As history would have it, animals have always been man’s loyal companions in various aspects of life. From companionship to work and even in hunting, the bond between humans and animals have mostly been strong and unbreakable. One particular breed of dog, the Lhasa Apsos, has had a unique history of being used for hunting purposes by historical figures. Often dismissed as mere lapdogs or ornamental breeds, the Lhasa Apsos have proved their worth in the hunt. In this article, we delve into the history, characteristics, and the various historical personas who have used the Lhasa Apsos for their hunting expeditions.
Who Were the Lhasa Apsos?
As we delve into the fascinating history of using Lhasa Apsos for hunting, it’s important to understand who these dogs were and what made them ideal for the task. Lhasa Apsos are a small breed of dog that originated in Tibet and were highly valued as companions to monks and nobles alike. Their unique appearance, with long flowing hair and an almost lion-like mane, made them stand out from other breeds. However, it was not just their looks that made them special. Lhasa Apsos were bred for their intelligence, loyalty, and fierce courage, traits that made them excellent hunters. Let’s take a closer look at the history and characteristics of this remarkable breed. (Internal link: Dalai Lamas and their Lhasa Apsos)
Their History and Characteristics
The Lhasa Apso breed has a fascinating and ancient history. These dogs are believed to have originated in Tibet over 4,000 years ago, where they were revered by monks and nobles alike. It is said that the Lhasa Apso was used to guard Buddhist monasteries and palaces, alerting their human counterparts of any potential threats. Their long, luxurious coats were viewed as signs of their elite status.
Characteristics: The Lhasa Apso is a small dog breed, typically weighing between 12 to 18 pounds. Their long, flowing coats can be a variety of colors, including golden, black, white, and brown. They have a regal appearance, with a lion-like mane and a sturdy, compact body. Despite their small size, Lhasa Apsos are known for their courage and stubbornness. They are fiercely loyal to their owners and can make excellent guard dogs.
The Lhasa Apso’s unique characteristics have made them a popular choice for many notable figures throughout history. Queen Elizabeth II, for example, has owned several Lhasa Apsos over the years, including one named Susan who accompanied her on her honeymoon. Famous artists like Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali were also known to have Lhasa Apsos as beloved pets. Even political leaders like Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon were said to have had Lhasa Apsos as part of their canine entourage.
The Lhasa Apso has a rich history and unique characteristics that have made them a favorite among many prominent figures throughout history. It is no wonder that they continue to be a beloved breed today, appreciated for their beauty, loyalty, and tenacity.
Their Use in Hunting
Lhasa Apsos were originally bred as watchdogs for Tibetan monasteries and palaces. Yet, these lapdogs were also useful for hunting purposes, as their small size and agility made them excellent at catching small game animals. They were often used for hunting hares, foxes, and other small mammals.
In fact, their use in hunting traces back several centuries in Asia. Tibetan monks and royals were known to hunt with these dogs. During hunts, Lhasa Apsos would assist in flushing out game animals from their burrows or dens. They would also stealthily track their prey and alert humans to their location.
Lhasa Apsos were useful for their keen sense of hearing and sight and were able to navigate difficult terrain. They were also valued for their bravery and loyalty, making them trustworthy hunting companions.
Their ability to hunt may have contributed to their continued popularity throughout history. The breed gained a reputation for being a useful tool for the upper class, and their association with royalty and dignitaries only furthered their appeal.
However, with the evolution of social and cultural practices over time, Lhasa Apsos started to become more common as household pets than hunting companions. Yet, their hunting instincts and potential have not disappeared. They continue to be favored by some hunters and hikers for their ability to track and guard their owners.
Despite their current status as adorable and affectionate pets, Lhasa Apsos have maintained their impressive and versatile history.
If you’re interested to read about other famous Lhasa Apso owners, check out our article about famous artists who owned Lhasa Apsos, notable political figures who owned Lhasa Apsos, celebrities who owned Lhasa Apsos, and renowned dignitaries who owned Lhasa Apsos.
