AKC Group: Non-sporting
The Lhasa Apso is the most popular breed indigenous to Tibet. “Apso” means goat-like. In Tibet, the Lhasa Apso remain a treasured dog of the privileged. They were used as watch dogs in temples and monasteries. In Tibet, you were never able to purchase or sell a dog, a Lhasa Apso was always given as a gift and receiving one was considered a great honor. Developed 800 years ago, their first appearance in the West was in 1901 when an English lady returned home with several.
Size: 9 to 11 inches tall; 12 to 16 pounds
Color: All colors
Life span: 12 to 18 years
Health problems: Luxating patella, entropion, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, von Willebrand’s Disease, spinal problems, cataracts, allergies, skin problems and bladder stones have all been noted.
The Lhasa Apso is a happy, loyal, gentle dog that is full of spirit and character. When they need to alert you, they will. Though they look super cute and cuddly, a Lhasa Apso can be strong willed, bossy, stubborn, dominant and manipulative or even jealous. They can be difficult to train and housebreak. They do not like to be teased or roughly handled. They don’t like boisterous kids nor strangers, to whom they will be wary and standoffish. Once he knows you, he will be friendly and welcoming. He usually gets along well with other companion animals, depending on his mood at the time. The right owner who provides the right training can turn a Lhasa Apso into a very fine companion indeed. They love their exercise time — but really only require a regular walk and a secured area to play when the mood strikes. Training will require your patience. Firstly, establish a relationship of mutual respect. Admire him for his independence, but consistently enforce the rules. Incorporate food and praise into training to make him more cooperative. A Lhasa Apso is intelligent and is able to learn quickly. Always use positive reinforcements and rewards. Socialize early and extensively; the more he gets used to a puppy, the more well rounded adult dog he will make later. Never force your Lhasa Apso to associate with strangers. Introduce him heartily, but don’t overwhelm. Crate training will help with the difficulty to housebreak. Try very hard to make all training sessions fun and rewarding for him.
A Lhasa Apso is a small but sturdy dog with beautiful dark eyes. They have a long, heavy, straight coat with a hard texture. Below that sweet and innocent expression is quite the stubborn fellow. To keep his coat looking gorgeous, brush him daily. Bathe him once a week and trim his bottom hair as needed. Check his ears frequently to avoid infections. Clip his coat every few months. When properly groomed, a Lhasa Apso should be a low shedder.