Lhasa Apso

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Bark Lion Sentinel Dog
Country/Date of origin:
  • Tibet
  • 600′s
  • 10 to 11 inches
  • 13 to 15 pounds
  • Very alert and watchful.
  • Suspicious of strangers and will bark an alarm.
  • Independent and stubborn.
  • Loyal and faithful to family.

In the holy city of Lhasa, there is a beautiful palace called Potala and there the high priest called the Dalai Lama sat on the Lion Throne of Tibet.  His palace guardians were tiny watchdogs bred to resemble the sacred lion that is believed to be the protector of Buddha.  An ancient breed, and probably foundation stock for some of the Chinese dogs, the Lhasa didn’t reach the West until the 1920′s when the Dalai Lama gave some as a gift to an English doctor.  The breed made its way across the Atlantic via Britain, and was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1935.

Body Type:
  • A small dog whose long, flowing coat completely hides its face.
  • The plume tail is carried high over the back and is never altered.
  • The hanging ears are not altered.
  • A double coat, with a topcoat that is heavy, straight and rather hard.   The undercoat is moderate.
  • Long in length, the coat touches the ground and is parted down the back.
  • All colors are acceptable.  Golden or lion colors are preferred.
  • Grooming is very high maintenance.  Daily brushing is required.
Health and Wellness:
  • Porto-systemic shunt.
  • Epiphora.
  • Inguinal hernia.
  • Renal dysplasia.
  • Urolithiasis (oxalate and struvite).
  • Patella luxation.
  • Atopy.
  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).
  • Cushing’s disease (PDH).
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca.
  • Mitral insufficiency.
  • Skin tumors.
What you should know:
  • A translation of the Tibetan name is Bark Sentinel Lion Dog.
  • Slow to mature, but long-lived and ages gracefully.
  • Lhasas are a watch dog that seems to have an uncanny ability to distinguish friend from foe.
  • Lhasas are not lap dogs or companion animals. They are guard animals by nature.
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