Lhasa Apsos

Lhasa Apsos stand tall and proud. Bred as a watchdog for Tibetian monasteries, they are self confident companions who love their own people.
By the way, how can a Lhasa see underneath all that hair? No one knows for sure. They just do.

Tell us about YOUR dog -- See below!

Lhasa Apsos are easy to mistake as a big Shih Tzu, but they are very different in temperament. Unlike the happy-go-lucky smaller breed,  this breed is joyful but headstrong; as long as they are doing exactly what they want, the breed is very happy to follow your lead.

This confident breed is happy to hang out, waiting for your next adventure.

They have a long flowing coat to the ground which can be any color, often with black tips. They are highly hypoallergenic; however, if in full coat they require extensive regular grooming.

The breed can come in many colors, including brown.

Lhasas like a good walk but don’t require as much exercise as some other breeds their size. They take a while to warm up to strangers and are not great at a dog park; children need to have good manners around them.


They were bred 100’s of years ago in the monasteries around Lhasa Tibet as the ultimate indoor watchdog. In 1933 they were introduced to the US as gifts from the 13th Dalai Lama.

By the Numbers

Size: 12 to 18 pounds 
Coat Care: 10 – if the coat is kept long, very high. They need regular and thorough brushing; several hours of coat care every week without fail.If kept trimmed the coat care is 5, they just need regular trimming.

This breed joins Shih Tzus, Maltese and Yorkshire Terriers in an elite group of super long coated dogs. If you care to take the time and effort, your dog can achieve a waterfall of shimmering coat down to the floor, as this and the following several photos demonstrate.


Trainability: 4 – low. You can train them, but only if you can convince them that what you want them to do was their idea all along. 
Energy level: 6. They enjoy a good walk, but are also very happy to hang out on the front porch, watching the world go by.
Good with Children: 4 – low. They do okay with older, well mannered kids but do not like or appreciate young jack rabbits. 
Noise level: medium – 4: They are not a noisy breed. 
Low Shedding/hypoallergenic: – 3 They do not shed and are not hypoallergenic. 

To get a better idea of what kind of breeder to look for, check out What is a Responsible Breeder.
And to make sure you have what it takes, check out What Makes a Responsible Pet Owner.
To get more information or to find a puppy, contact the American Lhasa Apso Club.

Tell Us About YOUR Dog!

People come to About Small Dogs to find a good dog, one that matches their lifestyle, their family and what they yearn for.

The best people to explain the finer points of what a breed is like are the people who own and are owned by them.

If you own this breed, this means YOU. What is your dog like? What stories can you tell? What would you like to say to someone who is considering your breed? What is your dog's sterling qualities? How about some of his or her not so great characteristics? Tell us a bit about the ideal owner for your breed as well.

People become good dog owners because they are educated. You know your breed better than any others. Share what you know!

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