Sunday, July 11, 2021

Celebrate July!

"I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of crickets on summer humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives."Ann Voskamp

Ahh, July! We tend to think of it only as a month to celebrate Independence Day, but did you know International Joke Day, Chocolate Day (I say YES! to that one), National Majito Day, National Junk Food Day, and Paperback Book Day are among the July "celebrations"?

Puppy Coat Change!

Well, it is finally happening. Emmy has started going through her coat change, a period in a young Lhasa's life when the softer puppy coat comes out and the harder adult coat replaces it. This is a time that often catches owners unaware. 

This is the pile of undercoat that came out of Emmy this morning! It's the first pile of many to come until her coat change is complete.

Below is an article I wrote about puppy coat change. 


Coat Change in Lhasa Apso Puppies

by Joyce Johanson

Each Lhasa Apso puppy should come with a warning label, "Attention: This puppy will undergo a coat change. Be prepared!" The alternative, of course, is for Lhasa breeders to inform their puppies' new owners about the grooming required to see a puppy through his coat change without having to resort to clipping him down.

The owner of a Lhasa puppy should be prepared for the puppy's coat change anywhere between the ages of 9 to 14 months. Since individuals differ, the time frame may also vary somewhat: some Lhasas may begin as early as 6 months, while others may hold off until 16 months. One thing you can be sure of, unless your Lhasa puppy has a really sparse coat, the coat change WILL happen.

What's so scary and all important about watching for the coat change? It has to do with matting and grooming.

Remember, a Lhasa's coat does not shed as most other breeds' coats do. What happens during the coat change is that the softer puppy coat is being replaced by the harsher-textured adult coat. As the adult coat comes in, the puppy coat "dies" and needs to be brushed out or it will tangle and mat terribly. At this time, your puppy may need daily grooming to remove the soft, "dead" puppy coat. You will be surprised at how much loose coat can be brushed out during coat change time. You may remark that the pile of hair on the floor by the grooming table would easily fully coat another dog! And you may wonder if your little Lhasa will have any coat left by the time you've finished brushing him! Don't worry, if all you are getting out is dead, loose hair, there's no problem.

While grooming difficulties may vary, depending on the amount and texture of your Lhasa puppy's coat, keep in mind that the coat change is a natural part of a Lhasa's development, and when it is over, your Lhasa's softer puppy coat should have given way to the harder-textured adult coat, which is usually a lot easier to take care of. Now that's something to look forward to!

Knowing what's going to happen is only part of "being prepared." The other part of the preparation lies in training. Since getting through the coat change requires that the Lhasa be groomed, start your preparations by teaching the puppy to accept grooming as part of his routine and to lie quietly on his back or sides while you comb and brush him. Prepare yourself also by learning how to groom your Lhasa properly. Refer to any of the books (by Herbel, Helf, Brearly, Nicholas) written about the Lhasa. Most contain excellent grooming suggestions or entire chapters devoted to grooming.

When the coat change does begin, don't get discouraged. It usually lasts less than a month. Set aside time each day to groom your Lhasa. If you don't have time to brush him completely each day, then at least do some spot grooming in the troublesome areas (neck, insides of legs, behind the ears) on a daily basis. Don't go longer than two days without a complete brushing, though. Those darn mats surprise you -- a puppy may not look matted, but his undercoat may be a real mess.

My best advice is to be aware of what will happen, be prepared to do some heavy-duty grooming for about 3 weeks, train your puppy early to accept being groomed, watch for and take care of tangles and mats as they appear, and do not put off grooming thinking the mats will disappear by themselves (they don't!). Finally, don't be discouraged; just hang in there until it's over -- the coat change period really does end!

You can find more of my grooming articles at


Here are a two photos of Emmy (Joyslyn's Embrace the Wind) after today's grooming.

Busy Weekend!

Our weekend was busy since it was "leave for new homes" weekend for the Winter and Archie puppies. It was great to finally meet the puppies' new owners with whom I had been communicating for weeks. All the puppies will have wonderful new homes with these owners who have owned Lhasas previously.

In case you are wondering, no, it is not hard to let the puppies leave, especially when we meet the families who are buying them and know they are going to great homes where they will be loved and cared for. 

So now we will have a few weeks respite before the next litter is born. Onyx's puppies are due at the end of the month.

Because we were busy preparing for the puppies' leaving, we did not take time to get photos of them. However, here is the last set of pictures we took a couple weeks ago.

In order of appearance: Harper, Jaxon, Sparkles, Honey, Jempa, Rascal, and San.

Puppy Fear Periods

Many people who buy puppies are unaware that puppies go through two "Fear Periods," 8-11 weeks and 6-14 months. 8-11 weeks is the time when most go to their new homes. For those of us who show, the 6-14 months is also critical because at age 6 months is when puppies can begin showing.

Among the materials I gave the new owners was information about puppy fear periods. If you are interested, check out this link or just google "fear periods in puppies."

Here are two links that explain the why of the fear periods and what you can do to help your puppy through them. 

