Tibetan KyiApso Club
Breed Standard

THE TIBETAN KYIAPSO (pronounced KeeOP-so) is an ancient breed that originated in Tibet, apparently near the sacred Mount Kailash. The Kyi (dog) Apso (bearded or hairy) has a deep, sonorous bark. It has long legs, medium bones, and a dense but not overly muscled body. The KyiApso is known by its characteristically bearded face and its double coat with long guard hairs.The KyiApso gaitis a distinctive rolling, bouncy trot.
KyiApsos have traditionally been used as guardians of homes, monasteries and flocks.Theyperform their duties by barking and threatening. The deep-throated, sonorous bark, along with the double coat, make these otherwise medium-sized dogs seem formidable.
Because KyiApsos are so territorial, they should not be approached suddenly by either human or canine strangers without the consent of the handler.
The KyiApso is an energeticdog that enjoys running and activity. It has exceptional agility and fast start capability. The tight-hocked hindquarters seem to assist in its ability tomake extraordinary turns. Because of his energy, the dog may become destructiveif confined alone for extended periods. In his "off-duty"mode, the KyiApso is generally very laid back and mellow.
The Head
Because of the unusual facial hair, the KyiApso's head appears to be larger than it really is. In proportion, the base of the head is at least two and aquarter times as wide between the ears as the muzzle. The stop comes midway between the base of the skull and the front of the nose. The stop is marked, but not abrupt. Ears are pendant, v-shaped, and as long as the skull's width, with placement at eye level.
The skull crown is flat with a marked occipital crest, especially prior to full physicalmaturity (which comes after five years). Eyes are set at the outside of the skull. The muzzle is tightly formed around the bone structure, withthe "beard" suggesting a fuller muzzle. Neither upper nor lower jaw is pendant. Lips and nose are both completely black. Eyes are a deep amber (or brown) color with an almond shape.
Disqualifications: Pendant lips; light pigment in the eyes, lips or nose; head width exceeding two and a half times the muzzle width.
Strong, well-set, developed teeth, level bite. The four canines are more curvedtoward the back of the mouth. The front teeth between the canines are slightlyserrated. KyiApsos have been known to grow replacement teethafter their adult teeth have been lost due to injury; however, they grow in dark or black and should not be considered a fault. An undershot or overshot jaw is a fault. Loss of canines in this breed is not a disqualification,due to the nature of the dog.
Neck and Body
The body is well-balanced in appearance. In overall proportions, KyiApsos appear to be longer than they usually measure out to be. The length from chest front to back of the hindquarters is generally 10 percent greater than the height at the shoulders. The topline is level. The brisket does not reach the elbows. The chest is compact but not deep. Loins are tight andpulled in to be noticeably narrower than the chest with a tuck.
The tail is set high. When relaxed, it reaches below the hocks. It is carried in a forward plume of more than a full curl over one hip. A curl and a halfis preferred.
Neck is muscular,broad and strong. Its length is 20 percent longer than the head width.It flows without interruption into the chest and head. When the dog is at attention,the neck shows a crest.
Disqualifications: Uncurled tail.
Forequarters are broad and powerful. Shoulders should lie close to the body. Bone structure is not heavy. Legs are straight down to the pasterns. Length of leg from foot to elbow must exceed half of the distance to withers, but must notexceed 60 percent. Dew claws are desired but not required. Pads are thickand tough, round and compact.
Hindquarters are well-muscled,to provide strength for quick bursts of speed, but are not massive or coarse-boned. When seen from the rear, hindquarters are uncommonly close, appear slightly bowed from crotch to hock, butshould not be cow-hocked.Below the hocks, legs may be straight to gentlyslanted out. Paws are round and compact, with strongly arched toes.
The mature KyiApso has a long coat (from 3-6 inches), although never approaching the length of the Lhasa Apso or Tibetan Terrier coats. KyiApsos must have aweather-resistant double coat. During winter or in cold climates, the outercoat is long, full and firm in texture; the undercoat is soft and dense.Coat length and amount vary with the season and geographic region. Dogswith reduced coats due to climate should not be penalized. Coat on thefront of the forelegs and rear of the metatarsus may be noticeably thickerand longer than the surrounding coat. Trimming of the dog's hair is not allowed except for health purposes, e.g., removal of excess hair from the inside of the ears and between the pads of the paws.
Coat on the face and muzzle must be profuse, giving the distinctive "bearded" appearance. Any coat color is permitted; Black and tan, black and gold,black with a white chest spot, and black and silver are the most commoncolorings. Multi-colored coats (more than two colors) are also acceptable.In Tibet, golden, white, mahogany andchocolate are also found and are equally acceptable.
A puppy's coat tends to be shorter and has a softer texture than that ofthe mature dog.
Disqualifications: Sprays, special clips, shaving, or any artificialaltering of the natural grooming.
The KyiApso in motion shows a trot with a marked bounce, with the topline showing up and down movement. There is good extension of both fore and hind legs. The KyiApso must be sure-footed and balanced. The dog has exceptional speed and agility in an open run, characteristics necessary in Tibet, where the dog hunts much of its own food.
Disqualifications: Awkwardness of movement or lack of surefootedness.
Of all its characteristics, size is the most variable between Tibetan and Western-born dogs. Improved nutrition is now resulting in dogs far larger than thoseseen in Tibet. Therefore, until the genetically-driven (as opposed to nutritionally-driven) size parameters stabilize over the next several generations, size standards are intentionally nebulous. Dogs are generally larger than bitches, but Western-bred bitches may be larger than imported dogs. Dogs larger than 28 inches and heavier than 100 pounds are not desired.
The KyiApso is traditionally an athletic dog and excess weight is definitely not part of that tradition.
Disqualifications: Emaciation or obesity (obesity defined as unable to easily feel the backbone).

For more information, contact the Tibetan KyiApso Club. You may obtain an information kit by writing to Beth Lucov, 1638 Ridge Rd, Jeannette, PA, 15644. Or you may email Club President Saralouise Anderson at thumdru@verinet.com, Vice President Judy Steffel at stefski@ptialaska.net, or Breeders Cmte Chair Diana Quinn at diana@dgsys.com.

The Club now has its own mailing list, owned and maintained by TKC President Saralouise Anderson.

You may now go back to The Search for the Tibetan KyiApso, to Diana's KyiApso page, to the TKC page, or to Diana