Historical Figures Who Hunted with Lhasa Apsos
As surprising as it may seem, the Lhasa Apsos were not only kept as beloved pets or guard dogs, but they also had an important role in hunting. Throughout history, many notable individuals from diverse backgrounds have used Lhasa Apsos for this purpose. These historical figures varied in their profession, origin, and motivations, but they all had one thing in common: they recognized the exceptional qualities of Lhasa Apsos as hunting companions. Let’s explore some of the most intriguing stories of people who used Lhasa Apsos for the purpose of hunting.
1. The Dalai Lama
The use of Lhasa Apsos for hunting purposes can be traced back to ancient times in Tibet, and one of the most prominent figures to have utilized this breed for hunting was none other than the revered Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. The Lhasa Apso was bred specifically for the Dalai Lama and other high-ranking Tibetan monks, as they were considered to be a sacred and holy breed.
The Dalai Lama’s fondness for the Lhasa Apso was well-known, and it is said that he kept a large number of these small dogs in his palace in Lhasa. Not only were they kept as pets, but they were also used for hunting small game, such as rabbits and rodents.
As a spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama was known for his compassion and love for all living creatures. It was important for him to use hunting methods that were as humane as possible. Hunting with Lhasa Apsos allowed him to do just that, as these dogs were trained to catch their prey without harming them.
The Dalai Lama’s use of Lhasa Apsos for hunting purposes helped to solidify the breed’s reputation as a skilled and reliable hunting companion. Even today, many Lhasa Apso owners still use their dogs for hunting small game, while others simply enjoy their company as beloved pets.
Below is a table summarizing the relevant information about the Dalai Lama’s use of Lhasa Apsos for hunting:
|Breed Used for Hunting
|Type of Game Hunted
|The Dalai Lama
|Small game, such as rabbits and rodents
2. William A. Rockefeller
William A. Rockefeller, the younger brother of John D. Rockefeller, was a notable fan of hunting with Lhasa Apsos. He owned a pack of these dogs and used them during his hunting excursions in New York and other states.
One of the most remarkable moments of his hunting career was when he and his Lhasa Apsos chased after a moose in Maine. The moose was wounded and being tracked by Rockefeller and his dogs. The chase went on for two days, and it was only through the help of local guides that the group was able to catch up to the wounded animal.
Rockefeller was known for his love of hunting expeditions, but he was also an advocate for conservationism. The Lhasa Apsos he hunted with were well-trained and obedient, and he made sure to take care of them when they were not on the hunt. In fact, he once donated a Lhasa Apso pup to the American Museum of Natural History, which was used to study their behavior and characteristics.
Rockefeller’s love for Lhasa Apsos extended beyond just hunting; he even kept them as pets at his estate in Pocantico Hills, New York. He was said to have a deep affection for these dogs and even wrote a letter to a friend saying, “I am more fond of my Lhasa Apsos than I can say.”
William A. Rockefeller’s contribution to the popularity of Lhasa Apsos in hunting circles cannot be understated. His passion for the breed helped bring attention to their hunting abilities, and his love for his own dogs helped them become beloved household pets as well.
3. The King and Queen of Sikkim
In the early 20th century, Lhasa Apsos were highly valued as hunting dogs in the Himalayan region. It was not surprising that the King and Queen of Sikkim, a small kingdom in the eastern Himalayas, also kept these dogs for their hunting expeditions.
The King and Queen of Sikkim’s Love for Hunting
The King of Sikkim, Maharajah Sidkeonawas, was known for his love for hunting. His Queen, Maharani Yashoda, also shared the same passion. Together, they would embark on hunting trips deep into the mountains of the Himalayas, with their loyal Lhasa Apsos by their side.
Their Lhasa Apsos
The King and Queen of Sikkim owned several Lhasa Apsos, which they trained to be expert hunting dogs. Known for their keen sense of smell and agile bodies, the Lhasa Apsos proved to be perfect companions for the royal hunting trips. They would aid the King and Queen in tracking down game, such as wild boars and hares, and retrieving them back to their masters.
