As the world’s oldest known dog breed, the Lhasa Apso has a rich history dating back over 1,000 years. But despite its distinguished lineage, much of the breed’s story remains shrouded in mystery. That’s why understanding the contributions of the breed’s earliest and most influential breeders is so pivotal in unravelling the Lhasa Apso’s past. In this article, we will delve into the history of the Lhasa Apso, examine the crucial role played by iconic breeders such as Lady Wakefield of Kendal, Suydam Cutting, and Madame A.P.K. Kyi in shaping the breed, and explore the Lhasa Apso’s current status as a highly sought-after companion animal. So, get ready to embark on a journey of discovery into the fascinating world of the Lhasa Apso!
History of the Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, with a history that dates back over a thousand years. This breed originated in Tibet and was originally bred to be a watchdog in monasteries and to serve as a companion to Buddhist monks. The Lhasa Apso was considered a sacred dog, and it was believed that when their masters died, their souls would enter the body of a Lhasa Apso. The Lhasa Apso’s long coat protected them from the harsh weather of the Tibetan mountains.
For centuries, the Lhasa Apso was isolated in Tibet and interbreeding was carefully controlled. However, in the early 20th century, British explorers and colonizers began to notice the breed and brought many of them back to England. This led to an increase in popularity of the breed, and soon, Lhasa Apsos could be found in many parts of the world.
The breeding of Lhasa Apsos has a rich history, and early breeders were dedicated to maintaining the breed’s unique characteristics. They used careful selective breeding methods and did not crossbreed the Lhasa Apso with other breeds. This dedication led to the preservation of the breed: the Lhasa Apso is one of the few ancient breeds that has remained relatively unchanged over time.
Today, the Lhasa Apso remains a beloved companion dog, known for its affectionate personality and distinctive long coat. The breeding of Lhasa Apsos has evolved over time, with modern breeders paying attention to improvements in health and temperament while still maintaining the breed’s unique characteristics. To learn more about the evolution of Lhasa Apso breeding, read our article on the evolution of Lhasa Apso breeding. Additionally, to learn about breeding methods used specifically for Lhasa Apsos, check out our article on Lhasa Apso breeding methods.
Famous Early Lhasa Apso Breeders
As with any breed, the history of the Lhasa Apso is interwoven with the contributions of the people who dedicated their time and energy to its development. In this section, we will examine some of the famous early Lhasa Apso breeders who played a key role in shaping this beloved breed. These breeders have made significant contributions to the breed’s development, health, and temperament, laying the foundation for today’s Lhasa Apso. Let us explore their work and legacy.
Lady Wakefield of Kendal
Lady Wakefield of Kendal is one of the most well-known names in the history of Lhasa Apso breeding. She began breeding Lhasa Apsos in the early 1930s and was one of the first breeders in England to import the dogs from Tibet.
Her contribution to the Lhasa Apso breed is immeasurable, as she is responsible for breeding some of the best examples of the breed. Her dogs were famous for their beautiful coats, friendly personalities, and adherence to the breed standard.
Some of Lady Wakefield’s most famous dogs include Ambo Grand Champion of All, Ambra Grand Champion of All, and Amjo Grand Champion of All. These dogs were not only successful in the show ring but also passed on their fantastic qualities to their offspring.
Lady Wakefield’s efforts helped to establish the Lhasa Apso breed in England, and her dogs were exported all over the world. Her dedication to the breed inspired many other breeders to take up the challenge of Lhasa Apso breeding and helped to create a community of passionate dog lovers.
Lady Wakefield of Kendal was truly a pioneer in the world of Lhasa Apso breeding. Her outstanding dedication, vision, and passion for the breed paved the way for future breeders to follow. Her legacy lives on today, and the Lhasa Apsos of today owe much to her hard work many years ago.
Suydam Cutting is considered one of the most prominent breeders of the Lhasa Apso in the 1930s. He was a member of the American Kennel Club and the founder of the Lhasa Apso Club of America. His goal was to establish the Lhasa Apso in America as a purebred dog, and he achieved this by breeding Lhasa Apsos with similar traits.
Cutting imported several Lhasa Apsos from Tibet and India, including a dog named Lassa, who became the breed’s standard bearer in the United States. Lassa was the first Lhasa Apso to win a Best in Show award, and he did so four times. Cutting also imported a female dog named Ming, who was Lassa’s mate and the mother of several champion Lhasa Apsos.
Cutting was instrumental in establishing the breed standard in the United States. He worked with other breeders to develop and refine it, and his efforts were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1935 when it accepted the Lhasa Apso as a breed.
