Lhasa Apso


Lhasa Apsos

Ratings by owners.
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Breed Notes:

The Lhasa Apso is known in his native Tibet as "Abso Seng Kye," or "Bark Lion Sentinel Dog." His main purpose was to guard the household of his master while the Tibetan Mastiff guarded the grounds. Considered a "holy dog," he was often presented as a gift to visitors as a token of luck. He is believed to bring peace and prosperity to his household. He was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1935.
The Lhasa Apso is a keen watchdog with a hardy nature. Friendly and assertive, he is a good pet. He is easily trained.
The skull of the Lhasa is narrow with a straight foreface. The length from tip of the nose to the eye should be one third the total length of the head from nose to back of skull. The ears hang alongside of the head. The eyes are medium sized and dark brown in color. The bite is slightly undershot. The body length is longer than the height. The legs are straight with round feet. The tail is carried well over the back in a screw. The coat is heavy, straight, hard, long and dense. Accepted coat colors include golden, sandy, honey, dark grizzle, slate, smoke, parti-color, black, white or brown. Heavy coat furnishings fall over the eyes and form a long beard. The ears are heavily covered with coat as are the legs, feet and tail. Average height is between ten and eleven inches. Average weight is between thirteen and fifteen pounds.


Bev5169@Adelphia.net of New York writes:

Lhasas are wonderful.
Actually, we have only had our Lhasa for two months, adopting her when she was about twelve weeks old, but she has been wonderful. I read a lot about the breed, which I found so many conflicting stories, which continue now that we have her, but so far she has been wonderful with our grandchildren who range from two years to nineteen years and she loves them all. She seems eager to learn and responds to our commands most of the time. We are still in the training stage and I am sure we will be for awhile. Somewhere along the line someone forgot to tell her she should be leary of strangers. She seems to love everyone. I think when adopting these dogs you need to ask many questions of the breeder. If you are getting a Lhasa for a family situation you need to adopt from a breeder where the puppies have been exposed to children. We had a couple of grandchildren with us when we picked out our new family member and she was more excited to see them than she was the adults. As for allergies ... if you have severe allergies I probably would not recommend this dog. I have allergies, I don't consider severe and if I don't bath her at least once a week I have problems and I get four shots a week and take asthma and allergy meds everyday. Usually I am fine if the dog is non or little shedding, but I just want people to be aware of this situation. I wouldn't give this adorable, little, crazy dog up for anything in the world. She has become a part of us and sure has livened up our household.


thomasfm@ecentral.com of Colorado writes:

Personality plus.
For almost sixteen years, I owned a Lhasa or should I say my family was privileged to have one resident in our home. He was a puppy until he was about six years old in the sense that he had an enthusiasm for life that more mature dogs put behind them. He was wonderful with the children. During my wife's terminal bout with cancer, he was her companion, somehow knowing how to be supportive or not as her condition required. In his old age, he interacted with me and was always affectionate. When I came home from work, he would wait on the stairs to say hello and have his ears scratched. Even friends who were confirmed "cat people" liked him.
As for being housebroken, I doubt if he ever had more than a dozen accidents in his life. And that includes the last four years of his life when it was twelve to fourteen hours between walks. He never advanced beyond basic training, but that was my fault for not being a disciplinarian. He was stubborn as only a Lhasa can be. With his arthritis I let him determine the length of (particularly) our early morning walks and if it was cold, he would do what he had to and then not go an inch further. Would I have another one? The answer is a resounding YES! I am desolate without him and hope that I can adopt a Lhasa that needs a good home.


Name withheld by request of Fresno, California writes:

The best dog ever.
I love my Lhasa so much. She is so friendly and energetic. She is also very sensitive to my mood. She is easily excitable if I want her to be, but she will also just sit with me if I want her to. She is a great little watchdog, but she doesn't overdo it. She is probably too smart. She knows a lot of words. She will growl if picked up carelessly by children she does not know, but she is still very good. She will also growl if you pick her up when she is sleeping. She is very well-behaved and easygoing. She loves car rides and walks. Does well in small backyards. I love coming home to her. Oh yeah, she does not shed.


