The Lhasa Apso dog breed originated in Tibet. They were regarded as prized watchdogs in their mountainous country’s royal residences and religious institutions.

tibetan dog lhasa apso
A tri-colour Lhasa Apso – image by Alexas Fotos from pexels

However, today’s Lhasa is essentially a family companion who faithfully guards their family against harm rather than a palace guard.

Despite its diminutive size, the Lhasa Apso is a strong and independent dog. These puppies get along nicely with new pet parents and can adapt to almost any home, including apartments.

Interestingly, your pet might test your leadership if you don’t maintain a strict, regular training program. If you can provide for the demands of the breed, you’ll have a devoted, entertaining family member.

Lhasa Apsos perceive themselves to be big dogs— huge dogs. Modern Lhasa Apsos views life in the same manner as his ancient ancestors did: as a devoted protector of the home and family.

Table of Contents

Lhasa Apso Dog Breed Overview

lhasa apso dog breed
A Lhasa Apso puppy – image by Hermaion from pexels
Breed group non-sporting group
Height 10 – 11 inches
Weight 5.4 – 8.2 kg
Life span 12 – 14 years
Temperament tough, regal, joyful, independent, protective
Coat straight, dense, double coat
Coat colour black, white, golden, honey, sandy, dark grizzly, brown
Trainability challenging to train due to their independence and a stubborn streak


History Of The Lhasa Apso Dog Breed

The sacred city of Lhasa is where the Lhasa, who hails from Tibet, gets his name. Lhasas were bred solely by royalty and monks in monasteries for years to serve as guards and protectors.

Also, Seng Kye, which translates to “Bark Lion Sentinel Dog,” is his name in his native country. Because of the extreme cold and heat of his native country, Lhasa’s thick coat serves as protection.

The breed’s history has been documented since 800 B.C. A Lhasa was seen as lucky. However, it was practically impossible to purchase one because they served as sacred guardians in temples and monasteries.

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It was believed that the human spirit entered the Lhasa Apso’s body when an owner passed away. Lhasas could only leave the nation if they were present from the Dalai Lama.

Personality Of The Lhasa Apso Dog

The personality of the Lhasa Apso is unique and fascinating. In addition to being joyful, mischievous, and playful, he is a tough, independent, and regal dog.

This breed is serious about protecting its family and house. Also, it takes a very long time to mature. Even after that, he retains some puppy-like characteristics until he is ancient.

Despite being petite, the Lhasa is not at all delicate. It is robust and sturdy. Naturally, they are suspicious of strangers. Lhasas will socialize with strangers, but not until it is confident that they are not a danger. They make excellent watchdogs.

The self-reliant Lhasa enjoys being the “top dog.” Furthermore, training and socialization are crucial, starting with puppy lessons.

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They’ll instil in him good canine etiquette and dissuade him from considering himself the alpha dog. Lhasa owners need to be stern yet compassionate.

Lhasa Apsos are pleased to live indoors. They are not very active dogs. Unlike many other breeds, he doesn’t require strenuous exercise to decrease anxious energy. But he does take pleasure in and gain from little strolls and playtime.

Health Issue Prevalent Among The Lhasa Apso Dog Breed

Cherry Eye

Cherry eye is a condition that develops when the gland that produces the third eyelid expands. The dog’s inner corner of the eye appears as a red mass, like a cherry. Surgery is best for Cherry eye treatment.

Patellar Luxation

This also called sliding stifles, is a disease that frequently affects little dogs. The kneecap is the patella, and anatomical portion dislocation is referred to as luxation. Patellar luxation is a painful condition in which the knee joint moves in and out of place.


Dogs frequently suffer from allergies, and the Lhasa Apso is no exception. Food allergies are treated by removing particular foods from the dog’s diet.

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A reaction to a substance brings on contact allergies applied topically, such as bedding, flea powders, dog shampoos, and other chemicals. Inhalant allergies are brought on by airborne allergens like pollen, dust, and mildew.

The course of treatment depends on the underlying reason and may involve dietary changes, medication, and environmental modifications.

Sebaceous Adenitis

Dogs have a severe issue with this. Because it is challenging to diagnose, it is easy to misdiagnose this inherited skin problem. The skin’s sebaceous glands become irritated in dogs with S.A. for unexplained causes, and they eventually die.

Dogs with the condition often experience hair loss on their head, neck, and back, as well as dry, scaly skin. Severely impacted dogs may have thicker skin, a foul odour, and secondary skin diseases. Although the issue is primarily cosmetic, the dog may find it uncomfortable.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca Is Common With Lhasa Apso Dogs

This eye irritation, often known as dry eye, is brought on by inadequate tear production. A sticky, yellow discharge that characterizes the symptoms can be mistaken for conjunctivitis. Medication, artificial tears, and occasionally surgery are all part of the treatment.

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Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This group of eye conditions involves the slow degeneration of the retina. Affected dogs initially develop night blindness; as the illness worsens, they lose their daytime vision.

Many affected canines adjust to their diminished or impaired vision if their environment doesn’t change.

Familial Inherited Renal Dysplasia

The kidneys are abnormally tiny and shaped as a developmental or hereditary abnormality. The severity of the illness varies; seriously afflicted puppies are tiny for their age and frequently have renal failure. Smaller dogs may not exhibit any signs.

Care For This Breed

The Lhasa dog breed is a fantastic option for those with little room. He would do well in an apartment or condo, though he does like to play in a fenced-in yard.

The Lhasa is happily taking a few quick walks every day. He is not a high-energy dog; when caged up on rainy days, he doesn’t frequently bounce off the walls.

He enjoys playing with his toys, exploring the house, sitting on your lap, and letting you know when someone approaches.

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It is advisable to crate train the Lhasa because housebreaking can be difficult. Also, remember that this dog’s mental development will probably take a while. He might be fully grown at one year old, but his behaviour will still be puppy-like.

Feeding A Lhasa Apso

Feed your dog the recommended amount of 3/4 to 1 cup of high-quality food twice daily. It is not advisable to leave food lying around always for your pet to eat.

It may result cause your dog to overeat. Furthermore, it can lead to obesity and other health complications.

Grooming A Lhasa Apso

The lovely Lhasa coat is often long, straight, and dense.

However, maintaining the Lhasa coat’s beauty takes effort and patience. Regular brushing and combing, even daily, are essential (every two to four weeks).

To eliminate germs and tartar accumulation, brush your Lhasa teeth at least twice a week. Even better is daily brushing to avoid foul breath and gum disease.

If your dog doesn’t wear his nails down naturally, trim them once or twice a month to avoid unpleasant tears and other issues. Each week, check his ears for any redness or foul odor that might be an infection.

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Children And Other Pets

Lhasa probably doesn’t rank children among her top interests. It often snaps and is impatient with kids acting out their typical antics.

The Lhasa is ideally suited for a household with older kids who know how to treat him nicely, and he shouldn’t be used in a home with young or unruly children.

He gets along with other dogs if the Lhasa is appropriately socialized and trained. He does enjoy being the alpha dog.

Therefore, he frequently takes charge even when other, much larger dogs are present. He doesn’t hesitate to participate in sports like hiking or cross-country skiing, typically reserved for big dogs. Lhasas can get along with other animals if introduced to them properly and trained.

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