Lhasa apso has a very special and actually quite easy head to understand. The true oriental straight forward looking noble expression is such an important part of the breed. It is the head measures, shape and eyes which makes the picture perfect. Why on earth there is so many bad lhasa apso heads I really can´t understand? Unfortunately too many judges seems also not to know what is the true lhasa apso head. Or they do not pay attention the head a judging. Let´s have a short look what is a correct lhasa apso head. What are the most common faults that you see around the World far too often now a days?
Lhasa apso head is pear a like and around 12 cm long in total
Lhasa apso head is pear a like head. It is very important that there is enough lenght in it. Lhasa apso head is really easy to check and measure. Take your hands and press the hair down. You should see a pear shape. Which is in total 12 cm long. Muzzle being about 4 cm (which is more or less at least wideness of three fingers) and skull being about 8 cm. These measures are with lhasa apso that is 25 cm tall. Ofcoure if and as, most lhasas are bigger than 25 cm the head should be slightly longer too in muzzle and skull.
Do keep in mind skull should be always moderately narrow. Head is falling away behind the eyes. Remember there should always be filling under the eye. Which does produce the correct pear alike head and oval eye shape. Muzzle joins smoothly to the moderately narrow skull. Do remeber eyes must look straight forward so skull should not be too narrow either. Skull is not flat but the worse is domed or apple head. Which are far too commo in lhasa rings around the World. Lhasa apso has a moderate stop. If having too much stop skull is too round. Looking such a lhasas from profile nose often seems to disappear. Skull is too dominant looking and hair is falling too steep toward nose.
Ideal skull is moderately narrow and about 8 cm long. There is pear shape and stop is also moderate. Muzzle is about 4 cm long. Dark pigmentation and medium sized frontally faced eyes finish the correct lhasa apso head. As you look lhasa apso head you must get an idea about arrogant and proud dog.
COMMON FAULTS: Too many lhasas have very short heads and noses. Head is like made of two separate parts: Short untypical muzzle and apple a like round and short skull. These dogs have too much stop. Wide and coarse skulls are also very common. There is also a lot of tiny tiny heads. Propotions may be right muzzle being 1/3 and skull 2/3 but over all head is far too small and short. Measure and see the heads. There is lot of pin ball heads around.
Lhasa apso noble medium sized oval eyes give one of a kind look
Always remember lhasa apso eyes must be dark. It is as simple as that. Eyes are medium sized and frontally faced. Lhasa eyes shape is oval not round. True lhasa apso must have very arrogant look. Lhasa apso eye should never be round and large or light in colour. That gives a stupid or shy expression which is not at all typical lhasa look. Big eyes indicates that skull is coarse or domed.
Eyes are telling usually everything about lhasa apso head. If they are correctly shaped oval and medium sized skull is often also correct. Pigmentation is dark so eyes should always be dark. Round and big eyes indicates usually too wide or round faulty skull.
COMMON FAULTS: Too many lhasas have untypical large and round eyes. Often they do fall under the eye as there is no filling under the eye. Often big eyes goes together with too large and corse faulty heads. Unfortunately terriple light pigmentation is getting far too common with modern lhasas and judges and breeders alike should pay much more attention to correct dark pigentation.
Muzzle is about 4 cm straight and widens toward eyes
Lhasa apso is never short nosed. However it really should not be long nosed either. Keep this 4 cm rule in mind. Lhasa apso has a strong enough underjaw which should be also wide enough for six strong incisors. This typical strong enough underjaw produce chin that gives lhasa arrogant look. Nose is jet black and it should be ideally shiny one piece large nose not small or centrally cut two piece nose.
Correct lhasa apso muzzle is getting rare. Underjaw should be strong enough and muzzle widens toward eyes. So there should be always be filling under the eye. Muzzle is straight and lhasa apso should have straight foreface.
COMMON FAULTS: Far too many lhasas are too short nosed. Or muzzle is like a square box. This way muzzle does not join smoothly to skull. Narrow underjaws are quite common and there is no room for teeth. Lhasas with 5 or even 4 incisors are far too common. Many cases also under canines tends place into mouth or gum. Weak underjaw also often gives soft and maltese alike expression which is not a lhasa look. If lhasa has too long muzzle it is often also downfaced and the eyes are not frontally faced.
Correct lhasa apso head you can tell usually from the moment they are born. Lhasa apsos usually have the correct lenght of muzzle from the beginning or not….and there is slight arch over the nose indicating the lenght will be there later on. Pear a like long enough head shape is there and you can even guess the eyes shape by the wideness of skull and the filling under the eye.