Lhasa Apso is one of the oldest dog breeds, carefully preserved by the Tibetans for thousands of years. Almost three thousand years ago, Tibetan monks and nobles domesticated mountain wolves that roamed the Himalayas, and taught them to protect their homes from the raids of wild animals and nomads. From the wild ancestors of the Lhasa Apso, they inherited intelligence, incredible sensitivity, and a wary attitude towards others. Despite their small size, they were excellent domestic watchmen and promptly notified of the enemy who had sneaked through the street guards.
Looking for even more insight on these dogs? Let’s have some interesting facts about this wonderful breed of dog:
1 Lhasa Apso dogs originated in Tibet, where they lived and served monks in monasteries. Some also lived in the homes of lamas in the surrounding mountains. It is believed that the breed goes back as far as 800 B.C. The Tibetan origin led the Lhasa Apso to a variety of characteristics that we still see today.
2 The capital city of Tibet, Lhasa, is where a portion of the breed’s name came from. Apso Seng Ky is another name used to identify a Lhasa Apso. The translation means “Bearded Lion Dog.” Lions are symbols of royalty in Buddhist cultures, meaning that Lhasas Apsos are highly respected in the area of its namesake. Snow lions are also highly respected in Tibetan regions, as it is the image on the Tibetan flag.
3 Many Buddhists believe that Lhasa Apso dogs are reincarnates of the Dalai Lama. After the soul of the Dalai Lama passes from the human body, it is said to move to a Lhasa Apso. After the life of the Lhasa Apso has ended, it returns to the Dalai Lama. It is this cycle that keeps the breed upheld as highly important in Tibetan cultures and likely to remain that way.