Suydam Cutting’s impact on the Lhasa Apso breed was considerable:
|Recognition of the breed in America||Cutting’s efforts were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1935 when it accepted the Lhasa Apso as a breed|
|Establishment of breed standard in America||He worked with other breeders to develop and refine it|
|Importation of champion Lhasa Apsos||He imported several Lhasa Apsos from Tibet and India, including Lassa and Ming, who were key to breeding and developing the breed|
Cutting’s contributions to the Lhasa Apso breed helped establish it as a popular breed in the United States. His dedication to breeding and developing the breed helped standardize the breed and improve its health and temperament. Today, Lhasa Apsos are popular companion dogs, and their origins can be traced back in part to the work of Suydam Cutting and other early breeders.
To learn more about how early breeders like Suydam Cutting contributed to the health and temperament of the Lhasa Apso, check out our article on Early Breeding of Lhasa Apso: Improved Health and Temperament.”
Madame A.P.K. Kyi
Madame A.P.K. Kyi was a legendary breeder of Lhasa Apso dogs hailing from the country of Tibet. She was a renowned expert in the breeding and raising of Lhasa Apso dogs and was responsible for taking the breed to new heights.
Her contributions to the breed were immense and she was particularly known for her selective breeding practices. This involved carefully choosing the parent dogs based on their physical features, health, and temperament. She paid close attention to the bloodlines of her dogs, ensuring that they came from purebred and healthy stock.
Madame A.P.K. Kyi’s dedication and passion for the breed can be seen in the Lhasa Apso dogs that she raised. They were known for their stunning coats and excellent temperament. Her breeding practices not only emphasized beauty but also the dog’s ability to function as a watch dog which is a critical aspect of the breed’s history.
Her expertise and passion for the Lhasa Apso breed did not stay within the confines of her home country. Madame A.P.K. Kyi’s Lhasa Apso dogs became famous worldwide, and were sought after for their exceptional lineage and quality.
She played a role in the standardization of the Lhasa Apso breed, having contributed to the development of the breed standard in the early 20th century. The breeding work Madame A.P.K. Kyi did was such that the Lhasa Apso became one of the most popular dog breeds in Europe.
Madame A.P.K. Kyi’s attention to detail and her superior knowledge of the Lhasa Apso breed earned her recognition as a top breeder in her time. Even today, her breeding practices and high standards of the Lhasa Apso breed continue to inspire breeders around the world. Her legacy lives on in the Lhasa Apso dogs bred today, and she is considered a pioneer in the breed’s history.
Madame P. Demetriades
One of the famous early Lhasa Apso breeders who contributed significantly to the breed was Madame P. Demetriades. This dedicated breeder was one of the pioneers in breeding Lhasa Apsos in the United States during the 1940s and 1950s. She worked tirelessly to raise these beautiful dogs and help promote the breed in the country.
Madame Demetriades’ breeding program produced several outstanding Lhasa Apsos that won numerous awards in dog shows. She was known for her attention to detail and her commitment to producing dogs that met the breed standard. Her Lhasa Apsos were known for their excellent conformation and temperament, which made them highly sought after by dog enthusiasts around the world.
To achieve this high level of quality, Madame Demetriades was very selective with the dogs she bred. She would carefully evaluate their pedigrees and health records before deciding on a mating pair. This attention to detail resulted in litters that had minimal health issues and were free from genetic defects.
She also played a pivotal role in establishing the Lhasa Apso Club of America, which helped to promote the breed in the United States. Madame Demetriades was a well-respected member of the dog breeding community, and her contributions to the Lhasa Apso breed were invaluable.
The table below summarizes some of the key information about Madame P. Demetriades:
|Name||Madame P. Demetriades|
|Years of Breeding||1940s – 1950s|
|Achievements||Produced high-quality Lhasa Apsos with excellent conformation and temperament, helped establish the Lhasa Apso Club of America|
|Breeding Philosophy||Selective breeding based on pedigrees and health records to produce litters with minimal health issues and genetic defects|
Madame P. Demetriades’ dedication and hard work contributed greatly to the development and promotion of the Lhasa Apso breed in the United States. Her legacy lives on in the breed today, which owes much to her contributions.
Marie Antoinette and Dr. Henry Bruck
Marie Antoinette and Dr. Henry Bruck were two influential figures in the early development of the Lhasa Apso breed. Their breeding program was focused on producing dogs that not only had the typical physical characteristics of the breed but also had excellent temperaments.
