Lhasa Apso


A small Lhasa Apso
Lhasa Apso Quick Summary
Also Known AsLhasa Terrier
Height (at withers)10-11in (25-28cm)
Weight13-15lbs (6-7kg)
Hair Colour(s)Gold, cream, honey
Lifespan12-15 years
Energy LevelLow
Litter size4-5
Barking TendencyMedium-high
Exercise requirementsLow
Ease of trainingLow
Suitability for kidsLow
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftMedium

The Lhasa Apso is a small and compact but sturdy dog. The body is long and strong, with short legs and a feathered tail carried over the back. The head has a decent muzzle, small dark eyes often concealed by hair, a dark nose and pendulous and heavily feathered ears. The silky double-coat is long and straight and drapes over the entire body to the floor, with a lion-like ruff around the neck. The colouring varies but includes gold, cream and honey amongst others.


Lhasa Apsos are cheerful and gentle dogs with lively dispositions. Full of character and spirit, they are a friendly and loyal breed and make good family pets and companions. They crave companionship but can become irritated if startled and disturbed, so care is needed in a busy household. These are intelligent dogs that respond well to motivational training, but they can also be strong-willed, assertive and manipulative and can be very difficult to train and housebreak. Therefore they are best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership and training, as owners will need to be dominant. Lhasa Apsos will not tolerate abuse and so are only suitable for older children that will show some consideration. They will normally get along with other pets but their jealous and bossy natures can sometimes get in the way, and they can be very wary and aloof around strangers. With a keen sense of hearing and a protective nature, they make good watch dogs and will bark to raise an alarm.

History & Skills

Lhasa Apsos originate from Tibet, in particular a sacred city from which they take their name, and are said to have guarded monasteries in this region some 2000 years ago. Considered to be a sacred breed, they were believed to be the reincarnations of their masters, the Dalai Lamas and were used as temple watchdogs. These days they make good pets and watch dogs.

Breed Specific Ailments

Lhasa Apsos tend to live between 12-15 years and are a pretty healthy breed. Some of the health concerns noted in the breed include hip dysplasia, luxating patella, entropion, kidney problems, cataracts, PRA, vWD, spinal problems, allergies, and bladder stones. They can also be prone to skin irritations from fleas and other such parasites.


Lhasa Apsos tend to be low shedders, with corrct grooming, and so can be suitable for those suffering from allergies. However, their grooming requirements can be rather demanding. The coat should be brushed daily to prevent it from becoming matted and tangled, especially if long, and they should be bathed on a weekly basis. The ears should be kept clean and dry to reduce the risk of infection, and hair around the bottom area should be kept trimmed for hygiene reasons. The coat may be clipped every couple of months or so.

Exercise & Environment

Lhasa Apsos are flexible but tend to live indoors and are suitable for small homes such as apartments and flats. They are fairly active indoors and will get a lot of their necessary exercise this way. They do not require rigorous exercise and a daily walk with access to a secure outside area for play should suffice.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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