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Lhasa Apso Dog Breed Profile

Lhasa Apso

Other Names
Apso Seng Kyi 
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
This little dog is a member of the utility group. They were first used as indoor guards of the temples and as companions for the monks of these temples. Today they are family pets. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
< £4 per week
Feeding Requirements
The Lhasa is a fairly undemanding dog feeding wise. This dog is prone to back problems if overweight so do watch the diet. 
Other Expenses
A puppy will cost between £400 to £500. 
> 15 years
The Lhasa, on average, is a long lived breed and will reach the ages of 17 or 18 if well cared for. 
Average Litter Size
Litters can vary in size from 1 to 8 puppies, the average being 6. 
General Physical Description
The Lhasa Apso is a long coated, sturdy little dog. They move in quite a jaunty manner with their tails carried over their backs. They are slightly longer than they are tall.

Height Min Max
Bitch 23cm (9") 25cm (10")
Dog 25cm (10") 28cm (11")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 5kg (11lbs) 6kg (13lbs)
Dog 6kg (13lbs) 7kg (15lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
Dogs measure 25-28cms at the withers, the ideal being 25.4cms, and weigh between 6-7kgs. Bitches are slightly smaller. 
The Lhasa is a fairly healthy dog, there is a concern about hip dysplasia but breeders are screening for this now. Screening is also being done for eye problems. The incidence of kidney problems seems to be in certain breed lines rather than the whole breed. 
Common Ailments

Kidney failure  
Susceptibility To Illness
The Lhasa Apso was only 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 was first seen in Britain in the 1920ís and introduced to America in the 1930ís where it was accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1935. It is reported to be rare in its native Tibet.  
They are intelligent little dogs that can be obstinate. They need to be trained from an early age. With patience and consistency they can become relatively obedient. They are quite sensitive and so do not respond well to raised voices, they can become withdrawn and depressed if subjected to excessively loud voices. They must not be overly spoiled as they may develop behavioural problems.< 
Show Characteristics
The head should be relatively narrow with hair falling over the eyes, a long beard and whiskers. The eyes should be dark, or medium size and oval. The muzzle should not be square. The ears should be large and long with an abundance of feathering. The teeth should be a reverse scissor bite, that is when the mouth is closed the top teeth close inside the bottom teeth. The neck should be strong and well arched, falling into well laid back shoulders. The legs are short and muscular. The body should be longer than it is tall. The feet should be round and well feathered. The tail is long haired and should be set high and carried over the back, it often has a kink at the end. The coat should be long and heavy with a reasonable undercoat. All colours are accepted. 
Country Of Origin
Famous Examples
Records Held
Overall Exercise
0 - 20 minutes per day.
They do require exercise as 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. 
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
The Lhasa Apso is a loyal, trustful and intelligent dog. They do get along well with children and other dogs. As a breed they can be independent and are wary of strangers. They do enjoy the company of children. 
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
< Once a week 
Requires Professional Groomer
The grooming requirements are considerable for this small dog. The topcoat coat of the Lhasa Apso is long, heavy and slightly rough to the touch. The undercoat is a little shorter and softer. They do require a lot of daily grooming to keep their coats looking in top condition. It is best to start getting the dog used to being groomed when it is very young. As the undercoat is so soft it must be combed to prevent any matts and tangles forming. If they are not kept properly groomed they can develop skin problems. Even though the hair goes over the eyes the eyelashes are long and strong enough to allow the dog to see very well. They also require to be bathed fairly regularly to keep them feeling clean and fresh. If the coat becomes too much they can be kept short, a professional groomer, or the breeder, is probably the best person to advise on ho 
They come in a variety of colours sandy, honey, golden, brown dark grizzle, slate, smoke, black, white and combinations of these colours. 
Suffers From Allergies

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