Country of OriginTibet, China
Nicknames and Other NamesLhasa, Lion Dog
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypePurebred
GroupToy Group
Non-Sporting Group
Bred Foralerting monks of any intruders that
enters the monasteries
Life Span12-15 years
Ideal Weight12-18 pounds (male and female)
Ideal HeightMale: 10-11 inches
Female: slightly smaller
Fur TypeDense, long, silky
Common ColorsCream, Black, Golden, Grizzle, White,
Red Gold, Black and Tan
MarkingsBlack Tips, Brindle, Parti-color
AvailabilityWidely available
Suitable for ApartmentsYes
Used in World WarNo
Most Similar ToShih Tzu

Lhasa Apso is a small-sized dog which is known by many names like, Tibetan Apso, the Bearded Lion Dog, the Hairy Lion Dog, the Talisman Dog, the Shantung Terrier, the Sheng Trou and so on. The Lhasa Apso is a small but hardy dog.

Lhasa Apso is longer than tall. The hair falls from the head over the eyes and they have mustache and beard. the forelegs are straight with all legs full of feathers. Their coat is long, dense and hard, heavy flowing all over the body.

Origin and History

The origin of Lhasa Apso is from the isolated mountain of Tibet. The name is taken from the sacred city of Lhasa. For thousands of years, this breed serves as a guard dog at the Buddhist monasteries in the isolated Himalayan. They have been associated with the Dalai Lama for centuries. The Dalai Lama helped establish the breed in America in the late 1940s.

The American Kennel Club recognized Lhasa Apso in 1936 under the non-sporting group. They currently rank 71 of 193 registered breed in AKC.

Is Lhasa Apso Child-Friendly?

Lhasa Apso is not so child-friendly and are intolerant of children and are more likely to nip them. They are not best suited in the house with young children and toddlers. However, they are good with older children who knows to handle dogs and approach them.

Lhasa Apso puppy with older children
Lhasa Apso with children.
Image Source: Instagram-@rachlilyf87

Temperament, Behavior, and Personality

Temperament: The temperament of Lhasa Apso is comical and smart. They are used as a watch and guard dog, so they make a great watchdog nowadays too. They are fearless and can face dogs bigger than them in size.

Behavior: Lhasa Apso does not do great in the house with small children. they might snap them or even bite them. they are not welcoming of strangers too. As a watchdog, they are suspicious of all people except for their family. No matter how much you train them to socialize, they are still not so welcoming of strangers.

Personality: Lhasa Apso have a clownish personality that makes everyone laugh. They make a great family companion as they are funny and entertaining who likes to be the center of attention in the family. They are stubborn and a little with ego but they have a heart of gold.

Lhasa Apso Playing Fetch


Training Lhasa Apso is a quite challenging job to do. It requires a lot of patience and gentleness to train them. Harsh often treatment leads to biting and showing their aggressive behavior. So, one should be gentle and should establish a firm leadership with confidence and consistency. They should be rewarded with lots of treat and praises, so they remain motivated and focused on the training.


  • The average life span of Lhasa Apso is between 12-15 years.
  • The original name given to Lhasa Apso is Abso Seng Kye which means ‘Bark lion sentinel dog’.
  • Lhasa Apso served as a guard dog inside the dwelling in Tibet, while Mastiffs served outside.

Health Issues

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesAllergies, Patellar Luxation, Cherry Eyes,
Progressive Retinal Atrophy,
Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca,
Familial Inherited Renal Dysplasia
Vaccination RequiredCanine Distemper, Canine Parvovirus,
Leptospirosis, Rabies,
Canine Parainfluenza
Canine Coronavirus, Kennel Cough
SheddingHigh Shedder
DroolingLow Drooler
GroomingProfessional Grooming Required
Weight Gain PotentialAverage
Separation AnxietyModerate Chance
Diets and SupplementsProtein: 22%
Fat: 8%

Lhasa Apso is not a breed likely to inherit any serious health problems. However, some of the few canine diseases that they are likely to suffer are:

  • Retinal Dysplasia: It is a disease that is mainly caused by hereditary. It is a fatal kidney disease leading to immature glomeruli, primitive tubules and lesions caused by cysts. 
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Eye Disease


The Lhasa Apso comes in various colors and markings, which are listed below:

  • Black & Tan
  • Cream
  • Golden
  • Red
  • Red Gold
  • White
  • Blue
  • Charcoal
  • Gray
  • Liver
  • Silver
  • Grizzle
  • Cream
  • Black Mask with tips marking, Brindle markings, Parti-color, Sable, White marking and sable white marking.


Cost: The average cost of the Lhasa Apso puppy is $500-$800. However if you are looking for a top quality breed, it cost from $1500 up to $ 4500 USD.

Height and Size: The average height of the Lhasa Apso male is 10-11 inches and the female is slightly smaller than male. The average weight of the Lhasa Apso is 12-18 pounds.

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