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Lhasa Apso Breed Summary

Sweet, Protective, Noble and Loyal Companions

Originating from Lhasa, a sacred Tibetan City, these doggies have served both as companions and watchdogs! Their name translates to 'Bark Lion Sentinel Dog', which is no surprise due to their bold manner and suspicion towards strangers. These guys are very assertive and require lots of training to make sure they mature into well-rounded doggies.

They are a fairly costly doggy, with their coats requiring daily brushing as well as regular washing. They also need to visit groomers regularly to keep on top of their coats. These costs can be kept down if you decide to clip your dog yourself.

These guys have a very long life span, estimated between 13-15 years however, many do reach the golden age of 20!

Fun Fact: The Tibetans believed that Lhasa's possessed the souls of deceased monks and it was made illegal to buy or sell the breed for some time. Instead, they could only be received as a gift.

Kennel Club Group Utility
Lifespan 13 - 14 years
Height (at the withers) Males 25 - 28 cm, Females 23 - 25 cm at thewithers
Weight Males 6 - 7 kg, Females 5 - 6 kg
Coat Heavy, Straight and Long Top Coat with a Moderate, Softer Undercoat.
Colour Black, Black & Tan, Black & White, Brindle, Brindle & White, Brown, Brown & White, Cream, Cream & White, Gold, Gold & Black, Gold & White, Gold Brindle, Golden, Grey, Grey & White, Honey, Honey & White, Particolour, Red, Red & Gold, Red & White, Sandy, Tan & White, Tricolour, White.
Eye colour Dark
Common health issues Hip dysplasia, Kidney failure, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Reverse sneezing, Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), Hydrocephalus
Other Names Tibetan Apso, the Apso Seng Kyi (Tibetan), the Bearded Lion Dog, the Hairy Lion Dog, the Talisman Dog, the Shantung Terrier, the Sheng Trou, the Apso and the Lhasa

Though Lhasa Apsos may look sweet and innocent, they are fiercely protective of their ‘hoomans’. This is largely due to the ancient custom of this breed guarding the home and family. However, these doggies will never react aggressively and can be trained from the early stages to react kindlier to strangers. This loyalty does mean that these pooches love to share their lives with humans and will always bring joy and long-lasting friendship. This breed has a unique ability to reason and take charge, so it’s vital they are trained correctly – unless you want to be manipulated by a 10-inch-tall dog! The Lhasa Apso sometimes enjoys doing things on their own and doesn't necessarily always need to please you, so if you want an obedient dog, this mischievous minx probably isn’t for you! These dogs aren’t prone to separation anxiety and can be left on their own for reasonable periods of time.

Not many doggies can say they were named after a Holy City, but the Lhasa Apso definitely can! For many, many years these pups were bred solely for Nobility and Monks, acting as guard dogs and protectors of the Monasteries in the City of Lhasa in China. This particular breed was considered good luck and it was thought that when their owner died, the human soul entered the body of their doggy. They were so sacred that they were never allowed to leave the country, unless given as gifts by the Dalai Lama. They were eventually given as a gift by the 13th Dalai Lama to an American World Traveller in 1933, where the breed finally began to grow internationally! Because this breed has a long, thick coat, it requires a lot of maintenance. It’s probably best to note it’s going to cost you upwards of £40 a month to keep that coat looking pristine.