Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lhasa Apsos and Children

Gold and red leaves nod to the soft breeze,
As it whispers, "Winter is near;"
And the brown nuts fall at the wind's loud call,
For this is the Fall of the year.

                                  ~from " A Fall Song" by Ellen Robena Field

An important link on the Joyslyn's Lhasa Apsos website is the one that asks, "Is A Lhasa Apso for You?"  One that link's page, I wrote,  "As much as I love them, I know that not everyone appreciates a Lhasa Apso. Here's a brief checklist which may help you decide if a Lhasa Apso is the breed for you." This is followed by a brief description of some Lhasa characteristics:

(1) Lhasas are indoor dogs. They like to play outside but they should live inside with their families.

(2) Lhasas bark. They are not nervous, yappy barkers, but they have great hearing and like to bark at noises, even if no one else can hear them.

(3) Most, but not all, Lhasas like children. (Sort of like most, but not all, people.) Teach the kids to respect the dog's rights and you'll have no problems. If you have rotten kids, don't buy them a Lhasa—or any dog for that matter.

(4) Lhasas are intelligent, independent, and sometimes stubborn. They do not respond well to anger. Training is most successful if it is approached as a game. Lhasas like lots of praise and doggy treats.

(5) Lhasas require a lot of grooming. If you don't have time to groom or don't want to groom, then buy a short-haired breed or plan to keep your Lhasa's hair cut.

Today, I want to focus on #3 "Most, but not all, Lhasas like children."

Several of my articles about Lhasas are posted on Ezine. Each month Ezine sends me a report regarding how many views each article has received and what the three most popular articles have been that month. The article about Lhasas and children always ranks high. For that reason, I decided to repeat it here.

Lhasa Apsos and Children

We Lhasa breeders may be contributing to the decline in Lhasa popularity by the information we provide about the breed in our ads and on our websites. In an attempt to protect our dogs, we often end up giving the breed a bad image, especially when it comes to Lhasas and kids.

It is true that many Lhasa breeders refuse to sell puppies to people who have young children. I find that interesting because most of us are parents, and now grandparents. Our own children were raised with our Lhasas, and now our grandchildren get to visit and play with the dogs. In our case, we owned, showed and bred Lhasas for 5.5 years before our first child was born. The dogs and children were raised together and expected to get along! They did.

In spite of my good experiences with Lhasas and children, I am often leery about letting people with young children buy a puppy - and it is not because I distrust the Lhasas as a breed or my own puppies as individuals not to "be good with children." It's more that I don't trust other people's children to "be good to the puppy!"

For example, we once adopted a Lhasa female whose breeder had taken her back from the people she sold her to because the breeder heard reports that the puppy was being abused. As it turned out, the rumors were true. Chrissy was being poked at and teased when she was in her crate. The children would also put her on a lead and drag her on her belly down the sidewalk when she refused to walk. Now, what is true about Lhasas is that they have long memories, they bear grudges, and like any other dog or person that has been bullied, they reach a saturation point where they will retaliate. So, yes, Chrissy growled and snapped at the children, and even when she came to our home where she was safe, she was always touchy and protective about her crate. Away from it, she was happy and loving with the kids. Some memories are just hard to erase. I'm sure other breeders have had similar experiences that have resulted in the "not available to homes with young children" statement in their ads.

A Lhasa Apso is fine in a home with children whose parents teach them respect for animals and other people. When people tell me they have children, I generally ask the ages. I ask them to be honest with me and themselves about how the children behave and if they, as parents, can honestly attest to how the children would interact with the puppy. Sometimes we come to an agreement that the situation is a good one for a puppy. At other times, the potential buyers opt to wait a few more years until the child is ready to interact appropriately with a puppy.

