Lhasa Apso Color Choices

by Joyce Johanson

Eight Standard Colors, five Alternate Colors, and six Markings choices are available on a Lhasa Apso's AKC registration application. Only one color and one marking choice is allowed for each Lhasa registered.

In his column in the American Lhasa Apso Club's April/May 1993 The Lhasa Bulletin, the following explanations of the new color choices were given by Mr. Norman Herbel, who was at that time the Chair of the ALAC Breed Standard Committee:

Standard Colors
Black (Solid Black),
Golden (Pale gold to wheaten),
Grizzle (Bluish-gray or iron gray color due to an admixture of black and white hairs. Red grizzle is an admixture of black and red hairs),
Red Gold (Dark apricot to light red),
White (Solid White),
Black & Tan (Typical black & tan markings; i.e. black body color with tan spots above eyes, on cheeks, on muzzle, chest, legs, and vent),
Cream (Almost white to darker shades of cream),
Red (Solid red with shades of Viszla red to Irish Setter red).

Alternate Colors
Gray (Light charcoal or blue or grizzle),
Silver (Admixture of cream and black, charcoal or gray; i.e. cream sable or cream grizzle),
Liver (or brown or chocolate--deep reddish brown with self-colored liver skin pigment),
Charcoal (Dark slate gray; i.e. faded black),
Blue (A dilution of black, either light of dark blue gray with self-colored blue skin pigment).

Brindle (A color pattern produced by the presence of darker hairs forming bands and giving a striped effect on a background of cream, gold, or red),
Sable (A color pattern produced by black tipped hairs overlaid upon a background of gold, cream, red or red gold),
Parti-color (a color pattern broken up into two or more colors, one of which is white, in more or less equal proportions),
White markings (White on colored background usually on one or a combination: chest collar, blaze, muzzle, or tail tip),
Black tips (black tipped hairs; i.e. sable),
Black mask with tips (Dark shading of varying degrees about the head, ears, and tail; i.e. dark points).

Caution: Before you register your puppy, REMEMBER that most Lhasa puppies do tend to change color as they go through that first year. Typically, colors will lighten; a puppy that looks "Brown" at ten weeks may be "Gold" at ten months, or one that looks "Gold" at an early age may prove later to be a "Cream." Sometimes you can get a good idea of the puppy's "real" color by checking the hair color close to the roots. If it seems quite a bit lighter, choose the lighter color choice. That doesn't always work however. Unless you are in a huge rush to register your puppy, you might wait until he or she is at least six months old before you choose a color.

Please note: Permission to reproduce and/or circulate information in this article is granted. However, the article must be disseminated in its entirety and credit must be given to Joyce Johanson, Joyslyn's Lhasa Apsos. Thanks!

Return to Articles Menu