Lhasa Apso Correct Gait

Too many dogs (even among champions) have a gait which does not correspond to the correct gait of the Lhassa.

Like American Cockers do, they the back legs raise too High, showing their pads.

The correct gait of the Lhassa is hopping. It trots light.

True Lhasa Apso

American Cocker

Modern Lhasa Apso

This difference is not a small détail but a very serious defect because it result from a lack of angulation and thus from a bad morphology of the dog.

According to Dr. Lescure’s thesis (1960), realized scientifically using radiographies and carried out on Annapurna subjects of Miss Dupont’s, (close to the dogs of origin), the scapulo-huméral angle in the Lhassa is 115°.

The more the scapulo-huméral angle will be open (115°), the more the neck will seem short and the tibio-tarsal angle will be open (150°). That will give the dog a good balance and a light gait (propulsion and traction), trotting «menu» as on air cushions. Back legs pads are hardly seen. Its gait is correct.

On the other hand, the more the scapulo-huméral angle will be  closed (90°), the more the neck will seem long, (the first dorsal vertebrae appearing with the cervical vertebrae) and the tibio-tarsal angle will be closed (110° approximately). This accentuated angulation gives the dog a contrained propulsion forcing it to raise its back legs exaggeratedly. Its gait is incorrect.

Whatever the breed, the dog has always seven cervical vertebrae, thirteen dorsal vertebrae and seven lumbar vertebrae.

Dr Lescure 1961

Scapulo Humeral Angle
Tibio Tarsus Angle
Modern Lhasa

Scapulo Humeral Angle
95° to 100°
Tibio Tarsus Angle
110° to 120°
Americain Cocker

Scapulo Humeral Angle
Tibio Tarsus Angle


Scapulo Humeral

Tibio Tarsus

Correct Lhasa Apso Gait

Under these conditions, judges are confronted with an atypical and incorrect gait resulting from a serious defect of the morphology of the subject.

How can they reward them whereas they would have, on the contrary, to be penalized ?

There can be only two reasons: either they know little about the characteristics of the Lhassa, because they did not have the possibility of seeing true ones, or they know them but just disregard them ?

In both cases, the result is to maintain a defect which should be eliminated by an adequate selection.

The first official 1935 standard stipulated:

In judging these dogs, breed characteristics are of Paramount importance.

Yolande De Zarobe