This heading may well appear at first sight to be almost heresy and even revolutionary, but fear not, anarchy does not reign
The kennel Club have allowed the Lhasa Apso breed to redress the omission of the word 'UP' to the body section of the standard when it was rewritten in the 1980s
This small word seems so insignificant, and perhaps among all the other changes being discussed, but this small omission had a major effect on the description of the body, leaving us with the wording 'WELL RIBBED', a totally different concept to the phrase 'WELL RIBBED UP,'
With the advent of the words 'WELL RIBBED UP', we as a breed were left with no option than to explain at every seminar and in every article that the description of the ribcage should in fact have continued to read 'WELL RIBBED UP', (i.e. ribs extending well back).
However, as was suspected when the rewrite took place, this small omission has, over the years, resulted in a change to the correct length and shape of the ribcage required by our breed, for some judges have sought a barrel-chested rounded ribcage, citing 'WELL RIBBED UP' as reason.
I am sure I am preaching to the converted when I earnestly plead that ribcage length and shape is vital to the correct conformation in a Lhasa-that it is essential to good lung room, and that ribs well extended back are important to give the compact balance, strong loin and level-backed specimen we strive to produce.
I also feel that incorrect ribcages have led to the deterioration of front movement because barrel ribcages can encourage poor layback of shoulder and in turn a short-stepping front movement with excessive propulsion from behind this, of course, is far cry from the jaunty, free moving little dog who uses all four legs with equal drive.
I therefore think that the Breed Council is to be congratulated in having pursued and obtained the long overdue reversal of this misnomer.
From November 2003, the wording of BODY section of our standard will read;
LENGTH FROM POINT OF SHOULDERS TO POINT OF BUTTOCKS GREATER THAN HEIGHT AT WITHERS. RIBS EXTENDING WELL BACK (previously 'well ribbed', originally 'well ribbed up').
LEVEL TOPLINE. STRONG LOIN. BALANCED & COMPACT.
(The new wording of 'Ribs extending well back' was chosen by the Kennel Club in an effort to avoid any further misunderstanding of what is required.
I hope all involved with the judging, breeding and showing of Lhasa Apso will take this amendment to heart and we can look forward to a future without having to continually explain our correct ribcage.