- Recent DNA studies indicate that the Lhasa Apso is among the 14 most ancient breeds recognized by the AKC.
- The Lhasa apso is an ancient breed from Tibet, where it was revered in the villages and monasteries.
- The dogs acted as monastery lookouts, sounding the alarm at the arrival of visitors. This gave rise to their native name of Abso Seng Kye, which means bark lion sentinel dog. The name Lhasa apso may be derived from this.
- The souls of llamas were believed to enter the dogs' bodies after the llamas died, which added to the reverence given these dogs.
- When the breed first came to England in the early 1900s, it was called the Lhassa terrier.
- The breed came to America around 1930. It was recognized by the AKC in 1935. At that time it was assigned to the terrier group, but it was reassigned to the Non-sporting group in 1959.
- The Lhasa's popularity has risen slowly but steadily in the last two decades
Lhasa Apso Behavior Concerns
- Makes a loyal and entertaining companion.
- Playful and good with children.
- A one family dog, tending to be aloof toward strangers. Early socialization so that it willingly accepts new people is important.
- Generally friendly toward other dogs and pets.
- Tends to be bold, stubborn and independent, which makes training using force methods extremely unproductive.
- Does best with reward-based training involving food or games.
- Some tend to bark a lot.
- Housetraining can be more challenging than with many other breeds.
Lhasa Apso Suggested Exercises
- Makes an active and alert housedog.
- Although many of its physical exercise needs can be met with indoor games, it still needs the mental stimulation of walking and sniffing outdoors.
- A walk around the block once or twice daily will meet its outdoor needs, not counting bathroom breaks.
- Many Lhasas have been trained to use indoor potty systems.
- Does well at dog parks as well as it is separated from large dogs.
- Does not tend to enjoy hot weather.
- Swimming is not recommended unless constantly supervised.
- Games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.
Lhasa Apso Grooming
- Coat is long, hard and straight.
- Brushing and combing every other day is necessary to prevent mats.
- Many pet owners elect to have their dogs professionally groomed, or clipped into a trim that is more easily cared for.
- Hair must be kept out of eyes to avoid irritation.
- The hair around the anus must be checked daily for hygiene issues.
- Shedding is below average.
Suggested Lhasa Apso Nutritional Needs
- Lhasa apsos tend to stay in good weight.
- Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.