The Lhasa Apso: A Complete Guide

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If you are looking for a dog that originates from the far east, more precisely the Tibet, and has all the traits of an excellent housekeeper, the Lhasa Apso might be just the breed you were looking for.

Once the protector of the Tibetan monasteries, today’s Lhasa still carries that protective gene only comes with a much friendlier attitude.

This is now a great family dog that shows quite a high level of devotion, combined with his impeccable alertness and lightning fast alarming reaction if something isn’t the way it should be around the household.

This dog can be a great companion for a wide range of owner types, but finding a perfect puppy can be a difficult task.

So, to help you out in your quest, and seriously cut down on your research time, we have prepared this Lhasa Apso in-depth guide.

The guide will give you a better understanding of the breed, and what is even more important, you will learn how to find a reputable breeder.

Such a breeder will likewise help you in making the final decision about, taking the dog with you or moving on to another breed.

But first, let’s start with the most important facts about the whole puppy search and purchase process.

The Lhasa Apso Puppies – Before You Buy…

Two small Lhasa Apso looking up
The Lhasa Apso can be your ideal companion for years to come.

Before buying the Lhasa Apso puppy from the first breeder you find, you need to make sure that this puppy is healthy, with good genes, and if it has the personality that matches yours.

However, before even going there, you need to make sure that your bank account allows the purchase of this puppy. Therefore, you need to know the price range that you can expect in the current market.

What price are the Lhasa Apso puppies?

For a healthy Lhasa Apso puppy, from a reputable breeder that has both the experience and excellent bloodline behind the litter, you will need to cash out from some $1K to an astounding $5K!

Of course, that higher end of the range is reserved for premium-quality pups that have permission for breeding and competing and most likely winning at dog shows.

For regulars, a household pet without the fancy parents, just with their health tests clearances, you can expect the $1K price tag.

How to find reputable Lhasa Apso breeders?

When looking for a breeder, there are a few DOs and DON’Ts you should be aware of. Let’s start with the don’t as it is more important not to make these mistakes than to forget to follow the DOs.


  • Buy a puppy from a “breeder” that know less about the breed than you do, and doesn’t seem interested at all if you will provide a happy home for the little furball
  • Buy a puppy from a “breeder” that always has many available litters, and has a price that is well below the market range
  • Buy a puppy if you don’t have an insight into the pup’s health history, the shot’s it got so far, and health tests clearances for both parents


  • Buy a puppy from a breeder that shows high-interest in you and your lifestyle so that he can help you choose the perfect puppy
  • Buy a puppy from a breeder that has all the medical history of the entire bloodline
  • Buy a puppy from a breeder that is clearly in love with his dogs and is highly focused on finding the right home for his pups
  • Buy a puppy from a breeder that offers you advice on how to properly take care of the pup and how and with what to feed him

As you can see, when you know what to pay attention to, and which questions to ask, finding a reputable breeder can be like walking a Lhasa Apso down the park.

3 Little-known facts about the Lhasa Apso puppies

In this part, you will get familiar with some of the lesser-known facts about the Lhasa Apso puppies.

  • They are highly independent

These dogs are not like most dogs their size. They want to please themselves, not you. So, early training and “explaining” a thing or two about who is in charge to your dog is necessary.

  • They are dominant

Again, another reason for early and consistent training so that your Lhasa doesn’t think that he is the Alpha of the family. Your family!

  • They are naturally protective

Regardless of how much training your Lhasa has, this is something he will never be able to suppress.

They were bred to be protectors and that is what they are. So, expect a lot of alarms, especially during the night when everyone else is asleep.

Physical Traits of the Lhasa Apso

A Lhasa Apso with long straight hair
The Lhasa Apso is a highly intelligent breed.

Let’s take a look at how big this courageous dog gets when fully matured. And, you will also find out how long you can expect your companion to be in your family.

How big is a full-grown Lhasa Apso?

Even though they act like they are big, they aren’t that huge as they think.

The male Lhasa Apso will grow up to 11 inches in height, while the females are slightly shorter, with a maximum height of 10 inches.

As for their weight, the maximum weight you can expect from a fully-grown Lhasa Apso male is around 15 pounds.

Again, the females are slightly lighter and their average maximum weight is around 13 pounds.

