Lhasa Apso Dog Breed: What You Need to Know

Lhasa Apso dog breed

Small with a long, silky coat, the Lhasa Apso is a sweet dog. This breed has hair longer than its actual body, and it requires thorough grooming. What makes this beautiful breed even more spectacular than its already sweet face and endearing personality is the fact that you might not know what your Lhasa Apso will look like as it gets older. This is a breed known for changing color as it ages, which means your puppy might be one color but it will change as the dog grows older. It’s almost a game with your animals.

The breed has many positive attributes, which is what makes it such a popular breed. Lhasa Apsos make great family pets, great friends and despite being small and affectionate more than anything else, they make amazing watchdogs thanks to their exceptional hearing. Read on to find out what all you should know before you adopt a Lhasa Apso of your own.

Personality and Temperament

The Lhasa Apso is a dream come true in terms of personality. This little dog is so sweet and loving, and he is one that is very affectionate. He is gentle and patient, though he does have a playful side that comes out from time to time. He is an easy dog to train because it’s a breed that listens very well. Additionally, the Lhasa Apso gets along well with children and others, and he is not a dog you should worry about being destructive. Very obedient, the Lhasa Apso trains very well when a motivational technique is used, which promotes positive behavior.

Unfortunately, this is a small dog that is very likely to suffer from something commonly referred to as small dog syndrome. What this means is that the Lhasa Apso is likely to become problematic if the people in his household are not the dominate people in his life. He will likely try to become the pack leader if he feels that the humans he lives with are not doing it, and this will lead to poor behavior. This will lead Lhasa Apsos to suffer from separation anxiety, to be unfriendly towards children and strangers and even to become whiny and very irritating. These traits are not native to the Lhasa Apso, but they are instilled and taught by humans. Do not consider this breed if you are not a dominant and true leader.

Life Expectations

The Lhasa Apso is far from a big dog, but he is also not a teacup pup, as they are so commonly called. This little breed could stand as high as 11 inches and weight as much as 15 pounds. Females are typically a bit smaller than males, but not in every case. These dogs might occasionally become a little bit larger than the standard concept, but a Lhasa Apso that weighs significantly more is considered problematic as it does typically mean that the dog is consuming too much food.

The most amazing thing you can expect when you do choose to call a Lhasa Apso your own is that this dog will be with you around two decades. They live as long as 18 years, and some live even longer than that. It’s considered a long-lived breed, and that’s something that many dogs owners are looking for when they choose a companion in a dog. Additionally, this lovely breed is going to do quite well in an apartment or small home, and a yard is not even necessary. Not much of an outdoorsman, the Lhasa Apso has plenty of energy to play, but he needs very little space in which to do so.

A long walk each day is about all the exercise the Lhasa Apso needs, and the news gets even better. While you’re looking at this dog thinking that it needs some serious attention to detail when it comes to its coat and shedding, you are mistaken. The Lhasa Apso is actually a dog that does not shed too much. The coat does not require any special treatment other than the occasional dry shampoo and a daily brush. What requires the most attention is the ears; these dogs need their ears cleaned regularly as they are prone to becoming gross. Anyone with a Lhasa Apso should also do their best to check the feet of this dog on a daily basis to ensure that the fur around here is not matting and there is nothing stuck inside his feet. Otherwise, this dog is a simple pet to own.

Breed History

For hundreds of years the Lhasa Apso has been delighting its owners all over the world. However, when it was originated in the Himalayan Mountains centuries ago, it was not a dog that just anyone could have. This small dog was bred and raised by holy men in Tibet. It was named after a city considered sacred and it, too, was considered a sacred dog. The Lhasa Apso is a breed that typically has very good watchdog capabilities, and he was used in those days so long ago to protect monasteries and noblemen.

Interestingly, the men and women living in these times believed that at death, the soul of a nobleman would enter the nearest living creature, and that was the Lhasa Apso. They were then considered nobles because their friends and family believed that the soul of the Lhasa Apso was that of their loved one. For this purpose, it was very difficult then to obtain a Lhasa Apso, and they were regarded as almost royalty.

It wasn’t until less than a century ago that this breed was more popular and caught on in other parts of the world. Since then, the Lhasa Apso has become an even more beloved dog with even more desire. Previously a gift from the Dalai Lama, the first Lhasa Apso in the United States was considered good luck to residents here as it was to the noblemen and monasteries so many centuries ago. And who says a little dog does not come with a rich and unique history of its own?

Photo by Getty Images

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