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Lhasa Apso Dog

Updated on December 30, 2010

Llasa Apso - Best companion dog breed; loves to please

My family and I were looking for "the perfect" dog breed for us. We took a "doggie test" to see what dog breed we were best suited to enjoy. One of the dog breeds presented to us after the test was Lhasa Apso. The characteristics that sold us was the fact that this type of dog lives to protect & please their owner - that and they don't shed.

At first my kids were resistant to taking the doggie test, and each of them had different ideas of what kind of dog we should get. We discussed our lifestyle and talked about the changes we might have to make if we got a dog breed that had different needs than what we were willing to provide - like lots of exercise and long daily walks.

We also discussed how important it would be to train the dog properly so that our dog would not develop bad behavior problems such as dog to dog aggression, biting issues, and dog dominance over people. One of our dogs tried really hard to be in charge, it was a constant battle to get him to obey.

We have now owned two Lhasa Apso dogs and are completely captivated by their charm. Let me share our story & some characteristics of these adorable companion dogs. You just might want to own one of these yourself!

Cute Toy Breed with a purpose to guard those they love
Cute Toy Breed with a purpose to guard those they love

Lhasa Apso Characteristics

Does this dog make my butt look big?

No, of course not silly!

But you should research your choice of dog, or any pet for that matter to see if the pet's natural characteristics are a good fit for you and your family. There's nothing worse that taking the dog home only to find that the dog is more like an intruder or an enemy than a family member.

Have you ever heard of a family with small children that bring home a dog that bites one of their children and they get mad at the dog...when if they would have researched the breed they would have discovered that the particular breed they brought into their home did not do well with children - NOT THE DOG'S FAULT!

Following are some characteristics of the Lhasa Apso breed:

Lhasa Apso's are...protective

Not a "sissy" dog

I've read that when a Lhasa looks in the mirror he sees a lion. My Lhasa, Bennie, definitely has "big dog syndrome". He's just a little guy but he has big attitude; small, but sturdy.

Don't get me wrong, Lhasa's are loving additions to the family, but because they were bred as indoor watch dogs they take their job very seriously. The protective nature of this breed is characterized by:

  • very discriminating hearing; able to distinguish from normal day to day sounds and unusual noise that could be cause for alarm. Because of this they are not usually "yappy" dogs barking at every little noise.

  • friendly and loyal to their owner and family but wary of strangers. They need to be socialized or they can become "cranky". Introduce them to new people (guests welcome in your home) from time to time and they will still be wary at first but learn to warm up to the people you are warm and friendly with.

  • has a mind of it's own. Training must be done with a Lhasa so that the pet knows who is "the Big Dog" in the family; without proper respect this breed can have issues with dog dominance over people.

Lhasa Apso Calendar

The Lhasa Apso dog breed is so stinking cute that having a calendar with a different picture every month is a must. Better yet you might need more than one calendar for the home and office!

They can entertain themselves if they have to...
They can entertain themselves if they have to...

Llasa Apso's are...independent

"Where oh where is my MOMMY!?"

This breed does not suffer from separation anxiety which makes them great for families where the adults are gone all day working and the kids are off at school. Lhasa's do not typically tear up the house when the owners are gone - which is one of the primary reasons my family chose this breed.

Lhasa's are playful and are pretty good at entertaining themselves. It's rather humorous to watch. My Lhasa, Bennie throws his own toy and chases it. Usually he does this to get our attention so that we'll see how much fun he is having and join it.

When we leave for the day we put up a baby gate and put him on the back indoor porch with his food & water and a soft pet bed. When we come home he's content but happy to see us.

Lhasa Apso Pictures - Picture Frame for the furry love of your life

Lhasa Apso's are...not for families with small children

but okay with supervision

Personally I would not recommend this breed to spend lots of time with small children. I've read the same advise from trainers & breeds of the Lhasa Apso.

Many Lhasa's will not tolerate teasing, ear pulling or share their toys with the little life forms just about their size. Lhasa's consider themselves to be superior anyway and have trouble respecting children.

If the pet is trained to respect the owner(s) a good age for the pet / child to form a loving relationship would probably be grade school (for the child); but of course every child and ever pet is unique so use good judgement and observe the child and the pet in action before making a long term decision.

And...children need training training. Children should know how to get respect from the pet without being domineering.

Lhasa Apso dogs roll around when they're happy and content
Lhasa Apso dogs roll around when they're happy and content

Happy & loving

Quite often as I sit here at my computer working from home, our Lhasa Apso "Bennie" sits not just at my feet, but on my feet. He's happiest when he is somehow touching one of his family.

When one of my three kids comes home from school he has to have "lap time" or he drags on their pant legs to get their attention. He often expresses his happiness by rubbing his head on one of the family or runs and rolls around all over the ground in front of us - usually when we're all if to say "Yeah, we're all here together!"

Caring for your Lhasa Apso

Have a question about natural remedies for your pet or a pet ailment? PetAlive's free Ask Our Experts service can help!

Lhasa Apso' not require lots of exercise

Little bundles of energy spurts

My Lhasa Apso, Bennie, is fine with a little bit of indoor play. In fact, he has a ritual; once the last kid is out the door to school he thinks it's time for him & I to play. He brings me his stuffed monkey and I pretend to steal it from him, and then throw it across the room. He brings it back and we do it all again for about 3 - 5 minutes and then...he's done.

But mercy me if I don't engage in that 3 - 5 minutes of play every morning!

We also have a yard for him to run in, but again just a couple of minutes out there to run around and for him to make sure the home territory is protected is plenty of exercise for him.

If you own a Lhasa Apso and live in an apartment or a home with no fenced yard - a short daily walk would work fine as well.

Lhasa Apso Bumper Sticker - Come on, you know you want one

Lhasa Apso dog owners...tell the world you love your dog.

What kind of dog do you own?

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    • TV-Tech profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens. I have a 10 year old male "Hercules". He is one of the few that has never had issues with strangers, I often have to put him in his crate when people come over. They do make great watch dogs. When Hercules was younger he would patrol the house every night, and once alerted because I brought the van home from work and not my normal car.

    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 

      6 years ago

      Great information on Lhasa Apso's. I have 5 dogs that have all been rescued from the animal shelter.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      6 years ago from Colorado

      I really appreciate your message that it is so important to match the right dog to your lifestyle. So critical. I've always been more of a large dog person because I love a dog that can take part in my rigorous outdoor activities (running, hiking, biking, etc.). I didn't really know much about the Lhasa Apso breed before visiting this article. It was great to learn more about this particular breed. Thank you!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My mum had Pomeranians but they were too yappy

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Well researched & informative! Great lens, blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • GonnaFly profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      What an informative page fantastic for anyone researching the breed. Our pooch is a Tenterfield Terrier (like a mini foxy).

    • delia-delia profile image


      7 years ago

      Hello from a Squidoo Greeter! what cute Lhaso Apso Bennie is...we have a Lhasa grandog


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