12 Amazing Facts About Lhasa Apso Dog Breed

Planning to adopt Lhasa Apso but don’t know how to be a good and responsible pet owner?

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If yes, this guide got your back. We have gathered 12 facts about this breed, helping you become a knowledgeable pet owner at the end of the day. Let’s begin! 

1. Originated from Tibet 

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Today, Lhasa Apso are available worldwide as the number of breeders increases for the past years. 

Whether you visit Petfinder or a rescue center, the chance of finding this breed is higher than expected. It is highly accessible, indeed. 

But do you know where they are from originally? Good question! Well, Lhasa Apso originally came from the beautiful country of Tibet. 

They served monks in monasteries during 800 A.D. While some lived in monasteries, others dwelt in the homes of lamas in the mountains. 

Aside from a Tibet origin, Lhasa Apsos have a long history.

Experts believe the breed has at least existed since 800 A.D., making Lhasa Apso one of the ancient breeds, together with Chow Chow, Chinese Shar-Pei, Saluki, Samoyed, Alaskan Malamute, Afghan Hound, Basenji, and Akita Inu. 

Whether you have been searching for a breed with a Tibet origin or has an ancient history, don’t look further than Lhasa Apso.

Yes, the breed originated from Tibet. But that doesn’t follow that you need to go to the country to have Lhasa Apsos.

Careful and thorough research online is always a wise idea.

You can also visit local shelters or rescue centers, but be extra careful, especially during this pandemic. 

2. Their Main Function Before Was to Guard Homes and Dwellings 

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Who would believe that Lhasa Apso could be a good watchdog before? Nobody? Probably, you’re surprised because of their size. 

But never underestimate how they look. While adult males can grow up to 27 cm, they can deter intruders and even protect your home. 

Originally, Lhasa Apso’ main function was to be a household sentinel. What does it mean?

Simply, they guarded both the homes and dwellings of Buddhist monasteries and even Tibetan nobility before. 

Centuries had passed, Lhasa Apsos still have their bolder and fiercer personality even up to this day.

So, don’t be surprised when your Apsos bark at strangers. 

When looking for a breed that can be a good watchdog, you perhaps think of larger dogs.

But don’t ignore Lhasa Apsos as they can be deadly when necessary. 

Of course, you don’t want an aggressive dog to deter burglars and level up your home security.

Good news! Lhasa Apsos are smart and trainable. But a repetitive drill can be boring. 

The trick is to vary the activities to incite their interest and curiosity throughout a basic command or potty training.

It’s best to seek the assistance of an expert for your convenience. 

3. Lhasa Apsos Were Once Considered Highly Prized Gifts

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Tibetan Buddhists believed that deceased priests’ souls might enter the bodies of Lhasa Apso while waiting for getting reincarnated into a new body. 

Because of that belief, Lhasa Apsos were once considered highly prized gifts during the 800 A.D.

The Tibetans also believed that the breed was a symbol of good luck that brought peace, health, and prosperity to pet owners. 

Before, Lhasa Apsos were not often sold. The most common way to get one is when a friend gave Lhasa Apso as a gift.

Today, the breed is still expensive and might break your bank. 

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According to Adopt a Pet, Lhasa Apso cost around $600 to $1,500. But it still depends on the breeder of your choice.

You can also adopt Lhasa Apso for a much affordable price. It’s just that you need to do some research online.

While it can be time-consuming and exhausting, all of your efforts will pay off. 

The Dalai Lama gifted the same breed to the emperor of China over centuries ago.

During that time, they were used to develop Pekingese breeds and Shih Tzu. 

So, for those who want to have a pair of Lhasa Apso, prepare your pocket. 

4. Lhasa Apsos Live Long 

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Scottish Deerhound, Rottweiler, and Saint Bernard can live up to 9.5 years.

Newfoundland and Bullmastiff can last up to 9 years. Greater Swiss Mountain dog and Mastiff have an 8-year lifespan. 

Lhasa Apso, on the other hand, is not the same thing.

Their average lifespan ranges from 12 to 15 years, which is longer than Scottish Deerhound, Newfoundland, and even Mastiff. 

Surprisingly, some Lhasa Apso can reach up to their late teens. That’s not all! Others might even go beyond 20. 

Despite their compact size, Lhasa Apsos are a healthy and strong dog, exceeding your expectations and needs. 

Like other dogs, they are prone to some health problems, including progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, and hereditary kidney dysfunction. 

What’s the secret to keeping them fit and healthy? Of course, a proper diet should not be ignored.

Providing them food sources rich in protein, good fat, and other minerals can play a critical role. 

