A Standard Quiz

by Joyce Johanson

The official Lhasa Apso Standard, approved on July 11, 1978, is not only short on words, but it is also slightly vague and open to interpretation in many places. Check your knowledge of the Lhasa Apso Standard by answering these questions. Click the links if you want to check your answers as you go. (The answers contain a few clarifying comments from the American Lhasa Apso Club's (ALAC's) Guide to the Standard.)

The American Lhasa Apso Club's Illustrated Guide to the Standard identifies the Standard as "a description for those who are familiar with the breed and dogs in general." ALAC's Guide was written as a "more in-depth study of the unique qualities that set the Lhasa Apso apart from other breeds and, at the same time, emphasize the characteristics that cause the Lhasa Apso to be representative of the breed."

1) How tall should Lhasa Apso dogs be at the shoulder?

2) Does the standard mention a preference for lighter colors, such as cremes and goldens?

3) Should a Lhasa be longer than tall or taller than long?

4) List three adjectives used in the standard to describe a Lhasa's coat.

5) What is the preferred Lhasa Apso bite?

6)What color should a Lhasa's nose be?

7) Length from tip of nose to eye should be roughly
(a) 1/3 of the total length from nose to back of skull or
(b) 1/2 of the total length from nose to back of skull

8) What color should the eyes be?

9) Is a kink in the tail acceptable?

10) What is the only "serious fault" listed in the standard?

Interested in learning more? Check out these links:
Lhasa Apso Standard and ALAC Illustrated Guide to the Standard
Click the "Education" link at the top of the page. Then click either "Judges Education" or "Breeder Education." The menu on the left of either of those pages will have a link to the "Illustrated Guide." You'll get a .pdf file of the document, which offers pictures and explanatory narrative.

Answers to the Quiz Questions:

1) The Standard says, "...about 10 or 11 inches at shoulder for dogs..."
The Guide points out, "...10 or 11 inches at shoulders suggests a dog whose bone is in proportion to his height and weight...Not only is height a factor, but consideration must also be given to weight, proportion, and length of body, for these all contribute to the final picture of overall balance."

2) No, the Standard actually says, "All colors equally acceptable with or without dark tips to ears and beard." What more is there to say on the matter--except perhaps to encourage some judges to judge the dog and not his/her color?

3) The body shape of a Lhasa from the point of its shoulders to his buttocks should be "longer than height at withers," according to the Standard.

4) The Standard refers to the coat as "heavy," "straight," "hard," "of good length," and "very dense." It also says the coat is "not wooly or silky."
Concerning the coat, the Guide adds, "...not light or fine or flyaway...a moderate amount of undercoat is desirable...hard in texture, so that when it is rubbed between the fingers, individual hairs will be felt...the coat should not be wiry or rough to the touch."

5) The preferred bite is "either level or slightly undershot."
The Guide goes on to label two other bites as "not desirable." They are a scissors bite and an undershot bite "with canines visible when the mouth is closed."

6) Black.
The Guide also emphasizes, "...full depth of pigmentation is essential to good expression and requires dark pigment on eye rims and lips."

7) The answer is (a).
The Guide describes a muzzle whose "planes are parallel when viewed in profile."

8) Dark brown.
The Guide describes eyes as "somewhat frontally placed," oval," "not prominent," and "minimal white showing."

9) Yes.

10) "A low carriage of stern."
The Guide explains, "When the dog is moving, the tail should be up and carried well over the back."

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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