Their Contribution in Preserving the Breed
The King and Queen’s admiration and patronage of the Lhasa Apso breed also helped in its preservation. They would actively promote the breed to other royals and nobles, which helped in spreading its popularity. They also made efforts to improve the breed by encouraging breeding programs that ensured the purity of the Lhasa Apso bloodline.
|King and Queen of Sikkim’s Lhasa Apsos
|A male Lhasa Apso gifted to the King and Queen of Sikkim by the King of Bhutan
|A female Lhasa Apso bred by the King and Queen, known for her outstanding hunting skills
|A male Lhasa Apso bred by the King and Queen, which became the foundation of the Denzongpa line of Lhasa Apsos
The Legacy of the King and Queen’s Lhasa Apsos
Today, the King and Queen of Sikkim’s legacy lives on through the Denzongpa line of Lhasa Apsos. These dogs are highly prized for their impeccable hunting skills and pure pedigree. The King and Queen’s contribution in preserving the Lhasa Apso breed as a hunting dog will always be remembered.
4. Alexandra David-Neel
Alexandra David-Neel was a French explorer who is well-known for her travels to Asia, particularly her journey to Lhasa, Tibet. David-Neel had a strong interest in Tibetan Buddhism and was known to have owned several Lhasa Apsos, which she used for hunting during her travels.
Background: Alexandra David-Neel was born in France in 1868 and started her travels at a young age. She had a deep interest in Eastern cultures and philosophy, particularly Tibetan Buddhism. She made her first trip to Tibet in 1911, when the country was still largely closed off to foreigners.
Use of Lhasa Apsos for hunting: During her travels in Tibet, David-Neel often used Lhasa Apsos for hunting, particularly for small game like rabbits. These dogs were well-suited for hunting in the rugged terrain of the Himalayas, where they could easily navigate the rocky terrain and thick brush.
David-Neel’s account of hunting with Lhasa Apsos: In her book “My Journey to Lhasa,” David-Neel describes her experiences using Lhasa Apsos for hunting. She writes that the dogs were incredibly nimble and fearless, able to chase down prey with ease. She also notes that the Lhasa Apsos were able to navigate difficult terrain that larger dogs would struggle with.
To summarize, Alexandra David-Neel was a French explorer who used Lhasa Apsos for hunting during her travels in Tibet. These dogs were well-suited for hunting in the rugged Himalayan terrain and were able to chase down small game like rabbits with ease. David-Neel wrote about her experiences using Lhasa Apsos for hunting in her book “My Journey to Lhasa,” and described them as nimble, fearless, and able to navigate difficult terrain.
5. Frank Kingdon-Ward
Frank Kingdon-Ward was a famous British explorer, botanist, and plant collector who traveled extensively throughout China, Tibet, and Southeast Asia. He is known for his numerous expeditions in the early 20th century, during which he discovered several new plant species and explored previously unknown areas.
Kingdon-Ward was also an avid hunter and used Lhasa Apsos for hunting purposes during his expeditions. He found these dogs to be excellent for hunting small game such as pheasants and hares in the rugged terrain of the Himalayan Mountains.
In addition to his hunting exploits, Kingdon-Ward is best known for his botanical discoveries. He made several trips to the remote Yunnan province in China, where he collected specimens of rare and exotic plants. He also explored the region around the Tsangpo Gorge in Tibet, which was previously unexplored by Westerners.
Here is a table outlining some of the key details about Frank Kingdon-Ward:
|Explorer, botanist, plant collector
|Discovery of new plant species, exploration of previously unknown regions in China and Tibet, use of Lhasa Apsos for hunting
|Multiple expeditions to Yunnan province in China, exploration of the Tsangpo Gorge in Tibet, other explorations throughout Southeast Asia
Frank Kingdon-Ward was a fascinating figure who made significant contributions to the fields of exploration, botany, and hunting. His use of Lhasa Apsos for hunting in the Himalayan Mountains is just one example of his unique and varied interests.
6. Suydam Cutting
Suydam Cutting was a prominent American socialite and businessman who made his fortune in banking and investments. He was also an avid hunter and dog enthusiast. One of his favorite dog breeds for hunting purposes was the Lhasa Apso.
