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VIEUX ARTICLES SUR LES CHIENS DU TIBET
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LE CHASSEUR FRANCAIS 1941
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Merci Susan Waller Miccio
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The Lhassa Terrier and the Griffon of Tibet

 This article appeared in Le Chasseur Franais (The French Hunter) in 1941, in the midst of World War II.

We describe here two long-haired dog breeds that originated in China, who, despite their undeniable beauty, are little known except to a few enthusiasts.

 
The first is known by different names in France and England:  what the British call the breed the Lhassa Terrier we [French] call the Dog of Manchuria.  This name is disconcerting to geographers, as Lhasa, the religious center of Tibet, is situated all the way in the south of China, in the vicinity of India, while, as everyone knows, Manchuria, is in the northeast of the Celestial Empire, bordering on eastern Siberia. The upheavals that always agitate this unfortunate country and
especially the influence exerted from the Manch conquerors on the other provinces suffice to explain why a dog, probably born in the Tibetan lamaseries, later became the favorite in the imperial palaces.

Also called the Dog of Mongolia and, like the one studied longer, Chrysanthemum Dog, he is a little longer than his height at the withers, from 23 to 28 centimeters [9-11 inches], the weight being about 6 kg 500 [14 lbs., 5 oz.]  His general appearance is that of a small spaniel, although certain specifics deserve mention. The skull, narrow without being too flat, features a rather long muzzle, with a prominent and sharp nose.  The eyes are dark-colored, small and deep-set, the ears set low and falling down the cheeks.  The fairly short neck is joined to a slightly arched back that continues to a sturdy loin. The well-developed hindquarters carry a tail arched over the back.

 The beauty of this dog consists especially in an opulent coat, which is dense and quite long. The hair, soft to the touch, but not silky, is free from curl or wave and is very abundant on the head, where it is separated by a line, as in the Skye and Yorkshire. The legs are covered with hair to the toes and therefore appear thick and chunky.  Finally, on the trunk, this hair falls on each side of the body, but does not fall all the way to the ground as it does in the English terriers mentioned above.

The color of the coat varies.  Though the most beautiful subjects are black, dark gray or slate gray, others are lighter in color, often with large white patches under a more-or-less dark coat.

The Griffon of Tibet is even more remarkable.   It is also a long-haired dog, but the general appearance is quite different. About 25 centimeters [9 ⅞ inches] high, and weighing 2 to 4 kilograms (4.5 – 8 lbs.), he has a more globular head, with a more rounded skull, prominent eyes and a very short muzzle, a deep stop where it connects to the skull.

The coat of magnificent abundance is extraordinarily ruffled.  It's just a mound of bizarrely dispersed strands, especially long on the plumed tail, on the head – where they fall over the face, almost entirely hiding the eyes and nose – and finally on the legs where the hair forms curious-looking spikes and rosettes.  The white and black color is particularly prized, but the individuals that are white and tan, as well as white and gray, are equally acceptable.

 Nothing is more refined and aristocratic than these two Asian dog breeds.  The first is more lively and playful, sometimes a little pugnacious; the second is nobler, sweeter, more graceful. These are animals of high luxury, which are hardly likely to be popularized in our country, as they require, with their abundant coats, rather extensive care.  Moreover, given that their breeding currently depends entirely on the Far East, the prices are nearly prohibitive.

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LE CHASSEUR FRANCAIS  1957

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Merci Susan Waller Miccio 

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Sacred Animals of the Lamaseries

 This article appeared in Le Chasseur Franais (The French Hunter) in August, 1957.

 Tibet, where the most enormous and tallest mountains in the world are located, was the cradle of many dog breeds that have spread around the world. 

  Despite the historic isolation of its population due to the rigorous climate and natural barriers, dogs of all sorts and all sizes were brought to us by caravans, especially by those that went to China.

China has always traded with Tibet.  The priests, or Lamas, presented some sacred dogs to their Manchu conquerors.  Each year, some “Dragon dogs” were given tothe emperors of China.  This practice continued for three centuries, and the dogs were kept in the secrecy of the imperial palaces.

