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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Lhasa Apso


Lhasa Apso Facts

  • Group
  • Non Sporting
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 10" - 11"
  • Weight
  • 14-15 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 12 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Low - This breed requires little daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Difficult to Train
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Difficult
  • Colors
    • White
    • Bi-color (white/tan)
    • Black
    • Cream
    • Fawn
    • Brown
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Adapted to city living
    • Can be trained as a watch dog or guard dog
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

Abso seng key (bark lion sentinel dog).


The Lhasa Apso originated in the isolated reaches of the Himalayan Mountains, Tibet.

Date Of Origin

This breed goes back hundreds and hundreds of years ago. It is not known, however, exactly when it developed.


The Lhasa Apso is one of three companion dogs native to Tibet. Dogs of this type were known in Tibet for hundreds of years, where they gave warning of intruders at monasteries and temples. The first Lhasa apsos came to the U.S. in 1933 as gifts from the 13th Dalai Lama to an American naturalist who was visiting Tibet.


The Lhasa apso is a small but hardy dog that is longer than it is tall. It has a medium length muzzle that is about one third the length of the head. The eyes are dark brown and the nose is black. The ears are pendant and the feet are catlike. The tail is carried over the back and it has a kink at the end. The coat is heavy, straight, and long. Abundant hair on the head falls over the eye, and there are whiskers and a beard. There is heavy feathering on the legs, neck and tail. The hair is parted down the middle from nose to tail.


The Lhasa apso is an intelligent and watchful dog. It is affectionate with friends but wary of strangers. It can be uncomfortable with children.


The Lhasa apso is a hardy dog with an excellent sense of hearing. It will give good, early warning at the approach of strangers.

Health Concerns

Cherry eye, kidney disease, skin conditions.

Additional Information

This breed requires professional grooming every 4-6 weeks to keep it healthy.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

The All Breed Dog Grooming Guide

Publisher: Aaronco, 2002

Website: http://www.aaroncopet.com

Author: Sam Kohl

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