Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso is a dog breed from Tibet and is known as Apso Seng Kyi, or Bearded Lion Dog in its native land. Lhasa Apsos were bred for hundred of years as companions and watchdogs for Buddist monasteries and Tibetan nobility.

The Lhasa Apso stands 10 to 11 inches tall and weighs between 14 and 15 pounds. The eyes are dark, the ears are hanging, and the body is slightly longer than it is tall. The tail is carried over the back. The coat is the breed’s glory—thick, heavy, and straight. The coat is long and is parted in the middle of the skull, with the part continuing down the dog’s back to the tail. In show dogs, the coat may drag on the floor. All colors are acceptable. The coat requires considerable care and should be brushed and combed daily, especially if kept long. Many pet owners keep the coat trimmed to a shorter, more manageable length, but even when short, the coat must be combed daily to keep it clean and to prevent mats from forming. Particular care is needed to keep the eyes, ears, and mouth clean, as well as the feet and genitals.

Although Lhasa Apso puppies are quite playful, adult Lhasa Apsos are calm. A daily walk and a play session will satisfy most Lhasa Apso dogs. Training should begin early. Although bred to be companion dogs, Lhasa Apsos can have an independent and slightly stubborn nature. Training needs to be structured but fun and playful. Housetraining can take time; owners must be consistent and patient.

Wary of strangers, the Lhasa Apso dogs require early socialization. Lhasa Apsos are first and foremost companion dogs and are not happy when left alone too much. They are excellent with single adults who live by themselves. Lhasa Apsos can be good with children who treat them with respect, but they will not tolerate rough play or handling. They are watchdogs but are not overly yappy. Health concerns include eye problems, kidney disease, and allergies.


8 replies on “Lhasa Apso”

Hello, anyone in or around Delhi. I’m looking for a pure breed female lhasa apso for my active and fun dog, same breed.

I found my lhasa Milo at animal control in Houston, Texas , and I can say I LOVE this breed!! So smart!!! He is very sweet with everybody , it includes children !! He is very suspicious with other dogs, but his buddy Duncan Jr, my Cairn Terrier. They love each other and they can play all day long!! Although, he is very possessive of me…wherever I go ,Milo will be there…bathroom, kitchen, bedroom…but I do not mind it at all!!! This breed is awesome!! I wish I would know them before!! I recommend this breed to anyone!!!

Considered “easy keepers,” affectionate and a good companion, the Lhasa Apso was bred as a guard dog and therefore can be aloof, stubborn and demonstrate a sharp, loud bark.

Lhasa Apsos are fairly small dogs, ranging in height from 9 to 11 inches and weigh from 13 to 18 pounds (six to eight kilograms).

They are longer than they are tall with the tail carried curled up over the back and the head held proudly up. When these dogs are in full show coat, the different ends may look the same!

The head appears round with all the hair and the ears hanging down in graceful folds of long hair. The coat is one of the distinguishing features of the Lhasa Apso—long and flowing, heavy and dense. On the face, the eyes may be hidden by a long fall of hair and there is a long beard as well. The muzzle is slightly shortened, leading to an undershot bite.

Virtually all colors are acceptable, but the most popular are the leonine shades of wheaten, honey or golden with black on the tips of the ears, tail and beard hair. Black, grizzle, slate, white and even parti-colors may be seen.

It should be remembered at all times that the Lhasa Apso was bred as a guard dog as well as a companion dog. These dogs can be aloof with strangers, although they are affectionate with people who they know and trust. The sharp alarm bark can become a nuisance if the dog is not guided as to when it is appropriate.

Lhasa Apsos are dogs that do best with a fair amount of socialization and plenty of human company. They are not always good with other dogs, so they should be socialized to dogs and other pets as well as people right from puppy hood. Some Lhasa Apsos have a suspicious nature and can be snippy. At home with family and friends, however, they are lively and can be almost silly.
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Lhasa Apsos are “easy keepers;” too many treats or not enough exercise can easily lead to obesity. Luckily because of their small size, a regular walk two or three times a day is adequate. Lhasa Apsos are intelligent dogs, but they are a bit stubborn and independent, so training is a must. A firm but patient hand works best.

Lhasa Apsos should be well socialized to both people and other animals, including other dogs, in puppy hood. They are excellent watchdogs with a sharp, loud alarm bark. Lhasa Apsos can do well with children, but they should be supervised and exposed to them early on. These are notoriously long-lived dogs, routinely going into their late teens. The record holder is a breed champion who lived to 29 years of age!

The Lhasa Apso is an ancient breed, developed in Tibet from the Tibetan terrier and similar herding-type Tibetan dogs. The conversion of Tibet to Buddhism in the 7th century AD established the Lhasa Apso as a definitive breed. Buddha is said to have had power over lions, and the Lhasa Apso with its full coat, full head of hair and leonine colors was referred to as “the lion dog.”

Lamas (Tibetan priests) are reputed to be reincarnated as Lhasa Apsos if they do not reach Nirvana. The Dalai Lamas not only kept Lhasa Apsos as pets, but also used them as gifts for honored guests. Lhasa Apsos sent to China were used in the development of the Shih Tzu and Pekingese breeds. Lhasa Apsos not only served as pets and companions but also as guard dogs because of their alert nature and their sharp bark.

When the Lhasa Apso first reached Europe and North America, confusion resulted in interbreeding with the Shih Tzu and possibly Tibetan terrier. By 1930 however, the breeds were being separated and distinguishing standards written up.

Grooming can be time-consuming if you keep a Lhasa Apso in full show coat. Careful brushing is needed to remove debris and prevent the development of matts. Many pet guardians have their Lhasa Apso clipped short twice a year for easier care. Lhasa Apsos do look nice clipped, and they run wildly about as if free of the weight of their hair right after a grooming!

Sam at one and a half years old (right) and Missy (left) (nickname; Miso soup) at ten months old. Missy is in love with Sam, he is her mommy. She loves to play tag. In the morning she runs up to Sam and snuggles all over him. He loves her and gently gives her a bath of kisses, and then they wrestle like maniacs. Match made in heaven for all of us. Truly. We always made fun of people and their dogs. You know, those “dog people.” Well, guess what, I’m a “dog person” now. Never say never.

This is Mido at 7 years old. He is a very calm, loving dog that was adopted from PetFinder. He sometimes acts like a cat!! When we adopted him he was 3 and as he gets older and we get to know him more, we think he was brought up with cats. He licks his paw and then cleans his face. He leaps up on the sofa, from the side, not the front like our other Lhasa Apso. When we go to lift him up he rolls over. He really has some cat-type quirks!! He likes bacon and chicken (what dog doesn’t?). He never played with toys for the first year then one day we saw him flicking a furry toy around, since then he loves his toys. Still won’t chase a tennis ball, though! Gets on okay with our other Lhasa Casey; she’s 12 this year. But he doesn’t like her too near him, they sleep on the bed but at opposite ends, he doesn’t like to be too close to him. I don’t know why?

This is Bailey the purebred Lhasa Apso at 9 months. It’s impossible to get him back inside when it’s cold, windy and snowing. Extremely affectionate and active, always in motion. Every walk includes a couple ¼-mile all-out sprints. Loves playing fetch then runs the stairs when we’re otherwise occupied. He’s now 6 years old and still has an extremely athletic physique – skin, bone, and muscle—lots of muscle for a 14-pound dog.

That’s my lhasa apso Ruby. She is 4 months old in this pic. She wants to be with me all the time – she is popular amongst my friends – Ruby is a perfect fit in our family and grabs all the attention when anybody visits us !!

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