What is the life expectancy of the Lhasa Apso?

With a proper diet and exercise levels, your Lhasa Apso can have a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.

Not long as some other small dog breeds, but still more than enough to have many happy memories that will last you a lifetime.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Lhasa Apso

The first thing you will notice with the Lhasa Apso is that he thinks that he is much bigger than his actual size. Much, much bigger!

These dogs come with a very protective nature, and even though he looks like a plush toy, he certainly doesn’t act like one and tries his best at being fierce, even though it doesn’t really suit him.

Regardless of that, when it comes to protecting his family, he will do everything to keep everybody safe, even if that means getting hurt.

But, his devotion towards the human family also means that he loves to be an active member. The Lhasa Apso doesn’t like being left alone for long. If that happens, he is well-known for being mischievous.

For all of these reasons, when thinking about getting this dog, you keep in mind that you will have to start the training early, as well as start the socialization from the moment he enters your home so that as he grows, your Lhasa Apso shapes into a well-mannered little dog.

Be sure that all the patience and time you invested in his training, will pay off once your dog reaches his adult stage.

But, regardless of the training and socialization, you need to know that Lhasa Apsos are not like Golden Retrievers, they are not always up for playtime.

No, they want to play in their own terms, and will easily refuse you if they have “something better to do”.

However, all things considered, this is one really smart breed that can turn out to be a great choice for a wide range of family types.

All you have to do is make him realize that you are in charge of the household not him, and show him nothing but love and positive encouragement, and you will have a devoted, loyal companion that will make you and your family happy for many years to come.

Lhasa Apso Diet

A Lhasa Apso showing you its teeth
The Lhasa Apso has sharp senses.

How does this sound? Real meat, beef, turkey, chicken, bison, fish, venison, a few fresh vegetables, and fruits, and from time to time some eggs and yogurt.

It sounds like a diet for people, doesn’t it? Well, this is what your Lhasa Apso needs to stay healthy and develop properly.

Of course, it will be best if you get the list of ingredients and the entire diet plan from the breeder.

This way, you will count on his experience with the breed to provide the best possible care you can provide for your dog.

How much Exercise does a Lhasa Apso need?

When it comes to Lhasa Apso and his energy levels, he is not an overly active dog. In fact, he won’t mind if you leave him to lounge on the sofa the entire day.

But, that wouldn’t be good for his health and you need to take him out for a half an hour walk, at least twice a day.

These walks should be combined with short exercise sessions or free running with other dogs in the dog park.

The Lhasa Apso Health and Conditions

Like most of the dogs this size, the Lhasa Apso is also known as a breed that is generally healthy. However, certain diseases trouble them, and of which you should be aware of.

  • Patellar Luxation
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca
  • Cherry Eye
  • Sebaceous Adenitis
  • Familial Inherited Renal Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Allergies

Because of these health issues, you need to make sure that the breeder has health tested both the pup’s parents and if possible, see the same clearances for the grandparents as well.

My final thoughts on the Lhasa ApsoA close up of the Lhasa Apso dogs face

We have reached the end of our Lhasa Apso in-depth guide.

So, what have we learned about this breed today? Do you think that this is the breed you were looking for?

Let’s take a look at some of the most important facts about the Lhasa Apso so that you are sure the final choice you make is the right one.

These dogs are highly intelligent and they come with plenty of traits that make them excellent family pets.

Also, thanks to their sharp senses and alertness, they will be perfect guard dogs, even though they lack the size.

It won’t stop them from barking their soul out, at any potential danger that threatens your home.

And, if they grow up with your kids, they will love them forever, and be their faithful protectors and nannies that keep them from getting into trouble.

You should also keep in mind that this breed is quite independent and that the training can be a bit complicated.

But, with plenty of love, patience, and positive encouragement, your Lhasa will recognize you as the leader of the pack and follow your every lead.

All in all, whether you live in an apartment, or a house, alone, or with a family and small kids, this dog can be your ideal companions for years to come.

But, you have to invest time and love to turn him into a well-mannered citizen, but he will return that love ten times more.

Thanks for reading our guide. Have you made the decision? Do you maybe need your friends’ opinions, feel free to share the guide on social media so that they can read it as well, and help you out in your decision making.

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