The Kennel Club Breed Standard
Lhasa Apso

Last updated October 2009

The Lhasa Apso A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential.

Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch Section of the Kennel Club Web Site watch for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as undesirable or highly undesirable it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring

General Appearance – Well balanced, sturdy, heavily coated, without excess

Characteristics – Gay and assertive.

Temperament – Alert, steady but somewhat aloof with strangers.

Head & Skull – Head furnishings with fall over eyes, but not affecting the dog’s ability to see, good whiskers and beard. Skull moderately narrow, falling away behind the eyes, not quite flat, but not doomed or apple headed. Straight foreface with medium stop. Nose black. Muzzle about 4 cms (1and half inches). But not square; length from tip of nose one third total length from nose to back of skull.

Eyes – Dark. Medium size, frontally placed, oval, neither large nor full, nor small and sunk. No white showing at base or top.

Ears – pendant, heavily feathered.

Mouth – Upper incisors close just inside lower ie. Reverse scissor bite. Incisors in a broad and as straight a line as possible. Full dentition desirable.

Neck – Strong and well arched

Forequarters – Shoulders well laid back. Forelegs straight, heavily furnished with hair.

Body –Length from point of shoulders to point of buttocks greater than height at withers. Ribs extending well back . Level topline. Strong Loin. Balanced and compact.

Hindquarters – Well developed with good muscle. Good angulation. Heavily furnished with hair. Hocks when viewed from behind parallel and not too close together.

Feet – Round, cat-like with firm p[ads. Well Feathered.

Tail – High-set, carried well over back but not like a pot-hook. Often a kink at end. Well feathered.

Gait/Movement – Free and jaunty.

Coat – Top coat long, heavy, straight, hard neither woolly nor silky. Moderate undercoat. Coat never impeding action.

Colour – Golden, sandy, honey, dark grizzle, slate, smoke, parti-colour, black, white or brown. All equally acceptable.

Size – Ideal height: dogs: 25cms ( 10ins) at shoulders; bitches slightly smaller.

Faults – Any departure from the afore-going points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to it’s degree and it’s effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Note – male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum. 

Breed Standard:  Copyright the Kennel Club. Reproduced with their kind permission.