Lhasa Apso Dogs

Lhasa Apso is not your typical lapdog. Lively, friendly and outgoing around the home, it is also bold and full of spunky attitude. These charming and elegant canines believe themselves to be the protector of the household, and they take that job very seriously. The Lhasa Apso develops close bonds with its owner and may seem suspicious of strangers, but it has an excellent sense of restraint and judgement.

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso Pictures

  • Lhasa Apso dog named Clancy
  • Lhasa Apso dog named Kismet
  • Lhasa Apso dog named Gibson
  • Lhasa Apso dog named Kahlua
  • Lhasa Apso dog named Romeo Sonam Ming Ma (AKC)
  • Lhasa Apso dog named Homer
see Lhasa Apso pictures »

Quick Facts

  • 12 - 18 pounds
  • 9 - 11 inches

Ideal Human Companions

    • Retirees
    • City dwellers
    • Couch potatoes
    • Families with older children

Lhasa Apsos on Dogster

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Trademark Traits

    • Lively
    • Confident
    • Clever
    • Elegant
    • Protective

What They Are Like to Live With

The Lhasa Apso is very strong-willed. When training, it’s important to try and maintain the authority. They do not respond to harsh training, but they do respect a firm, positive leader. You’ll have to earn the respect of a Lhasa Apso, but once you do you have a friend for life.

Things You Should Know

Though it makes an ideal apartment dog, the Lhasa Apso needs daily exercise to maintain its upbeat attitude. Fresh air and walks will also keep it healthy. If you can allow the Lhasa Apso some time to play in a protected open area, by all means do. It is also a sturdy and well-behaved traveler.

The Lhasa Apso can live as long as 18 years. Common health issues include hip dysplasia, kidney problems, respiratory ailments and skin disorders. Grooming is fairly easy, but more attention should be paid when the hair is long. Daily brushing and the occasional bath will keep it looking good. Also remember to check the Lhasa Apso’s ears for signs of infection.

Lhasa Apso History

Known in its home country as the “bark lion sentinel dog,” the Lhasa Apso was used to guard Tibetan palaces and temples. This bold and alert canine’s duty was to guard the interior of the building, while its massive and imposing partner (the Tibetan Mastiff) was charged with guarding the outside. In the early 1930s, the Dalai Lama helped introduce the Lhasa Apso to America and other parts of the world.

The Look of a Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso has a small, sturdy frame covered in a long, dense coat that can come in light brown, cream, slate, brown, black and white. Its head, which is draped in long hair, has a square muzzle, black nose, moustache & beard, hanging ears and—when you can see them—dark, medium-sized eyes. Its feathered tail curls over the back. Overall, the Lhasa Apso looks cheerful but determined.

Talk About Lhasa Apsos 

Fun, loyal dogs

Lhasa Apsos are fun dogs and they DO appreciate lots of walks. They are loyal and get attached to their owners. The size of the Lhasa Apso does vary and dogs can be somewhat larger than the sizes you mention on this guide. A Lhasa Apso could be 12 inches at the shoulder and more than 20 lbs and make a wonderful pet although not a show dog. We call ours the "Larger Apso" and he is a wonderful pet, characterful, fit, healthy and active - just a bigger than the standard Lhasa!

~Belinda, owner of a Lhasa Apso

Small but mighty

We have a lively male Lhasa Apso. He is 6 years old and is determined to keep us interested in his antics. He loves his "babies"-- many toys, mostly soft, that he carries around. He has much energy and sometimes just races around and around our house like a speed demon.

He has an attitude that can be defined as "the great protector." He is quite the watch dog -- small but mighty. He loves to go out for walks. I have had him in obedience training recently. The trainer seemed to really like him and thought he did everything well. I am proud of him and know he is very intelligent.

He is all-white and a coarse,nonshedding coat,his bark sounds like a bigger dog. He is our second Lhasa Apso, and we loved that feisty little dog so much that we had to get another one when our Lady died.

If you are looking for an upbeat personality in a dog, the Lhasa Apso will be your answer. They are not the best with small children.

~Dorothy, owner of a Lhasa Apso

Seeking attention and new friends

My 2-year-old Lhasa is as needy as a toddler. He loves attention and is persistent in getting attention in any manner necessary! It's a good thing I love to give him attention, so we are a perfect pair. We also have a 105-pound dog he gets along great with.

He loves his walks, trips to the dog park, and car rides and just about anything else we do outside. Inside he is perfectly content just lying around the house either on the couch or by the glass door sitting at his guard post protecting his humans.

He is very suspicious of strangers and used to growl or bark at them until we got educated and started the long training to get him to stop growling at every person that walks by. After months of work, he is doing much better and can let people walk by without a sound. It takes him a minute to adjust to new people coming over to our house, but then once he sees we are friendly with them he settles down and wants to make new friends.

~Leah C., owner of a Lhasa Apso

The most wonderful breed

These dogs have such integrity and dignity. On the other hand, they can also be very playful, especially as puppies. Lhasa apsos can also be quite suspicious of new people. They're also incredibly cute. I also love how loyal and faithful they are. What's really great is that they're generally very healthy and long-lived. The lhasa apso I had before my new puppy lived to be almost 18.

The lhasa apso is a relatively small dog, but sturdy. If you like very outgoing, social dogs they might not be for you. The grooming could be a drawback, but you can also clip them, so it doesn't have to be too difficult.

~Camilla T., owner of a Lhasa Apso

Good, brisk walks that are good for you and your dog

Muffy is a three-year-old Lhasa/Shih Tzu mix and totally wonderful. She and I walk twice a day for 1/2 mile each. She loves it and we do not miss our walks, no matter what the weather brings.

She is my personal trainer! At 83 years old, I need the walks, and she is just what I need. A good brisk walk with lots of sniffjng and peeing is what she enjoys. Her good health is utmost in my mind. We have been doing it since she was a puppy, and Muffy is the picture of good health. Our walks are great for us both.

~Jim W, owner of a Lhasa Apso/Shih Tzu mix