Regular exercise is another thing to always remember. Compared to other small-sized breeds, Lhasa Apsos are active and playful.

So, despite your hectic schedule, never forget to give them a varied and fun set of drills and activities.

They would love every game even more when given with some delicious treats.

5. They are Usually Compared to a Willful Toddler

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Bred as a guard dog, Lhasa Apso can sometimes be aggressive and aloof.

That’s why they are typically considered obstinate and willful. This makes them quite difficult to train, especially for first-time pet owners. 

If you are not patient and determined, Lhasa Apso might not be the perfect dog for you. Consider other breeds as much as possible. 

Although Lhasa Apso might be stubborn sometimes, their level of intelligence and confidence could help make the training a bit fun and challenging as well. 

But it is easier said than done! The secret in training an obstinate dog-like Lhasa Apso is to go slowly. 

While many things run in your mind, focus on some familiar behaviors. It is just important to create a good association with training.

Delicious treats, for example, is crucial to turn it into a reality. 

Once your Lhasa Apso realize that training is good, it’s time to add some distractions. 

After that, your job does not stop there. Be sure to control the environment.

During various sessions, it is advisable to take precautions to help your Lhasa Apso stay focused. 

What else? You have to be consistent. Sometimes, they are more likely to be stubborn when they are confused. So, be clear about all the training activities. 

6. Their Name Means “Bark Lion Sentinel Dog.”

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Yorkies got their name from Yorkshire, a place where they’re being improved. 

Shih Tzus, on the contrary, referred to a Chinese language word for a lion. 

How about Lhasa Apso? Well, Lhasa is surprisingly the capital of Tibet, while Apso is less clear. 

Experts believe it was just a misspelled word of Abso, which is a part of the breed’s Tibetan name called Abso Seng Kye

Other theories also existed. Some believe that Apso is derived from rapso, which is a Tibetan word for goat.

No wonder as the breed has a goat-like and woolly coat. 

Abso Seng Kye, the original name, also means Bark Lion Sentinel Dog because the breed guarded Tibetan dwellings before.

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They would bark to deter burglars and alert pet owners of potential intruders. 

That’s not all! The Lhasa Apso, as a name, was linked to the mythical Snow Lion, a guardian of the country, according to Tibetans. 

Now, what name would you want to give your Lhasa Apso? There are many popular choices.

Some of them include Lucy, Sadie, Coco, Annie, Babydoll, Sandy, Maggie, Shelby, Tootsie, Maddy, Sheba, Sassy, Velvet, Twilight, Lady, Roxy, Harley, and more. 

7. Celebrities are Fond of Lhasa Apso

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Lhasa Apsos have both a great personality and a goat-like/shiny coat. It’s no surprise why many celebrities have Lhasa Apso. 

More than the appearance, Lhasa Apsos are highly trainable, friendly, playful, active, affectionate, and loving.

That’s why the breed has been the go-to option for many folks, including famous personalities. 

Here are some of the celebrities who have Lhasa Apso: 

Bethenny Frankel – A reality T.V. personality, Bethenny Frankel has a cute Lhasa Apso named Cookie.

Instead of the traditional long length, she prefers to have her Lhasa Apso a short coat. 

Jane Lynch – Another celebrity who has this dog breed is the Glee star, Jane Lynch.

Her dog’s name is Olivia, who came from Olivia Newton-John, a famous singer during her time. 

Gwen Stefani – Yes, The Voice judge, fashion icon, and Singer Gwen Stefani are also fond of Lhasa Apso named Meggan. 

Ellen Degeneres – Talk show host and LGBT celebrity Ellen Degeneres has been an advocate of animal welfare for years.

With her genuine love for dogs, she even owns a Lhasa Apso in real life. 

Other famous names include flamboyant pianist Liberace, actress Elizabeth Taylor, writer Kurt Vonnegut, Peggy Guggenheim, Queen Sofia of Spain, and Dalai Lama. 

8. They Are Cold-Weather Dogs

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Cold-weather dogs are usually large breeds such as Siberian Husky, Saint Bernard, Alaskan Malamute, American Eskimo Dog, Tibetan Terrier, Keeshond, Newfoundland, Norwegian Elkhound, and Akita. 

But size doesn’t matter sometimes. Lhasa Apso, for instance, is cold-weather dogs.

No matter how cute and adorable they look, Lhasa Apso can survive in long, extreme winter. 

Bred in the Himalayan mountains, the breed can resist both low and snowy conditions from all corners of the world. 

But don’t leave them outside for hours as their life might be put in danger. 

In handling dogs who can’t resist the summer season, provide them with plenty of clean and freshwater. Creating a shady place is also a bright idea. 

