Native to Tibet, the Lhasa Apso dog attained a spiritual significance in
his homeland where the breed
dates back about two thousand years. This tough little dog was originally used to guard
the interiors of monasteries and temples while bigger
mastiff dogs guarded the exterior.
Lhasas, were once known as the "Bark Lion Sentinel Dog" and for good reason. As a sentinel, their exceptional hearing made them able to quickly identify the presence of intruders and able to give a warning bark to the community.
Like many small size dogs, this breed is very hardy. They are
similar in appearance to the Shih Tzu, also from Tibet, especially with
their flowing abundant coat which no doubt developed in response to the
harsh winters of the Himalayan regions.
Establishment of the Lhasa Apso in the United States is credited to Suydam Cutting, a naturalist and owner of Hamilton Farm Kennels. This gentleman had visited Tibet and became associated with the Dalai Lama who later presented the Cutting family with a pair of Lhasa Apso dogs.
This is a very attractive small dog, with a good health profile, and
being suspicious of strangers he can be helpful as a watchdog.
Height: 9-11 inches
Weight: 13-18 lbs.
Colors: Many colors including sandy, golden, honey, grizzle, slate, smoke, parti-color, black, white and brown, the lighter ones being the most popular.
The coat is very dense and long and requires extensive grooming to keep it in good condition and avoid mats, tangles and dog skin allergies - especially if kept in its naturally long state.
It is also low shedding which means the daily brushing to remove dead hair is especially important. One of the best tools for this job is the FURminator pictured here.
The Lhasa Apso may look like a lap dog, but don't treat him like one! While he is friendly, affectionate and playful, he can
also be very stubborn and bossy.
This breed tends to challenge for leadership any chance he gets. Of course its easy to see why someone might let this cute dog get by with some naughty behavior, but it's not a good idea.
Without consistent leadership, they will fall into some quite undesirable behaviors and won't be a happy and secure dog. With a strong pack leader, confusion will be avoided, and they will live harmoniously with their family.
When it comes to training, Lhasas respond best to motivational techniques and are very treat oriented.
While this little dog is quite sturdy and generally healthy, there are some health issues to be aware of that may occur during their life time of 12 to 14 years.
The most significant of these is an hereditary condition known as Renal dysplasia, details of which can be found here,
Eye conditions include:
A few more include:
Responsible breeders should be able to provide a thorough health profile for the parents of any puppies they have available.
Since they are normally very playful and active around the house, the Lhasa Apso dog does not need heavy exercise - a daily walk will do.
But the daily walk should not be overlooked as it is very important to their physical and mental stability.
Here are some popular toys to entertain your pet on rainy days:
While Lhasa Apsos are not fussy about their environment, apartment living would probably not be the best choice if you are gone for several hours a day.
Why? Because of the
fact that they have very good hearing and a natural tendency to be
a watchdog, noises coming from close neighbors may get their attention
and lead to barking.
If at all possible, a home with an outside area for training, play and house training is always the ideal when there is a dog in the family.
This breed does best with older, as in teenage, children, especially those who have had prior experience handling small dogs.
TheLhasa Apso dog does not like to be carried around by young children and will defend themselves if mistreated.
This breed does well as companions for seniors, empty nesters or more sedentary families providing the considerable grooming needs can be handled.
They are loyal and loving little dogs and exercise requirements are modest.
Such a popular dog and so pretty. Do you have a Lhasa? If you do, we know you must be a proud owner and love to show off
your dog at every opportunity - right?
Well, here's your chance to really go to town and tell all our visitors about your treasured pet as well as your knowledge about the breed in general.
You can upload photos and tell your dog's story here. For inspiration, read some of the stories already submitted about other breeds.