Are you looking for a dog that can be content in an apartment setting?  Then the Lhasa Apso breed may be right for you.  Lhasa Apso’s are small, affectionate watchdogs that can easily entertain themselves and don’t need the outdoors to burn off their energy.  They have a keen sense of hearing and make good watchdogs.  They do not shed (great for those that want a pet but are allergic) and do not dig (great for those with lovely gardens).

The Lhasa Apso is a small, sturdy dog with a short legs and a long silky coat. It has a round head, a short muzzle, and a long tail.  This breed is loyal, intelligent, playful and fun!


Breed In Brief:

Height: 10 – 11 inches for males; females slightly smaller

Weight: 12 – 18 pounds

Life Expectancy:  12- 15 years.  Lhasa’s are a long lived breed.  It has been reported that one lived 29 years.



The Lhasa Apso is an independent dog that likes to make himself happy.  What makes this excellent is that he can entertain himself and adapt to his surroundings.  Lhasa’s are intelligent but also a bit stubborn.  They mature slowly, so count on 3 years before they hit adult dog hood.  When housebreaking you may want to consider crate training.  Do not get frustrated if housebreaking takes longer than you think it should.  Remain consistent.  This breed can be trained successfully.

Lhasa’s may nip at children if played with too roughly.  But they bond with their family and become protective of all members.  They can bark and be aggressive toward strangers.


Overall Care:


3/4 to 1 cup of quality dog food per day.  Feeding twice per day is ideal.  As long as you are consistent to the time you feed you can decide if feeding once or twice is best for your household.  The more energetic your dog the more food they will consume.  Just as different people need different amount of calories so do dogs.  You may have to experiment a little to see where your dog’s sweet spot for food consumption is.  Lhasa’s need food with fat levels above 14%.  Because of their thicker skin they need that extra fat to keep their hair and skin healthy.

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Lhasa Apso’s have long silky hair that comes in a variety of colors and mixtures of colors that will require grooming to remain mat free. Expect to brush regularly and shampoo at least every two weeks.  You may need to use finishing sprays and conditioners to make brushing and combing easier.  Damp hair will mat, planning on drying your pups hair thoroughly.  You may want to find a good groomer near you.  Many owners prefer to take this breed to the groomers regularly rather than maintain this coat on their own.  You can clip their hair short and keep it in a “puppy cut”.  This makes grooming and care a bit easier if you plan on doing the brushing and grooming yourself.  Your puppy’s coat may change colors as it grows.  Many Lhasa’s are multi-colored.

Brushing your dogs teeth regularly will help remove tartar, bacteria, prevent gum disease and bad breath.  Start this habit early so that your dog will work with you not against you.

Trim nails regularly.  This breed will probably need a trim if they are not outside enough to wear down their nails.  If you can hear a dogs nails clicking on the linoleum or hardwood they need to be trimmed.

Lhasa’s have long floppy ears.  These ears need to be cleaned regularly to prevent infection.  Turn the ear over and wipe outer part of the inside ear with an appropriate pH balanced ear cleaner.


A Lhasa can be content in a small space.  They can run around inside and play with their own toys to get the exercise they need.  They are happy to play outside but it is not a requirement.  This is not a high energy breed.  They are quite content to keep watch over the house and alert you to anyone walking by.



Some common health problems for this breed:

  • Kidney Dysfunction
  • Dry Eye
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Slipping Stifles (Patellar Luxation) This is when the knee joint slides in and out of place causing pain
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Cherry Eye

Always purchase a puppy from a reputable breeder.  This can help reduce risk for breed specific health conditions.



The Lhasa Apso is the most ancient dog breed in the world. The first Lhasa were brought to Tibet by the ruling class and were worshipped. A Lhasa’s thick coat makes it a good watch dog and it is also good at detecting earthquakes. This intelligent dog is loyal, loves to be close to its family and is very protective.

Tibetan monks high in the Himalayan Mountains used this breed as indoor watchdogs.  This breed would bark alerting the monks to intruders.  “Lhasa” is the name of Tibet’s capital.  This breed was also used in palaces in Tibet as watchdogs.



The Lhasa Apso is a small watchdog that is loving and affectionate.  This is not the dog for you if you need protection but the perfect dog if you want to be warned about strangers coming to the door or house. The Lhasa is independent and can entertain himself.  This is a small dog who rarely sheds and does not drool.  This breed likes to be with its owners and bonds to its family unit quickly.


READ MORE:  Choosing The Right Dog Breed For You


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