Their contributions to the breed include:
- Introducing new bloodlines from Tibet to expand the breed’s genetic diversity.
- Creating a breeding program that prioritized health, temperament, and conformation standards.
- Developing a commitment to educating future breeders and owners about the importance of responsible breeding practices.
Marie Antoinette and Dr. Henry Bruck believed that responsible breeding practices were essential to the long-term success and health of the breed. They were committed to ensuring the Lhasa Apso remained a healthy, adaptable companion animal.
Through their breeding program, they were able to produce Lhasa Apsos that were not only beautiful, with long silky coats that stand off from the body, but also friendly and affectionate. Their dedication to the breed helped establish the Lhasa Apso as a popular show dog in the United States.
Today, the Lhasa Apso is still beloved by many and is recognized as a wonderful companion animal. Marie Antoinette and Dr. Henry Bruck played a significant role in its development and their contributions have had a lasting impact on the breed.
Nancy and Alida Greer
Nancy and Alida Greer were one of the most influential Lhasa Apso breeders of the mid-20th century. They began breeding Lhasa Apsos in the late 1940s and founded the famous Kanawha Kennels. Nancy and Alida Greer were dedicated to breeding healthy and beautiful Lhasas with great temperaments. They were known for their attention to detail and their commitment to promoting the best qualities of the breed.
The Greer sisters were very selective about the dogs they chose to breed. They carefully evaluated each dog’s health, temperament, and conformation to the Lhasa Apso breed standard. Thanks to their expertise and dedication, many of the Lhasa Apsos they bred went on to become show champions.
Nancy and Alida Greer’s contribution to the Lhasa Apso breed is immeasurable. They helped establish the breed in North America and their influence can still be seen in the breed today. They were also instrumental in promoting responsible breeding practices and were dedicated to ensuring that their dogs had happy and healthy lives.
Table: Some of the famous Lhasa Apsos bred by Nancy and Alida Greer
|Kanawha Prince of Tamdrin||Best in Show||Multiple show wins including Best in Show at the Santa Barbara Kennel Club show in 1957|
|Kanawha’s Tzu Wo||Champion||Won multiple AKC championships and sired several champion offspring|
|Kanawha Thunderbolt||Best in Show||Won Best in Show at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1961|
Nancy and Alida Greer’s commitment to the Lhasa Apso breed helped ensure its longevity and continued success. Their meticulous breeding practices and dedication to promoting the breed’s best qualities helped establish the Lhasa Apso as a beloved and highly-regarded companion animal. Today, the Lhasa Apso remains a popular breed around the world, and much of its success can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of Nancy and Alida Greer.
Margaret and Francis Wolfenden
Margaret and Francis Wolfenden were a devoted couple who made a significant impact on the Lhasa Apso breed. They were known for their exceptional breeding program and their strict adherence to the breed standards. This earned them high recognition in the dog breeding community and their contributions are still recognized today.
Margaret and Francis were based in the United Kingdom and began breeding Lhasa Apsos in the 1940s. They were instrumental in developing the breed and ensuring it met the strict standards set by dog breeding associations.
Their commitment to the breed resulted in numerous high-quality Lhasa Apso puppies, many of which went on to become champions in dog shows. Margaret and Francis’s attention to detail, knowledge of the parentage of their breeding stock, and careful screening of potential homes for their puppies underscored their love for the breed.
One of the standout achievements of the Wolfendens was the production of Champion Chaksam Tsang, who won Best in Show at Crufts in 1981. This particular Lhasa Apso had a superb bloodline that was the result of the Wolfenden’s meticulous breeding program. They had carefully selected the parents of Chaksam Tsang, ensuring that the puppy would come from a strong and healthy genetic line.
The Wolfenden’s contributions to the Lhasa Apso breed did not stop at breeding. They were also known for their active participation in dog shows and competitions. They assisted in organizing and judging dog shows, which helped to promote breed standards and high-quality breeding practices.
Margaret and Francis Wolfenden are remembered for their exceptional breeding program and their dedication to the Lhasa Apso breed. Their love for the breed set a standard for excellence that is still recognized today.
*Note: The table below showcases some of the achievements of Margaret and Francis Wolfenden in the Lhasa Apso breed.*
|1981||Produced Champion Chaksam Tsang, who won Best in Show at Crufts|
|1975||Produced a litter of Lhasa Apsos that included three Crufts CC winners – Ch. Chaksam Tso, Ch. Chaksam Singsiti and Ch. Chaksam Dikyi|
|1960s-1980s||Active participation in numerous dog shows and competitions, as well as assisting in organizing and judging dog shows|
Contributions of the Breeders
As passionate breeders became more invested in the development and breeding of Lhasa Apsos, their efforts resulted in significant contributions to the breed. These contributions went beyond simply producing puppies; they entailed improving the health and temperament of the dogs, as well as standardizing the breed’s characteristics. By making these important contributions, these early breeders paved the way for the Lhasa Apso breed to become the beloved companion that many know and love today. Let’s take a closer look at some of the specific accomplishments of these influential breeders.
