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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 that it’s true.  But that’s not because their complaining, it’s just because that’s the way it is!

But really…

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 is still a ton of 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 currently 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 actual heritage of the Lhasa Apso dog still remains very much a mystery.

You see…

Recently, there has been a “rediscovery” of Tibet going on 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.

And while all…

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

But just because…

We may not be able to trace these dogs back to their original ancestor does not mean that we don’t know a lot about them.  You see, these dogs have been revered in villages and monasteries within Tibet for centuries.

In fact…

One could say that the Lhasa Apso is very much intertwined into Buddhist beliefs making these dogs very important to a great many people in world.

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 would often have these dogs living within the monasteries in Tibet, where they would not only be revered, but they would also serve as excellent watchdogs too boot!

These dogs were also…

Given by the Tibetan nobility as 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 very 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 Appearance

The Lhasa Apso is a tiny dog that stands at 10 to 11 inches. But he is quite strong and has a robust physique. In a lot of 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.

Additionally…

He has a small, round head and a well defined undershot bite. He has small, dark eyes covered by hair, small, 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.

Lhasa Apso Temperament and Personality

The Lhasa Apso is not a fighter…

But he is very intelligent.  He has a dignified air about him and is almost like a little gentleman or lady. But he is also very mischievous and manipulative.

And while he…

May have the appearance of a miniature lion and his long flowing coat makes him look absolutely regal. He behaves like royalty too.

One could also say…

That the Apso is a very good observer of people and seems to know exactly what you’re thinking. He analyzes situations closely and considers his options before deciding on his plan of action.

Yes…

…We are only talking 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 has a big-sized personality.

He is a good family dog as well…

And is affectionate towards the members of his family. Unlike some of the other dog breeds we know, the Lhasa Apso doesn’t care too much about impressing his owners or pleasing them. He is remarkably independent-minded.

True…

The Lhasa Apso is a very self-centered dog and is happy by himself, but he does not mind human company either. He is a good playmate for older children who know how to respect him.

But you should warn them not to pull his ears, tail or hair – that really irritates him.

Lhasa Apso Training

It’s not easy to train Lhasa Apso puppies as they take time to mature. They are very playful in their first couple of years and are certainly not shy by any means.

But you can…

Train them with positive reinforcement and early socialization. Don’t expect him to be an expert at dog sports, but he will do fine.

Lhasa Apso Health Problems

The Lhasa Apso is a very healthy dog despite his 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 certain health problems you should be concerned about as a dog owner. The Lhasa is known to be susceptible to…

  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Corneal Dystrophy
  • Distichiasis
  • Entropion
  • Factor IX Deficiency
  • Inguinal Hernia
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Renal Dysplasia
  • Sebaceous Adenitis

And while…

Many of these conditions may not be life threatening, they can certainly become quite expensive to deal with particularly if they become recurring issues.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that 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 right 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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