Keeping the Eyefall from Falling into the Eyes

by Joyce Johanson

There are many reasons for keeping the eyefall out of your Lhasa's eyes. Pulling the eyefall back allows your Lhasa's beautiful, expressive brown eyes to be seen. Pulling the eyefall back may help a shy or insecure Lhasa become more sure of himself, merely because he can see more clearly. Pulling the eyefall back helps protect your Lhasa's eyes from hair or foreign particles (dirt, leaves, food) trapped in the eyefall which can scratch the eye or cause irritation. Pulling the eyefall back allows you to see your Lhasa's eyes and monitor their condition so you can keep them clean and take care of minor irritations before they become serious.

Lhasa owners use all sorts of methods to keep the eyefall out of their Lhasas' eyes. Depending on the personality and habits of the Lhasa, some of these methods work better than others. For instance, my friend JoAnn had a Lhasa female that didn't feel "fully dressed" unless she was wearing barrettes. She knew they made her beautiful. She insisted on them! On the other hand, most of my girls hate having barrettes in their hair and will rub on the carpet or sofa until the barrettes are loose and fall out. Then they want to chew them up!

Here are some suggestions for keeping the eyefall pulled back. You'll have to experiment until you come up with a suitable hairstyle for your Lhasa. If your Lhasa does not have a thick eyefall and if she will wear barrettes, you can either brush the eyefall back and secure it with one barrette or make a part down the middle of your Lhasa's head and fasten a barrette in either side. If barrettes are out of the question, either because you have a male and feel funny putting barrettes in his hair, or because your dog's eyefall is very thick and a barrette simply will not hold the hair, or because your dog prefers chewing barrettes to wearing them, you can use small latex bands to secure the hair. Brush the eyefall straight back and put a single topknot on the head (modified Shih-Tzu style) or part the hair down the middle of the head and put "pig tails" on each side. The latex bands come in a variety of colors from black to electric pink.

One of my favorite methods is braiding the eyefall. The braids keep the hair out of the eyes well, frame the head nicely, help to train the part, retard matting and tangling, and require less maintenance than the other methods. The braids are quite attractive -- especially when they are long. People always "ooh and aahh" over the Lhasas sporting braids.

If you would like to give braiding a try, follow these steps:

That's basically it! The braids will have to be brushed out and re-braided every few days. Never leave them in for more than a week without brushing through them, just in case tangles are developing.

Oh -- a word of caution to those of you who might want to show your Lhasas. Braiding causes crinkles! If you bathe your Lhasa and plan to show him the next day, do not braid his hair after his bath or you will have crinkly eyefall for the show ring in the morning and will have to wet the eyefall and blow it dry before you show or will have to iron it to get it straight. Braids are for home or for after the show. Crinkles in the eyefall are definitely NOT chic for the show ring!

Please note: Permission to reproduce and/or circulate information in this article is granted. However, the article must be disseminated in its entirety and credit must be given to Joyce Johanson, Joyslyn's Lhasa Apsos. Thanks!

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