Tip of the Month

8/29/2011 Breed Spotlight - Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso - Breed Spotlight

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 type of “lap dog” which is not the case. While most Lhasa Apsos stand at approximately ten to eleven inches tall and only weigh 12-18 pounds on average, Lhasas often act as the protector of their master, a job they take very seriously!

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 are the masters of their domain, even superseding their owners’ authority. This temperament characteristic can cause varying degrees of negative behaviors such as suspicion of strangers or children, separation anxiety, and possibly aggressive tendencies towards other dogs. 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.

The 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 is recommended that the owner make sure to take their Lhasa on frequent (daily if possible) walks and allow them to get plenty of play time indoors as well for good exercise.


It is very important that 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 life long loyal pooch companion!

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