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Lhasa Apso Dogs - Revered In Their Homeland

lhasa apso dog breed

Native to Tibet, Lhasa Apso dogs attained a spiritual significance in their homeland where they date back about two thousand years. They were 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 breeds of dogs, this breed is very hardy. They are similar in appearance to the Shih Tzu, also from Tibet, especially with respect to 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.

Personality and Traits:

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, they respond best to motivational techiques and are very treat oriented.

Appearance, Coat and Care

Height: 9-11 inches
Weight:13-18 lbs.
Colors: Many colors including sandy, golden, honey, grizzle, slate, smoke, particolor, black, white and brown, the lighter ones being the most popular.

FURminator grooming tooldeshedding grooming tool

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 on the left.

Activity Level

Since they are normally very playful and active around the house, Lhasa Apso dogs do 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.

Dog Toys And Gifts

yellow plush duck toy Multipet's Duckworth a 13-Inch Yellow Plush Filled Dog Toy
Dog Toy
hide a squirrel toy
Hide A Squirrel
Hedgehog squeaker Dog Toy
Squeaker Toy
singing mouse dog toy
Singing Mouse

Space Needs

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. 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 housetraining is always the ideal when there is a dog in the family.


This breed does best with older, as in teenage, children. They do not like to be carried around by young children and will defend themselves if mistreated.


Lhasa Apso dogs make good companions for the elderly or more sedentary family providing the considerable grooming needs can be handled. They are loyal and loving little dogs and exercise requirements are modest.

Share Your Lhasa Apso Story And Pictures

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.

Trench Coat For Small Dog

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