Responsible Breeding Matters

Preserving A Lineage

The goal of a good breeder is to preserve their breed standard for future generations.  This is done through careful balancing, which begins with purposeful, selective breeding, to create dogs with great genes for type (the particular traits that make each breed unique), while also attempting to retain a strong gene pool, to ensure longevity, with the least amount of genetic health disorders. Through testing and selective breeding, this critical balancing process is designed to preserve the breed as we know it, for many years to come.

Reputable breeders conduct medical testing to ensure their dog's lines continue, and breed to the dog standard, in order to improve the breed.  This is done through careful, historical research and ongoing study, mentoring relationships, club memberships, showing, raising, and training their breeds, in order to become experts in their dog's health, heritable defects, and temperament.[] Reputable breeders remove afflicted dogs from breeding stock so they can perpetuate the purest form of the breed and ensure its continued lineage for years to come.  This type breeder cares about their dogs even after they have been placed in a new home.


Popularity of a breed affects its continuance on this earth.  In general, the more popular a breed is, the more often it is bred.  Which means the more likely it is to have problems due to inbreeding or unethical breeding for profit purposes (such as backyard breeders, pet stores that use puppy mills and unethical brokers, etc.) as well as crossbreeding.  

The Lhasa Apso is popular due to their small size, sturdiness and teddy bear looks, but unless they are carefully bred, can develop all sorts of inherited problems.  Because Lhasa Apsos are great family pets, they are more likely to be bred by unethical breeders and as such can be more afflicted with inherited disease conditions, like skin allergies, cherry eye, PRA, dry eye, luxating patella and hip dysplasia. 

From the total number of dogs registered with the AKC in 2022 more than half are accounted for by just 10 breeds.[²]

  • German Shepherd 
  • Golden & Labrador Retrievers 
  • French Bulldog 
  • Bulldog 
  • Poodle 
  • Beagle 
  • Rottweiler 
  • German Shorthaired Pointer 
  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi 

The other half of all registered dogs are spread over the remaining 183 breeds, and the Lhasa Apso is number 86 with its parent breed, the Tibetan Terrier, coming in at 106.  When a dog loses popularity, it moves down this list due to less ownership.  As recently as 2013 the Lhasa Apso was number 63, having fallen 23 spots in the past 9 years. [²]


Dogs becoming extinct is a very real threat.[]  They become extinct for reasons other than environmental factors:  they can be poorly bred and die before being able to reproduce, become unable to perpetuate due to poor genetic breeding or simply become unfashionable.  Becoming unfashionable can happen through cross breeding in which the mixed dog then becomes so popular the original breed is no longer desired and then no longer available.  It can also happen through backyard breeders and puppy mills producing an increase of heritable disease affecting the longevity of, and costs of owning a breed and therefore the popularity of the breed.   

The Lhasa Apso were domesticated and actively bred perhaps as long ago as 800 BC, which makes them one of the oldest recognized breeds in the world; a nearly 3000 year-old breed [³].  In order for this to continue, responsible breeding must occur. 

In some countries, such as India, it is rare to find a pure Lhasa Apso, as most living Lhasa Apsos are mixed with the Indian Spitz, the Airedale Terrier, Maltese and others.  This introduces greater diversity in the gene pool but forever loses the pure bloodline and causes an increased possibility of heritable issues, as well as unpredictable characteristics like size, activity level, temperament, grooming, disease, etc. 

Being mixed and unpredictable also means you will not know what you are getting when these dogs are further bred.  Oftentimes this results in puppies that do not look or act like the desired mix; causing them to end up in kill shelters or released into the wild to fend for themselves, only to become food for predators or die being unable to find sustenance. 

Why We Care

We put a lot of hours and hard work into perpetuating this majestic breed, so that it's natural instincts can continue to be cherished for many years to come.  We want the best biological fitness and hereditary traits to flourish and ensure this breed's ability to survive and reproduce for many years.  Because we don't want surprises and want you to know what you're getting with a dog that has predictable characteristics like size, activity level, temperament and grooming needs.  Because we don't want your dog to endure painful ailments.  We also don't want you to have to pay for expensive surgeries and large vet bills.  We want you to love your dog for its entire lifetime and not just while it's a cute puppy; which ensures our dogs live a long and happy life and never end up in a kill shelter

We're not alone in thinking this way and the American Kennel Club further explains why you should choose a purebred (hint: It's not just about pedigrees). [¹]


- Sandra Norris