The "Prapso" Lhasa apso described in brief is a short haired Lhasa apso. These special Lhasa apsos are pure bred (throwbacks) and by all outward appearances closely resemble Tibetan Spaniels. The length of hair can vary but is most definitely shorter than that associated with a typical Lhasa apso. The coat is courser (harsher in texture), can grow from 1/2" to up to 4" long, again the texture and length vary but are observably different from the coat typical of this breed. Feathering around the elbows, lower leg, toes, ears and buttocks can be significant depending on the Prapso. Their feet are sometimes elongated and appear larger in size than the standard Lhasa apso. The bones sometimes appears finer, yet the Prapso is considerably heavier overall when compared with their siblings. Teething presents itself earlier in the Prapso and they may begin eating puppy food earlier as well.
Personality of the Prapso is uniquely detectable from a very early age. They demonstrate extreme intelligence, are highly sensitive, bolder than their counterparts and vocal both in play and agression.
Prapsos are extremely rare and many breeders of today do not even know of their existance as they have been bred out of the Lhasa apso breed through neutering or spaying of all born with this genetic anomoly. Prapsos were more common amongst early breeders as the carriers of this genetic trait were not so far removed from the ancient Lhasa apsos of Tibet. Some breeders did experimental matings to determine the prevelence of this trait and to better establish which dogs carried the gene. A Prapso is a far cry from our accepted standard, so it is not surprising that most breeders had no interest in revealing the birth of such a puppy. The puppies were typically placed in pet homes quietly as to avoid publicity with fellow Lhasa breeders. Although I am in agreement that a Prapso should not be bred as we must protect the standard we have worked so hard to develop; I would also never suggest that the opportunity to study this rare anomoly be missed should a Prapso arrive in a litter. Breeders should also realize that if a Prapso is produced in a litter, the littermates have the potential to be carriers of this genetic anomoly (smooth factor). The incidence of Prapsos is rare and unpredictable. This smooth factor is displayed so infrequently and has been undocumented in many cases which only adds to the difficulty of understanding it wholly. It is extremely important that new owners are provided with an overview of the Prapsos origin and the differences they might expect with this extrodinary yet unique Lhasa apso they are about to purchase.
These unique reflections of a forgotten ancestory play an important role in understanding where our beloved Lhasa apso comes from. As is true with all dog breeds, Lhasas were selectively bred using 2 or more specific types of dogs to create what we now know as a Lhasa.
Prapsos are believed to be more likely to make an entrance in a line breeding as their is less variation in the genetic make up of the puppies. The Lhasa apso is an ancient breed that hides its true identity and Prapsos are the closest link we have to one of the true ancestors of this amazing breed.
My reading on this subject provides that Prapsos can generally be identified as different at around 4 weeks of age. I do not agree entirely with this timing as I was able to determine through observation that something was different with my first Prapso at two weeks of age. The puppy displayed uncanny intelligence, was able to move about the cage much ealier than its siblings, was very sensitive to actions that would not have phased another puppy and appeared stronger as well.
According to studies done in test matings, a smooth to smooth coat appears to have produced all smooth coats, while smooth to long coat has produced predominantly long coats with the occasional smooth. Sometime in the 1960's Thelma Morgan worked out ratios, determing that approxiamately 6 percent of Lhasa Apsos had smooth coats. Lhasa apsos have been carefully bred and have greatly increased in number since that time and those producing this genetic anomoly continue to remain silent when at all possible making it even more difficult to estimate the percentage of Prapsos born.
It is my intention to study this anomoly for two years and record my findings during this
time. It is my opinion that this is important to our understanding of the Lhasa apso's history and will help me to better understand
the unique personality of this breed. I would love input from anyone familiar with this anomoly as well as questions from those
curious about this study.