Lhasa Apso Information & Characteristics

Lhasa Apso

Need a furry pet that is always around to snuggle? Lhasa Apso dogs are the most friendly breed and make for perfect lap dogs. Named after the most sacred city in Tibet, this breed once walked palaces and holy places, keeping an eye on all important affairs. The best part about the Lhasa Apso dog breed is that they do not demand much. A cosy lap to cuddle in and a few tasty treats are enough to keep these furry babies happy!

Space is not an issue with Lhasa Apso dogs. Their activity is minimal, and they are famous for their elegant appearance. Roughly a foot high, Lhasa Apsos flaunt a flat hanging coat that parts on either side of their body, almost touching the floor. Nothing stands in the way of them cuddling with their favourite human companions. Being adorable is a full-time job and these pooches excel at it.

Key specifications of the Lhasa Apso dog breed

If you are looking to bring a Lhasa Apso home, here are some things that you must keep in mind:


5 to 8 kg


10 to 11 inches


12 to 15 years


Double coat

Physical appearance of Lhasa Apsos

One can identify the timeless Lhasa Apso dog breed from far away. These dogs can easily pass as soft toys if they are not moving! Their famous, flat-hanging coat can be found in several colours, such as:

  • White

  • Cream

  • Golden

  • Grizzle

  • Red

  • Red Gold

  • Black

  • Black & tan

These dogs are mostly cream or golden-coloured. The most rare and unique coat colour of a Lhasa Apso dog is grizzle - a combination of black and any other colour. If you find a pooch with this colour combination, consider yourself lucky!

Looking to identify a purebred Lhasa Apso? Look out for these Lhasa Apso characteristics:

  • Long and flowing coat

  • Feathery tail

  • Deep-set dark brown eyes

  • A prominent “beard” or facial hair

Lhasa Apso personality traits

The phrase “never grow up” may be taken too seriously by a Lhasa Apso! This dog breed retains its puppy behaviour far longer than any other dog breed. This is a plus point for many caregivers because who does not love a pup? They are intelligent and curious, but also stubborn. The Lhasa Apso is a thousand-year-old breed that served as furry soldiers at places that held high relevance in society. These dogs are used to being respected and admired!.

The Lhasa Apso temperament is something that all caregivers must get accustomed to. These dogs are stubborn but it's nothing that good and consistent training cannot solve. One thing that should not be taken lightly with a Lhasa Apso is separation. If you are bringing a Lhasa Apso home, make sure you intend to stay. These dogs can suffer from severe separation anxiety if their caregiver is gone for a long time.

You must start socialising your Lhasa Apso pup as soon as possible so it welcomes strangers and is comfortable with any guests you bring home. These dogs are naturally suspicious which makes it important for caregivers to make sure that they socialise. Lhasa Apsos get along with children and it would be ideal if your toddler and your pup grow up together.

Do Lhasa Apso dogs need training?

Training is particularly important for Lhasa Apso dogs. These dogs are known to be independent and strong-willed. For this reason, it is imperative that caregivers start training their Lhasa Apsos when they are puppies. If a caregiver does not train their Lhasa Apso pup, behavioural problems in the future are inevitable. Starting with basic commands such as sit, stay, go, and more is a good option. If your Lhasa Apso enjoys training and staying active, you can enrol them for agility training too.

Training sessions will also teach your Lhasa Apso dog to coexist with dogs and pets. In fact, it might just make new friends. Introducing your Lhasa pup to other dogs of all sizes is also recommended. Take breaks if it gets overwhelmed and consistently reward it with tasty treats. Despite being a headstrong dog breed, Lhasas are calm when it comes to positive change.

How to care for a Lhasa Apso?

Caring for Lhasa Apsos requires caregivers to pay attention to two main aspects – grooming and training. If you want your pup to have more manageable hair, cutting it short is a good option. Although, Lhasas are famous for their long coats and can participate in many dog shows. Whatever you may choose, here is how you can care for a Lhasa Apso dog:

  • Health issues

The Lhasa Apso is generally a healthy dog. However, at some point in their life, they may suffer from diseases like cataracts, other eye conditions, progressive retinal atrophy, glaucoma, dry eye, patellar luxation, dental diseases, and renal dysplasia.

  • Grooming

Grooming is extremely important for Lhasa Apsos because of their lustrous long hair that parts in the middle, covering their bodies on either side. Combing your Lhasas hair daily with a comb or any comfortable brush is recommended. A detangling kit should be kept handy if there are some serious knots. Caregivers can also tie ponies or cut their Lhasa’s hair short. These dogs also need to be bathed every four to six weeks and just like any other breed, their nails need to be shortened as and when required.

  • Physical activity

Have you been contemplating getting a dog home because you do not have the time to walk it? This is your golden ticket. The Lhasa Apso is a lap dog that does not require much physical movement. A 15 to 30 minute walk every day is more than enough for these dogs. However, just because they do not require much exercise, their daily movement should not be discounted.

  • Nutritional requirements

Lhasa Apsos love high-quality commercial dog food. Be sure that you choose a formula that is right for your puppy’s age. Since these dogs do not move a lot, they should not eat substantial amounts of food. The best way to give your dog the nutrition it needs is to take it to a vet. A vet will perform a thorough check-up and recommend the right meal plans for your doggo.

A brief history of Lhasa Apsos

If you think these dogs look stylish and elegant, wait till you hear about how this breed contributed to the region of Tibet. Bred as far back as 800 B.C. to guard monasteries and palaces, Lhasas have been elegant watchdogs for ages. According to legends, the Lhasa Apso is the earthly avatar of the Snow Lion, Tibet’s mythical protector. Named after Tibet’s most sacred city Lhasa, the Lhasa Apso is special to the people of Tibet.

FAQs on Lhasa Apso dog breed

Do Lhasa Apsos get along with other pets?

A fair amount of interaction with other pets is fine with Lhasa Apso dogs. However, they are not always good with other dog breeds. Caregivers must ensure that they start introducing their Lhasas to other dogs from a young age.

Is Lhasa Apso a good family dog?

Can Lhasa Apsos stay alone at home?

Are Lhasa Apsos easy to groom?

Do Lhasa Apso dogs bark a lot?

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