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Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso Dog Breed Information

In a Sentence:

A small, long-haired dog breed with a confident and independent personality.

Scientific Name:

Canis lupus familiaris.


Lhasa Apsos are considered a Small Dog breed.
Weight:5.4-8.2 kg.
Height:25-28 cm (10-11 inches) at the shoulder.
Length:30-40 cm.


The average lifespan of a Lhasa Apso is around 12-15 years


What type of dog is a Lhasa Apso, how do they behave and what temperament do they have? See below for a detailed overview of their traits and personality.

Personality & Temperament

Lhasa Apsos are known for their unique personality and temperament. They are a small breed of dog that originated in Tibet and were originally bred as watchdogs and companions for monks. Here is a detailed overview of their personality and behavior:

  • Lhasa Apsos are independent and have a stubborn nature. They are confident and assertive dogs that are not afraid to stand up for themselves. They are also very loyal to their owners and will protect them at all costs. They are intelligent dogs that are quick to learn and are always eager to please their owners.
  • Lhasa Apsos are generally calm and relaxed dogs that enjoy spending time with their owners. They are not very active and prefer to spend their time lounging around the house. They are also very affectionate dogs that love to be petted and cuddled. They are not aggressive dogs and are generally good with children and other pets.
  • Lhasa Apsos are very alert and will bark to alert their owners of any potential danger. They are also very territorial dogs and will protect their home and family from any intruders. They are not very social dogs and can be wary of strangers. They tend to be stubborn and can be difficult to train at times.


Lhasa Apsos are considered to be intelligent dogs with an independent streak. They are quick learners and can be trained with consistency and positive reinforcement. However, like all dogs, their intelligence level can vary depending on the individual dog and their training and socialization.


Lhasa Apsos can be moderately difficult to train due to their independent and stubborn nature. They are intelligent dogs but can be willful and may require a firm and consistent training approach. Positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise can be effective in motivating them to learn. Early socialization and training are important to prevent behavioral issues such as aggression and excessive barking. It is recommended to seek professional training assistance if needed.


Lhasa Apsos, like most dogs, sleep an average of 12-14 hours per day. However, the amount of sleep can vary depending on the dog’s age, activity level and overall health. Puppies and older dogs may sleep more, while younger and more active dogs may sleep less. It’s important to provide a comfortable and quiet sleeping area for your Lhasa Apso to ensure they get the rest they need.


Lhasa Apsos are known to be alert and protective dogs and they can bark quite a bit. They can often bark at strangers, other dogs and even at noises they hear outside. However, with proper training and socialization, their barking can be controlled. It’s important to note that excessive barking can be a sign of anxiety or boredom, so it’s important to provide them with enough exercise and mental stimulation.


Lhasa Apsos are not excessive droolers. However, like all dogs, they may drool occasionally, especially when they are excited or anticipating food. Overall, Lhasa Apsos are considered to be a relatively low-drooling breed.


Lhasa Apsos are frequent lickers, especially when they are showing affection or seeking attention from their owners. However, the amount of licking can vary from dog to dog and can also depend on their individual personality and behavior. Some Lhasa Apsos may lick more than others, while some may not lick as much. It is important to note that excessive licking can sometimes be a sign of anxiety or other underlying health issues, so it is important to monitor your dog’s behavior and consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns.


Lhasa Apsos are not renowned for their jumping ability. They are a small breed and typically do not have the physical capability to jump very high. However, some Lhasa Apsos may be able to jump up to a few feet in height if they are well-trained and have strong hind legs. It is important to note that excessive jumping can be harmful to their joints and should be avoided.


Lhasa Apsos are not excessive diggers. However, like all dogs, they may dig occasionally. The amount of digging can vary depending on the individual dog’s personality, age and training. It’s important to provide your Lhasa Apso with plenty of exercise, mental stimulation and toys to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. If you notice excessive digging, it’s important to address the behavior and provide appropriate training and supervision.

Good Fit for You?

Is a Lhasa Apso the right dog for you? Keep reading to find out how compatible you are with a Lhasa Apso.


Lhasa Apsos are a small breed of dog that requires moderate exercise. They should be taken for a daily walk of at least 20-30 minutes to keep them healthy and happy. They also enjoy playing in a fenced yard or indoor play area. However, it’s important to note that Lhasa Apsos are prone to obesity, so it’s important to monitor their food intake and exercise to prevent weight gain.


Lhasa Apsos are small dogs that typically weigh between 12-18 pounds and stand about 10-11 inches tall at the shoulder. They are adaptable and can live in small apartments or larger homes with yards. However, they do need daily exercise and mental stimulation, so it’s important to provide them with enough space to move around and play. A daily walk and some indoor playtime should be enough to keep them happy and healthy.


