The Lhasa Apso is a relatively small dog with an extreme personality. These dogs are often described as funny, cheerful, and eager to please. They have a past of thousands of years as a tiny dog guard. Moreover, the dog breed also surpasses as a hearing dog for people with hearing loss.
Keep reading to learn more about the history, temperament, appearance, and behavior of the Lhasa Apso dog breed.
History of the Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso dog breed was introduced in Tibet over 2,500 years ago. The dog was bred as a watchdog in the palaces and Buddhist monasteries in the Himalayas. Named after the sacred city of Lhasa, these highly valued creatures were the indoor watchdogs of temples.
Some DNA evidence has shown that Lhasa Apso is an ancient line closely related to the wolf. The breed gradually came into the western world in the early 1900s and was recognized as the Lhasa Terrier by the Kennel Club in London in 1908.
Lhasa Apso characteristics
This dog breed is known for its long, straight, and dense coat, and the signature hair part that looks like a lion’s mane. The fully grown male Lhasa Apso stands 10 to 11 inches tall and weighs between 12 and18 pounds, while the females are smaller.
The Lhasa Apso comes with beautiful black, tan, cream, red, and white-colored fur. But occasionally the dogs have grey, blue, or silver coats. They have black and brown noses with a long beard and slightly longer snouts than similar snub-nosed dog breeds like the Pekingese.
The Lhasa Apso dog breed has confidence and boldness to spare, so much that they were known as “Abso Seng kye” (bark lion sentinel dog) in Tibet.
If you ask any Lhasa Apso owner, they will tell you about this little dog’s smarts; but their high intelligence and independent nature can mean they are harder to train. The dogs are loyal and you can count on them to always have your back. They tend to be standoffish with strangers at first, which is not surprising since they were bred to protect temples.
This dog breed’s puppies can take up to three years to mature emotionally. However, with a dedicated owner and lots of praise, their energy can be channeled into learning new things.
The Lhasa Apso excels in agility training, and some dogs herd livestock or work as therapy dogs.
When it comes to grooming, the Lhasa Apso is high maintenance; they do not fall under low maintenance dog breeds.
Its long and luxurious coats can get tangled if not cared for properly. Daily brushing and monthly baths are highly recommended for these dogs.
Besides caring for their coats, the dogs also need essential grooming including nail trims and teeth cleaning.
The Lhasa Apso also needs high-quality food. Monitoring food and exercise is an integral part of their care as this will prevent your dog from gaining unhealthy weight.
Common Lhasa Apso health issues
Though the breed is healthy, they are prone to health issues like hip dysplasia, juvenile renal disease, intervertebral disc disease, and patellar luxation. They might also have to deal with eye issues like retinal atrophy and dry eye.
Other common health issues include cherry eye (a red mass at the inner corner of the dog’s eye), allergies, and a genetic skin condition known as sebaceous adenitis, where the sebaceous glands become inflamed.
With the proper care, these dogs can live for 12 to 15 years on average. However, some Lhasa Apsos are known to have lived well into their 20s.
When you want to be successful in training a Lhasa Apso, follow these easy tricks and tips.
- Initially, you will have to keep the training sessions relatively short so that the pup stays interested. If the dog seems to get bored, then you might have been training too long.
- While training, you need to choose a place with few distractions like your backyard. Once your dog starts responding to your commands, you can try training in new places with distractions.
- With each training session, reward your pup with their favorite treats.
- Avoid punishment during the training, otherwise, you will frustrate your Lhasa Apso.
The Lhasa Apso is undoubtedly a cute and intelligent dog breed. They are loyal but high-maintenance dog breeds.
Though they can be pretty tricky to train, they only need daily exercise for 30 minutes, and they highly appreciate a daily walk and play with their favorite toys.
To adopt a Lhasa Apso, check Petfinder.com.To find an American Kennel Club-Registered breeder, visit the AKC Marketplace.
Monica Heft, at animalcreativefacts.com, will take the readers a bit closer to various animal species’ lives. She is here to create a meaningful and deeper bond with the animal species, for it is essential to understand the habitat, behavior, and species of different animals.