The Lhasa Apso (once named the “Lhasa Terrier”) is a small non-sporting breed from Tibet that features a long coat in many colors. They are very much the meaning of their name in the native Tibetan language – “long-haired Tibetan dog”. Their stubborn but highly devoted temperament makes the Lhasa Apso a popular choice as a companion for families with older children, apartment dwellers or retirees with the patience to take care of them.
Origins Of The Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso is known to have first appeared in Tibet’s Himalayan Mountains near the city of Lhasa as early as 800BC and was bred with the purpose of acting as a watch dog within Buddhist monasteries. They were never bought or sold and the only way they left Tibet was as a gift from the Dalai Lama – to receive one was a great honor and this is how the dogs came to be distributed throughout the world. They are genetically among the closest relatives to the ancestral wolf.
Average Size Of The Lhasa Apso
Lhasa Apsos are classified as a small-sized dog. The suggested standard size for the Lhasa Apso male and female is 10-11 inches high from paw to shoulder and a weight of 11-18 pounds.
Temperament Of The Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso is legendary for their bold, alert, devoted and sometimes stubborn manner. They are usually reserved with strangers and have very keen hearing as well as a sharp bark, which often makes them a good watch dog but not very suitable as a guard dog due to their size.
The Lhasa Apso is also known to be fairly intelligent – ranking 68th in comparison with other dogs when taking into account their capability to be trained obedience instructions.
They are recognized to be good with older children – which makes them somewhat suitable as a family pet. The Lhasa Apso is quite friendly and playful with other animals such as other dogs and pets.
Living Requirements Of The Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso doesn’t need a yard, so they are quite suitable for living in an apartment if they are walked on a regular basis. They prefer cooler temperatures, and they will be less content if it gets too hot due to the thickness of their coat.
Health & Life Expectancy Of The Lhasa Apso
Similarly to a large number of small-sized dog breeds, the Lhasa Apso is usually long-lived with a life expectancy of 12-14 years. The major health concern for Lhasa Apsos has commonly proven to be skin conditions or infections but these can be prevented with regular grooming. They can also be vulnerable to conditions that include kidney problems, hip dysplasia and eye problems such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) but are overall a very healthy breed.
Exercise Needs Of The Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso benefits from hobbies which include indoor play sessions, outdoor adventures and games of fetch in an open area. They possess a low to medium level of energy and need to be given exercise every day in the manner of average-length walks to prevent behavior problems such as excessive barking.