Breed Spotlight: Lhasa Apso

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Lhasa Apso Facts

Lhasa Apso
VKarlov/Deposit Photos

History & Characteristics

Originating hundreds of years ago in the Himalayan Mountains in Tibet, the Lhasa Apso was considered a guardian breed who was kept to protect the inner household of royalty and the hallowed walls of Buddhist monasteries. Lhasa Apsos are often mistaken for being the typical lap dog, but that is not the case. While most Lhasa Apsos stand at approximately 10 to 11 inches tall and only weigh 12 to 18 pounds on average, Lhasas often act as the protector of their master–a job they take very seriously.

Lhasa Apso as a Pet

The Lhasa is a very popular breed within the show ring. They are known for their long flowing mane of hair that parts down the middle from head to tail. Their joyful and dignified prance often showcases their air of regal personality. Always active and energetic, the Lhasa Apso breed flourishes when presented with constant challenges, such as agility dog training.

For a happy and healthy Lhasa, it’s recommended the dog owner makes sure to take his Lhasa on frequent (daily if possible) walks and allow the dog to get plenty of playtime indoors for good exercise.

Dog Training Tips

Lhasa Apsos are known to be small hearty dogs that are friendly, but can also be assertive. They are very intelligent and lively as well as spirited and affectionate. While they respond well to motivational training, Lhasa Apsos can often fall into small dog syndrome where they believe they’re the masters of their domain even superseding their owner’s authority.

This temperament characteristic can cause varying degrees of negative behaviors, such as suspicion of strangers or children, separation anxiety and possibly aggressive tendencies toward other dogs.

RELATED: Knowing When a Dog Might Act Aggressively

Lhasa Apsos can often object if they feel threatened or undermined as the head of the household. However, this negative behavior can be corrected with positively reinforced dog training to provide a happy and loving Lhasa who will make a great family pet.

Dog Grooming Tips

It’s very important you keep your Lhasa well groomed as the breed can be prone to skin ailments or ear infections if their long coat and ears are not well maintained. The Lhasa Apso may not be the best breed choice for someone’s first dog. However, the Lhasa is perfect for someone who is looking for a loyal lifelong canine companion.

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