When it is extremely hot outside, it is necessary to keep your Lhasa Apso indoors.

Plus, avoid not to over-exercise them. A simple activity is more than enough. 

While we don’t want our Lhasa Apso to suffer from overheating, it is crucial to know some common symptoms of possible heatstroke. 

Whether your Lhasa Apsos are excessively panting or having increased respiratory rate, contact a certified and experienced veterinarian right away. 

What else? Don’t leave them alone in a parked vehicle for a few minutes or hours. While it can lead to heatstroke, you might get punished. 

9. They Might be Overprotective 

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While this quality might be good news for some, it might be a big problem in the future. 

But that doesn’t mean you cannot have Lhasa Apsos. It just needs patience, time, affection, and care. 

Yes, it is difficult. Your efforts, however, will be worth it after some time. 

Now, how to turn an overprotective Lhasa Apso into a caring and responsible pet? 

Before anything else, look out for early warning signs. You can expose your dogs to some strangers and find out how they react. 

If they growl at strangers, don’t relax. They’re starting to become overprotective. 

From there, regain control of your dog. You can create clear boundaries and never allow your dog to control you. 

Of course, you are close to your Lhasa Apso. Instead of being with them 24/7, get some distance.

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This will help your pet establish trust in other people. Allow your partner, siblings, or parents to feed, walk, or train your dog. 

It is a big mistake for pet owners to show their dog some love when the latter demands attention by excessive barking.

Therefore, don’t give them affection for no reason. They have to earn it. If they do the trick, give them some delicious treats.

It is also helpful to allow your dog to socialize with other breeds at a young age. 

10. They Are Used as Hearing Assistance Dogs 

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Apart from being an excellent guard dog, Lhasa Apsos are a popular hearing assistance breed. 

Similar to other small, medium-sized, and large dogs, Lhasa Apsos are known for sensitive hearing. 

Unfortunately, training is extremely challenging. But after months of repetitive, varied, and fun sessions, they can get their job done. 

Hearing assistance dogs like Lhasa Apso provide many possibilities to pet owners.

The level of security will be on the next level. Whether the fire or smoke system alarms, Lhasa Apso can alert pet owners with a severe hearing impairment. 

Lhasa Apso can guarantee their owner’s mobility and independence when walking outside, going to malls, or meeting a future business partner. 

The companionship between a hearing dog and a deaf owner will be as strong and meaningful as possible. 

In times of depression and feelings of loneliness, your Lhasa Apso can play a critical role.

Their adorable personality could uplift your mood and change your perspective. 

But wait, there’s more! Lhasa Apso can help improve both your physical and emotional well-being.

11. They Might Experience a Hard Time Breathing 

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Lhasa Apsos have a unique short nose facial structure that makes breathing freely difficult. 

So, avoid engaging them in a strenuous exercise. A simple walk is a wise and perfect choice. 

The extreme heat is another main factor that leads to excessive panting, fast heartbeat, continuous drooling, and breathing difficulties. 

When you go out with your dog despite the heat, don’t forget to bring enough fresh and clean water.

You can consider using cool icy treats. Also, put a cooling and quality vest on your Lhasa Apso. 

It’s quite a hassle to carry a backpack full of water, treats, and vest. For your convenience, just play games indoors. 

Now, what workout hacks to use for indoor activities and games? Try some toys that dispense treats.

They challenge the mind of your dogs and also keep them entertained. 

Obedience exercises have also been gaining immense popularity for the past few years.

You can also give this type of activity a shot. Canine puzzles are a great and effective alternative. 

12. They Often Require Regular Grooming 

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Like dogs with a full coat, Lhasa Apso require daily brushing to keep their fur healthy and shiny. 

While the process might be tiring, it’s fulfilling to cuddle a Lhasa Apso with a healthy and bright coat. 

Since brushing might be your daily routine, it is perfect for investing in a quality, long-lasting, and feature-packed option.

Whether you have tried mat-breaker comb or are quite disappointed with its functionality, there are other choices to consider.

These consist of a wire pin brush, slicker brush, soft brush, and rake comb. 

Aside from brush, purchase flea combs, claw cutters, styptic powder, conditioner, shampoos, ear cleaner, ear medication, and other grooming kits. 

Whether you have a busy schedule or want your Lhasa Apso to receive the best grooming treatment, there are professionals you can hire. 

Although the services require extra fees, expert grooming is worth the cost. 

Bottom Line

So, visit rescue centers, local shelters, websites online, and F.B. pages to look for Lhasa Apso for adoption.

You can also ask vets and other close friends for more details. Indeed, Lhasa Apso is an experts-recommended dog breed you should not miss! 

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