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Everything About Lhasa Apso: Handy Information About Lhasa breed

Dogs are considered to be very faithful and sincere beings on this Earth. They are supposed to be the best friends of humans. They are blessed by God with some distinctive features which make them stand apart from other creatures. They are considered to be very intelligent and have feelings like humans and feel same as we do. Studies have proved all this. There are many breeds of dogs on Earth recognized by humans. Many are domesticated, trained and kept like family members at home. Here we are going to discuss about one of the oldest breed of dog: Lhasa Apso.


The Lhasa Apso is a dog breed which is smart, confident and very cute looking. They have a medium sized head with a narrow skull. This breed of dog has its origin in Tibet and found its recognition in American Kennel Club in the year 1935. The Lhasa Apso is very good looking medium built dogs who don’t look ferocious at all. In fact, they appear very friendly. Very hairy and lovely locks falling over the black eyes are a distinctive feature of the dog belonging to this breed. They seem to have a long beard owing to the fact that they are very hairy. A lot of information about this breed has been discussed further.

Let’s start with the appearance of the dog first:

  • It is a non sporting dog breed.
  • Dark colored eyes
  • Black nose
  • Found in good variety of colors including black, brown, white, red and golden.
  • A distinctive feature is that they are very hairy and their beautiful long locks often cover the eyes, which give them a very cute and cuddly appearance.
  • Height is about 10 inches, which make them medium sized.
  • Males Lhasa is around 6-8 kgs and females weigh about 5-7 kgs. Puppies
  • They carry their tails on their back.

Every breed has distinctive features and facts attached to them. Time to find out some interesting facts about the breed:

1. Lhasa Apso was found in the Himalayan region of Tibet. They belonged to the ancestral wolf and then later on they were domesticated as dogs. Then they started living in the monasteries of Tibet with the idea of providing protection to the Buddhists monks against intruders. They turned out to be excellent watchdogs and very vigilant in their job.

2. The history behind the origin of their name is also very interesting. Lhasa is the name of the capital city of Tibet and apso in Tibetan language means very hairy. So the name Lhasa Apso is fit for the dog. It means dog with long hair from Lhasa.

3. Their life span is 13-14 years. They are known to have longevity owing to the place of origin.

4. Their litter size is 4-6 puppies.

5. They require training in the initial years. This can make them a friendly dog. Otherwise, they are non friendly and are not tolerant towards strangers. This makes them ferocious towards the strangers and fellow dogs of other breed. They are introvert by nature and socializing has to be taught to them.

[Do You Know How to Socialize Your Dog? – Tips To Socialize Your With People And Other Dog ]

Do you want the breed?

This is an individual’s choice whether to want the breed in their house as a pet or not. Certain factors can influence the decision.

Why should you keep a Lhasa Apso? A Lhasa Apso may not be ideal for you
· A well trained dog is very friendly with your visitors and completely harmless.

· A cuddly, cute and smart dog who would love to accompany the master for brisk long walks.

·Watchful as history also reveals the way they use to guard the monasteries in Tibet.

· Their sense of hearing is very sharp which provides a good guard against burglars.

· They are entertainers and dogs with attitude which looks very cute and makes comical moves to make the owner have a hearty laugh.



· The dog requires training to become friendly with strangers. May be harmful to the visitors in case not trained.

·  Vision may deteriorate with age. So the master needs to monitor the health of the dog. They are prone to developing eye disorders which may lead to blindness eventually.

· People prone to allergies should maintain distance from these dogs as they have a thick coat of hair which may develop allergies in the air.

· Regular hair care is required as it may give rise to many serious ear and eye conditions.

These are few facts about the breed which the owner should know before taking the dog in. Few more handy information and tips about the breed:


The history of this breed dates thousands of years back and it originated in Tibet as a wild mountain wolf, the breed was later domesticated and hence used in the monasteries to provide protection to the Buddhists monks against intruders. Apso means beard in Tibet and the breed was named so because of its appearance. They proved to be of much use to the royalty of Tibet.

It came in contact with some military men travelling to England via Tibet and they took the breed to England where they were referred as the Lhasa Terrier. Later they were gifted to Mr. Cutting of USA by the 13th Dalia Lama in the year 1935. Thus the breed became international. The American Kennel Club accepted the breed in the Terrier breed in 1935 and later shifted it to the Non Sporting breed in the year 1959.

Due to the Chinese invasion in Tibet, many dogs belonging to the breed were killed. The cold climatic region of the Himalayas is partly responsible for the breed’s appearance and the longevity as well.