Around 1900, the Dalai Lama paid a visit to the Empress Tzu-Shi and offered her several dogs that were very appreciated in the Chinese court.  Under the influence of Chinese breeding methods, the pure Tibetan type evolved a little, particularly by some modification of the head, and current day Shih-Tzus descend from these dogs of the Chinese emperors.  Thanks to some European diplomats, who found themselves in China when the Manchu dynasty fell, some rare specimens of Tibetan dogs lead by the eunuchs of the palace were collected and became the origin [of the breed].

 The information that has come to us directly from Tibet has unfortunately been imprecise although the Catholic missionaries who lived in Lhasa always mentioned the presence of innumerable dogs.  Since their expulsion, the sacred city has been closed to Europeans.

 The street dogs do the work of street-cleaners, cleaning up everything that they find there, even though they always have a hungry look.  The Tibetans have much respect for them because they believe in reincarnation, which is a tenet of the Buddhist religion.

 This astonishing multitude of dogs and the great respect that the Tibetans have for these animals comes in part from the service they peform in the burial of the dead. Of the burial customs in Tibet, the most honorable of all consists of cutting the corpses into pieces and letting dogs eat them.  For their mausoleum, the poor have simply the street dogs.  But, for distinguished people, there are more options.  There are lamaseries [monasteries] where the sacred dogs are fed an informal manner, and this is where the rich go to be buried.  The most favored, for a sum of money, can designate this burial during their lifetime.

 Many sacred dogs are bred In the monasteries of the high plateaus – or grand lamaseries. The lamas would “serve their purgatory" in these venerated dogs, which were specially trained for religious ceremonies and which also guard the treasures of Buddha in the temple. In these monasteries, great freedom is given to them and small and large dogs were allowed to cross-breed according to their preferences. They were little known in Europe, because the males could be given as a good luck charm to explorers passing through but the carefully guarded females were rarely allowed to leave.

 In 1939, an important mission visited Tibet, and Dr. Shaffer, the German head of the mission, brought back valuable information.  There was an Austrian standard for the dog of Lhasa.  There was also an English standard for the Tibetan terrier.  These oriental dogs carried different names although all originated in Tibet. Several varieties are seen, of which the purest was widespread in northern India and was called Abzo or Apso, which means good luck charm.

 This little dog is rare, its size very small.  He measures from 23 to 28 centimeters [9-11 inches] at the withers. His body is a little elongated and his muzzle is short.  The terrier of Tibet is as high as long, measuring from 14 to 17 inches, (about 35 centimeters) and his muzzle is of a normal length. The ‘dogs of Lhasa’ or Tibetan Griffons all have an alert, determined expression.  They are intelligent and playful, neither ferocious nor fighters, but they are excellent guard dogs and distrustful toward strangers.  Their head, well-proportioned to the body, is without heaviness and is carried proudly.  The nose is black, the very dark eyes are round without being too prominent or deep-set, but set well apart from one another.  The eyelids are bordered in black.  The drop-ears are well-furnished with hair.  The bite must form a typical curve between the canines.  A slight underbite is acceptable.  According to Dr. Shaffer, this underbite is often present; the Tibetans do not worry much about it and do not consider it a deformity.  The back is straight, firm and slightly arched over the loins.  The medium length tail is set rather high and turns over the back, carried gaily in a curl and adorned with long hair.  The front legs are straight, and the dog should stand well forward on his feet.  These [paws] are rounded, can be large and must be well-furnished with hair between the toes.  He must stand on his pads, not on the nails.  The limbs appears to be quite solid due to the thickness of the hair.  The entire body is well-covered with ample coat, which seems coarser to the touch than it actually is.  It must not be curly or frizzy but slightly wavey.  The head is well-covered with hair that falls over the eyes, arranged in the manner of a chrysanthemum, and he has a mustache and beard.  The coat is double; the undercoat is fine and woolly covered by an outer coat of long, falling hair that is neither soft nor woolly.

 Many colors are acceptable with the exception of chocolate: white, cream, golden, gray or smokey, black with tan or white markings or tricolor.  Black or dark-colored beard and ears are very appreciated.

