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Lhasa Apsos: Ultimate Guide 2024 for Dog Lovers

Last updated on February 5th, 2024 at 09:37 pm

Lhasa Apsos are a fascinating dog breed with a rich history that dates back over a thousand years! Originally from the Himalayas, these beautiful pups were bred to be sentinels at palaces and monasteries. These dogs are smart, confident, and full of personality. They love to make their family laugh but can be a bit reserved with strangers. How interesting is that?

If you’re interested in learning about the Lhasa Apso, you’ve come to the right place! This post will give you the lowdown on this adorable pup. So sit tight and get ready to discover everything you need to know!

Contents show


Asian origin:Tibet
Height:10-11 inches (male), slightly smaller (female)
Weight:12-18 pounds
Lifespan:12-15 years
Coat type:Silky, long
Colors:Black, black & tan, cream, golden, grizzle, red, red gold, white, blue, charcoal, gray, liver, silver
Temperament:Confident, smart, comical
Suitable for:Apartment-friendly, cold weather tolerant



Energy level:


Tendency to bark:

Shedding amount:

Lhasa Apso pictures


The Lhasa Apso has been around for a thousand years. They were used as guard dogs at palaces and monasteries located high in the Himalayan Mountains. The breed is closely associated with the Dalai Lama, and in fact, dogs bred by the Fourteenth Dalai Lama helped establish the breed in America during the late 1940s. Lhasa Apsos are often called “bearded lion dogs” because they were considered the earthly representatives of the mythical Snow Lion, the protector of Tibet. The breed’s name comes from the sacred city of Lhasa, located in Tibet, and Apso means “longhaired dog.”


lhasa apsos

Don’t be fooled by their small size; these Lhasa Apsos are sturdy and well-balanced, with a level topline and a tail that’s carried high and proud. What’s really unique about them, though, is their dense double coat, parted right down the middle from head to tail—talk about a statement look! And let’s not forget about their feathered feet and legs, which helped them navigate the rugged terrain of their homeland.


Lhasa Apso dogs are alert and aware of their surroundings. They are usually happy and confident but may be wary of strangers. They have a regal demeanor that makes them appear serious. In addition, the breed is known for being intelligent, charming, and devoted to their owners.


When grooming your Lhasa Apso, you have a choice between long hair and a puppy cut. Either way, regular upkeep is necessary, and it’s up to you to decide which style is best for your dog. It’s recommended that you bathe a long coat at least every two weeks and brush it at least once between baths. Also, rinse thoroughly to avoid leaving any shampoo residue that could irritate their skin. Finally, remember to thoroughly dry and brush your dog’s coat after a bath to prevent matting.


Lhasa Apsos are active and enjoy exercising. They can run around an apartment, play in a fenced yard, or go for a walk with their owner to burn off energy. They need both physical and mental exercise to stay healthy. These canines are skilled in agility, scent work, retrieving, and herding. Some are even trained to work as therapy dogs in hospitals, nursing homes, colleges, and prisons.


lhasa apsos

Lhasa Apsos are intelligent dogs that can learn anything a trainer makes interesting enough to master, but only on their terms. They are sometimes compared to a willful toddler and can be stubborn if bullied or badgered. Most unacceptable Lhasa behavior is caused by inconsistent, improper, or nonexistent leadership from humans.

Many readers have loved learning how to train their dogs based on scientific methods from a free workshop conducted by Dr. Alexa Diaz (one of the top service dog trainers in the U.S.) and Eric Presnall (host of the hit Animal Planet TV show “Who Let the Dogs Out”) at the K9 Training Institute. In the free workshop, you’ll discover:

    1. How to train your dog using body language rather than verbal cues
    2. The 3 key techniques that service dog trainers use to train dogs and how you can use them too
    3. The most important step that “normal” dog owners have been missing (this is very important to get your dog’s attention, and it works 100% of the time)
    4. How to stop bad behaviors like excessive barking, pulling on the leash, jumping, etc.
    5. Why a lot of dog owners are unable to establish the amazing bond that service dog trainers have with their dogs


Whether your dog is a puppy or an adult, this pre-recorded workshop will help you train them successfully. You may not want to miss the chance to learn these groundbreaking techniques. Here’s the free workshop.


