Measuring the Lhasa Apso

Nancy Plunkett

Most
people are accustomed to thinking of dogs only in terms of
height. Our
standard gives us specific numbers to use as a guide in regard to
height,
which makes it easy to understand. Length of body or
“proportion”
is somewhat
more difficult to identify. Our standard says, “The
length from
point of
shoulder to point of buttocks longer than height at
withers”. The
question
is, how much longer? And if we prefer to see a certain length
of
body on
a Lhasa Apso, how do we then describe that proportion to others without
a visual representation?

The solution
to this problem is
to describe
dogs using their longer than tall percentage. It is
relatively
easy to
determine the percentage, all you will need are accurate height and
length
measurements of the dog. Height is always measured from the
highest point
over the shoulder blades (AKC regulations) and the measurement of
length
is to be taken from the point of shoulder to the point of buttocks (as
per the reference in our standard). Since the longer than
tall
percentage
will only be as accurate as the measurements taken it is very important
to measure your dog as carefully as possible.

As you begin
to apply a longer
than tall
percentage
to each dog measured, you will no doubt begin to develop your own range
of preference regarding proportion. And just as important, you will now
be able to express that preference to others in a way that they can
understand
immediately, without visual representation. Conversely, if
someone describes
to you their preference by using a longer than tall percentage, you
also
will have an excellent idea of what proportion they like to see in a
dog.

Educating
ones self about Lhasa
Apso
proportion
often opens the door to a whole new world of information.
Structural differences
that can affect the longer than tall percentage of each dog will become
more apparent to the observant measurement student, leading
to an
ever
greater understanding of Lhasa Apso physiology. Each answer will lead
to
new questions in this fascinating world of proportion, and the more you
learn the more you will realize that there is more to a Lhasa
Apso’s
length
of body than meets the eye.

*Ed.note. AKC notwithstanding, the AKC's insistence on measuring height at the highest point over the
shoulder blade ignores the scientific principle of using anatomic landmarks for
reproducability. Depending on the shape and angle of the blade, its
highest point may not be the same on all specimens. The scapular
spine, which runs down the center of the scapula is a much more reliable
anatomic marker. If the wicket is placed at the point on the top of the
dog at which the scapular spines meet, all measurements would be made at
exactly the same anatomic landmark.*

**To access a graph showing the height
as a function of age, click on the following link. This graph
was based on the growth data from 200 pups from all different lines.
You can print
copies of this graph and use it as part of your litter records. **

A formula for calculating adult height which is fairly accurate from 10 to 34 weeks of age is:

Ha = Adult Height

Hp = Puppy Height (now)

A = Age at full height (in weeks) = 35 weeks

P = Age of Puppy (now in weeks)

Ha = Hp x log A or

log P

Ha = Hp x 1.54

log P