The Lhasa Apso is a small dog but exudes an air of dignity and comedy. He is a friendly and devoted companion.

These dogs have a dark beard and mustache, medium-length muzzle, small dark and deep-set eyes with long eyelashes, heavy feathered ears, black nose and a a tail that curls over his back. He carries himself with dignity.

Their durable coat is long, straight and heavy which drapes to the floor covering their eyes. It's not a silky or soft coat. This coat serves as insulation barrier to cool in the summer and warm in winter. The most popular colors are: honey, cream and gold. It also comes in brown, slate, smoke and multicolored of brown and white and white and black.

Weight: 13-15 pounds
Height: 10-11 inches
Life span: 15 years


The Lhasa Apso's breed goes back to 800 B.C. Their home is the land of Tibet. They are called the "Bark Lion Sentinel Dog" there. For two thousand years this breed was only bred in Tibet by holy men and nobles. They were used as watchdogs in temples and monasteries. They were finally spread to other parts of the world because Dalai Lama, Tibet's ruler, presented them to foreign diplomats. They were introduced in the U.S. in the 1930's.

These dogs have acute hearing and can tell if a friend or stranger is coming. Therefore, they make great watchdogs and their bark makes one think he is a big dog!


  • Intelligent
  • Spirited
  • Lively
  • Outgoing
  • Assertive nature
  • Affectionate
  • Friendly

Lhasa Apso's can be very possessive, independent and a bossy little dog but has great affection for his master. They do not tolerate rough or badly behaved children. He can be good with children if socialized with them but better if just an adult home or one with older children.

These dogs need to be socialized and obedience trained early. If not they may become aggressive or overly shy toward strangers as they are naturally suspicious of strangers. They need to be taught properly with patience, consistency and kindness. Since they can be stubborn, training requires positive reinforcement and they respond well to praise and rewards. These dogs need a family willing to do these things and you will have a well adjusted dog.

As for house-training the crate method is recommended.

Lhasa Apso's thrive on attention and don't like to be left alone for long periods of time. They want to be the only pet but if properly socialized early with other pets get along good with them. They are considered to be one of the strongest-minded and strongest-willed of the small dog breeds.


They are considered a hardy dog but like all breeds are prone to certain diseases. They are:

  • Skin problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Eye problems


These dogs need considerable grooming to maintain their luxuriant coats. They need to be brushed once a day a to prevent matting and knots from forming. They also need to have their eyes and ears cleaned. Use dry shampoo when needed. They are considered an average shedder.


Lhasa Apso's make excellent apartment dogs but do like daily walks and like to play indoor games.

When purchasing a dog it's best to buy from a responsible breeder to ensure you are getting a healthy dog. Ask for a referral from the American Kennel Club, your veterinarian or a Lhaso Apso club. For further information check out my article on

choosing a breeder.

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