Some Lhasas, like some people, simply don't like children. Children's unexpected movements, screeching, general exuberance, and unconscious disregard for others are annoying. Other Lhasas, like most people, love children so much! I once sold a young adult female to a single person who lives in a large city. The dog was born after our children were grown and before the grandchildren were born, so she had never even seen a child. Yet, her owner tells me the dog loves children and when she goes for walks and sees a child, she cries until her owner allows her to greet the child. Liking or disliking children is a personal preference, not a breed characteristic.

With that as a prelude, I would like to share a great story sent to me by Doreen, who owns two Joyslyn's Lhasas, Winston and Bentley. Both boys are nearing senior status and, although Doreen's great-niece had visited her home before, this story is about the dogs' first interactions with her on the floor. 

Doreen wrote, "Hi Joyce, I just wanted to share with you a lil' story about these 2 sweeties you gave me. My niece had a baby 4/4/14 and she is the first great anything for me--and granddaughter for my sister. Let's just say the sun rises and sets on Ms. Piper. Anyway, she has been to my house in the past--however, now she sits up by herself and is really becoming a little person. She and her Ma stopped by last night and we sat her on the floor with Win and Ben to see what would transpire. 

At first, they both went up to her to smell her and she reached out to touch them. Then, Bentley ran and got one of his prize possessions..... a ball. He ran up to her with it and dropped it--then took his paw and kind of back flipped it so the ball slowly rolled between her legs. All the while his tail is going 100 miles an hour. She did touch the ball--but of course didn't throw it which is what he lives for. 

I threw it a couple of times but then we got busy talking. He kept bringing it back to her and when I didn't throw it he barked. Well, this scared Piper and she started crying. We held her till she stopped and then put her back on the floor with them. Winston positioned himself between me and Piper and there was no way she was getting close to his Mommy. Bentley, however, came back with his ball. This time he took his paw and started batting her on the leg to get her to throw it--so I picked it up and threw it. He then came back, rolled it again, and softly reached out and batted her on the top of her head. We about died laughing and Piper just looked at him. 

I swear--they are the smartest, sweetest dogs I've ever had. The neighbors love to see them come by while on a walk and they always want to hold them. Thanks again for the blessing of these two guys. Hope things are well with you and all of your Lhasas."

I responded that I sure wish she would have taken a video. It might have gone viral. How can you go wrong with babies and dogs?

In the good news/disappointing news department, the good news is that Raven is due to have puppies any day now. The disappointing news is that she is carrying only two puppies and both are already spoken for (one for me, the other for the owner of the stud dog). 

Here is their first photo.

I know that many of you have been waiting and waiting for us to have a litter or two. We do have another breeding planned for the fall. Keep your fingers crossed that it is a successful one.

I was pleased to get a nice note from Judy, who owns Ty. Ty is being trained for agility and will be at the All Breed Agility Trial that is being held in conjunction with the American Lhasa Apso Club's National Specialty on October 21. I am eager to see him and Judy again and to watch them in action. Below is the photo of Ty that Judy sent with her note. Ty is a half brother to Josh. Breaker is the sire of both.

I look forward to specialty week. Many great activities are planned. I hope some of you who live close enough to travel to St. Louis will take a vacation day or two to come to the hotel ballroom and watch the Lhasas that will be there from all over the U.S. Confirmation judging starts in the hotel ballroom at 10:00 on Monday, Thursday, and Friday. The obedience, rally, and agility events are at Purina Farms and begin with agility at 8:00, followed by obedience and rally at 1:00. Wednesday's Futurity judging starts at 1:00. 

Here is a schedule by day:
The hotel is the Holiday Inn, Route 66, 10709 Watson Rd., St. Louis, MO 63127. 

Life is better when you have a Lhasa to love you.




  1. I've been reading your blog for nearly 3 years now. Even though circumstances have changed and my lhasa apso's have been removed from my life, I love reading all that you have to write about them and seeing all your gorgeous furbabies. Thanks for yet another educational read.

  2. Hi Alayna! Thanks for reading the blog and taking time to post. It's nice to know someone reads what I write and enjoys the stories, articles, and photos.