 Tibetan dogs, having been in permanent contact with humans over centuries, have acquired great sensitivity and very social habits.  They must not be relegated to the kennel because they cannot tolerate being separated from their master and will quickly become sad and depressed.

 The most ancient breed in the canine genealogy, it appears in the second generation after the prehistoric dogs in the caves.

 These charming small companions with the griffon expression are very faithful, instinctive guardians, and eager to make themselves useful.

                                                                                    A.Perron



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LE CHASSEUR FRANCAIS  1962

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One Breed Starting to Catch on in France

Merci Susan Waller Miccio 

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One Breed Starting to Catch on in France

The Small Tibetan Dogs

This article appeared in Le Chasseur Franais (The French Hunter) in 1965.

 

The long list of varieties of dogs is enriched by Tibetan dogs, small, long-haired companion dogs with a gay and charming personality. 
For a long time, they were misunderstood, their cradle being this Asian region with the harsh climate, boxed in amongst the highest mountains in the world, called “the roof of the world.”

 Since great antiquity, Tibet has produced dogs, and these became legendary, beginning with the enormous Dogue du Thibet [Tibetan Mastiff] which the first explorers revealed to us:  as large as a donkey, ferocious defender and incorruptible guardian of Tibetan villages.

Now disappeared, this extraordinary dog is the foundation for all the largest dog breeds: molossers, dogues, mountain dogs and shepherds, and some coursing dogs.

 The information coming to us directly from Tibet is very imprecise, the people not being very talkative.  However, we know, especially from the Catholic missionaries who lived in this very inaccessible country and who were able to penetrate the lamaseries in that bygone era, that there were innumerable dogs of all sizes and all conditions, which ranged from the starving dogs that did the work of street-cleaners, cleaning up everything that they found there, to the sacred dogs of the lamas who were cherished and venerated. 
Unlike the Arab tribes, who had only deep contempt for dogs, the Tibetan peoples, nomadic or sedentary, loved the presence of dogs.  They seek them out and and even have respect for them, as belief in reincarnation is a tenet of the Buddhist religion.

 This astonishing multitude of dogs and the great respect that the Tibetans have for these animals comes in part from the service they perform. They often take part in the burial of the dead; poor people are destined for the street dogs but wealthy persons have a right to [be consumed by] the sacred dogs of the lamaseries that they may apparently designate during their lifetime with a sum of money.

 In the monasteries of the high plateaus – or grand lamaseries – many sacred dogs are bred for this purpose and assist in religious ceremonies and also to guard the treasures of Buddha in the temple. In these monasteries, great freedom is given to them.  They are not confined and are allowed to cross-breed according to their preferences. Therefore, there isn’t any pure type in Tibet, but very sociable, sensitive individuals, having lived through the centuries among the religious who treated them gently. 

 China has always traded with Tibet and, via Tibetan caravans, the lamas presented some sacred dogs to their Manchu conquerors.  This practice continued for a long time, and the Tibetan dogs were kept in the secrecy of the imperial palaces where the Chinese breeding methods changed them significantly.

By contrast, very few caravans from the West risked the adventure and, over a very long time, the Tibetan breeds were completely isolated, especially as these Asian peoples fiercely guarded them. Only some males were gifted to important persons for good luck.

 When modern communications were established between Tibet and Europe, nice little dogs resembling hairy little griffons came to us, which under the English standards were differentiated into varieties by size and other characteristics.  Since all originated from Tibet, these little dogs were called by different names but all were similar in personality – gay, joyful, loyal, loving, and wanting to be useful.

 The apso, a good-luck charm, whose type is one of the purest, has become widespread in northern India.  This dog is very small, measuring 23 to 28 centimeters, his body is a little longer and his muzzle is short.  He is still very rare.

 The terrier of Tibet is taller than long, about 35 centimeters, his muzzle is of normal length.

 
The Dogs of Lhasa, or Tibetan griffons, whether they belong to one variety or to another, all have an alert, determined expression.  They are intelligent, playful and generally not snappish.