Lhasa Apsos are usually healthy dogs. However, they can have kidney problems passed down through their genes, ranging from mild to severe. If you want a Lhasa Apso, finding a breeder who knows about this issue and avoids breeding affected dogs is crucial. Other health concerns to ask about include dry eye, progressive retinal atrophy, slipping stifles, hip dysplasia, and cherry eye.


Lhasa Apso dogs need a diet with good protein and fat levels. The protein source, like meat or fish, will depend on the individual dog’s tolerance and taste. You can feed them dry food or slightly moisten it with a bit of flavor enhancement, like cooked meat or grain-free canned food. It is up to you whether or not you provide them once or twice a day, but dogs thrive on consistency, so keep the frequency and time of day consistent. And always remember overfeeding can cause unpleasant digestive outcomes.

Living Condition

lhasa apsos

Lhasa Apsos can adapt well to both small and large homes, but they require regular grooming due to their long coat. These dogs enjoy temperate climates and are able to fit into different lifestyles, whether you’re active or not. To keep them healthy and happy, make sure to give them regular walks and mental stimulation.

3 Little-Known Facts About Lhasa Apsos

1. Lhasa Apsos Were Very Valuable Presents

Interestingly, Lhasa Apso dogs were often given as gifts. If you received one as a gift, it was considered a symbol of good fortune! Even the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, gifted these adorable pups to the emperor of China many centuries ago. 

2. They Came to America as Dalai Lama Gifts

The first Lhasa Apsos that made their way to the United States were actually gifts from the Dalai Lama. Charles Suydam Cutting and his wife, who were well-connected travelers, visited Tibet in the 1930s and returned to the U.S. with two of these adorable pups gifted by the 13th Dalai Lama. It didn’t stop there, as the Cuttings brought in more dogs and helped establish the breed in America.

3. Many Famous People Have Lhasa Apsos

From Liberace to Ellen DeGeneres, these fluffy little pups have won the hearts of many famous people throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Even Kurt Vonnegut, Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Lynch, and Gwen Stefani couldn’t resist their charm!

Lhasa Apso Puppies for Sale

lhasa apsos

If you’re interested in adopting a Lhasa Apso, there are a few options available to you. You can check with animal shelters or rescue groups that specialize in this breed. If you prefer to buy Lhasa Apso puppies from a reputable breeder, expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $1,500 on average, although prices vary quite a bit.

Becoming a dog parent is one of the most memorable moments of life. But before bringing your new best friend home, it’s vital to have all the right things to make sure the adoption is really smooth and makes them feel right. You may feel overwhelmed by tons of puppy products on sale and not sure what items your puppy actually needs. That’s why I’ve compiled this minimalist puppy checklist to help you get started.


Meet the Lhasa, the small but mighty aristocrat of the dog world. Wearing a breathtaking floor-length coat that drapes elegantly down each side of their body, this breed is a true beauty. With their feathery tail that curls gracefully over their back and their soulful, oval-shaped eyes peeking out from their luxurious facial hair, the Lhasa exudes an exotic and elegant charm that is unmistakably Asian.


Is a Lhasa Apso a Good Family Dog?

Lhasa Apsos can make good family dogs. They are known for their loyalty and can get along well with children and other pets when socialized properly.

What Two Breeds Make a Lhasa Apso?

The Tibetan Terrier and similar herding-type Tibetan dogs evolved into the Lhasa Apso breed.

Do Lhasa Apsos Bark a Lot?

Lhasa Apso dogs are known to be alert and may bark to alert their owners of approaching people or sounds. Early training and socialization can help manage excessive barking.

Do Lhasa Apsos Like to Cuddle?

Lhasa Apso dogs can be affectionate and enjoy cuddling with their owners, but individual temperament varies. Some may be more independent.

Is Lhasa Apso High Maintenance?

Yes, Lhasa Apso dogs are considered high maintenance due to their long, dense coat. Regular grooming is required to prevent matting and keep their coat healthy.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Lhasa Apso?

Pros: Loyal, good watchdogs, suitable for apartment living.

Cons: High maintenance grooming, may be aloof with strangers, potential for excessive barking.

