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 monastaries, 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 coat 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 times a week and, bathed each week. Texture and hardness of the coat depends 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.