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Lhasa Apso Dog Breed… Everything That You Need to Know at a Glance!

Most Dogs Have Owners…. Lhasa Apso Has a Staff….”

Hilarious as it sounds, most Lhasa Apso dog owners will tell you it’s true. But that’s not because they’re complaining; it’s just because that’s how it is! But, when you look this cute, you can get away with murder, which is why even though the Lhasa Apso can be a lot of “work” to own, there are still many reasons why these guys are so popular.

Which is why…

We wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to own one of these little guys so that if you’re considering adopting a Lhasa Apso puppy or rescue dog, you’ll have a better idea if it’s going to be a good fit for you!

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Lhasa Apso Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Tibet (China).

Original Purpose:  Companion, watchdog

Height: 10 to 11 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 12 to 18 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  No-Sporting group

Life Span: 12 to 15 or more years

Origin of the Lhasa Apso Dog Breed

The Lhasa Apso dog breed is an ancient dog breed that originated in Tibet, now a part of China. And while we do know this much, the Lhasa Apso dog’s Lhasa Apso dog’s actual heritage remains a mystery. You see, recently, there has been a “rediscovery” of Tibet in the West. Dog owners, in particular, have recently become very excited about many of the ancient Tibetan dog breeds, including:

  • The Tibetan Spaniel,
  • Tibetan Terrier
  • And, of course, the Lhasa Apso.

While all of these dog breeds are unique in their own right, each is believed to have a common ancestor that lived in this region thousands of years ago, which no longer exists, and has never really been given a proper name.

But just because…

We may be unable to trace these dogs back to their original ancestor, but that does not mean we don’t know much about them. You see, these dogs have been revered in villages and monasteries within Tibet for centuries. – the Lhasa Apso is very much intertwined with Buddhist beliefs, making these dogs essential to many people worldwide.

You see…

It is believed that the souls of sacred lamas enter into the bodies of Lhasa Apso dogs upon their death, making these dogs sacred themselves! This is why monks often have these dogs living within the monasteries in Tibet, where they would be revered and serve as excellent watchdogs! The Tibetan nobility also gave these dogs cute little gifts to foreign visitors and diplomats. The first Lhasa puppies that came to the United States in 1933 were a gift given by the 13th Dalai Lama to his American friend, the naturalist C. Suydam Cutting.

Soon after…

The Lhasa Apso became famous in the U.S. and was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1935 under the non-sporting group. He remains a popular breed, especially with Hollywood starlets, fashion models, and Instagram celebrities.

Physical Characteristics

The Lhasa Apso is a tiny dog that stands at 10 to 11 inches. But he is pretty strong and has a robust physique. In many ways, he reminds you of the Chinese dog breed, Shih Tzu. He has a dense, long coat, which is weather-resistant and offers protection during the winter. He has a soft and dense undercoat. The Lhasa hair can be of different colors, such as golden, sandy, white, honey, dark grizzle, black, slate, and smoke.


He has a small, round head and a well-defined undershot bite. He has small, dark eyes covered by hair, petite, dropped ears, and hairy fringes. He can move quickly if he wants to, but he is not athletic by any means and not the sort of a dog that requires much exercise.

Temperament and Personality

The Lhasa Apso is a lover, not a fighter. He’s also brilliant. He has a dignified air, is almost like a little gentleman or lady, and is very naughty and manipulative. And while he may appear like a miniature lion, his long flowing coat makes him look regal. He behaves like royalty, too.

One could also say…

The Apso is an excellent observer of people and knows exactly what you’re thinking; he analyzes situations closely and considers his options before deciding on his action plan. Yes, we only talk about a dog, but the Lhasa is no ordinary dog. He is in a league of his own. He may be small in size, but he has a big-sized personality.

He is a good family dog as well…

And is affectionate towards the members of his family. Unlike other dog breeds, the Lhasa Apso doesn’t care much about impressing or pleasing his owners. He is remarkably independent-minded. The Lhasa Apso is a very self-centered dog and happy by himself, but he does not mind human company. He is a good playmate for older children who know how to respect him.

But it would be best to warn them not to pull his ears, tail, or hair – that irritates him.

Lhasa Apso Training

It’s not easy to train Lhasa Apso puppies as they mature. They are very playful in their first few years and are certainly not shy. But be sure to prepare them with positive reinforcement and early socialization. Don’t expect him to be an expert at dog sports, but he will do fine.

Potential Health Concerns

The Lhasa Apso is a very healthy dog despite its small size. He is from the Himalayas, after all. He has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years or more. That is impressive. But, like with any breed, there are specific health problems you should be concerned about as a dog owner. The Lhasa is known to be susceptible to…

And while many of these conditions may not be life-threatening, they can become quite expensive, particularly if they become recurring issues. This is why we here at Indulg, particularly at any new pet owner, take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now, will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, probably not. But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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