Can a Lhasa Apso Be Left Alone?

Lhasa Apsos can tolerate being left alone for reasonable periods, but like any dog, they benefit from companionship. Excessive time alone may lead to boredom and undesirable behaviors.

Do Lhasa Apsos Get Separation Anxiety?

Lhasa Apso dogs can be prone to separation anxiety, especially if left alone for extended periods.

Do Lhasa Apsos Bond with One Person?

Lhasa Apso dogs form strong bonds with their owners but are generally adaptable and can bond with multiple family members.

Why Is My Lhasa Apso Aggressive?

Aggression in Lhasa Apso dogs can be due to various reasons, including fear, territorial behavior, or lack of proper socialization. Consulting with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist is recommended.

Why Is My Lhasa Apso Peeing in the House?

Inappropriate urination may be due to health issues, anxiety, or incomplete house training.

How Do You Stop a Lhasa Apso From Peeing in the House?

Consistent and positive reinforcement during potty training, regular bathroom breaks, and addressing any medical issues can help prevent inappropriate urination. It’s best to consult with a vet for guidance.

Do Lhasa Apsos Get Jealous?

Like many dogs, Lhasa Apsos can exhibit signs of jealousy, especially if they feel their owner’s attention is diverted.

Do Lhasa Apsos Get Sick Easily?

Lhasa Apso dogs are generally healthy but can be prone to specific health issues like respiratory problems, eye conditions, and joint concerns. So, regular veterinary check-ups are essential.

Are Lhasa Apsos Hypoallergenic?

Lhasa Apso dogs are considered hypoallergenic to some extent due to their low-shedding coat. However, no dog breed is entirely hypoallergenic, and individual reactions may vary.

Are Lhasa Apsos Smart?

Yes, Lhasa Apso dogs are smart. Their intelligence is often demonstrated in training sessions.

What Breed Is Similar to a Lhasa Apso?

The Shih Tzu is a breed similar to the Lhasa Apso in appearance and temperament.

How Big Do Lhasa Apsos Get?

Lhasa Apsos are small to medium-sized dogs. On average, they typically weigh between 12 to 18 pounds and stand about 10 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder.

Are Lhasa Apsos Moody?

Lhasa Apsos, like any dog, can exhibit moodiness depending on various factors such as health, training, and environment.

What Is the Intelligence Ranking of a Lhasa Apso?

The intelligence ranking of dog breeds can vary depending on the criteria used for assessment. Lhasa Apsos are considered to be of average to above-average intelligence.

Which Is Bigger, Shih Tzu, or Lhasa Apso?

Generally, Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apsos are similar in size, but individual dogs may vary.

What Is the Lhasa Apso Also Known As?

People call Lhasa Apsos “bearded lion dogs” because they were believed to represent the mythical Snow Lion, which protected Tibet.

How Much Is a Lhasa Apso?

The cost of a Lhasa Apso can vary widely depending on factors such as the breeder’s reputation, lineage, and location. On average, prices can range from a few hundred to a couple of thousand dollars.

How Do I Know If My Lhasa Apso Is Purebred?

To ensure the purity of a Lhasa Apso, you should obtain the dog from a reputable breeder with proper documentation and pedigree information. Pedigree papers and registration with a recognized kennel club can verify the dog’s purebred status.

How Can You Tell the Difference Between a Lhasa Apso and a Shih Tzu?

While Lhasa Apsos and Shih Tzus share some physical similarities, differences may include coat texture, head shape, and size. A veterinarian or experienced breeder can help distinguish between the two breeds.

What Is the Lifespan of a Lhasa Apso Shih Tzu?

The lifespan of a Lhasa Apso or Shih Tzu can vary, but on average, it is around 12 to 15 years.

Are Lhasa Apsos Calm Dogs?

Lhasa Apsos can be calm and composed, but individual temperament varies. Proper training and socialization contribute to their overall demeanor.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Lhasa Apso?

Benefits of having a Lhasa Apso may include companionship, loyalty, and their suitability for apartment living. They also serve as good watchdogs.

What Food Is Best for Lhasa Apso?

