Lhasa Apso - Non Sporting Dog Breed

The Lhasa apso hails from Tibet where it was held at high pristine because of its alert and attentive nature. The dog was used as watchdog in monasteries and to protect the people from intruders. Today they are famous as companion dogs because of their trustworthiness and loyalty towards family.

They are small in stature and have magnificent glossy coat which covers their entire body. The dog takes the job of protecting families seriously. To strangers they may seem cute little soft dog but in reality they turn out to be fierce protector when the situation demands.


If you want an obedient dog who also listens to you like lab, Lhasa is not the right kind of breed for you. They are less likely to please humans and trust on their own instincts when they want to take any action. The puppies mature slowly and remain puppy like till adolescent. Their cute looks with sparky eyes can make anyone fall in love with it.

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso Origin

Lhasa’s native place is Tibet. They have got their name from the holy place of Tibet - Lhasa. This breed was bred exclusively by nobleman and monks to act as guard dog and watch dog. The breed was highly favorable by them because of its ability to work even in intense cold climate.


Till many years this dog was considered as sacred and it was believed that at the time of death of the owner, his spirit went inside Lhasa dog. This breed was also not allowed to be imported except when given as gift. They were also rules and norms regarding gifting this breed. People were supposed to gift Lhasa in pairs only which represent good luck and wealth. 


  • The dog belongs to Tibet and is a watch dog as well as guard dog.
  • The dogs are not always obedient. They will prefer to please themselves rather than owner.
  • They are protective watch dogs. Early socialization is necessary so that it can differ between evil people and good people.
  • The dogs mature slowly. They remain bouncy and mischievous till they reach adolescent.
  • Dental care is must for this breed. Do examine its teeth periodically from vet.
  • Teaching the dog canine manners is essential.
  • The dog thinks itself as leader of the house. It is important to break its myth by establishing leadership over the dog.
  • If you want a 100% kid’s dog, Lhasa is not the right kind of dog for you.
  • Lhasa sheds minimally. It coat is long and silky and requires intensive care.
  • Lifespan of this breed is 10 to 14 years.
  • Height of the dog is 25–28 cm.
  • It weighs around 14-18 pounds.
  • It is a hypoallergenic breed.
  • Average price of the puppy is $1200 to $1500.


Lhasa breed is small yet sturdy. They have profuse coat which covers their whole body. The dogs have beard, moustache and bangs of hair on head.

The dogs have pendant ears and almond shaped expressive eyes of brown color with facial hair. Their nose is small and black in color. They have bushy tail which gets carried over its back.

  • Size and Weight

Average height of the male breed is 10 or 11 inches at the shoulder. Female should be slightly smaller than male counterparts. Males should be 14 and 18 pounds in weight and female should weigh around 12 and 14 pounds.

  • Coat and Color

The dogs have glossy, long and dense double coat. The top coat should be hard to touch and undercoat should be soft. Lhasa comes in canine rainbow colors. Most common colors are honey, black, white, slate and tricolor.


  1. Personality - Lhasa is bold dog who takes its responsibility of watching and guarding property/humans seriously. They are dedicated and tenacious dogs. This breed has no idea that they are small and therefore can initiate fight with dogs double its size. They are trustworthy companions and makes excellent family dogs. They tend to bossy and demands for people’s love and attention. Sometimes they act clownish just to attract people towards them. They act as if they are the center of universe and want everyone to respect them. They are very moody and nobody could predict their moves in advance.
  2. Behavior - This breed is possessive of its toys, humans and food. They are not peaceful with other dogs and animals. They want undivided love and attention of their family. Barking can be the problem faced by owners who keep this breed as pet. The breed is also attentive and ready to react. Puppies tend to be clumsy and rumbustious in nature. They are not the good choice of pet for families with children. They are intolerant towards rough play and can even bite the kids in self-defense.
  3. Activities Requirement - The dogs can entertain themselves if you have an average sized yard. They have moderate exercise needs and don’t require great deal of vigorous exercise. A walk around the park is enough to keep them happy and healthy.
  4. Trainability - You need to have patient in training this breed. They think themselves as supreme and will not always follow your command. They are extremely willful minded and they decide when they want to get trained or not. Never resort to rude behavior, train gentle handedly and result will come gradually. Ongoing socialization and obedience training are must for them.


This dog can be given dry foods, canned food, raw food and homemade food. Their food should be high in calorie and nutrients. The greater the quality of food, the healthier life it can live.


Life expectancy of this breed is 10 to 14 years.

Lhasa Apso

Health Issues

It is hypoallergenic breed. There are few diseases that they are prone to like joint issue, spinal disorder, heat strokes and respiratory problem. It is advisable to keep your dog in air conditioned room in summers because their bodies have low heat tolerance. Many also suffer from an early age blindness or cataract.


Lhasa Apso dogs shed minimally. Maintaining its coat is a tedious job. If you want your dog to participate in show dog competition, brush and comb its coat daily. Show dogs should never get their hair trimmed.

House dog’s hair can be clipped or trimmed. Teeth should be brushed on daily basis. Clean its ear on monthly to avoid wax build up and infection. A well groomed dog is a sight to behold.


It is an apartment friendly dog. The dog thrives in cool climate.

Pet Names

  1. Twinkly
  2. Star
  3. Jiya
  4. Rooby
  5. Heaven

Things To Consider Before Buying


  1. A well trained dog is a joy to have at home.
  2. They are always attentive and make best protective watch dogs.
  3. They are hypoallergenic dogs and sheds minimally.


  1. It is not a suitable breed for toddlers as they are impatient.
  2. Maintaining its coat is a time consuming process.
  3. The breed is highly possessive and is not dog friendly.