The lhasa apso dogs were local to Tibet in China with very long cold seasons and very short hot season. They were found inside monasteries with Lamas serving as a burglary alarm for any intruder that escaped the watch of the external guide dogs the Tibetan mastiff. The monasteries were usually placed on sloppy hills very high above sea level, with low oxygen concentration and extreme cold.
If the lhasa apso needed to survive carrying out their duties as burglary alarm, they needed to evolve the long coat to stay warm during the cold times in Tibet, but shed during the short warm times. They also needed to evolve a deep and lengthy chest with extra pair of ribs to accommodate greater volume of lung tissues to be able to breath in more air. They also needed to be lengthy in stature and closer to the ground, this would ensure their center of gravity was stable on a steep slope. Although the lhasa apso are known to shed slowly and continuously like humans; having extreme weather in Tibet where they originate from, they had to evolve a lengthy hair. Same with all the animals found in Tibet China, they usually come with long coats, and the humans there usually wear very hairy coat to keep themselves warm.
In 1933, the very first lhasa apso arrived in the USA gifted to C Suydam Cutting and it was added as a breed in 1935 into the AKC. Since then, the typical appearance of the lhasa apso brought into the USA has been established as its standard conformation.
Nowadays lhasas apso are found in different areas of the world having different climates, different cultures, different altitudes and different terrain. It has become no longer necessary for them to have very lengthy double coated hair to protect against extreme cold. Places close to the equator such as the tropics have higher temperature which would not be suited for a full length double coated dog like the lhasa apso. It is apparent that this particular conformation that is one of the standards is definitely not ideal for a lhasa apso, as it can cause overheating in such a dog.
Nowadays people who keep lhasa apso do not keep them to be watch dogs so it should no longer be a requirement for lhasa apso to be sturdy. A lot of people who acquire the lhasa apso do not live in high altitude with low oxygen concentration in the atmosphere, therefore a deep chest with greater lung tissue volume isn't required anymore as the oxygen concentration at sea level is sufficient enough for a normal chest. The implication of having a deeper and lengthy chest is the risk of hyperventilation which can cause respiratory alkalosis. Respiratory alkalosis occurs when CO2 is breathe out too fast, causing an imbalance in the acid base homeostasis of the body. It's noteworthy that not everyone live in a sloppy terrain, therefore a lower point of gravity isn't required for a dog living in an area with lower slopes.
Most people who get a lhasa apso do so for companionship now. They need a dog they can place on their laps and relax with. They are hardly ever looking for a burglary alarm to notify them of any intruder. This points clearly shows that sturdiness isn't necessarily needed in a lhasa apso, as our modern society tends to be in the laid back spectrum of physical activity.
Having enlisted the above points, I hope I have been able to convince you of how the current standard conformation of lhasa apso is not necessarily ideal for the modern society.
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