Lhasa Apso Breed Information and Facts
The Lhasa Apso is a small and independent dog known for its beautiful long coat and lively demeanor. Strong-willed, the Lhasa Apso needs to be the center of attention in a domestic setting. Here is the other breed information and facts you need to know about this little pup with the heady reputation.
The Lhasa Apso breed is centuries old, originating from the Himalayan Mountains where it was bred and raised to be a household guard and sentinel in the homes of Tibetan nobility and Buddhist monasteries. For years it was only bred in Tibet and considered a sacred animal. At the time, the belief was that the dogs brought good luck to their masters and when its master died, the master’s soul would enter the body of the Lhasa Apso. As a result, it was almost impossible to find or buy the breed for many years.
It wasn’t until the 20th century that the breed began to slowly trickle into other countries. Mr. C. Suydam Cutting was presented the Lhasa Apso for the first time in the United States as a gift from the 13th Dalai Llama in 1933. As their popularity grew, it also became customary for Tibet’s ruler to present the dogs as gifts to visiting foreign diplomats. The breed was recognized by the AKC in 1935 and has since become very popular both as a show and house dog.
Lhasa Apsos will usually reach 10 – 11 inches in height and weigh 13 – 15 pounds, depending on gender and genetics.
As a long-coated breed, the Lhasa Apso will require frequent grooming and care. Some owners elect to style their Lhasa Apso with a shorter “puppy cut", as they only need to brush the dog 3 times a week. With the long hair style, trimming and clipping are not necessary but the coat will need to be brushed once a day to prevent matting and tangles. Dry shampoo the coat as necessary. Check the feet and pads on a weekly basis for matting and clumps of dirt or other objects brought in from the outside. Ears and eyes will need to be cleaned very well on a weekly basis as dead hairs and matting can cause infections in the ears and tearing in the eyes will ruin the hair around the face.
The Lhasa Apso has a very unique personality for a small dog. It is both intelligent and mischievous, while also being dignified and aloof.
A surprisingly hardy dog, the Lhasa Apso is clever and does not live to please its master. Instead it thrives on challenges and interaction. While the dogs are very friendly and joyful, they are also naturally assertive which can lead to Small Dog Syndrome if not kept in check. Red flags to eliminate in training include loud barking, aggressiveness towards other dogs, biting or snapping at children, and separation anxiety.
The best way to raise a happy, healthy, and respectful Lhasa Apso is to regularly give it both physical and mental exercise. If the dog understand that the human is its pack leader, its friendly personality and joyful demeanor will flourish.
As previously mentioned, the Lhasa Apso absolutely requires an assertive leader from its early years all the way into adulthood. As a puppy, you should use calm and clear commands. Be firm and committed to the process. If you are, the dog should come around quickly.
The Lhasa Apso is a very lively dog that has a natural desire to get out and about. These dogs should be walked at least one a week. If not, these pups can become snappy and aggressive towards other people and dogs. In terms of space, Lhasa Apsos do best either in a safe, fenced-in are to run around and explore, or in an apartment with a large open room.