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Lhasa Apso Dog Breed: The Mystery About Sentinel of Tibet
Home Dog Breed Lhasa Apso Dog Breed: The Mystery About Sentinel of Tibet

Lhasa Apso Dog Breed: The Mystery About Sentinel of Tibet

by CareTips Dog
Lhasa Apso Dog Breed: The Mystery About Sentinel of Tibet

The Lhasa Apso is an ancient dog breed that originated in Tibet to guard Buddhist monasteries and palaces. Despite their small size, Lhasa Apsos are bold, long-lived, and protective of their families.

Introduction The Lhasa Apso Dog Breed

The Lhasa Apso can trace its origins back over a thousand years in Tibet where they served as sentinels in Buddhist monasteries and homes. Their name means “Bark Lion Sentinel Dog” in Tibetan. Highly valued by nobles and monks but considered sacred gifts not to be traded for profit. Today, they retain their watchful and devoted nature as family companions.

Lhasa Apsos are small but sturdy dogs with a long, flowing coat. They can be strong-willed but make loyal pets for experienced owners able to provide proper leadership. While aloof with strangers, they are playful and affectionate with their own families. Thrive as indoor companions.

Adaptability: ★★★

Novice Owners: ★★
Sensitivity: ★★
Alone Time: ★★★
Cold Weather: ★★★
Hot Weather: ★★

Friendliness: ★★

Family: ★★★★
Kids: ★★★
Dogs: ★★


Drooling: ★★★★
Health: ★★★
Weight Gain: ★★★

Trainability: ★★

Easy Training: ★★
Intelligence: ★★★
Mouthiness: ★★
Prey Drive:
Barking: ★★★★

Exercise Needs: ★★

Energy Level: ★★
Exercise: ★★
Playfulness: ★★★


The Lhasa Apso is a small but substantial dog weighing 12-18 pounds and standing 10-11 inches tall. They have a long, dense coat that parts down the middle. Coat colors include white, black, slate, red, gold, brown, and parti-colors. Their expression is keen and regal.


True to their heritage as monastery guard dogs, Lhasa Apsos are bold, watchful, and sometimes stubborn. They bond deeply to their owners while remaining wary of strangers. Early socialization is important. Get along well with children and other pets when properly introduced.

Despite their small size, not lapdogs and do not like to be carried around or fussed over by strangers or children. They need a confident owner who can provide structure, training, and leadership. Patience and consistency are key when training these independent dogs.


According to the American Kennel Club, Lhasa Apsos are the 64th most popular breed. They are less common than other small dogs like French Bulldogs or Poodles but have a very devoted following.


While often aloof or wary with strangers, Lhasa Apsos are playful, devoted, and charming with their families. They are spirited dogs that make excellent watchdogs as they will sound the alarm at any suspicious activity. Early socialization and training is important to channel their natural protective instincts properly.


The average lifespan is 12-15 years which is long for a breed of their size.

Coat Colors

Common coat colors include golden, black, white, slate, gray, brown, and parti-colors. No one color or marking is preferred over another.

Original Breed

The Lhasa Apso is an ancient purebred originating in Tibet. They are not derived from any other breeds.

Caring for a Lhasa Apso


Select a high-quality dry dog food appropriate for their size and age. Kibble formulated for small breed dogs is recommended. Avoid overfeeding.


While adaptable, Lhasa Apsos are well-suited to apartment living given adequate indoor playtime and daily walks. They prefer cool environments and do not do well in hot, humid weather. Access to a securely fenced yard is ideal.


In addition to physical exercise, need lots of mental stimulation and play with interactive toys. Their guarding heritage makes them prone to barking so training is important to teach quiet commands. Socialization must begin early and be ongoing.


The long coat requires daily brushing and combing to prevent mats and tangles. Keep the hair around the eyes trimmed. Bath when dirty using gentle dog shampoo. Check ears, nails, and teeth regularly as well.

Preparing for a Lhasa Apso

  • Puppy-proof your home by storing anything fragile or dangerous.
  • Stock up on toys and chews to keep their mind engaged.
  • Locate a vet, trainer, groomer, and boarding facility nearby.
  • Buy food bowls, brush, shampoo, collar, leash, and bed.
  • Consider installing baby gates to confine your puppy.
  • Essential Equipment:
  • Slicker brush
  • Metal comb
  • Dog toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Nail clippers
  • Dog shampoo
  • Collar and leash
  • Health Issues

Patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, portosystemic shunts, reverse sneezing. Reputable breeders screen breeding dogs.


Lhasa Apso puppies should receive a series of core vaccines including parvovirus, distemper, adenovirus, and rabies. Annual boosters are required. Ask your vet about other recommended vaccines.


Choose a short two syllable name that is easy to say and remember. Some examples are Milo, Leo, Archie, Ollie, Marley.

Finding a Lhasa Apso

Contact the national breed club for breeder referrals. Expect to pay $1200 to $1500 from a responsible breeder. Adopt through local rescues or shelters for around $50 to $200 adoption fee.

When adopting, ask about medical history, behavior, and reason for surrender. Confirm health clearance from a vet. Sign an adoption contract.

Buying a Puppy

Find a breeder doing health testing on breeding dogs. Visit facilities in person. Meet puppies and parents. Get copies of health clearances. Secure sales contract. Pay $1200 to $1500.

In summary, the Lhasa Apso is a spirited, devoted companion when given the structure, activity, and attention they need. Their regal heritage makes them a prized family dog for the right owner.

How to stop Lhasa apso bitting?

Consistent training, redirection, and time outs for biting. Provide chew toys instead.

How to do Socialisation and Raising Friendly for Lhasa apso?

Introduce new people, dogs, places, sounds, and experiences starting at 8 weeks old in a positive way. Attend puppy kindergarten.

How to train your Lhasa apso?

Motivate with praise and treats. Lhasa Apsos are intelligent but willful so remain patient and consistent. Crate training helps.

How long should we check for Lhasa apso’s health with vet?

After adoption or purchase, vet exam first. Follow their advice for vaccines and annual checkups. Wellness visits yearly.

Are Lhasa apso good family pets?

Yes, when socialized properly starting young. Better with older kids due to small size. Very loyal to their own family.

Are Lhasa apso dogs good with children?

Good when raised with proper handling, but supervision still required due to small size. Proper introduction is key.

Are Lhasa apso dogs good with other animals?

Fine when socialized early on. May see small animals as prey to chase. Introduce carefully and supervise.

Is a Lhasa apso a Smart?

Yes, the Lhasa Apso is intelligent and independent thinking. They can be willful so need confident training.

By following our website, you can find the perfect dog breeds for you and provide them with the best possible dog care. Remember that owning a dog is a lifelong commitment that requires time, money, and patience. But it is also a rewarding experience that will bring you joy and companionship. All information in Dog care tips.

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