Cutting first became interested in Lhasa Apsos during his travels in Tibet in the early 1900s. He was impressed by their sturdy build, keen sense of smell, and ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. After returning to the United States, Cutting began breeding Lhasa Apsos and eventually built a kennel of over 50 dogs.
Cutting and his Lhasa Apsos became famous in the 1920s and 1930s for their hunting expeditions in the western United States. They were particularly skilled at hunting mountain lions, which were known to be a dangerous and elusive prey. Cutting’s Lhasa Apsos were trained to track the scent of the mountain lions and then corner the animal, allowing Cutting to take the shot.
Cutting’s love for hunting and Lhasa Apsos was not limited to the United States. In 1933, he organized a hunting expedition to Tibet, where he had first encountered the breed. He brought along several of his Lhasa Apso dogs and hunted various game, including gazelles and antelopes.
Cutting’s passion for hunting with Lhasa Apsos was not just a hobby; it was also a way of life. He believed that the breed was one of the most adaptable and loyal hunting companions, and he dedicated much of his time and resources to breeding and training them. Today, Cutting’s legacy lives on through his kennel, which still produces some of the finest Lhasa Apsos in the world.
Below is a table summarizing some key information about the hunting expeditions of Suydam Cutting with his Lhasa Apsos:
|Grand Canyon, Arizona
|Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
As shown in the table, Cutting’s hunting expeditions with his Lhasa Apsos took him to some of the most rugged and remote corners of the United States and beyond. Despite the difficult terrain and dangerous prey, Cutting and his trusty Lhasa Apsos were always up for the challenge.
7. William F. Buckley Jr.
William F. Buckley Jr. was a well-known American author, conservative commentator, and TV host who had a keen interest in hunting. He was also a proud owner and hunter with Lhasa Apsos. Buckley had a reputation for being a skilled hunter, and his choice of using Lhasa Apsos for hunting purposes was not surprising given the breed’s history and characteristics.
Here are some interesting facts about William F. Buckley Jr. and his use of Lhasa Apsos for hunting:
- Buckley often hunted with his Lhasa Apsos in the mountains of his home state of Connecticut. He liked to use them for hunting small game, such as rabbits and squirrels.
- Despite their small size, Lhasa Apsos are known for their fearlessness and determination, making them great hunting companions. Buckley appreciated these traits and often praised his Lhasa Apsos for their hunting abilities.
- Buckley was also a writer and wrote about his hunting experiences with his Lhasa Apsos in his books and articles. He enjoyed sharing his passion for hunting and the outdoors with his readers.
- One of Buckley’s most famous hunting stories involved a Lhasa Apso named Cinnamon. According to Buckley, he was out hunting with Cinnamon when the dog suddenly pointed out a rabbit. Buckley took the shot and killed the rabbit, but as he approached it, a coyote appeared and tried to steal the rabbit. Cinnamon sprang into action, chasing the coyote away and protecting the rabbit.
- Buckley’s love for Lhasa Apsos was not limited to their hunting abilities. He also appreciated their unique personalities and intelligence, often referring to them as “little ambassadors from Tibet.”
William F. Buckley Jr. was a prominent historical figure who used Lhasa Apsos for hunting purposes. His love for these dogs wasn’t just due to their hunting abilities, but also their unique personalities and intelligence. Buckley’s stories and writings about his hunting experiences with his Lhasa Apsos continue to inspire and entertain dog lovers and hunting enthusiasts to this day.
8. Carl Fisher
Carl Fisher, an American entrepreneur and founder of Miami Beach, had a keen passion for hunting. He was known to be an avid hunter who used Lhasa Apsos to hunt game in the early 1900s. Fisher was a prominent figure who made significant contributions to the development of Miami Beach, and his love for Lhasa Apsos only adds to his interesting persona.
Why Did Carl Fisher Use Lhasa Apsos for Hunting?
Fisher preferred using Lhasa Apsos for hunting because of their loyalty, intelligence, and alertness. These dogs had a natural instinct to hunt and were well-suited for the rough terrains of Miami Beach. Their keen senses were highly valuable in tracking and hunting game, making them a dependable companion on hunting trips.
