ЖJasa aRso q&A
L et me tell you about my breed, they come from the highest region in the world— there- fore they have a double-coat and a very keen sense of hearing. They were sentinels in the Potala Palace (locat- ed in central Lhasa, Tibet) as well as mon- asteries, warning the monks when an intruder appeared. They also have large chests and lung capacity to accommodate the thin air. Their heads are not round and neither are their eyes. They are almond- shaped and they can have an undershot or level bite with nice cushioning under the chin. The muzzle is straight. A Lhasa is 10" to 11" tall and slightly longer than tall—long and low is not a good description of my breed. The Lhasa has not changed very much over the years. I think that most breed- ers do not have the time, money—or patience—for this breed anymore. In the society we live in today it seems everyone wants instant success. This is not possible with the Lhasa Apso. Lhasas are difficult to keep beautifully groomed and clean, but they are a very hardy breed. I never had a sick one! But as time consuming as they might be, everyone who’s ever been in love with a Lhasa will attest that they’re definitely worth the time and effort to keep this noble breed in tip-top shape. Vive the Lhasa Apso! About the Author I am from Sarasota, Florida. I have been judging since the 70s and attained all breed status in 1997. I bred Lhasas and was fortunate to show and finish 57 of them. Six of those dogs were all- breed BIS winners, plus my favorite bitch named Potala Keke’s Yum Yum won back-to-back National Special- ties—a very special accomplishment, particularly for a bitch. KEKE KH AN on the lhASA ApSo
in making evaluations? Please elaborate. It may be helpful to know that the basis of the Lhasa Apso Standard was describing the difference between the Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu in England when in 1933 it was discovered at the Ladies Kennel Association show that these two little long haired dogs were not the same breed. The original US standard was virtually copied from the 1934 English standard, thus the emphasis on describing head properties because at that time the major difference between the two breeds was the heads. BS: Lhasas are an intelligent, stubborn breed. They can be wary of strang- ers so approaching them from the front is always desirable. Lhasas originated in Tibet. They are agile and sturdy, neither Toy like nor mas- sive in bone. Ideally, they move with level toplines and should possess good shoulder layback, reach and drive. Condition involves more than coat—they should have a strong loin with well-developed rear quarters and good spring of rib. BW: In our breed standard, it states that Lhasas are “chary of strangers”, which we are always asked about in our judges seminars. Chary (or suspicious) is a characteristic of the breed that reflects his heritage of seclusion in Tibet. Exhibitors work hard training on the table so when a judge approaches the dog to examine the head, the dog is steady as a rock. The Lhasa is a wonderful breed that I have been happy to share my life with for the past 50 years. They are very intelligent and can be very stubborn and independent. About 10 years ago I started training my dogs in Obedience and Rally and we are having a wonderful time earning more titles. 7. And, for a bit of humor: what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? BD: I was given the honor to judge at the 50th Anniversary of our National. In between the dogs and bitches, several members of the club dressed up in various outfits with dogs on various types of leashes, etc. It is hard to describe the expression on my face when the class was called into the ring. Another time, at the Westminster Dog Show, I was grooming my AM/CAN/Finish CH Misti Acres Kopper Penny, when a reporter and photographer appeared by my side. While I was grooming the headpiece of the dog, the reporter was asking questions of the dog at the opposite end. Without flinching, I immediately told the reporter he would probably get better answers if he asked the questions at the cor- rect end. Within a couple of weeks friends were calling me from all over the States saying they saw me on television on a comedy network. It was shown off and on for over a year. CH: The funniest thing I saw was while watching this independent little breed perform in obedience. The most memorable is many years ago and the third year obedience was approved to be held at the National Specialty. A stylish little lady rather advanced in age entered the ring with her Apso and as she was instructed to start each exercise the Apso would look out at the spectators and just before the little lady looked to see why there was no response to her command the Apso did as told. You may have had to be there to find it as amusing as did the spectators, but it was a definite display of the independent nature of the Apso. BS: Without a doubt, the adult handling classes at the German Shorthaired Pointer Club’s National Specialties. The creativity of all of the exhibitors ranged from hilarious costumes for both dogs and exhibitors to perfor- mances by the “Pointer” sisters to “human” dogs lifting their leg on the judge with Tootsie Rolls ® strewn behind. BW: I was judging in Schipperkes in Florida and I had a large specials class. I called them into the ring and as they came into the ring the lead on one of them broke. Well that dog never missed a beat and gaited all the way around the ring without its handler, stopped perfectly and looked up and his handler wasn’t there. He just stayed perfectly stacked until its handler caught up. Just cracked me up! Our dogs can do it without us!
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