Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso originates from...

Bred by Buddhist monks in the Himalayan mountains of Tibet around 2,000 years ago, many consider the Lhasa Apso to be one of the 14 ancient dog breeds, with some records indicating an existence from 800 BC. Deriving its name from the sacred city of Lhasa, the Lhasa Apso was primarily bred as a dependable guardian dog, widely owned by figures of the nobility to watch monasteries and temples, protecting them from thieves and vandals. Believed to bring good luck, the Lhasa Apso was often presented as a gift to visiting rulers or honoured guests, something which increased the breed's prevalence outside its homeland. Officially recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1935.

The Lhasa Apso is characterised by...

Known as 'the bearded lion' in native Tibet, the Lhasa Apso boasts a striking appearance. Low to the ground, the Lhasa Apso has short legs, heavily feathered pendant ears, dark inseted eyes and a high-set tail held over the back. The coat is typically long and dense, often reaching to the floor, and is common in colour variations of gold, cream, smoke, slate, dark-grizzle, brown, black and white, although any colour is permissible in this breed. It is not uncommon for a Lhasa Apso to have a kink in its tail. Contrary to popular belief, the Lhasa Apso is not 'non-allergenic' as, whilst its coat sheds little, its skin or 'dander' sheds a lot.

The average Lhasa Apso...

While most small breeds are prone to displaying negative behaviours such as stubbornness, disobedience and aggression - behaviours that are often put down to 'Small Dog Syndrome,' these can easily be avoided by socialising your dog from puppyhood, showing firm leadership and consistently training your dog in obedience and manners. When trained, the Lhasa Apso has the potential to be a spirited, energetic and affectionate companion dog, devoted to its master and family. On average, an adult Lhasa Apso will weigh 6-7 kg, with a life expectancy of 12-15 years, although it is not uncommon for this breed to live into its 20s.


Generally very healthy and resilient, the Lhasa Apso is prone to no serious medical conditions. Health problems identified in the breed do, however, include various optical disorders ranging from juvenile cataracts to progressive retinal atrophy, as well as orthopedic complaints commonly seen across breeds.

Our Lhasa Apso owners have uploaded 163 photos

Our Lhasa Apso owners' thoughts

Added on 26/10/2015

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Added on 26/10/2015

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Added on 29/10/2015
Joined 16/06/2014
From Lancashire, United Kingdom

A gorgeous loving dog. Can be stubborn but not often and he is a rather discerning character. Never aggressive and loves babies and puppies. Very good natured towards his younger shih-tzu brothers. He is adorable and a good time keeper. We play with his favourite toy after supper every night. A loyal dog.

Added on 16/03/2017
Joined 25/04/2016
From North Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

Tinkerbell is my 3rd Lhasa apso and such a sweetheart. Unfortunately Tinkerbell was rescued as the previous owner broke her front leg , sadly it had to be amputated. Although she has 3 legs it doesn't hold her back with the SSPCA starting to bring her out of her shell 2 years later she adores new people and just wants cuddles. Lhasa apsos need grooming and regular hair cuts. Also they have alot of hair in the ear but most groomers will pluch or cut it so the ears can be kept as clean as possible.

Added on 26/10/2017
Joined 26/10/2017
From Norfolk, United Kingdom

This is our second Lhasa loosing our first at 17yrs this one is now nearly 13 still gorgeous but slowing down. Still enjoys her walks and can be stubborn especially if it's raining. She lives her home comforts and we do spoil her. Great little dog great company and can be left for ages ours just sleeps.

Added on 18/01/2018
Joined 13/09/2017
From Devon, United Kingdom

I rescued Charlie when he was 8 months old from a home where he had been attacked from the start by an older Lhasa, he hadn’t been socialised and was afraid of other dogs, loud noises, fireworks etc. I worked with a friend who is an animal behaviourist and now he is sociable, very obedient and affectionate, a real joy to have. He is still terrified of fireworks and loud noises but that is with him always I think.

Added on 10/06/2018
Joined 25/04/2016
From North Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

I have only ever had lhasa's. They're loyal fantastic guard dogs . They're intelligent and easily learn more tricks.
Tinkerbell is a rescue dog missing her left front leg but nothing can slow ber down . 🐾

Added on 30/11/2018
Joined 05/11/2018
From France

Nelson is my first Lhasa, been with me since a puppy 8 weeks.

He’s great with other dogs a social butterfly and wants attention from humans.

He loves his walks to the beach , and forest.
He loves keeping busy but does like his power naps.

Doesn’t like been left alone, which has been challenging.

Added on 30/11/2018
Joined 05/11/2018
From France

Nelson my first Lhasa, since a 9 week puppy.
Smart dog enjoys his puzzles and games.
Also like his walks and mixes well with other dogs started from a young age paid off.

Nelson also like his own space but will let you know if he needs hugs.

Nelson protects his home and will let you know who’s around, need to give time to training to limit the barking or could get out of hand.

Loves his walks to beach.

Grooming was also introduced at a young age have no problems.

Added on 09/07/2019
Joined 21/11/2014
From Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I spoil her to bits, VERY stubborn, doesn’t like the rain, great alarm dog, such a fussy eater eats better than me, loves people coming to visit and if they don’t stroke her she won’t leave them till they do, makes me laugh. I adopted a stray cat who was in poor condition, we used to go and feed him daily then one day this cat just followed us home and I’m sure he was following my Lhasa Lulu and she just let him move in, what a star so adorable , the only problem is I can’t leave her to go out as she starts howling like a wolf so I always get a dog sitter only family and close friends . My angel and she has to sleep on my bed, my cat has the living room he’s gorgeous to. Bye

Added on 04/11/2019
Joined 04/11/2019
From East sussex, United Kingdom

My lovely Lillie is 11 yrs old ,Had her since 8 weeks old, she very loveing and makes sure people take notice of her by touching them with her paw. She very stubborn and hates the rain . Fussy in what she eats They are good at hearing and tell you who’s coming to the door before we know , she’s very noisy . I would have another as they are very good dogs , We love her to bits

Added on 06/02/2020
Joined 06/02/2020
From Essex, United Kingdom

Now 13 + Sapphire and sister Opal have been so easy and lovely to care for until recently. Opal has no health problems but Sapphire has had MS for several years now is almost blind. Still loves her daily walk and eats for Europe! Opal seems to know that sapphire has problems and very protective of her.

Added on 11/01/2022
Joined 10/01/2022
From Caerdydd, United Kingdom

My first one tikka was perfection itself quite obedient never barked you didn’t know there was a dog in the house she went over the rainbow 🌈 at 17 ! 4 years ago, so 3 1/2 years ago got Maizee & 12 months ago I got Sansa god they are so different to the 1st one both stubborn bark continually & I can’t move they are like my shadow. Got trainer just one session different dogs now, so if you have problems get a behaviourist