|ORIGIN OF THE BREED
The LHASA APSO has been in Tibetan monasteries for 2000
years. In its country of origin the breed was esteemed as
companion and watch dogs, as it still is in all parts of the
world. It is said that the Tibetan Mastiff stood guard
outside the homes and monasteries while the little LHASA
APSO gave warning of any intruder that might have
Opinion is divided on the origin of the breed name. Some
claim it is derived from rapso, meaning goat-like, because
when the dog's coat is long and unkempt it resembles a
small Tibetan goat. The other opinion holds that the name
comes from Abso Seng kye, which means barking Lion
Sentinel Dog, and that the breed symbolizes the lion, the
protector of Buddha. Legend has it that lamas who failed
to reach Nirvana were reincarnated as LHASA APSOS.
|LHASA APSOS were regarded as good luck talismans that kept evil away and were never
sold but given as gifts to those the lamas held in high esteem.
In 1921, a member of the Indian Medical Service was given two LHASA APSOS by a grateful
patient. These dogs were later given to the wife of a British officer serving in Tibet, who
brought them with her when she returned to Britain. As recently as 1948, Tenzing Norkay,
the Sherpa guide who was to accompany Sir Edmund Hillary on his ascent of Mount
Everest in l953, was presented with two LHASA APSOS from the Ghangar Monastery in
Tibet. Tenzing became a breeder of Lhasa Apsos.
By 1933,LHASA APSOS were established in England as the Lhasa Terrier but with the
formation of the Tibetan Breeds Association in l934 the name was changed to LHASA APSO
and the breed shown in the Utility Group.
First Canadian registrations were recorded in l934 under the breed name Lhassa(sic)
Terrier and classified in the Terrier Group. The name was later changed to LHASA APSO. In
January1974, the LHASA APSO was reclassified and is now a member of the Non-Sporting
LHASA APSOS were registered in the United States in l935 where they are also shown in the