The best food for a Lhasa Apso depends on factors like age, size, and health. A high-quality dog food with appropriate nutrients, tailored to their specific needs, is recommended. Consult with a veterinarian for personalized dietary advice.

How Often Should I Bathe My Lhasa Apso?

Lhasa Apsos generally require bathing every 3 to 4 weeks. In addition, frequent brushing is essential to prevent their long coat from matting.

What Are Some Fun Facts About Lhasa Apso?

Lhasa Apsos were originally bred to guard monasteries in Tibet. They have a keen sense of hearing and make excellent watchdogs. And they were considered holy dogs and given as a gift to visitors.

What Is the Personality of a Lhasa Apso?

Lhasa Apso dogs are known for being loyal, independent, confident, alert, and sometimes aloof.

Do Lhasa Apsos Feel Cold?

Due to their long, double coat, Lhasa Apso dogs are relatively well-insulated and can tolerate colder temperatures. However, you still need to protect them in extreme weather.

Are Lhasa Apsos Hard to Train?

Lhasa Apso dogs can be somewhat challenging to train due to their independent nature. Positive reinforcement and consistency in training methods are critical.

What Age Do Lhasa Apsos Slow Down?

The age at which Lhasa Apso dogs may start to slow down varies, but it is generally around 8 to 10 years old.

Are Lhasa Apsos Good for Seniors?

Lhasa Apso dogs can be good companions for seniors, especially if the seniors can meet their grooming needs and provide regular exercise.

How Many Times a Day Should You Feed a Lhasa Apso?

Adults are typically fed twice a day. Lhasa Apso puppies may require more frequent meals.

Do Lhasa Apsos Wag Their Tails?

Yes, black Lhasa Apso dogs wag their tails, especially when excited or happy, and the tail is often carried over their back.

Can Lhasa Apso Swim?

Lhasa Apso dogs can swim, but not all of them enjoy it. Introduce them to water gradually, and always supervise them to ensure their safety.

How Many Hours Do Lhasa Apsos Sleep?

Lhasa Apsos, like many dogs, can sleep anywhere from 12 to 16 hours a day, depending on their age and activity level.

Can Lhasa Apso See in the Dark?

While they have better night vision than humans, Lhasa Apso dogs do not see exceptionally well in complete darkness.

How Long Can Lhasa Apsos Hold Their Bladder?

Adult Lhasa Apso dogs can typically hold their bladder for about 8 hours, but this can vary based on age, health, and individual differences.

How Often Should Lhasa Apso Be Walked?

Black & white Lhasa Apso dogs benefit from daily walks, and a moderate exercise routine is generally sufficient to keep them healthy and happy.

Do Lhasa Apsos Like to Cuddle?

Lhasa Apso dogs can enjoy cuddling, but their level of affection may vary. Individual personality and socialization play a role.

Do Lhasa Apsos Eat Much?

The amount a Lhasa Apso eats depends on factors such as age, size, and activity level. Generally, they do not have excessive food requirements.

Can Lhasa Apso Eat Bananas?

Yes, Lhasa Apso dogs can eat bananas in moderation. Bananas can be a healthy treat, but removing the peel and feeding them in small, manageable pieces is important.

Are Lhasa Apsos Easy to Potty Train?

Lhasa Apso dogs can be moderately challenging to potty train. Consistent positive reinforcement and a regular schedule are key to successful training.

Can Lhasa Apso Stay Alone?

Lhasa Apso dogs can tolerate being alone for reasonable periods but thrive with companionship. Excessive time alone may lead to behavioral issues.

How Long Can I Leave My Lhasa Apso Alone?

Adult Lhasa Apso dogs can generally be left alone for about 4 to 8 hours, depending on their individual needs and training.

Do Lhasa Apsos Smell?

Regular grooming helps prevent odor, but poor hygiene or skin issues can contribute to a pup’s odor like any dog breed. Proper care can minimize this.


  • https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/lhasa-apso/
  • https://images.akc.org/pdf/breeds/standards/LhasaApso.pdf
  • https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/8-facts-about-the-lhasa-apso/
About us: Pet Chao is a community for Asian dog breed enthusiasts. Our goal is to keep you and your four-legged friend healthy and happy by providing valuable resources and fostering a like-minded community.

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