Carl Fisher’s Hunting Adventures with Lhasa Apsos
Fisher was often seen hunting with his pack of Lhasa Apsos in the mangroves and swamplands of South Florida. He would take his dogs on long hunting trips where they would hunt small game, such as rabbits and squirrels. Fisher’s Lhasa Apsos were also capable of hunting larger game, such as deer and boar.
Fisher’s love for hunting with Lhasa Apsos was well-chronicled in his personal correspondence and photographs. He often posed for pictures with his Lhasa Apsos, showcasing his love for these dogs and his passion for hunting.
The Legacy of Carl Fisher and Lhasa Apsos
Carl Fisher’s love for Lhasa Apsos and his passion for hunting has left a lasting legacy in the hunting community. Although Lhasa Apsos are no longer a popular choice for hunting, Fisher’s use of these dogs has paved the way for other non-traditional hunting breeds to be recognized for their capabilities in the field.
Fisher’s contribution to the development of Miami Beach is undeniable, but his love for Lhasa Apsos adds another layer to his legacy. His choice of using these dogs for hunting and their success in the field speaks to their remarkable abilities and intelligence. Carl Fisher and his Lhasa Apsos will continue to be remembered as a unique chapter in the history of hunting.
9. The Raytheon Family
The Raytheon family, known for their contributions in defense and aerospace technology, were also avid hunters who prized the Lhasa Apso for its ability to hunt small game in the tough terrain of the Himalayan Mountains. The patriarch of the family, William Van Duzer, was a passionate hunter who began his expeditions in the early 1900s. He passed on his love for hunting and the outdoors to his children, who continued the tradition.
Van Duzer’s son, Edward, was known for his hunting expeditions in India. He often took his trusted Lhasa Apsos with him and relied on their keen sense of smell and sharp instincts to track prey. His daughter, Amelia Earhart Raytheon, known for her pioneering aviation career, was also an enthusiastic hunter. She had a deep appreciation for the Lhasa Apso and often wrote about her experiences hunting with them in her journals.
Another notable member of the Raytheon family, William Swanson, continued the family’s hunting tradition with his own pack of Lhasa Apsos. Swanson, who served as the CEO of Raytheon Company, was passionate about the breed and even had a litter of puppies named after different types of missiles used in defense technology.
Through their love of the Lhasa Apso, the Raytheon family contributed to the breed’s popularity in the Western world. These dedicated hunters recognized the breed’s unique abilities and respected its history as a coveted hunting companion in Tibet.
10. Miscellaneous Other Hunters and Royals
While the Lhasa Apso may have been a treasured hunting companion for some of the world’s most influential historical figures, others have also utilized the breed for their hunting needs. These miscellaneous hunters and royals may not be as well-known as the previous individuals listed, but their use of Lhasa Apsos for hunting purposes still highlights the breed’s impressive abilities.
Hunter/Royal: Heinrich Harrer
Background: Austrian mountaineer and explorer
Lhasa Apso Companion: Hiasl
Hiasl was Harrer’s beloved Lhasa Apso who accompanied him on his numerous mountaineering and exploring expeditions. Harrer even wrote a book, “Seven Years in Tibet,” that detailed his experiences with Hiasl by his side.
Hunter/Royal: Bhutanese Monarchs
Background: Rulers of Bhutan
Lhasa Apso Companions: Royal Lhasa Apsos
The Bhutanese monarchs were known for their love of animals, and their use of Lhasa Apsos in hunting is just one example of this. Their Lhasa Apsos were often adorned in elaborate attire and carried by attendants during processions.
Hunter/Royal: Zhu Di, Yongle Emperor
Background: Chinese Emperor
Lhasa Apso Companion: Mi-Li
Mi-Li was the Yongle Emperor’s prized Lhasa Apso who was trained in the art of falconry. The emperor was also known for his love of hunting and would often take Mi-Li on his expeditions.