HFGahan@aol.com of Northern Ireland writes:

Lovable, caring, great guard dogs.
Kind and gentle dogs. They are very protective. You couldn't ask for a better dog.


moritzjones@hotmail.com of Texas writes:

Not for everyone.
I have owned Lhasas for nearly twenty years and would not have any other breed. Presently I have three Lhasas. Lhasas are the most adorable puppies and are gorgeous adult dogs. They are stubborn and not the easiest to train, we call this "lhasatude." Lhasas are little guard dogs, they bark when someone is at the door, can easily detect friend from foe, do not like strangers. They are not the best dog to be around small children. They require lots of grooming and a weekly bath. In return, you get lhasa, lhasa love, a true and faithful friend and companion and a very smart dog. My Lhasas understand many words, love their routines, are not finicky eaters, hardly ever get sick, don't need much exercise &shyp; they love to chase the birds out of our yard and are a constant joy. Do NOT get a Lhasa unless you understand the breed and are willing to make a commitment to the dog. Like I said, they are adorable puppies and people are tempted to get them not understanding what they are like &shyp; this is unfair to the dog. They are little guard dogs, can be aggressive, do not normally like children and can be a pain to groom. Know this before picking this breed. There is nothing worse than seeing a poor little Lhasa in a shelter because the humans did not know what they were getting into.


Name withheld by request of New York writeson 4/21/01:

Very dominant - needs the right owner.
I adopted a Lhasa from a family member who could no longer keep him. At times, he could be the sweetest dog, but at others, he lashed out for little or no reason, biting if he didn't want to do what he was asked, or if someone got too near his food or toys. I sought help from a professional trainer and he only became worse and more dominant. I did some research and found this can be a problem with the breed..A small animal rescue in a near by town in New Jersey has several hundred small dogs for adoption, and at least half are male Lhasas. They are not for everyone, and I wouldn't have them around other small pets or children. In two months myself and my spouse were bitten repeatedly. We now have a Papillon and the difference is like night and day. He is all sunshine and smiles, always happy, and would never dream of growling. So, I know it "depends on the dog", but by and large I'd say Lhasas have too many issues for the average pet owner. Additionaly, they are a NIGHTMARE when it comes to grooming ... and just try to brush a dog who'd sooner bite you than sit still!


Name withheld by request of the U.S. writes on 11/29/00:

I love my Lhasa.
I have had my Lhasa for 12 years. He is faithful, loving, protective, and I have never seen a better judge of human character. If he doesn't like you, then I don't either. He was difficult to housetrain, but I installed a "doggie door" and now have no problems. He is very stubborn, and often is reluctant to obey, but he always does. He is wonderful with children, and loves most people, although he is very territorial and any animal that comes into the yard will be chased away. He doesn't demand alot of intention, and is content to sit at my feet, as he was bred to. As far as health problems, he used to have frequent ear infections but I have found that not having the groomer pluck his ears helps immensely. I do use a herbal earwash and powder once every 2 to 3 weeks and after baths, and I also keep the hair in his ears trimmed. He also had a problem with bladder stones. Luckily the stones passed with a special diet recommended by my vetrinarian. He is now on
maintenance food and will be for the rest of his life. It's quite a bit more expensive than other types of food but he is worth every penny. A Lhasa is definitely my breed of choice.


Liondog32@aol.com of Massachusetts writes on 6/27/00:

A true companion...
I have been showing Lhasas for four and a half years and have come to love this breed dearly. Yes Lhasas can be protective, but they have the gaurd dog instinct and are a good judge of character. The Lhasa was the first form of an alarm system. They make wonderful companions though, they are ever loyal to the one they love. They love to be outside playing (even in rain and snow) as well as on the couch watching TV. They can have a mind of their own and be stubborn at times. The Lhasa Apso is a truly wonerful dog.


lac@lightdog.com of Indiana writes on 4/19/00:

Great watchdog, very friendly to guests, but often territorial and stubborn.
Our Lhasa is a wonderful watchdog. When my husband travels, our dog knows he is "on the alert" and steps up his protectivness. He is also very friendly with guests in our home. However, our lhasa can also be moody; there are times when he lets you know he wants to be left alone or that he doesn't want to move from a certain spot by growling, although he has never bitten our three children. He can also be territorial and assertive concerning his place in our "pack." He is generally obedient, but sometimes he will obey as slowly as he can get away with, resisting mentally all the way. Having said all that, he is adorable, and he absolutely does not shed!


name withheld by request of U.S. writes on 1/12/00:

Difficult to housebreak.
I would have given this breed a 5 but since my dog was difficult to housebreak and required extensive grooming and cleaning of the ears I only gave the breed a 3. Otherwise Lhasa Apsos are very sweet animals


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