Lhasa Apso Pictures and Information

The Lhasa Apso is a breed that has a long coat that is thick and shaggy. These dogs are small, and will have an appearance that is similar to the English Sheepdog.


Lhasa Apso Description

The acceptable coat colors for the Lhasa Apso include grizzle, slate, and smoke. In addition to this, the coat may also have a color combination of black, white, or brown. This breed will have beards, and the muzzle should be moderate in length. The eyes should be small and dark, and the ears should be furry. These dogs will carry their furry tails over their backs, and their necks are covered with a dense ring of hair.

Lhasa Apso dogs are small dogs with long, shaggy coats that resemble Old English Sheepdogs in some ways.  They have straight-haired coats that are hard rather than silky.  Gold, honey, and creamy colors are the most popular hair colors but they also come in smoke, slate, black, brown, white and some other mixtures of colors.  Male dogs typically are 10-11 inches (25-28 cm) in height and weigh 14-18 pounds (6-8 kg).  Females are slightly smaller measuring about 9-10 inches (23-25 cm) in height and weighing 12-16 pounds (5-7 kg).  

Thorough daily combing and brushing sessions are necessary to manage the thick, flowing coats of Lhasa Apso dogs.  The coat usually parts along the spine and then falls straight down on each side.  The undercoat can become particularly tangled and matted if not cared for regularly.  Some owners prefer these dogs to have a short all-over hair clipping as opposed to spending hours on grooming each week.  It is very important to keep the eyes and ears clean as well in order to prevent possible infections.  Dry shampoo treatments may also be used as needed.  

These dogs are friendly, playful, alert, and intelligent.  They are suspicious of strangers by nature but make very loyal and devoted pets that are very affectionate with their owners.  They are not very tolerant around children who handle them roughly or tease them.  Positive reinforcement is the best way to motivate these dogs while training them.  Lhasa Apsos make good watchdogs since they have excellent hearing and will bark very loudly if they suspect an intruder.  They may also become overly excited and noisy around children or strangers.  They don’t like surprises and may snap if they are startled or irritated.  Lhasa Apso dogs do not like being left alone.  They prefer to have human companionship.  These dogs are great pets for apartment dwellers or condominium owners since they are very small and only need moderate levels of activity each day.

Walking is good exercise for these dogs but they really enjoy having the opportunity to romp and play freely from time to time.  Lhasa Apso dogs are generally healthy but some may have kidney or eye problems.  Some of these dogs may suffer from hip dysplasia.  It is important to keep these dogs free from parasites that may cause various skin conditions as well.  The life expectancy for this breed is usually 15 years or so and some dogs may live to be even older.  

Until the 1900s Lhasa Apso dogs were found exclusively in Tibet.  They were bred in monasteries as palace and temple watchdogs.  The name Lhasa comes from the capital of Tibet.  Tibetan rulers would present these dogs to foreign diplomats who visited.  These dogs were thought to bring luck to their owners and were often difficult to obtain.  Lhasa Apso dogs made their first appearance in Britain around the 1920s and were introduced in the United States around the 1930s.  Today, these rugged little dogs are primarily show dogs and family pets.  

Lhasa Apso

Also Known As

Lhassa Terrier

Country of Origin



The Lhasa Apso is cheerful and intelligent.  While it is affectionate for those that it cares for, it will be wary of strangers. These dogs will only behave with children that are mature. They will respond harshly to those that play with them roughly. While they can be obedient at times, they may also be stubborn. The Lhasa Apso should only be owned by someone who is a natural leader. They are superb watchdogs, and their barks are sharp and loud. These dogs may get into fights with other dogs, and they may become nervous around those they are not familiar with.

Health Problems

The Lhasa Apso is a healthy breed that does not have a large number of genetic ailments. However, they may get hip dysplasia, and kidney problems have been observed as well. In addition to this, these dogs may develop eye diseases. The average life expectancy for the Lhasa Apso is 15 years, but some have lived longer than this.


Despite the fact that these dogs love to walk, owners will want to let them run free in a wide-open space. Other than this, the Lhasa Apso does not need large amounts of exercise. They are the perfect dog for people who live in apartments, and they don’t need a yard.

Special Grooming Needs

It is not necessary to cut the coats of these dogs. When the coat is long, owners will want to make sure it is brushed each day. If this is not done, the coat will become matted. These dogs should only be bathed when they need it, and owners will want to check the ears for dirt or another thing. The Lhasa Apso will shed a standard amount of fur. It is important to make sure the ears are cleaned.