The Lhasa Apso is a long-coated, sturdy little dog. They are slightly longer than they are tall. They come in a variety of colours: golden, sandy, honey, dark grizzle, slate, smoke, parti-colour, black, white or brown. Adult males measure 25cm and adult females slightly less. They weigh 6-7kg when fully grown.
- Category size: Small
- Grooming requirements: Daily
- Shedding: None
- Allergies: Yes
- Noise: Not too noisy
- Dog Group Kennel Club: Utility
- Alone: Less than 1 hour
- Other pets: High
- Stability as a guard: Medium
The Lhasa Apso dog breed was bred in Tibet, by the holy men and the nobles, for at least two thousand years. They were used as watchdogs in the temples and monasteries. The people of Tibet greatly respected these little dogs, as they believed they were the reincarnations of the holy lamas. They were never sold or bought but given as gifts, and it was considered a great honour to receive one.
The Lhasa Apso dog is loyal and trustful. They get along well with children and other dogs. As a breed they can be independent and are wary of strangers, but with patience and consistency they can become relatively obedient. They are quite sensitive and so do not respond well to raised voices.
As with many breeds, there are hereditary eye disorders that may occur and so eye testing is recommended. They are also prone to certain skin conditions.
The adult Lhasa Apso dog needs a minimum of half an hour's daily exercise. They have plenty of energy, but are as happy to stay at home and play as they are to walk for miles and miles. They are perfectly content with several short walks every day.
Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
The grooming requirements are considerable for the small Lhasa Apso. The topcoat is long, heavy and slightly rough to the touch. The undercoat is a little shorter and softer, and must be combed to prevent any mats and tangles forming. If the coat becomes too much, they can be kept short; a professional groomer, or the breeder, will advise on how this is carried out.