All About Your Lhasa Apso

Despite looking like a fragile and spoiled puppy, the Lhasa Apso is a bit of a genius!

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Despite looking like a fragile and spoiled puppy, the Lhasa Apso is a bit of a genius! Raised in Tibet, these puppies were considered sacred and only those who owned them were Tibetan monks or nobles.

The breed carries a very mystical history, since it was believed that when the owner of a Lhasa Apso died, his soul was reincarnated in another dog of the same breed.

They were considered animals that brought luck and prosperity and could only leave the territory if given as gifts. In 1933 a couple of the breed was given by the 13th Dalai Lama to a researcher named Suydam Cutting who then started breeding the breed in the United States, which was only recognized by the Kennel Club in 1935.


The height varies from 15 to 25 cm


Weight varies from 5 to 7 kg


The Lhasa Apso is known for its shiny, silky, long and dense coat. Although the most common are white and gold, the breed also has colors like sand, honey, dark gray and black. It needs daily brushing so that the hair does not get stuck and also requires care in the eye area, as the hair can hinder your vision when not properly trimmed.


In general this is a very healthy breed and has no major health complications. With a little more frequency, it is possible to observe some allergies, mainly of skin that can be difficult to identify due to the hair too long. That is why care with food, regular baths with special shampoo and flea and tick control done monthly help prevent problems like these. Lhasa Apso can also be affected by some genetic diseases. The most common are: progressive retinal atrophy, which if not diagnosed early can lead to blindness, and congenital cystic renal dysplasia where the kidneys have a smaller than expected and irregular shape. Thus, the animal must follow a follow-up with the veterinarian since he is a puppy to ensure the normal functioning of his entire organism. Genetic research and the chosen kennel can help – and a lot – in the prevention of inherited problems.


Despite having the appearance of a fragile puppy and who only likes lap, Lhasa has a lot of energy and loves to play, but even so it is a breed that adapts very well to small apartments (as long as you take a few walks during the day). He is very suspicious of strangers and will bark to alert his tutor when a stranger approaches. However, he is usually faithful, which makes Lhasa Apso a companion.


According to the classification of the canine intelligence ranking described in the book The Intelligence of Dogs, by Stanley Coren, Lhasa is in the 68th position. This does not mean that he is not smart, it just states that he is a little more stubborn and dispersed puppy. Dogs in this category need a greater number of repetitions to assimilate a command and also require daily training so as not to forget what they have learned. But for the most part, dogs of this breed will be very obedient to their human parents, as they are extremely loyal and attached. It is also important to socialize Lhasa from an early age, especially with children, as they do not usually have much patience with them.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy of a Lhasa Apso dog is between 12 and 15 years.


Special care must be taken with Lhasa hair. Because they are dense, they need regular baths and daily brushing to avoid entanglement – it is worth remembering that the knots give pets a lot of pain, besides the discomfort. Some tutors prefer to trim the animal which, despite being without the lush and long hair, facilitates maintenance especially if the animal is very exposed to external areas. The baby shear is a favorite of lhasas parents, offering a puppy look even to adults. Speaking of outdoor areas, the Lhasa Apso is a puppy to have indoors, it cannot and should not be raised in backyards, for example. Despite being very playful and needing daily stimuli, he is not an active animal and prefers light walks, not too long. They still love to play with stuffed animals. So it also adapts very well living in small environments.


It is very common to confuse Lhasa Apso with Shih tzu. In the past, this similarity was even greater, since the differentiation between races only started to happen about 150 years ago, where through crosses consistent differences between races were established. Anyway, they are still very similar. The biggest difference is in the muzzle, as Lhasa has a longer elongated muzzle than Shitzu. But they’re both equally cute! Do you know Floquinho, Cebolinha’s dog, from Monica’s Gang? That green one. Well, he’s a Lhasa Apso! That pile of hair on the face represents this very hairy breed. Lhasa Apso, due to its history and tradition, is considered a lucky dog! Just as they were given away by monks in the past, it is believed that when you win a Lhasa Apso, you are getting a lucky charm.

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