The Lhasa Apso is a smaller breed of Tibetian origin. They were bred as guard dogs for Buddhist monasteries. Lhasa is the capital of Tibet, and when translated into English means “bearded”. This is a very old breed, in fact one of the oldest still around today, with records of the being bred dating back to 800 BC.
Lhasas are a fearless and alert breed. Always on the lookout. They have impeccable hearing and a decent bark when compared to their size. All these factors make it the perfect watchdog. Due to the fact that they were bred to guard, these dogs have a natural wariness of strangers, but will only bark when they feel the need to. They take a while to mature and can display puppy-like behaviour until they are 3 years old. This being said, as a breed they are curious, full of energy and fun to have around. Training with these dogs will need to be firm, as they will often try to get their own way. However, once they are trained they’ll be incredibly devoted to their owner and loyal to those around them. Training will take time, but the payoff is worth it. They are an independent dog when needs be and don’t seem to have a problem with being left alone for extended amounts of time. In terms of exercise, one short walk each day will be enough.
Grooming with this breed is usually minimal as they have a double coat. Only the undercoat sheds, and even so it only sheds once a year so this isn't so much of a problem. The outer coat doesn’t shed which makes them a good breed for people with an allergy to dogs. A yearly trim and a couple of brushing sessions throughout the week will do the trick.
This is a hardy, healthy breed. They can however sometimes suffer from eye problems such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which can cause blindness. This being said, this is uncommon, and even if they suffer from it, they seem to cope well using only their hearing and sense of smell.
Lhasa Apsos have a hardy, strong willed temperament. They are very tough for a dog of their size. They demand respect, and if received they will give it back. This doesn’t mean that you must let them take control of the house, and sometimes you’ll have to remind them who is boss. They are cautious dogs who do not trust anything strange. Strange people, strange animals or strange dogs. In short, this will be a loyal and well mannered companion around the house, but won’t be very adaptable to new situations. This breed is not great for someone who is constantly on the move.
Lhasa Apsos may sometimes be prone to chondrodysplasia (a type of bone deformation), brachycephalic syndrome (breathing problems), renal dysplasia (a lethal kidney disease for which it is possible to be DNA tested), allergies, and luxating patella (dislocation of the knee cap).
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 12 - 14 years
- Weight: 14 - 18 lbs
- Height: 10 - 11"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Long - Double
- Grooming Requirements: Everyday
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Flat
- Minimum Garden Size: No Garden
- Breed Type: Companion Dog
- Size: Small
- Energy Level: Medium
- Exercise Required: Up to 30 Minutes
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