 Their head, well-proportioned to the body, is without heaviness and is carried proudly.  The nose is black, the very dark eyes are round, neither too prominent nor too deep-set, but set well apart from one another.  The eyelids are bordered in black.  The drop-ears are well-furnished with hair.

 The bite must form a typical curve between the canines.  A slight underbite is acceptable.  Evidently, an even bite is preferred in a robust breed like this one.  That is not to say that “tolerated” means “encouraged,” and the question of the bite sometimes is a subject of discussion in judging. It is evident that Tibetans don’t care enough about even bites to develop a standard for their dogs that they like as they are – they do not consider an underbite a deformity. 

 The dog is also well-set, the back is straight, firm and slightly arched over the loins.  The medium length tail is set rather high and turns over the back, carried gaily in a curl and adorned with long hair. 

 The front legs are straight, and the dog should stand well forward on his feet.  These [paws] are rounded, can be large and must be well-furnished with hair between the toes.  He must stand on his pads, not on the nails.  The limbs appears to be quite solid due to the thickness of the hair. 

 The entire body is well-covered with ample coat, which seems coarser to the touch than it actually is.  It must not be curly or frizzy but slightly wavey. 

 The coat is double; the undercoat is fine and woolly covered by an outer coat of long, falling hair that is neither soft nor woolly. In sum, this little dog is provided with a coat that weatherproofs him perfectly in his country of origin.

 The head is also adorned with long hair that falls over the eyes and on both sides, and he has a mustache and beard. 

 All colors are acceptable with the exception of “chocolate”: therefore, white, cream, golden, gray or smokey, black with tan or white markings, particolor or tricolor.  Black or dark-colored beard and ears are very appreciated.

 An important German mission, under the direction of Dr. Shaffer, visited Tibet in 1939 and brought back valuable information.  There would be an Austrian standard for the dog of Lhasa.  This breed begins to become more widespread in France, thanks to the efforts of serious breeders. To more rigorously improve the breed, however, we must hope for greater numbers of dogs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           A. Perron



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CHASSEUR FRANCAIS 1967
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Merci Susan Waller Miccio
pour son travail de traduction des articles

Si vous voulez visiter son site
v

Sac


The Tibetan Dogs

 This article appeared in Le Chasseur Franais (The French Hunter) in 1967.

 

For a long time, Tibet remained in splendid isolation among high mountains.  Little information came to us directly. The only commercial trade relations established were by caravan with China.

 Few explorers have tried it, but those who came back, especially the Catholic missionaries who stayed there for a long time, spoke of the multitude of dogs of all kinds that swarmed there.

 The extraordinary Dogue du Thibet [Tibetan Mastiff] was revealed to us by travelers who were able to reach the high Tibetan plateau in antiquity.  The breed now seems to have now disappeared completely since no one ever mentions it any longer. 

 By contrast, the reports of the missionaries reveal that many dogs of all types are allowed among all classes of society, and that there are many hungry-looking stray dogs, whose role is to clean the streets, eating everything they find there.

 In the lamaseries, the monks are surrounded by many dogs of all sizes and shapes, which the monks treat with kindness and which some called “sacred dogs” are revered.  These [sacred dogs] take part in the monastic life, attend services and guard the Buddhist treasures.

 Whether nomadic or sedentary, these Asiatic peoples are very tolerant with animals, in particular with the dogs for which they have great respect. Besides their natural sweetness, the attitude of the Tibetans comes in part from the use they make of the dogs or the use dogs make of them.

 Reincarnation is a tenet of the Buddhist faith and this multitude of dogs often serves in the burial of the dead. Poor people are destined for the street dogs and more important personages have a right to the “sacred dogs” of the monasteries that, it seems, they can designate during their lifetime for a sum of money.

 With all its upheavals, it is obvious that many things had to evolve in a country that lives at the pace of a very ancient civilization.  However, it seems that dogs were always numerous there, that they enjoy great freedom and that they are of a very mixed breeding.

 At the start [of international] relations, Tibetan dignitaries and monks who possessed the most beautiful dogs, the Apsos, were very reluctant to part with the dogs they liked.  They offered only some males as gifts to important people.