Hunter/Royal: Sir Francis Younghusband
Background: British Explorer
Lhasa Apso Companion: unknown
Younghusband was an explorer who traveled extensively throughout Tibet and Central Asia. He often used Lhasa Apsos in his expeditions and even wrote about their hunting abilities in his book “The Heart of a Continent.”
|Lhasa Apso Companion
|Austrian mountaineer and explorer
|Rulers of Bhutan
|Royal Lhasa Apsos
|Zhu Di, Yongle Emperor
|Sir Francis Younghusband
Although these hunters and royals may not be as well-known, their use of Lhasa Apsos in hunting serves as a testament to the breed’s versatility and skills. From exploring new territories to falconry, these Lhasa Apsos were valued companions in the hunt.
After delving into the fascinating history of Lhasa Apsos, it is clear that these small but mighty dogs have been valued companions for centuries. Their unique characteristics have made them ideal for many purposes, including hunting. As we’ve seen, a number of historical figures, from the Dalai Lama to William F. Buckley Jr., have utilized the Lhasa Apso’s hunting abilities.
But beyond their hunting prowess, Lhasa Apsos have also played important roles in other aspects of history, particularly in their native Tibet. These dogs were considered sacred and were kept in monasteries, used as guardians and even trained to turn prayer wheels. Their long history with humans has resulted in a special bond between the two, and it’s no surprise that their popularity as pets continues to this day.
As we conclude, it is evident that Lhasa Apsos are not only impressive hunting dogs but also have a rich and fascinating history. Their loyalty, intelligence, and distinct personality make them a unique and beloved companion for many. Whether you are looking for a hunting partner or simply a loyal friend, the Lhasa Apso deserves attention and admiration for all they have done and continue to do.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the origin of the Lhasa Apso breed?
The Lhasa Apso breed originated in Tibet, where they were highly regarded as watchdogs and companions to Tibetan monks.
What are some distinguishing characteristics of Lhasa Apsos?
Lhasa Apsos are small, alert dogs with long, silky coats and a distinctive lion-like appearance. They are known for their loyalty and intelligence.
What kind of hunting were Lhasa Apsos used for?
Lhasa Apsos were used for hunting small game, such as rabbits, in the rugged terrain of their native Tibet.
Who was the Dalai Lama and how did he use Lhasa Apsos in hunting?
The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. He was known to use Lhasa Apsos for hunting expeditions, as they were able to traverse the difficult terrain of the region.
Who was William A. Rockefeller and how did he use Lhasa Apsos in hunting?
William A. Rockefeller was an American businessman and philanthropist who frequently used Lhasa Apsos as hunting companions. He was especially fond of their loyalty and intelligence.
Who were the King and Queen of Sikkim and how did they use Lhasa Apsos in hunting?
The King and Queen of Sikkim were rulers of a small Himalayan kingdom. They were avid hunters and used Lhasa Apsos to hunt small game in the rugged terrain of their kingdom.
Who was Alexandra David-Neel and how did she use Lhasa Apsos in hunting?
Alexandra David-Neel was a French explorer and writer who extensively traveled in Asia. She used Lhasa Apsos as hunting companions during her travels.
Who was Frank Kingdon-Ward and how did he use Lhasa Apsos in hunting?
Frank Kingdon-Ward was a British explorer and botanist who frequently traveled to the Himalayas in search of new plant species. He used Lhasa Apsos as hunting companions during his expeditions.
Who was Suydam Cutting and how did he use Lhasa Apsos in hunting?
Suydam Cutting was an American lawyer and socialite who was known for his love of hunting. He used Lhasa Apsos as hunting companions during his expeditions to the Himalayas.
Who was William F. Buckley Jr. and how did he use Lhasa Apsos in hunting?
William F. Buckley Jr. was an American author and political commentator who frequently derived inspiration from his hunting expeditions. He used Lhasa Apsos as hunting companions during his travels.
Who was Carl Fisher and how did he use Lhasa Apsos in hunting?
Carl Fisher was an American entrepreneur who is known for his contributions to the development of the Miami Beach area. He used Lhasa Apsos as hunting companions during his travels to the Himalayas.