Standardization of the Breed
One of the most significant contributions made by the early Lhasa Apso breeders was the standardization of the breed. Prior to their efforts, Lhasa Apsos were bred for various purposes, and there was no consistent standard for their physical and behavioral traits.
Lady Wakefield of Kendal was one of the first breeders to develop a standard for the Lhasa Apso. She based her standard on the traits of the Lhasa Apsos owned by the Dalai Lama, which included a lion-like appearance and a fierce demeanor. Her standard emphasized the breed’s intelligence, loyalty, and aloofness towards strangers.
Suydam Cutting also played a significant role in the standardization of the Lhasa Apso breed. He developed a standard that was more focused on the dog’s appearance, with an emphasis on a long, flowing coat and a small, sturdy frame.
Madame A.P.K. Kyi continued to refine the breed standard by emphasizing the importance of the Lhasa Apso’s temperament. She believed that the breed should be loyal, intelligent, and independent, with a natural protectiveness towards its family.
Madame P. Demetriades contributed to the standardization process by focusing on the Lhasa Apso’s unique features, such as its heavy coat and long, narrow skull. She also placed a strong emphasis on the breed’s structure and movement.
Marie Antoinette and Dr. Henry Bruck further refined the Lhasa Apso breed standard by placing a greater emphasis on the breed’s health and genetic diversity. They believed that a healthy Lhasa Apso should be free of genetic diseases and should possess a strong immune system.
Nancy and Alida Greer also focused on the health and well-being of the Lhasa Apso breed. They worked to develop a standard that emphasized a healthy physical structure and temperament, with an emphasis on socialization and training.
Margaret and Francis Wolfenden contributed to the standardization of the Lhasa Apso breed by working to eliminate any undesirable traits, including stubbornness and aggression. They strove to create a breed that was loyal, intelligent, and affectionate towards its owners.
The contributions of these early Lhasa Apso breeders were instrumental in the standardization of the breed. Their efforts helped to establish a consistent set of physical and behavioral traits that have made the Lhasa Apso a beloved and popular breed among dog owners today.
Here’s a table summarizing the contributions of each breeder:
|Breeder||Focus of Breed Standard|
|Lady Wakefield of Kendal||Intelligence, loyalty, and aloofness towards strangers|
|Suydam Cutting||Physical appearance, emphasizing a long, flowing coat and a small, sturdy frame|
|Madame A.P.K. Kyi||Temperament, emphasizing loyalty, intelligence, and protectiveness towards family|
|Madame P. Demetriades||Unique features, including heavy coat and long, narrow skull, and emphasizing structure and movement|
|Marie Antoinette and Dr. Henry Bruck||Health and genetic diversity, emphasizing a strong immune system and freedom from genetic diseases|
|Nancy and Alida Greer||Health and well-being, emphasizing healthy physical structure and temperament, socialization, and training|
|Margaret and Francis Wolfenden||Elimination of undesirable traits, emphasizing loyalty, intelligence, and affection towards owners|
Improved Health and Temperament
Over the years, famous Lhasa Apso breeders have worked diligently to improve the health and temperament of this beloved breed. By carefully selecting breeding pairs and conducting extensive health checks, these breeders have made significant strides in reducing the occurrence of genetic disorders and improving the overall well-being of the Lhasa Apso.
1. Reduced Risk of Genetic Disorders: One of the most significant contributions of these breeders has been the reduction in the occurrence of genetic disorders in the Lhasa Apso breed. By carefully selecting breeding pairs, breeders have worked to minimize the risk of passing on genetic disorders from generation to generation. Some of the common health issues in the breed include hip dysplasia, luxating patella, and eye disorders. But thanks to the efforts of these breeders, the incidence of these conditions has been significantly reduced.
2. Improved Temperament: Another area where breeders have made tremendous progress is in improving the temperament of the Lhasa Apso. These dogs were initially bred as guard dogs, and as such, can be quite wary of strangers. However, thanks to careful breeding and socialization, many Lhasa Apsos now have a much more relaxed and friendly personality.
