In the last English kennel club Lhasa Apso breed standard of November 2003 translated by FCI April 2004, the new body clause comes back to the characteristics which has been changed in 1986.

This 30 years come back to a more accurate description of the Lhasa Apso body shape is very interesting to compare with what Mrs. Frances Sefton wrote when the new standard of 1986 was published.


Standard 1986

I may come as a chock to the Lhasa Apso clubs in England to learn that the Lhasa Apso Club in Australia has requested the Australian National Kennel Council, NOT TO APPROVE THE NEW ENGLISH KENNEL CLUB BREED STANDARD for use in Australia. The Lhasa Apso people here prefer to stick to the old one.

Perhaps I should explain that in the past Australia has always used the English breed standards (with the  exception of course of the Australain breeds). This has been the practice for a number of years. Therefore, the decision to ask the ANKC not to adopt the new Lhasa Apso standard was not taken lightly.

When copies of the new standard arrived here, there was a great deal of unease on the part of several of the established breeders, and as a result the Club’s committee discussed the matter at length, members all over Australia were circulated, and asked for their comments. Their opinion was unanimous.

Why was the new standard rejected ?? Perhaps some of the reasons submitted by the Club and expressed by individuals may help to explain.

In general; it was felt that the new standard omitted a mumber  of breed characteristics, some of which may be minor, but are nevertheless factors which add up to the individuality of the breed itself. For instance the omission of the reference to Dark tips on the ear furnishings.

The change to the mouth, adding incisors in a broad and as straight  a line as possible  would do justice to a Shi Tzu mouth ! It has always be noticeable that in the Lhasa the four middle incisors in the lower jaw are straight with the  two other ones set fractionally back – and the same with the upper jaw. All in a straight line usually brings  with it  a bite which is too undershot, with prominent “eye” incisors in the top jaw, tending to be  more to a Shu Tzu bite.

The  Club members  objected strongly to the deletion of the “dense mane”. Even though it is invariably stripped out for the showing, they felt it was an important breed characteristic. In addition they could see judges and novice exhibitors looking for swan necks with the addition of the word “well arched”.

It was pointed out that Boxers have well arched necks – and a Boxer neck is not a Lhasa neck!

But the paragraph which has  sent everyone crazy is the one on body. In my opinion, and I have already stated this in print, the change alone is grounds for rejection the new standard. The term “well ribbed up” has been changed to “well ribbed”.

When I first read this, I thought, there must be a mistake, they’ve left out a word. How could anyone who knows anything about dogs change the term ?

The term “well ribbed up” has a specific meaning. It means the ribs are carried well back. It means the Lhasa Apso has a long rib cage, which is the very point that gives it the body length  that is desirable. ( “Length from point of shoulders to point of buttocks greater than height at withers” ) because a “strong loin” is required, not a long, slack loin creating a long coupled dog.

What does “ well ribbed” mean ? We all know that it will be taken as meaning round barrel robs – like a Shi Tzu ! The Club members here are of the opinion that the change  will cause a complete change in the shape of the  body.




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