Yes, Lhasa Apsos can be a good dog to get if you live in an apartment. They are a small breed, typically weighing between 12-18 pounds and they do not require a lot of space to exercise. They are also known for being relatively quiet and calm indoors, which can be beneficial for apartment living. However, it is important to note that all dogs require daily exercise and mental stimulation, so it is important to make sure you can provide this for your Lhasa Apso even in a smaller living space. Additionally, Lhasa Apsos have a long, thick coat that requires regular grooming and maintenance.

Left Alone

Lhasa Apsos are known for being loyal and affectionate towards their owners and they may not tolerate being left alone for long periods. They are prone to separation anxiety and may become destructive or develop behavioral issues if left alone for extended periods. It is recommended to provide them with plenty of attention, exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and prevent any negative behaviors. If you need to leave your Lhasa Apso alone, it is best to gradually train them to be comfortable with your absence and provide them with toys or puzzles to keep them occupied.

Kid/Family Friendly

Yes, Lhasa Apsos can be good with kids and families. They are loyal, affectionate and playful dogs that enjoy spending time with their owners. However, it is important to note that Lhasa Apsos can be stubborn and independent, so early socialization and training are crucial to ensure they get along well with children and other family members. Additionally, due to their small size, they may not be suitable for families with very young children who may accidentally hurt them. Overall, Lhasa Apsos can make great family pets with proper training and socialization.

Perfect Fit

A Lhasa Apso would be a perfect fit for a household that is looking for a small, affectionate and loyal companion. They are great for families with older children or adults who have the time and patience to train and socialize them properly. Lhasa Apsos are also a good fit for apartment living, as they do not require a lot of space or exercise. However, they do require regular grooming to maintain their long, silky coat. Overall, a Lhasa Apso would be a great addition to a household that is looking for a loving and devoted pet.

Pros and Cons:

While they can make great pets for some people, there are also some downsides to owning one. Here are five pros and cons of owning a Lhasa Apso:

  1. Loyal companions: Lhasa Apsos are known for their loyalty and devotion to their owners, making them great companions.
  2. Low-shedding: Their long hair requires regular grooming, but Lhasa Apsos are considered a low-shedding breed, which can be a plus for people with allergies.
  3. Good apartment dogs: Lhasa Apsos are small and don’t require a lot of space, making them a good choice for apartment living.
  4. Good with children: With proper socialization, Lhasa Apsos can be great with children and make good family pets.
  5. Alert watchdogs: Despite their small size, Lhasa Apsos have a big bark and can be good watchdogs, alerting their owners to any potential dangers.
  1. High-maintenance grooming: Lhasa Apsos require regular grooming to keep their long hair from matting, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
  2. Can be stubborn: Lhasa Apsos are known for their independent streak and can be stubborn when it comes to training.
  3. Prone to health issues: Lhasa Apsos are prone to a number of health issues, including eye problems, hip dysplasia and skin allergies.
  4. Can be wary of strangers: Lhasa Apsos can be wary of strangers and may take some time to warm up to new people.
  5. Require socialization: Like all dogs, Lhasa Apsos require socialization to prevent them from becoming fearful or aggressive towards other dogs or people.


The cost of a Lhasa Apso in Australia can vary depending on various factors such as the breeder, location and lineage. On average, a Lhasa Apso puppy can cost anywhere between $1,500 to $3,000 AUD. It is important to do thorough research and only purchase from reputable breeders to ensure the health and well-being of the puppy.

Breed History:

Lhasa Apsos were originally bred in Tibet as watchdogs and companions for Buddhist monks. They were highly valued for their alertness, loyalty and protective nature. The breed was also believed to have spiritual significance and was considered a sacred dog in Tibetan culture. Lhasa Apsos were kept in monasteries and were often given as gifts to visiting dignitaries. Today, they are primarily kept as companion dogs and are known for their affectionate and playful personalities.

Current Usage

Lhasa Apsos are primarily kept as companion pets and are popular for their affectionate and loyal nature. They are also used as therapy dogs due to their calm and gentle temperament. However, historically, Lhasa Apsos were bred as watchdogs and were used to guard monasteries and temples in Tibet. They were also used as messenger dogs and were trained to carry small items between different locations. In modern times, Lhasa Apsos are not commonly used as working dogs, but their intelligence and trainability make them suitable for obedience and agility competitions.

Guard Dogs

Lhasa Apsos were originally bred as watchdogs in Tibet and they have a natural instinct to protect their family and territory. However, they are not typically considered to be good guard dogs as they are small in size and may not have the physical ability to take down an intruder. Additionally, they are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, which may not make them as intimidating as other breeds. While they may alert their owners to potential threats, they are better suited as companion dogs rather than guard dogs.

Where Are They Found?

Lhasa Apsos are most popular in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Japan. However, they are also popular in other countries such as Germany, France, Italy and Spain.


