312 — Susan Giles on the Lhasa Apso, Grooming and Breeding


Susan Giles on the Lhasa Apso, Grooming Secrets, and Breeding

Susan Giles, Lhasa Apso breeder for 45 years, shares her grooming and breeding secrets, as well as the history of this ancient breed.

The Lhasa Apso is thought to have been the alert dogs in Tibetan monasteries, where they would bark to alert their larger brethren, the Tibetan Mastiff.

“These dogs are extremely intelligent,” Giles said. “They’ll make you think they don’t know anything. They are aloof with strangers. An independent breed, they’re not sitting on you or demanding.”

Hair, not fur

Apsos have hair, not fur, Giles noted, so owners don’t have hair shedding or dander. Dogs kept in coats require maintenance, but she says brushing the coat is calming.

“The important part is to stay on top of it,” Giles said. “They need to be brushed a couple of times a week and, bathed each week. The texture and hardness of the coat depend on how much brushing you’ll do. Clean coats are easy. Dirty coats mat.”

The Lhasa Apso temperament, although aloof, can be sweet, Giles observed.

“It’s all a matter of breeding,” Giles said. “A sharp temperament will take over in a pet home with growling and biting, if it’s sweet, it takes over by being cute.”

A proper Lhasa Apso expression is like “looking into the eyes of a very old soul,” Giles said.


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