Lhasa Apso

Type: Companion Dog

Height: 10 - 11 inches.

Weight: 13 - 15 lbs.

Life Span: 13 - 14 years.

Litter Size: 4 - 5 puppies.

Country of Origin: Tibet

Activity: Indoors - High. Outdoors - High. From personal experience, the Lhasa Apso will follow their owners around the house almost constantly, engaging their unending energy.

Watch-dog: Very High. They are very alert and react to new smells and sounds around them by letting their owners know.

Guard-dog: Low. Although alert, they are mostly friendly to visitors, welcome and unwelcome.

Description: The Lhasa Apso has the characteristics of keen watchfulness and being very hardy. They are easily trained and are responsive to kindness. Their beautiful dark eyes are appealing as they wait for some mark of appreciation for their efforts. Lhasa Apsos also like to be dominant, and should be separated from each other when eating or receiving treats. They are not afraid of each other and have been known to pick fights. Aside from this, however, they are pleasing in personality and eager to follow their masters around. Lhasa Apsos are happy, usually long lived, adaptable and good in families with children. They are small dogs, but somewhat long legged. They are furry all over, and require grooming in order to keep in top coat condition. They have long drop ears and come in a variety of colors ranging in shades of gold, white, black and brown. They can be quite playful at times, and truly appear to enjoy the playfulness of their owners as well.  Lhasa Apso

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Other Names: Abso Seng Kye (Bark Lion Sentinel Dog), Tibetan Apso

Colors: Solid golden, sandy, honey, dark grizzle, slate or smoke; black parti-color, white or brown. All colors are equally acceptable.

Coat: Their top coat is long, heavy, straight, hard and dense. They have a moderate undercoat of soft fur.

Temperament: Lhasa Apsos are gentle, loyal and affectionate. They greatly enjoy being around their owners, often trying to sit on them or next to them when their owner is around. They are playful and get along well with children as well as adults. They sometimes try to be dominant among other animals, however, which can result in them picking fights with other dogs in the house. They make good watch dogs as well, looking out for whoever is there. Lhasa Apsos are friendly, intelligent, but stubborn in obedience. They intelligent, watchful dogs.

With Children: Yes, they are good with children and playful.

With Pets: Yes, if socialized and trained. Owners beware, however, they may pick fights or try to dominate another pet.

Special Skills: Family Pet.

Care and Training: daily combing and/or brushing is required. Their thick undercoat may become matted if not properly groomed. Pay special attention to matting on the bottoms of the feet. Clean ears and eyes meticulously. Even though they love to walk and play, Lhasa Apsos do not demand exercise, but regular exercise will keep them fit and trim. The Lhasa Apso can be obstinate and stubborn. Patience and no harsh words are the best approach.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Low. Problem Solving - Medium.

Living Environment: House, apartment, country or city - a Lhasa Apso will adapt to their environment. Owners of a Lhasa Apso must be committed to take care of their abundant coat. The best owner for this breed would be an individual or family with time and activities for their Lhasa.

Health Issues: May suffer from genetic kidney problems or ear infections. Other health concerns include cherry eye and skin conditions.

History: The Lhasa Apso are the most popular of the breeds indigenous to Tibet. The Tibetan Terrier, Tibetan Spaniel and Lhasa Apso all share common ancestors. Sometimes they are known as the Tibetan Apso. The name of the Apso may have come from the word "rapso", meaning goat-like, as their coat resembles that of the goats kept by Tibetan herders. Still in debate, another theory of the name may have come from where the breed was most present: Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. In combination, the Tibetans called the breed Abso Seng Kye, which means "barking, sentinel lion dog". Lions in the Tibetan culture were traditional symbols of royalty, with strength and power. It was said that Buddha had dominion over all the animals, and kept a pet lion who would follow him all around like a pet dog. Therefore the Lhasa Apso became so popular because of its similar appearance to a "small lion", and it would follow its owner everywhere they went. It was known as a "lion dog", and therefore kept in palaces of the Dalai Lama and other royalty. In Tibet, Lhasa Apsos were a treasured dog of the privileged classes. They were supposed to warn their owners of intruders at the front of the palaces. It was said that a Dalai Lama who did not reach the state of Nirvana was reincarnated as a Lhasa Apso. They are truly an aristocrat, having been bred in a domestic environment for generations. Coming first to Britain in the 1920s - 1930s, the breed was classified as a Tibetan Terrier, as most people thought they were part Shih Tzu or Tibetan Terrier and didn't know what to call them. The first Lhasas to come to America were a gift from the Dalai Lama to a naturalist and his family from America, the C. Suydam Cuttings. From this pair came the famous Hamilton line. When Shih Tzus came to America later, they were registed as Lhasa mistakenly. Over time the breed names were figured out and standardizations made. In 1935 the breed was recognized by the AKC.

First Registered by the AKC: 1935

AKC Group: Non-Sporting Group

Class: Non-Sporting

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 9), KC (GB), UKC