The dog is gifted with layers of hair as protection against the cold temperature of the Himalayan region. The shedding of the dog’s outer coat happens once a year. But the inner coat is more stable and harder, which protects the breed against the cold in Tibet. This shedding gives rise to allergens in the air and humans may get affected with the allergy. So low shedding breed is domesticated mostly.


The breed has certain health issues which require medical attention and should be attended to. A timely visit to the vet clinics is a must for optimum health of the breed. Having knowledge about the health schedule can be beneficial to the master. The breed is prone to get affected with few diseases which the master should be aware about. It can be protected if detected timely. Few are mentioned below:

  • A hereditary skin disease called sebaceous adenitis can affect the breed.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy is an eye syndrome, which can cause blindness in this breed. Timely check up with the canine eye specialist should be conducted to curb the disease. Otherwise, it may turn out to be disastrous. It is a hereditary disease and the pup is also at a risk.
  • Another condition which may affect the breed is the cherry eye. Conjunctivitis among the dogs in this breed is also common. So the eye is a sensitive organ as far as the dogs of this breed are concerned. Vigilance is the only answer and the owner has to administer that.
  • Ear problem is also common in this breed due to the excess hair which falls over the eyes and ears causing such issues.
  • Hypothyroidism is also a condition affecting the dogs of this breed.
  • Heart disease
  • Urinary stones


The dogs of this breed are smart, confident and intelligent. Their way of expressing affection towards the master is by rubbing their head on their masters, sitting close to their feet or running behind the master. They are great companions and are very watchful and alert. They are fun to be with as they have the habit of doing funny things to attract the attention of the master. They love to play around and are considered good apartment dogs. Training can make all this possible.

They require training in the early years to be social towards people. They have a strong sense of hearing. They may show slow signs of learning but eventually they do get used to other dogs and humans around them. If not trained, they may turn to be ferocious towards the visitors.

They may appear small but are great watchdogs for families. They are quite independent and sturdy. Trained professionals are hired by many owners who impart good skills to their pups and groom them.

Food for Lhasa Apso:

Food is an important part and the master should be aware about the pros and cons of various foods given to the dog. The dogs of this breed should eat real food. By real food, the food meant here is chicken, lamb, turkey, fresh vegetables and fruits. This makes the dog healthy. Homemade food dog is the best. Some dog food from outside is also healthy for the dog. Read the ingredients carefully before feeding the dog. Corns and soya beans is not very good for the breed as it may lead to loose stools and other health disorders. Dogs are generally fond of meat and they should be given as research has proved that it is healthy for them.

Too much of preservatives and oily food is not good for the dogs of this breed because it may lead to obesity among dogs of this breed. Other issues can be itchiness, foot sucking, drooling and diarrhea. So home cooked real food is the best. It prevents many illnesses and keeps diseases at bay. Canned food may be old and preservative ratio is higher which not a good bet for the dog is. Although canned food is easily available in the market and given to the dogs but regular phenomenon can be dangerous. Too much of protein in the food is also not advisable. Every breed has different requirements of protein levels. So consulting the vet doctor about the diet of the dog is the safest thing to do.

For a change everything is good but only for a change. If the owner wants lesser visit to the vet regarding health issues, then it is best to give real food to the dog. Sweet intake of the dog should be less as they are not very fond of it and it causes obesity. The effects of obesity are also very adverse which makes the dog lazy and develop walking issues. Home cooked food is the ideal form of diet which gives adequate nutrition to the dog and satisfies its hunger too.

Food should be given 2-3 times in a day. Milk can be included in the meal.Dog biscuits which are available in the market can be given to Lhasa Apso. It is safe. Exercising on a regular basis should also be a part of the dog’s routine to ensure a healthy life span free of diseases.

Don’t buy, but adopt:

The population of dog is ever increasing. In spite of adoption, we come across many stray dogs. These stray dogs are untrained beings who pose a threat sometimes. It is not possible for the government agencies being watchful, always, though they are providing good services for the welfare of the animal.

It is best to adopt the dog from dog shelter and give them a home. Many dog shoppers indulge in shopping but animal welfare agencies prefer adoption to buying. This is because pups deserve a home.

Buying the dog is also simple as they are available. People buy puppies and groom them. Grooming is important so that they turn out to be friendly dogs. Their independent nature helps in the training process though it can be eventually a slow training process. The dog is very cute and independent, an absolute charmer who easily attracts people due to its good looks and attitude. Small but tough dog. Many across the globe are proud owners of Lhasa Apso. They ensure a safe and secure environment which the pup deserves to be a part of.



With over 15 years of experience in dealing with pets, the PetsWorld Team is now a constant guide for thousands of pet owners in India. Their passion for improving the lives of pets can be seen in their featured blog posts dedicated to pet care.

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