Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso​ - Small Dog Breed

Quick Facts


Height: 10”-11”

Weight: 12-14 lbs

Color: Black, black & tan, cream, golden, grizzle, red, red gold, white with potential for white markings, black tips, brindle, sable, black mask with tips, parti-color

Lifespan12-15 years

Temperament: Intelligent, charming, loyal, independent



Originating in Tibet, alert and with a keen sense of hearing, Lhasa Apso have always made ideal guard dogs. Provided they are trained early and a clear pack order is set in the home, your dog will be a happy addition to a family. However, small or rowdy children may not be a great match for Lhasa. These pups are very intelligent and have the potential to manipulate or outright take charge if routines, training and boundaries are not established.  

Lhasa owners often describe their pup’s facial expressions as human like and would swear their pup could almost talk. They require little for exercise and are happy homebodies.

Celebrity Owners

Jane Lynch, Gwen Stefani, Ellen DeGeneres, Elizabeth Taylor, Kurt Vonnegut, Peggy Guggenheim, Queen Sofia of Spain, Bethenny Frankel, Dalai Lama, Milhouse (of the Simpsons)

Fun Facts

  1. Lhasa are often called Jellybean Dogs, owing to the variety of colors options for the pups’ coats.
  2. A Lhasa Apso named “Word” spent 8 years on death row during appeals for a case which alleged the dog bit a woman on Capitol Hill.


Generally, Lhasa is a healthy breed. The most serious health condition they can face is renal dysplasia. While there is no reliable test for this, a reputable breeder will look for early warning signs, excess urination and water consumption, and will not sell these puppies. Regrettably, late symptoms can occur. This problem can range from mild to fatal. Breeders have done their best to breed this issue out of Lhasa.

Other concerns can include:

  • Intervertebral disc disease: In this degenerative disease, a spinal disk deteriorates over time, which can lead to a disc rupture, herniation, or worse.
  • Urolithiasis: More commonly thought of as kidney stones, this condition has stony concretions from anywhere in the urinary tract, including the kidneys.
  • Hydrocephalus: This condition occurs when there is a cerebrospinal fluid buildup in the brain. This places potentially grave pressure on the brain. This condition is typically congenital, meaning they were born with it.
  • Brachycephalic syndrome: This syndrome describes anatomic abnormalities in certain breeds where the upper airways dysfunction and/or are obstructed.
  • Dry eye: Often observed through your dog’s red eyes, this condition is caused by a dog’s immune system attacking its lacrimal glands, shutting them down.
  • Cataracts: This syndrome describes anatomic abnormalities in certain breeds where the upper airways dysfunction and/or are obstructed.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: Atrophy is a wearing or wasting away of a body part. In this case, it is the retina in the eye, which eventually leads to blindness.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma is caused by when the intraocular pressure (IOP) in the eye is increased.
  • Hip dysplasia: This condition is when the socket joint in the hip isn’t large enough, or more often too shallow, for the femoral head.
  • Luxating patella: Luxating simply means out of place or dislocated. Patella is a kneecap. A Luxating patella is a kneecap that chronically moves out of its normal position.
While you always hope your pet will live a long and healthy life, it is always a good idea to invest in pet health insurance.
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Accordion Content

Are You Covered When Your Pup Gets Sick?


Regardless of the length at which you keep your pup’s hair, it will require brushing at least 3 times per week.

A regular schedule of grooming your Lhasa ensures hair will never matt. Long de-matting treatments are very uncomfortable for you dog. If you keep your Lhasa’s coat long, you must always use a spray conditioner first before brushing.

Bathing for long hair should occur every 1-2 weeks. Bathing for short hair can go a bit longer at 2-3 weeks. Keep your pups eyes and ears clean and clear of debris. Maintain short, clipped nails and brush your pup’s teeth several times per week.


$600 – $1,500


Lhasa are more laid-back than many small dog breeds. Walking for 15-20 minutes per day or a play session in a fenced in yard will suffice for energy expenditure.


Your Lhasa will eat around 1 ½ cups of food per day. They exact amount your pup will need will depend on their age and activity level. With this breed it is recommended your pup have food with a fat level above 14%.

We’ve taken a look at some premium dog foods, high in nutrition here.

Are You Feeding Your Dog The Best Food?


As with all dogs, early socialization with humans and other dogs is key to your pup’s success. The most beneficial Lhasa training is filled with positive praise and treats.

These little pups will do about anything for treats, and if you keep training varied and mentally stimulating your pup will progress. Harsh responses deemed unfair by your Lhasa may result in resentment. You should begin housetraining your pup by 8 weeks. Introduce your pup to “the spot” and praise it whenever it goes over that way.

Never play with your pup outside until your pup has visited the spot. Crate training is highly recommended during housetraining to curtail any accidents. Your Lhasa will not ask you to go out, even when fully trained, so always offer so you can ensure you are meeting your pup’s needs.

Proper training is essential to ensuring the safety of your dog and those around you. Having your dog come when they should, and in general having them listen is something you want to address early in your pup’s life, as it will pay dividends down the line. There are many tried and true training programs to accomplish this training – faster and better than you might think!

Unless you’re living on a farm, or have the space, a yipping dog, or one that barks all day when you are gone could be an issue with the neighbors and/or landlord. Historically, dogs would bark to communicate with the rest of the pack when hunting and bark as a warning shot to predators eyeing up their flock. Barking is deep rooted in dogs and manifests itself in many ways and for a variety of reasons.

Just like any habit or instinct, there are effective ways you can train this issue away.

The Best Dog Vitamins and Supplements To Keep Your Pup Healthy. Period.


A solid Glucosamine Supplement for hips and joints will go a long way to helping your furry friend.

Other helpful supplements include full-spectrum hemp oil or CBD oil. Fish oil skin and coat supplement.

Ensuring a comprehensive preventative vitamin and mineral plan is essential to keeping your dog healthy. Truth is, there are vitamins and minerals that your dog needs, but doesn’t produce naturally. While many of these vitamins and minerals can be found in your dog’s current diet and dog food, the question becomes, are there enough vitamins to ensure they aren’t deficient.

Poor nutrition can lead to some of the most common health issues, such as weak joints, compromised immunity, increased allergies, and low energy.

Vitamins play a vital role in your pet’s health and overall life expectancy. Here are some multivitamin and joint relief options.

As regulations around marijuana have eased, the emergence of CBD oils for humans and dogs have sprung up.

Just to begin to dispel the negative stigma, CBD extract comes from Hemp, marijuana’s cousin. Unlike its cousin, there are no psychoactive qualities in CBD oil. An emerging number of clinical and institutional studies have shown the wide variety of healing qualities in CBD, including pain management, and the containment of seizures and epileptic episodes.

Explore this remedy further to see all the health benefits that have transformed the lives of so many dogs to date.

Have You Tried CBD For You Dog's Health?

The Good

  • Excellent watch dogs
  • Low shedding

The "Ruff"

  • Involved consistent grooming needed
  • Can try to take over pack order

Annual Vet Bills: $1,500+

Be Prepared for the unexpected.