Lhasa Apso Dog Breed

Lhasa Apso
Males – 10 to 11 inches at the withers, Females – 9 to 10 inches at the withers
Males – 13 to 18 pounds, Females – 11 to 13 pounds.
Any color
Conformation, Agility, Obedience, Rally Obedience

The Lhasa Apso is a thousand-year-old breed from the Himalayan Mountains, where it was created to guard isolated palaces and monasteries.


Happy, assertive and clownish, the Lhasa Apso is a small, hardy dog with a long, luxurious coat. True to its sentinel roots, this breed possesses intelligence, acute hearing and an instinct for distinguishing friends from strangers.

Lhasa Apsos thrive with adults and older children. They enjoy daily walks and do best with positive training.


The Lhasa Apso is a Non-Sporting breed distinguished by a fabulous, floor-length coat that is worn parted down the middle, draping the body on both sides. His tail, with its plume of long, luxurious hair, curls over his back.


12 to 15 years


The Lhasa Apso’s coat can be one of several solid colors, such as white, cream, grizzle, red or tan. It can also be a black and tan combination.


Lhasa Apsos are infrequent shedders, but their long hair does require more involved care. Owners can keep their dog’s hair long, or choose a puppy cut.

Lhasas with a puppy cut need to be brushed two-to-three times a week and bathed between visits to the groomer. Lhasas with long hair should be on the same brushing schedule and bathed every two weeks.


The Lhasa Apso is generally hardy and healthy. The breed’s most serious health problem is hereditary kidney dysfunction; however, thanks to responsible breeding the chances of a knowledgeable breeder placing an afflicted puppy in a home are very slim.

Best Dog Food for Lhasa Apso Dogs & Puppies

Lhasa Apsos may find the specialized nutrition and smaller kibble of a small breed dog food beneficial. For Lhasa Apsos who need help with weight management, consider a healthy weight formula.

Lhasa Apso puppies should eat a small breed puppy food for their first year of life to aid in their growth and development.


The Lhasa Apso is an ancient breed—a thousand years ago these small, regal dogs served as sentinels at palaces and Buddhist monasteries high in the Himalayan mountains. Lhasa is the name of the capital of Tibet.

For centuries this breed has had a connection to the Dalai Lama. In fact, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama himself helped bring the breed to the United States when he gave American Charles Suydam Cutting two Lhasa Apsos as a gift.

The Lhasa Apso was admitted to the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1935. 


  • The original name of the Lhasa Apso was Abso Send Kye, meaning the “Bark Lion Sentinel Dog.”
  • In Tibet, Lhasa Apsos guarded dwellings on the inside, and Mastiffs served as outdoor guards.
  • Celebrity owners of Lhasa Apsos include Liberace, Elizabeth Taylor, Kurt Vonnegut, Ellen DeGeneres, Jane Lynch and Gwen Stefani.