Lhasa Apsos are best suited to a moderate climate with mild temperatures. They have a thick, double coat that provides insulation in cold weather, but they can also overheat easily in hot weather. Therefore, they may struggle in extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. It is important to provide them with a comfortable living environment and monitor their exposure to temperature extremes.


It is difficult to determine the exact number of Lhasa Apsos in the world as there is no central registry or database that tracks the breed’s population. However, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Lhasa Apso is ranked as the 71st most popular breed in the United States, with approximately 4,000 new registrations each year. Additionally, the breed is recognized by other kennel clubs around the world, including the United Kingdom Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club. Therefore, it is estimated that there are tens of thousands of Lhasa Apsos worldwide.

Physical Appearance:

Lhasa Apsos are small, sturdy dogs with a long, flowing coat that comes in a variety of colors including black, white, cream and gold. They have a distinctive lion-like appearance with a broad head and deep-set, dark eyes. Their ears are pendant-shaped and heavily feathered and their tail is carried over their back in a curl. Lhasa Apsos have a compact, square-shaped body with a broad chest and muscular legs. They have a confident and alert expression and their overall appearance exudes elegance and grace.



Lhasa Apsos can come in a variety of colors, including black, white, cream, gold, red and brown. Some may also have a combination of these colors, such as black and white or gold and white. The coat may also have different shades of the same color.

Hair/Fur Length:

Lhasa Apsos have long hair that can grow up to 6 inches in length. Their hair is dense and double-coated, with a soft undercoat and a longer, coarser outer coat. The hair on their head and ears is typically longer and can be styled into a topknot or left to hang down. Regular grooming is necessary to prevent matting and keep their coat healthy and shiny.


Yes, Lhasa Apsos do shed, but they have a double coat that sheds minimally. Their outer coat is long and straight, while their undercoat is soft and woolly. They shed their undercoat twice a year, typically in the spring and fall, but regular grooming can help minimize shedding. Brushing your Lhasa Apso’s coat regularly can help remove loose hair and prevent mats and tangles, which can also reduce shedding.


The Lhasa Apso requires regular grooming to maintain its long, thick coat. Daily brushing is recommended to prevent matting and tangling of the hair. The coat should also be trimmed every 6-8 weeks to keep it at a manageable length. Some owners choose to have their Lhasa Apso’s hair cut short for easier maintenance. It is important to keep the hair around the eyes and ears trimmed to prevent irritation and infection. Regular bathing is also necessary to keep the coat clean and healthy.


Yes, Lhasa Apsos are considered hypoallergenic dogs because they have hair instead of fur. This means they shed less and produce less dander, which is the primary cause of allergic reactions in humans. However, no dog breed is completely hypoallergenic and some people may still experience allergies around Lhasa Apsos. It’s always a good idea to spend time with a dog before adopting to see if you have any allergic reactions.


The average running speed of a Lhasa Apso is around 16-24 kph (10-15 mph). However, their speed may vary depending on their age, health and physical condition.


Lhasa Apsos are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues. Some of the most common health issues they are faced with include:

  • Patellar Luxation: A condition where the kneecap dislocates from its normal position, causing pain and lameness.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): A degenerative eye disease that leads to blindness.
  • Hip Dysplasia: A condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, causing pain and mobility issues.
  • Allergies: Lhasa Apsos can be prone to allergies, which can cause skin irritation, itching and other symptoms.
  • Dental Issues: Lhasa Apsos are prone to dental problems, including tooth decay and gum disease.


Adult Lhasa Apsos typically have 42 teeth, which includes 20 upper teeth and 22 lower teeth.


Lhasa Apsos generally have good eyesight, but like all dogs, they can develop eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy. Regular eye exams by a veterinarian can help detect and treat any potential issues.


Lhasa Apsos typically have 8 to 10 nipples, arranged in two rows on their underside.


Litter Size:

The typical litter size for Lhasa Apsos is 4 to 6 puppies. However, litter size can vary and some litters may have fewer or more puppies.

Gestation Period:

The gestation period for Lhasa Apsos is typically around 63 days, which is the same as most other dog breeds. However, it can vary slightly from dog to dog and some Lhasa Apsos may give birth a few days earlier or later than this. It’s important to monitor your dog’s pregnancy closely and seek veterinary care if you have any concerns or questions.


Female Lhasa Apsos typically go into heat twice a year, with each cycle lasting around three weeks. However, the frequency and duration of heat cycles can vary depending on the individual dog.

Male vs Female:

Male and female Lhasa Apsos have some physical and behavioral differences. Males are generally larger and heavier than females, with a height of 10-11 inches and a weight of 12-18 pounds, while females are typically 9-10 inches tall and weigh 11-15 pounds. Males tend to have a more dominant and territorial personality, while females are more affectionate and nurturing. Additionally, female Lhasa Apsos may experience heat cycles and have a higher risk of developing mammary tumors, while males may have a higher risk of prostate problems.

