The Spunky Lhasa Apso

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Lhasa Apso
Weight: 13 — 15 lbs
Height: 10” — 11”
AKC Rank 2008: #54
Lifespan: 12—15 yrs
Group Non Sporting
Origin Tibet

Dog Breed Info - The Lhasa Apso

A Lhasa puppy takes the scenic route
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Breed Overview

Original function: Companion and watchdog. Today, Companion.

The Lhasa is an ancient breed bred and revered in the villages and monasteries of Tibet.

The first Lhasa's were seen in the Western world in 1930 with some of the first dogs arriving as gifts of the thirteenth Dali Lama. The breed was admitted into the AKC terrier group in 1935, but it was reassigned into the non-sporting group in 1959. The Lhasa quickly became a popular pet in America.



Slow to learn, but is trainable. Lhasa Apso can be quite independent and a bit stubborn. A suggestion is clicker training which works for all kind of dogs, especially the hard-to-train variety. Get one at your pet store or by mail order. They run around $3.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Lhasa? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Lhasa Apso puppies are fairly easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.


The Lhasa Apso is a rugged character. He is independent, stubborn, and bold. Although he is always eager for a game or play, he will be happy as long as he is given exercise. He will also happily snooze with his owner. This makes the Apso an excellent small companion. It is somewhat reserved with strangers.

If you happen to get a Lhasa Apso with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

A Lhasa Apso and his "mama" getting ready to go jogging on a bright, sunny morning.
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Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Wary of other dogs. Picks his friends. Gets along with some.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Okay with most household pets. Again, the Lhasa Apso is a family dog

Friendly Toward Strangers

No. Keeps a distance with people he doesn’t know. The Lhasa Apso is a bit independent. He needs plenty of human companionship, but with people he knows.


Somewhat playful with family members. Lhasa Apso’s must know you before they loosen up.


Moderately affectionate. The Lhasa Apso will make a good companion.

This is a house pet above all else and needs to be with his family. He will show affection.

Good with children

Not very tolerant of young kids. Older children, 7 and up okay.

Good with Seniors over 65?

Yes. The Lhasa is a good choice for seniors. Easy to care for. As long as the Lhasa gets his walk and some play time, he's good to go. If longevity is an issue, find a Lhasa Apso Rescue group and get a dog 2 or 3 years old that is house trained and knows a few commands. That will make things a lot easier fore the senior.

Living environment

Apartment, farm, big city all OK.

Energy level

Moderate. 6 bars out of 10.

Exercise needs, daily

Low. A short walk or some play in the house or yard will do it.


Good. Always on the alert.

Guard dog

No. His bark might deter an intruder, but the Apso is not considered a guard dog.


No. The Lhasa does not shed. Bring on the allergies.


Brush and comb the long, heavy coat every other day to keep from getting tangled and matted. Consider seeing a groomer every few months for some professional; work in shaping and cutting.


Suggested Reading For The Lhasa Apso
Click on the cover photo for more book information.

The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog emergencies, illnesses and injuries. It is a very useful book for the dog owner and I keep it handy.


Lhasa Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Lhasa Apso puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training.
Lhasa Apso Breeders with puppies for sale.

Lhasa Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of a Lhasa and are looking for a Lhasa Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Lhasa Rescue - (Nationwide)Petfinder, as of this writing, is only listing around 600 Lhasa dogs available in the entire country. Check online for Lhasa Rescue groups and also kennels. See what your local newspaper ads have for rescue kennels too. I didn't realize how difficult Lhasa Rescue would be.
Adopt A Pet Based on the statement above, you may have trouble locating Lhasa adoptions and Lhasa Rescue groups. Good luck!

Dog Health Issues For The Lhasa Apso
Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Lhasa by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

Other problems could occur with your Lhasa Apso. If you notice any problems with your pet, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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