 Now, with travel to Tibet being considerably easier, travelers have brought back some dogs.  These dogs have brought their masters good luck and have reproduced in France with satisfying regularity.

 The differences between the varieties of Tibetan dogs being fairly significant, it became necessary to classify them and the Federation Cynologique International (FCI) adopted standards inspired by the English standards. 

 In Austria, however, there was a type of Tibetan dog (provided with an Austrian standard), which is fairly large, “the Lhasa Hound,” 55 centimeters (21 – 22 inches) tall at the withers.  Robust and well-built, he is unknown in France.

 All the Tibetan dogs have good temperaments.  They are quite hardy, breed easily and have charming personalities – playful, loving, loyal – not bad but attentive to unusual noises.

 New names were given to these types, the “Tibetan Griffon” being inappropriate. Already known in India, Nepal and Pakistan, these new varieties now reach us in greater and greater numbers.  Some very serious breeders have been established in France where the dogs are being selected [for breeding] with modern methods and have yielded very good results.

 The Tibetan Terrier, whose height varies from 35 to 45 centimeters [14 to 18 inches] is as tall as long.  His build is therefore like a square. The head is well-proportioned to the body and the muzzle is relatively long, being six centimeters [2.5 inches] in length to the nose. His coat is of middle length, rather woolley, with white being the preferred color for the body.

 The Lhasa Apso, which means good luck charm, is the most widespread.  Their colors are very varied and sometimes very beautiful.  The color white is prohibited as is chocolate color, but all the soft shades are accepted:  pink, cream, golden, copper tones, auburn, red, tan, gray and black, particolor with tan or white markings and tricolors.  This little dog has an alert, determined expression, is generally expressive and very intelligent but not at all snappish.  The head is also well-proportioned to the body but, being very hairy, it seems larger even though the muzzle is only 4 – 6 centimeters [1.5 to 2.4 inches] long depending on the size of the dog, which measures between 23 to 28 centimeters [9 to 11 inches].  The head is carried proudly and must not have any heaviness.  The nose is black.  The very dark eyes are round, neither too prominent nor too deep-set, but set well apart from one another.  The eyelids are bordered in black.  The drop-ears are well-furnished with hair. Black or dark-colored beard, mustaches and ears are very appreciated. The bite must form a typical curve between the canines.  A slight underbite is acceptable and often doesn’t develop until the permanent teeth erupt.  It is preferable to try to correct offset teeth in a breed as sturdy as this one so that the bite aligns well [is even].  This question of the regularity of the bite is a subject of discussion in judging. The Tibetans have obviously bred generations of their preferred dogs without giving any consideration to this malformation of the jaws, so this fault will have to be tolerated [accepted] for some time to come. Otherwise, the dog is well-set, the back is straight, firm and slightly arched over the loins.  The medium length tail is set rather high and turns over the back, carried gaily in a curl and adorned with long hair.  The front legs are straight, the hind legs a little longer, but the dog should stand well forward on his feet.  These [paws] are rounded, can be large and must be well-furnished with hair between the toes.  The limbs appear to be quite solid due to the thickness of the hair.  The entire body is well-covered with ample coat, which seems coarser to the touch than it actually is.  It must not be curly or frizzy but slightly wavey, similar to the coat of goats.   The coat is double; the undercoat is fine and woolly covered by an outer coat of long, falling hair that is neither soft nor woolly. In sum, this little dog is provided with a coat that weatherproofs him perfectly in his country of origin.

 The Tibetan Spaniel, has the appearance of other kinds of spaniels, that is to say that the face is clear as is the front of the legs while the back of the limbs have long fringes.

 The Shih-Tzu, has a nose reduced by a centimeter of length as a result of crossing with the Pekingese.  The forehead falls straight onto the square muzzle; the legs are shorter and the chest more rounded.

 The Lama Bred, unknown in France, would be of very small size, short-haired and quite sensitive to cold. Black-colored, he seeks warmth in the arms of the monks who have adopted him.

 

 

Perron

 A.     Perron.



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lhassa    lhassapso



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