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Lhasa Apso Dog Breed Profile

Jun 27, 2008
The Lhasa Apso makes a wonderful pet, sometimes willful and some can be high-spirited but they are all loving and affectionate. Originating from Tibet, this is an ancient breed that was bred for over 2000 years by nobles and holy men and was considered a sacred animal and even used to guard the monasteries and temples. In the Western world, we can thank the Dalai Lama for this furry lapdog since he would often give them as gifts to foreign dignitaries who were visiting his country. The Lhasa Apso was first seen in Britain in the 1920s and made its way to the US by the 1930s.

Part of the American Kennel Club non sporting group, the Lhasa Apso was admitted to the AKC 1935 in the terrier group but then reassigned in 1959. By breed standards the dog weighs 13 and 15 pounds and stands 11 inches tall. Lhasa's can be rather long lived with some living past 18 years of age.

This breed is characterized by its long coat which drapes over its entire body and hangs onto the floor making the dog look almost like a walking mop! The coat is very straight and heavy and even covers the dogs face as it hangs over the eyes and produces a beard and mustache as well. The Lhasa Apso has dark eyes and feathered ears and tail which should be carried over the dogs back. Most often seen in white, this breed also comes in smoke, slate, gold, cream, black, honey and brown.

The Lhasa Apso is intelligent, lively, friendly and assertive. They can be very devoted and affectionate to their owners but may be suspicious of strangers. Some can be rather willful but others are eager to please their owners and will do whatever they say. They can be a bit high spirited and they have a loud bark which can be rather persistent.

The Lhasa Apso is a healthy breed in general but might suffer from skin problems if their coat is not cared for properly. Some may have hip dysplasia in addition to eye problems and kidney problems. Rarely, these dogs may suffer from a bleeding ulcer.

These little dogs are very active indoors but can do well in an apartment as long as they walked regularly and given a chance to play and run. This is not a dog that needs a lot of exercise but every dog does need a walk at least once a day.

Due to the long coat, this breed does need grooming care and will have to have the coat trimmed and stripped. If they are not brush everyday the coat will become quite matted and unruly. The feet can also get matted easily and should be checked daily. This breed can be dry shampooed when necessary and their eyes and ears should be cleaned often. Despite the long code this breed is only an average shedder.
About the Author
Get more info and advice on the Lhasa Apso or a full list of dog breeds at this Dog Behaviour website.
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