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Lhasa Apso - Small Breed Dog Profile

Updated: Apr 2

Cute Lhasa Apso dog with tongue out

Lhasa Apso: A Small Breed Dog with a Big Personality


Lhasa Apso, often called the "Lion Dog," is a small breed with a big personality.

This charming breed has a fascinating history, a unique purpose, and a distinctive set of characteristics.

In this article, we'll explore the origins, traits, and care requirements of the Lhasa Apso.

Origin of the Lhasa Apso


The Lhasa Apso hails from Tibet and is one of the oldest known breeds. Their history is closely tied to Tibetan Buddhism, where they were considered sacred dogs.

These small canines were bred to be watchdogs in Tibetan monasteries, where they would alert the monks to any intruders.

Purpose of the Lhasa Apso


The primary purpose of Lhasa Apsos was to serve as sentinel dogs in Tibetan monasteries. Their keen senses and alert nature made them ideal for this role.

They would sound the alarm if intruders approached the monasteries, providing a vital layer of security.

Physical Characteristics of the Lhasa Apso


Lhasa Apsos are small dogs with a sturdy build. Weighing between 12 and 18 pounds at the shoulder, they typically stand between 10 and 11 inches tall.

Their double coat is long and flowing, which gives them a distinctive appearance. The coat comes in various colours, including black, white, gold, and a combination of these shades.

Personality Traits of the Lhasa Apso


Despite their small size, Lhasa Apsos possess a big personality. They are known for their confidence, independence, and alertness.

These dogs are loyal to their families and can be reserved with strangers. They are not typically lap dogs and may sometimes prefer their own space.

Lhasa Apso Grooming Requirements


Lhasa Apso's grooming needs are high. Regular brushing and maintenance is needed for their long coat. Regular grooming is essential.

One of the defining characteristics of Lhasa Apsos is their long, luxurious coat. This beautiful coat does require regular grooming to keep it in good condition.

Daily brushing is often necessary to prevent matting and tangling. Many Lhasa Apso owners opt for professional grooming to maintain the coat's beauty and health.

Lhasa Apso Exercise Requirements


Moderate exercise needs; Lhasa Apsos enjoy playtime and daily walks. Lhasa Apsos are relatively moderate in their exercise needs.

They enjoy daily walks and playtime but do not require extensive physical activity.

A secure garden where they can explore is a bonus, but they can adapt to apartment living with regular exercise.

Lhasa Apso Characteristics


Affectionate, alert, and independent. Lhasa Apsos are known for their distinctive appearance, independent nature, and alertness.

They make excellent watchdogs, and their loyalty to their families is unmatched. They are also renowned for their long, flowing double coats.

Lhasa Apso Lifespan and Age Range


Lhasa Apsos typically have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years or more. They can enjoy a long and healthy life with proper care and attention.

Lhasa Apso Measurements


Height - 9 to 11 inches, Weight - 12 to 18 pounds (6-8kg)

Health Issues of Lhasa Apsos


Lhasa Apsos typically enjoy good overall health. However, like all dog breeds, they can be susceptible to certain medical conditions.

These may encompass issues related to their eyes, kidney health, and hip dysplasia. Consistent veterinary examinations and a nutritious diet are valuable steps in preserving their well-being.

FAQS lhasa apso


Now, let's address some common questions people have about Lhasa Apsos.

Is a Lhasa Apso a Good Dog?

Yes, Lhasa Apsos can make great dogs, especially for individuals or families who appreciate their unique personality traits.

Are Lhasa Apsos Okay Alone?

Lhasa Apsos may become anxious when left alone for extended periods, so it's best to provide them with companionship.

Is Lhasa Apso Easy to Take Care Of?

While their grooming needs may require effort, they are generally easy to take care of in terms of exercise and training.

How Many Walks Does a Lhasa Apso Need?

Daily walks and playtime are sufficient to keep Lhasa Apsos content.

Is a Lhasa Apso a Good First Dog?

Lhasa Apsos can be a good choice for first-time dog owners who appreciate their unique personality.

Do Lhasa Apsos Bark a Lot?

Lhasa Apsos are alert and may bark to alert you to changes or visitors.

Do Lhasa Apsos Get Aggressive?

Lhasa Apsos are not typically aggressive, but their behaviour depends on their upbringing and training.

Do Lhasa Apsos Smell?

Regular grooming and hygiene should prevent any odour in Lhasa Apsos.

Is Lhasa Apso a Calm Dog?

Lhasa Apsos can be calm, but their activity level may vary.

Where Should a Lhasa Apso Sleep?

Depending on your preference, Lhasa Apsos can sleep in a comfortable dog bed or crate.

Will a Lhasa Apso Protect You?

Lhasa Apsos are likelier to greet strangers with a friendly attitude than act as protectors.

Are Lhasa Apsos High Anxiety Dogs?

Lhasa Apsos can be anxious, especially when left alone for extended periods.

How Big Will a Lhasa Apso Get?

Lhasa Apsos are generally small dogs, as previously mentioned.

Should I Get a Lhasa Apso or Miniature Poodle?

