The Lhasa Apso is a small, hardy breed with a beautiful cloak of hair that parts down their back from head to tail. Their temperament is unique: joyful and mischievous, dignified, and aloof. An independent breed, the Lhasa’s goal in life is not necessarily to please their master. Popular in the show ring, the breed also excels at activities that provide constant challenges, such as agility.
The Lhasa Apso originated hundreds of years ago in the isolated reaches of the Himalayan Mountains. It functioned primarily as a household sentinel, guarding homes of Tibetan nobility and Buddhist monasteries, particularly in or near the sacred city of Lhasa. In 1933, C. Suydam Cutting introduced the first Lhasas to the U.S. gifts from the 13th Dalai Lama.
Bred as indoor watchdogs for hundreds of years, Lhasas can be suspicious of strangers, so early socialization is critical. They thrive living with adults or families with older children and enjoy regular walks. A long-coated breed, they also require frequent grooming. Many pet owners enjoy keeping their Lhasa in the shorter “puppy cut.”
- Non-Sporting Group; AKC recognized in 1935.
- Ranging in size from 10 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder and 12 to 18 pounds.
- Companion; watchdog.
- Apartment is fine.
- Active indoors.
- Daily light exercise.
- Regular brushing.
- Regular professional grooming.
- Very little shedding.