Ultimate Guide to Dog Training

Some of you might find this link about dog training helpful. 

From Ultimate Guide to Dog Training: "Turns out, dog training is really about learning how to communicate with your loyal companion so you can share the strongest bond possible. When you and your pooch understand each other, it leads to a harmonious household, which benefits everyone!"

Notes and Photos From Others

Michelle about Sunny: "Can you see him? Poor boy hates the fireworks, I hate them too! Looks like it’s going to be a rough weekend! Thundershirt and CBD oil may help? All we can do is try!"

Mary R sent photos of Rafe. I love that dog!! I posted my favorite of the photos she sent. Mary wrote, "Joyce:puppies are adorable and I am sure keep you busy. Attached 3 Rafe pics. think it shows his soft side. couple with his favorite bud “Spot” the sloth. Of all his toys, that one is a favorite."  

Chuck wrote and sent a photo of his Cooper, who is a Rafe son. "We hope you and yours had a nice holiday weekend.  Cooper was super cute this morning.  Steve walked him at 5:40 AM. They came back in and Cooper jumped up on the bed and gave me kisses. First time he jumped on the bed. Steve said what is up with that? I said he is celebrating independence day.  Have a great week." "Cooper is turning 5 soon. He is a perfect boy."

Kathleen sent this adorable photo of her Mel. (I always called him "Marsh-MEL-ow."

Kris sent a cute photo of Titan (aka Ti)

From Victoria about Honey: "S
he is settling in just fine! She slept well last night. She is a lover, giving constant kisses, snuggly, and is already getting used to grass…Potty training is underway!"

Celina sent this picture of Dora, Miss Adorable as I always called her! They have been having some matting problems recently. "Hello, I hope you had a very Happy 4th of July! I wanted to share these pictures of Dora. She had some mats and we brought her to the groomer to remove them. They were successful in getting out nearly all of them and then we cut out remaining ones at home. We are trying to work with her hair because we did not want to shave her. ..."

Dora is Emmy's sister. Sounds like she is going through her coat change too!

It doesn't happen until it does. I heard from a wonderful woman who bought a Lhasa from me a few years ago. He recently was lost. Here is a bit of the story she told. "It was my practice to take him with me without a leash when I watered flowers on the portico. He usually never left me. This time he ran around the corner to sprinkle his favorite shrub. I never saw him again until he was found. No more - without a leash. 

I was devastated that he disappeared. He was gone ten days. Men who are hunters told me that he had been carried off by a coyote. Eight women at the golf course found him in the bushes and immediately knew he was my dog as my nephew had put his disappearance on Facebook and 126 people were hunting for him. I immediately took him to <my vet>. He had a deep wound at the neck and his entire rear was bald and bloody.  He had three bacterial infections. 

He has recovered and is growing hair at the rear.  <my vet> calls him a miracle dog. I diligently applied the topical antibiotic to his rear and gave him the oral antibiotics. I forced him to walk when at first he could stand only about three steps.  He had lost three pounds. He has now gained back his weight and can run easily and jump onto chairs and into the car. He isn't as beautiful as he was but he is getting there. The beautiful face is the same."

Imagine how awful that experience was! I felt so bad when I read her story and that was after he had been found alive! It is a lesson for us all that no matter how well trained we think our pets are, the temptation to chase a rabbit or squirrel or to see what's going on across the street can be too strong. Keep your dog leashed when he/she is outside in an unfenced area. 

That brings me to another topic: retractable leads! Many people do not use them correctly, often letting their dog range far afield, losing control over the dogs, and giving him/her enough "freedom" to run into a street, get wrapped up in the leash, or get into a fight with another dog. I have used them, but I take precautions, as do many others. Here is an article on the disadvantages of using a retractable lead, especially if they are not used correctlyThey certainly have their place, but used incorrectly, can be so dangerous to both people and dogs. 

Dog Shows

Over the 4th of July weekend I attended shows in West Bend, WI. As always, a positive aspect of the shows is being able to see friends again. Many of us live states apart, so at shows we have opportunities to be together again and catch up on each others' news. Lhasa people attending came from IL, MN, MI, and WI.

On Saturday, Rusty took Reserve Winners Dog. He showed well and I was so proud of him! Then on Sunday, he humbled me by deciding to dance, spin, and flip around instead of walking correctly around the ring. I guess he had fun. I did not. He likes to show but his exuberance that day was excessive, to say the least! 

On Saturday, Emmy was not comfortable or happy in the ring. She showed with tail down, except for a brief moment. On Sunday, she was comfortable and happy and won a 4 point major! Hurray! If the photographer ever gets the photo posted, I will buy it and post it to the blog. Like her sire and dam (Josh and Autumn), grandsire (Rafe) and Great Grandsire (Walker), this young Lhasa started her winning ways as a puppy. 

Millie was there also and took Best Opposite Sex both days and Best Owner Handled on Saturday.

Then came the part of going to shows that I am not fond of -- the long ride home! In this case, 5 hours.

That's it for today!

Remember: Life is Better When You Have a Lhasa to Love You!