Tips and Advice:

Lhasa Apsos are small, affectionate dogs that make great companions. They have a long, flowing coat that requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and free of mats. Here are some tips and advice for caring for a Lhasa Apso:

  • Grooming: Lhasa Apsos need to be brushed daily to prevent mats and tangles from forming in their long coat. Regular bathing and trimming of the hair around their eyes and ears is also necessary.
  • Exercise: Although they are small, Lhasa Apsos need regular exercise to keep them healthy and happy. Daily walks or playtime in a fenced yard are recommended.
  • Training: Lhasa Apsos can be stubborn and independent, so early training and socialization is important. Positive reinforcement techniques work best with this breed.
  • Health: Lhasa Apsos are prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, eye problems and skin allergies. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are important to catch any issues early.
  • Diet: Lhasa Apsos should be fed a high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age and activity level. Treats should be given in moderation to prevent weight gain.
  • Dental care: Lhasa Apsos are prone to dental issues, so regular teeth brushing and dental check-ups are important.
  • Safety: Lhasa Apsos are small and can be easily injured, so it’s important to supervise them around children and larger dogs. They should also be kept on a leash when outside to prevent them from running off or getting into dangerous situations.


Lhasa Apsos are small dogs and typically require about 1/2 to 1 cup of high-quality dry dog food per day, divided into two meals. However, the amount of food they need can vary depending on their age, size, activity level and metabolism.

Lhasa Apsos are not generally considered to be food-oriented dogs. They are known to be picky eaters and may need some encouragement to eat their meals. It’s important to monitor their food intake and avoid overfeeding, as they can easily become overweight. Treats should also be given in moderation to prevent excessive weight gain.


Here are three interesting facts about Lhasa Apso:

  1. Lhasa Apso were originally bred to be watchdogs in Tibetan monasteries. They were highly valued for their keen sense of hearing and their ability to alert the monks to any potential danger.
  2. Lhasa Apso have a unique feature called “double dewclaws” on their hind legs. These are extra toes that are located higher up on the leg than the regular toes.
  3. Lhasa Apso have a lifespan of around 12-14 years, which is longer than many other small dog breeds. They are also known for being relatively healthy and free of major health problems.


When it comes to naming a Lhasa Apso, it’s important to choose a name that reflects their unique personality and heritage. Here are 15 names that would be a good fit for a Lhasa Apso:

1. Tashi6. Gizmo11. Mimi
2. Ming7. Simba12. Benny
3. Karma8. Yogi13. Pepper
4. Lulu9. Teddy14. Jasper
5. Kiki10. Coco15. Charlie


Over the years, several Lhasa Apsos have become famous for their appearances in movies, television shows and even for their heroic actions. Some of the most famous Lhasa Apsos of all time include:

  • Genghis Khan – This Lhasa Apso was owned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and was often seen accompanying her on walks around New York City.
  • Hoshi – This Lhasa Apso was the beloved pet of actress Betty White and was often seen on the set of her television shows.
  • Rascal – This Lhasa Apso was trained to be a therapy dog and helped comfort victims of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
  • Tinkerbell – This Lhasa Apso is owned by Paris Hilton and has become a celebrity in her own right, often appearing on Hilton’s reality television shows and social media accounts.
  • Sam – This Lhasa Apso was the first dog to be cloned by scientists in South Korea in 2005.
  • Magic – This Lhasa Apso was trained as a search and rescue dog and helped locate survivors in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

These famous Lhasa Apsos have captured the hearts of people all over the world and continue to be celebrated for their unique personalities and incredible abilities.


The Lhasa Apso is a small breed of dog that originated in Tibet. It is classified as a toy breed and is known for its long, flowing coat and distinctive lion-like appearance. Lhasa Apsos are intelligent, independent and loyal dogs that make great companions for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to train and socialize them properly.

In terms of personality, Lhasa Apsos are renowned for being alert, confident and assertive. They are also protective of their owners and can be wary of strangers. Despite their small size, they are not afraid to stand up for themselves and can be quite stubborn at times.

The history of the Lhasa Apso can be traced back to ancient Tibet, where they were bred as guard dogs and companions for monks. They were highly valued by the Tibetan people and were often given as gifts to foreign dignitaries. In the early 20th century, they were introduced to the Western world and quickly became popular as pets.

As a pet, the Lhasa Apso can be a great choice for those who are looking for a small, loyal companion. They are generally good with children and other pets, but may not be the best choice for households with very young children or other large dogs. They require regular grooming to maintain their long coat and may need to be trained and socialized early on to prevent any behavioral issues. Overall, the Lhasa Apso is a charming and affectionate breed that can make a great addition to any family.