or a curve. As you examine the body of the Lhasa, you may notice variations in coat texture.

Th e coat is ideally heavy, straight, and hard of good length. It is dense and is a double coat. When lifted from the body a mature coat will fall back into place. When feeling the coat texture, rub the coat between your fingers to feel individual hairs. Puppies will have a tendency to have a softer coat and there are various stages of development of the coat. Th e coat first matures at the with- ers and eventually works its way back. Parti colors will have di ff erent texture in the white vs. colored portions of the coat. Many Lha- sas do not have a fully mature coat until the age of 3 or 4. Th e length of coat need not be to the ground. It must be adequate for the purpose of protection from the elements. A cloak of hair, parted down the middle from nose to tail is certainly a magnificent sight—even more so when accompanied by correct structure and muscle tone. Rear construction as noted previous- ly is that of a normal canine. Hocks are

perpendicular to the ground, and slightly behind the buttocks. Front and rear angu- lation should be equal and balanced. A light, but thorough exam of the Lhasa is needed. Yes—you may have to “rearrange” the coat a bit, but judges who fail to check for body length, condi- tion and muscle tone are doing the breed a disservice. Judging the Lhasa based solely on coat is an indication that a judge is not familiar with the breed. You may be rewarding the grooming rather than the dog. While the dog is still on the table, take the time to evaluate overall balance. Remember—longer than tall, moderate bone and body, neck flowing into shoul- ders, level topline. Now it’s time to send the dog around the ring. Will what you felt translate into the anticipated movement? Lhasas should move freely with good and balanced reach and drive. When viewed

208 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M ARCH 2014

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