Fascinating facts about the Lhasa Apso

Have you ever wondered what makes these little dogs so special? Here are some fascinating facts to help you understand what’s unique about them.

Lhasa Apsos are one of the oldest dog breeds

A genetic study in 2004 by the journal “Science” found that the Lhasa Apso was the 14th oldest breed in the world, out of 85 kennel Club registered breeds that were compared. The Lhasa Apso has stayed extremely close in genetic structure to the Lhasa Apsos that were first bred in Tibet thousands of years ago. They were, from the beginning, perfectly adapted to the harsh environments of the Himalayas and were not subjected to a lot of the selective breeding that modern dog breeds were.

Lhasa Apsos were seen as spiritual creatures

The Tibetan monks who first kept Lhasa Apsos saw the facets of their personalities as spiritual qualities. Their watchful, alert demeanor coupled with their aloof, detached personalities made them perfect guardians and watchdogs.

The Lhasa Apso has a long lifespan

These regal little dogs live longer than a lot of other breeds, and can live for 14 or 15 years in some cases. This is a testament to their overall health and perhaps the fact that they are an ancient dog breed with very little interbreeding in their genetic histories.

Lhasa Apsos were said to bring good luck

These alert little dogs were given to people traveling from Tibet to China, and were said to bring safe passage to those they accompanied.

Lhasa Apsos were said to be reincarnated monks

These dogs were not only spiritual by nature, they were also said to carry the souls of departed monks, which is another reason they were cherished and kept close to the Tibetan temples. Because of these qualities, Lhasa were nearly always given as gifts, rather than sold for commercial gain. After the 20th century, the breed began to be given as gifts to foreign dignitaries and this is how the breed was eventually spread across the world.

Lhasa Apsos are great watchdogs

These little dogs have always been successful at guarding their owner’s properties and homes. In fact, they have their own special bark which sets them apart from other breeds. One translation (among many) of the breed’s name is “barking lion dog”.

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