The choice depends on your preferences and living situation, as they are distinct breeds.

How Long Do Lhasa Apsos Live For?

Lhasa Apsos typically enjoy a long lifespan of 12 to 15 years with proper care.

How Much Exercise Does a Lhasa Apso Need?

As mentioned, daily walks and playtime are sufficient to keep Lhasa Apsos happy and healthy.

Are Lhasa Apsos good pets?

Lhasa Apsos are indeed excellent pets known for their affectionate and loyal nature.

These delightful small dogs establish strong and devoted connections with their owners, making them perfect companions for families and individuals.

Can Lhasa Apso go on long walks?

Lhasa Apsos are not known for their endurance in long walks. Due to their small size and relatively short legs, they are more comfortable with shorter, leisurely walks.

Moderate exercise suits them well.

Are Lhasa Apso dogs high maintenance?

Lhasa Apsos boasts a lovely double coat, which requires routine grooming to maintain it in excellent shape.

While their grooming needs may seem high, they are relatively low-maintenance in other aspects, including exercise and social interaction.

How many walks does a Lhasa Apso need?

Lhasa Apsos benefit from at least one daily walk but do not require many walks. Short walks and playtime in a secure area are usually sufficient to keep them content.

How long can you leave a Lhasa Apso alone?

Leaving a Lhasa Apso alone for a few hours is generally acceptable.

Still, they are social dogs that thrive on human companionship.

Leaving them unaccompanied for extended durations may result in separation anxiety, underscoring the importance of offering them engaging toys and a cosy environment.

Do Lhasa Apso like to cuddle?

Lhasa Apsos often enjoy cuddling with their owners. They are affectionate dogs and are known to form strong bonds, making cuddle time a cherished activity for the dog and its owner.

What are the disadvantages of a Lhasa Apso?

While Lhasa Apsos are lovely companions, they have some disadvantages. Their grooming needs can be demanding, and they may be prone to specific health issues.

Additionally, they can be stubborn during training.

Is a Lhasa Apso a problematic dog?

Lhasa Apsos are relatively easy, but they can be stubborn due to their independence. Consistent training and positive reinforcement can help raise a well-behaved Lhasa Apso.

Does Lhasa Apso bond with one person?

Lhasa Apsos are known to form strong bonds with their owners and often consider the entire family as their pack.

While they may have a favourite person, they are generally affectionate with everyone in the household.

Does Lhasa Apso sleep a lot?

Lhasa Apsos enjoy their rest and may have periods of napping throughout the day.

However, they are also playful and active when awake, striking a balance between play and rest.

Does Lhasa Apso get separation anxiety?

Yes, Lhasa Apsos can develop separation anxiety when left alone for extended periods.

They are social dogs and thrive on human companionship, making them sensitive to long periods of solitude.

Is Lhasa Apso a low-maintenance dog?

Lhasa Apsos are low-maintenance regarding exercise requirements but have grooming needs due to their beautiful double coat.

While they enjoy playtime, they don't need much physical activity.

Are Lhasa Apsos moody?

Lhasa Apsos are known for their charming and even-tempered nature. While individual personalities may vary, they are generally not considered moody dogs.

Are Lhasa Apsos calm dogs?

Lhasa Apsos are relatively calm dogs. They have a gentle and composed demeanour, which makes them excellent companions for those seeking a peaceful and loving pet.

What makes a Lhasa Apso happy?

Lhasa Apsos are happiest when they receive love and attention from their owners.

They also enjoy playtime and cuddling, making them content and joyful when surrounded by their family.

Do Lhasa Apsos get jealous?

Lhasa Apsos can display jealousy, especially when their owners' attention is diverted elsewhere.

It's essential to provide them with reassurance and positive interactions to alleviate jealousy.

Are Lhasa Apsos noisy?

Lhasa Apsos are alert and may bark to alert their owners to unusual sounds or visitors. While they are not excessively noisy, they can be vocal when necessary.

Which is bigger, Shih Tzu or Lhasa Apso?

Lhasa Apsos are typically slightly more prominent than Shih Tzus in size and weight.

Are Lhasa Apsos fearless?

Lhasa Apsos are known for their fearless and protective nature. Despite their small size, they can be quite courageous when protecting their family.

What dog breed looks like a Lhasa Apso?

The Shih Tzu is a breed that may resemble the appearance of a Lhasa Apso. Both breeds share some common characteristics and are often confused with each other.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

At Mary Puppins, we prioritise your cherished pets' well-being, offering a haven of comfort and care during their stay.

Our commitment is to ensure your small breed dogs are treated like family, receiving top-notch attention and care.

BOOK NOW via our website. We have limited places and get booked up super fast. Give your little dog the five-star VIP holiday they deserve, while you enjoy yours.

Mary Puppins lhasa apso

Mary Puppins, Lhasa Apso

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Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny, an expert in small breed dogs and a pet parent to her own beloved small dogs.

With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families,

Kate shares her top tips with you.

Kate guides readers on small dog breeds, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate lifestyle for their small dogs.



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