And what about the Lhasa Apso ?
Où en est le Lhassa-Apso?
Apso (Lahsa Terrier)
Offeredt oMr. CUTTING, by Dalai-Lama.
Picture from the book “The Fire Ox and other Year”
Livre A little more that twenty years ago the founder President of the Tibetan Dogs Club, Mlle. Violette Dupont, had asked me to write a booklet on the Lhasa Apso.
Apart from books written in English, at that time there was no French text on that breed with the exception of Dr. Lescure’s thesis on the Lhasa Terrier. As far as I know, his thesis remains one of the most complete documents on the subject. Livre
Lady Freda Valentine, Mlle Violette Dupont, Yolande De Zarobe
Lady Freda Valentine
Mlle. Violette Dupont,
Yolande De Zarobe
Thanks to information which I was lucky enough to gather from the very mouth of the Honorable Mrs. Bailey and from Lady Freda Valentine, both at the origin of the breed in the West, I was able to write a text which recalled the main lines of the Lhasa Apso history.
Even at that time, the problem of the (growing) size was worrying the true amateurs.
How far have we got today, after sixty years of breeding in the Western worlds?
Certain fears have unfortunately turned out to be well grounded, fashion and its trail of exaggerations have pushed on so strongly that in the eighties, we had a dog in no way comparable with the original dog. As years passed, a “modern Lhasa Apso” has taken form.

The Lhasa Apso Club
Size which never stops growing, eyelid opening too large, skull too domed, neck too long, furs abundant but not right texture (goat hair) all characteristics which , to make a long story short, are out of the type.

Authenticity has been ironed out for the benefit of the spectacular.
Personally, I consider this to be a mistake. One thing is to create beauty, but even so, breed should be respected. A good dog is the one which answers its function. The Lhasa Apso is a pet dog, it should therefore be a companion able to follow you wherever you go. Such a long haired coat constitutes a handicap for walks on rough ground.
Hamilton Tatsien Lu
Hamilton Tatsien Lu
Nowhere in the standard it is mentioned that the hair must touch the ground, all that it says is : “ of good length. “ : " It must as the name implies, have long hair, the longer the better, within reason " - Hon. Mrs. BAILEY- (American Kennel Gazette - Mars 1937)

Lhassa moderne
Lhasa modern
This dog, which nature has fashioned to be adapted to a rough mountain country, this dog which should be strong-backed, thickset but small-size “heavy as lead “(says Lady Freda Valentine) is being denatured by trying to impose on it a style which does not belong to it, in one word, too sophisticated a style. The rule is for the dog to obey the standard, and not for the standard to obey the dog !
Neither should we forget the Tibetan religious legend which always associates it with Buddha’s lion. Has this little dog ("Sengtru" = dog lion ) ) retained its leonine type, its strong neck well covered by a thick mane (see standard), its almond shaped eyes, its slightly upwards hind quarters, a straight back, though not parallel with the ground, and its hooked tail ????

We should think again, return to the original standard, and its revisions, and carry ;out a comparative study, such as the text explanations which used to be our home-work when we were young. This is an interesting task : its synthesis could be the ideal reference for judges and breeders giving the picture of a dog representative of its breed, for if we classify it as a Tibetan dog it must possess the characteristics of its origin? Otherwise why call it a Tibetan dog?

We have become aware of the need to safeguard nature and animals threatened with extinction therefore why do we persist in altering the characteristics of our pets. This is an obvious paradox. I am practically sure that the forces of energy and love which have led amateurs at the cost of considerable efforts, to keep striving step after step, in search of the archetype imposed by fashion, these same forces will again, after a time of reflection allow them to return to a more reasonable balance, to something more natural, in fact to authenticity.
Things are beginning to move that way in Canada and even in the States which have hitherto been the apostles of extreme sophistication. Here, there, and everywhere, people are seeking to return to the true original type.
Dog of Hon Mrs. Bailey
Anapurna Gauthama
I hope and wish that in France, who was the first country on the continent to own Lhassa Apsos,(and in the opinion of the Honarable Mrs Bailey they were the finest in Europe) breeders will seek out in their stocks those which have retained the characteristics of the proper type and the judges, who are the keepers of the standard, will encourage them to do so.
Yolande De Zarobe


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