The Lhasa Apso was only bred in Tibet, by the holy men and the nobles, for at least two thousand years. They were used as watchdogs in the temples and monasteries. The people of Tibet greatly respected these little dogs as they believed they were the reincarnations of the holy lamas. They were never sold or bought but given as gifts, and it was considered a great honour to receive one. The Lhasa was first seen in Britain in the 1920’s and introduced to America in the 1930’s where it was accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1935. It is reported to be rare in its native Tibet.     



The Lhasa Apso is a long coated, sturdy little dog. They move in quite a jaunty manner with their tails carried over their backs. They are slightly longer than they are tall.

Size Small
Colour They come in a variety of colours sandy, honey, golden, brown dark grizzle, slate, smoke, black, white and combinations of these colours.
Coat Length Medium Long
Weight/Height Range Dogs measure 25-28cms at the withers, the ideal being 25.4cms, and weigh between 6-7kgs. Bitches are slightly smaller.
Ailments The Lhasa is a fairly healthy dog, there is a concern about hip dysplasia but breeders are screening for this now. Screening is also being done for eye problems. The incidence of kidney problems seems to be in certain breed lines rather than the whole breed.
Breed Classification
This little dog is a member of the utility group. They were first used as indoor guards of the temples and as companions for the monks of these temples. Today they are family pets.

Feeding & Ownership


The Lhasa is a fairly undemanding dog feeding wise. This dog is prone to back problems if overweight so do watch the diet.
Food Cost More than $20



The Lhasa Apso is a loyal, trustful and intelligent dog. They do get along well with children and  other dogs. As a breed they can be independent and are wary of strangers. They do enjoy the company of children.


Intelligence They are intelligent little dogs that can be obstinate. They need to be trained from an early age. With patience and consistency they can become relatively obedient. They are quite sensitive and so do not respond well to raised voices, they can become withdrawn and depressed if subjected to excessively loud voices. They must not be overly spoiled as they may develop behavioural problems.
Energy High
Suitability for Children High
Tendency to Bark Low
Overall Exercise Requirement They do require exercise as they have plenty of energy, but are as happy to stay at home and play as they are to walk for Kmss and Kmss. They are perfectly content with several short walks every day.
Suitability as a Guard Dog Low
Ease of Transportation High
Level of Aggression Medium
Other Animal Compatibility High



The grooming requirements are considerable for this small dog. The topcoat coat of the Lhaos Apso is long, heavy and slightly rough to the touch. The undercoat is a little shorter and softer. They do require a lot of daily grooming to keep their coats looking in top condition. It is best to start getting the dog used to being groomed when it is very young. As the undercoat is so soft it must be combed to prevent any matts and tangles forming. If they are not kept properly groomed they can develop skin problems. Even though the hair goes over the eyes the eyelashes are long and strong enough to allow the dog to see very well. They also require to be bathed fairly regularly to keep them feeling clean and fresh. If the coat becomes too much they can be kept short, a professional groomer, or the breeder, is probably the best person to advise on how this is carried out.   

Grooming RequirementsUp to once a week
Amount of Hair ShedLittle

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