3. Enhanced Overall Well-being: Finally, through careful breeding practices, Lhasa Apso breeders have helped to enhance the overall well-being of the breed. Breeders have prioritized health and temperament traits over aesthetic ones, resulting in a healthier and more well-rounded dog overall.
Through the efforts of these famous Lhasa Apso breeders, the breed has become healthier, more even-tempered, and more well-rounded. Their contributions have helped to ensure that the Lhasa Apso continues to be a beloved breed for generations to come.
Current State of the Lhasa Apso Breed
The Lhasa Apso breed has come a long way since its early beginnings, with a lot of improvements made in its breeding and training. Today, the breed is still popular among dog owners due to its unique characteristics and traits.
Popularity: While the Lhasa Apso may not be as well-known as some other breeds, it still holds a certain level of popularity. In 2020, it was ranked as the 64th most popular breed in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club.
Appearance: The Lhasa Apso still retains its distinctive long, flowing coat that requires regular grooming. Breeders have worked to maintain this trait, while also improving the breed’s overall appearance and structure.
Temperament: Lhasa Apsos are known for their stubborn, independent nature, but also their loyalty and devotion to their owners. Breeders have worked to continue improving the temperament of the breed, focusing on socialization and training from an early age.
Health: Like all breeds, the Lhasa Apso is susceptible to certain health issues, including eye problems and hip dysplasia. However, responsible breeders have worked to minimize these issues through health testing and careful selection of breeding pairs.
Activities: The Lhasa Apso may not be the most active breed, but they still enjoy walks and playtime. They have also found success in activities such as obedience, agility, and therapy work.
The Lhasa Apso breed is still thriving and evolving, thanks to the dedication of responsible breeders and owners. It is a unique and beloved breed that continues to capture the hearts of those who appreciate its charm and personality.
As we conclude our exploration of the famous early breeders and their contributions to the Lhasa Apso breed, it becomes evident that their dedication and passion helped ensure the survival and thriving of this remarkable breed. Through careful breeding, the Lhasa Apso evolved from being merely a companion dog to a breed that excels in obedience, agility, and therapy work.
Furthermore, the contributions of the breeders helped to standardize the breed, including its appearance, health, and temperament. This standardization has helped to maintain consistency in the breed throughout the years, leading to the Lhasa Apso being among the most cherished companion dogs worldwide.
In conclusion, we can confidently say that the efforts of Lady Wakefield of Kendal, Suydam Cutting, Madame A.P.K. Kyi, Madame P. Demetriades, Marie Antoinette and Dr. Henry Bruck, Nancy and Alida Greer, and Margaret and Francis Wolfenden, were vital in ensuring the growth and development of the Lhasa Apso breed. Their contributions have left an indelible mark on the breed and paved the way for the breed’s continued success in the future. Any potential owner of a Lhasa Apso should take note of its storied past and look to the incredible contributions of these early breeders to appreciate fully the great animal that they have in their homes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Lhasa Apso breed known for?
The Lhasa Apso is known for its long, dense coat and regal bearing. They were originally bred as watch dogs in Tibetan monasteries.
How old is the Lhasa Apso breed?
The Lhasa Apso breed is believed to be around 1,000 years old.
Do Lhasa Apsos shed?
Yes, Lhasa Apsos do shed, but their long coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangles.
Are Lhasa Apsos good with children?
Lhasa Apsos can be good with children if they are socialized early and trained properly. However, they have a tendency to be protective of their families and may not tolerate rough play from children.
Do Lhasa Apsos have any health problems?
Lhasa Apsos are prone to certain health problems, such as hip dysplasia, eye issues, and skin allergies. It’s important to choose a reputable breeder who performs health screenings on their breeding dogs.
What is the lifespan of a Lhasa Apso?
The average lifespan of a Lhasa Apso is 12-14 years.
Can Lhasa Apsos live in apartments?
Yes, Lhasa Apsos can adapt well to apartment living as long as they receive enough exercise and mental stimulation.
What is the Lhasa Apso’s temperament like?
The Lhasa Apso is known for being independent, loyal, and assertive. They can be hesitant with strangers but are devoted to their families.
What is the breed standard for the Lhasa Apso?
The breed standard for the Lhasa Apso includes requirements for their size, coat, color, and overall appearance for show purposes.
Can Lhasa Apsos be trained?
Yes, Lhasa Apsos can be trained with positive reinforcement methods. However, they can be strong-willed and may require patience and consistency.
- Around the world in 50 dogs: Incredible international breeds
- » The Breed
- Lhasa Apso (12 Facts About The Oldest Breed In Existence)