The Lhasa Apso is a small, hardy dog. The body length is longer than the height of the dog. The small, deep-set eyes are dark brown and the pendant ears are heavily feathered. The front legs are straight. The back legs are heavily covered in hair. The muzzle is medium in length. The teeth should meet in a level or slightly undershot bite. The feet are round and catlike with an abundance of hair. The tail is set high, well feathered and carried over the back in a screw. Some tails have a kink at the end. The dense, double coat is straight and long over the entire body, including over the head and eyes, reaching to the floor. Any color is acceptable in the show ring. Gold, cream and honey are the most popular, but the coat also comes in dark-grizzle, slate, smoke and multi-colors of brown, white and black. Puppy coats often change colors as the puppy grows. Owners often cut the dogs’ hair short in a puppy cut to make them easier to care for.
This is a hardy dog with a friendly, assertive manner. Intelligent and lively, it makes a good pet. Lhasa Apsos are spirited and devoted little dogs that are affectionate with their masters. They can be very obedient to their masters. This breed responds to motivational training. They have a keen sense of hearing, and make good watchdogs. The Lhasa Apso travels well. Sadly, this little dog often falls into Small Dog Syndrome, a human induced behavior where the dog thinks he is pack leader to humans. This causes many varying degrees of negative behaviors to come out in the dog. They become suspicious of strangers, and may not tolerate children. They will become willful with a loud persistent bark, as they try and get THEIR humans to listen to them. They will become nervous and untrustworthy with strangers and children, and inclined to fight with other dogs. Often times they will develop separation anxiety, getting very upset when left alone. Followers are not allowed to leave the pack leader, however pack leaders can leave the followers. They can become can snappish if surprised or peeved, and begin to display guarding behaviors. These negative behaviors are NOT traits of the Lhasa Apso; they are human induced behaviors resulting from the dog not being treated like the canine species it is, and due to lack of leadership, rules and the lack of limits placed on the dog. A mentally stable dog that gets enough mental and physical exercise will have a totally different personality. It is all up to the humans around the dog. As soon as the humans start being true pack leaders, the dog’s behavior will change for the better.
Height: Males 10 – 11 inches (25 – 28 cm); a little less for Females
Weight: Males 13 – 15 pounds (5.9 – 6.8 kg)
Generally a very healthy dog. Sometimes they have skin problems if the coat is not kept free of parasites. They do have a slight tendency to get hip dysplasia. Also kidney problems, eye problems such as cherry eye and bleeding ulcers.
These dogs are good for apartment living. They are very active indoors and will do okay without a yard.
Lhasa Apsos need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe, open area off lead, such as a large, fenced-in yard.
About 15 or more years. This breed is very long-lived. Some dogs live up to 18 or more years.
About 4 to 6 puppies
The long coat parts at the spine and falls straight on either side. No trimming or stripping is needed, although when in full coat, they need to be brushed about once a day to keep their coats from matting. Some owners opt to cut the coats short for easier grooming. Dry shampoo as necessary. Check the feet for matting and for foreign matter stuck there. Clean the eyes and ears meticulously, for they tend to tear. This breed sheds very little.
The Lhasa Apso originated in Tibet in the Himalayan Mountains hundreds of years ago. It’s named after the sacred city of Lhasa. For years the breed remained solely bred in Tibet by holy men and nobles. It was used as a watchdog in temples and monasteries. The dog was considered sacred. The belief was that when its master died the master’s soul entered the Lhasa Apso’s body. The breed was not easy to come across and was hard to buy. The dogs were considered good luck to their owners. In 1933 the dogs spread to other parts of the world thanks to C. Suydam Cutting, who introduced the first Lhasas to the USA as gifts from the 13th Dalai Lama. Tibet’s ruler would present them to visiting foreign diplomats. The Lhasa Apso first appeared in Britain in the 1920s and in the USA in 1930. It was first recognized by the AKC in 1935.