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Lhasa Apso

 

An ancient breed, Lhasa Apsos were cherished watchdogs in Tibetan monasteries. And these dogs did more than guard the monks — if a monk (or lama) had lived a good life, he would reincarnate as a Llasa Apso! No wonder the lamas took such good care of their Lhasas. These dogs do seem to have unlocked the secret to long lives, in any case: the oldest known Lhasa Apso lived to be 29 years old.

The Lhasa Apso is something of a diva: she's gorgeous, intelligent, and lively — and she knows it. This is a very popular breed that first came to the United States with his Holiness the Dalai Lama in the 1930s.

Originally from the Himalayan region of Tibet, this small-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 13-15 pounds and lives an average of 12-14 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Non-Sporting group.

 

AKC RecognizedY
Breed's original pastimeCompanion
OriginTibet
Breed groupNon-Sporting
Average lifespan12-14 years
SizeSmall
Bark factorModerate
AKC Ranking38
FamilyCompanion, herding
Date of originAncient times
Original function Companion, watchdog
Today's functionCompanion
Average size of maleHeight: 10-11 Weight: 13-15
Average size of femaleHeight: 10-11 Weight: 13-15

 

Other nameNone
Energy level Medium energy
Exercise needs Low
Playfullness Moderately playful
Affection level Moderately affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Friendly
Friendliness toward strangersShy
Ease of training Moderately easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Moderately protective
Grooming needs High maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Low tolerance

BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

WHAT IS A LHASA APSO'S PERSONALITY LIKE?

Lhasa Apsos are cuddly couch potatoes, which make them a good match for laid-back types or older owners. They love to play with kids and are devoted to their chosen people. Lhasas can be shy with strangers however, and frankly can't be bothered much with non-family humans. They're divas, remember?

WHAT IS LHASA APSO BEHAVIOR LIKE?

A Lhasa Apso should get daily exercise, no matter what this dog tells you. They'd be happy to cuddle with you all day, but it's important to keep their sharp minds active — even if your Lhasa makes some very good points about how nice a nap sounds right now. Their sharp hearing and alert nature makes them vigilant watchdogs. No visitor or delivery will ever take you by surprise with this dog in the house. They're very loud barkers.

HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A LHASA APSO?

These divine canines are intelligent and can be a bit stubborn. This breed is somewhat resistant to training, and may be slow to housetrain. Use lots of positive reinforcement, especially treats, to convince them what you're asking for is worth doing.

Early, frequent socialization is essential. Start training while your Lhasa Apso is still a puppy and be patient and consistent with your furry friend. They can be good canine citizens at the dog park but will be most comfortable on the small dog side.

CARE & HEALTH

HOW MUCH DO LHASA APSOS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?

This breed's coarse, heavy double coat is made of long, lavish, flowing hair. Those gorgeous long locks collect dirt and debris, so the amount of grooming your Lhasa Apso will need depends on her cut. Regardless, this couture canine will require regular grooming, brushing, and combing to prevent tangles and mats. These dogs are light shedders.

WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO LHASA APSOS HAVE?

Lhasa Apsos are a hardy and very healthy breed — these dogs can live to be more than 20! Be sure to check and clean their ears often to discourage infection.

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