The Lhasa Apso is a dog breed of Tibetan origin originally bred as a sentinel dog. It is a small-sized but robust breed with a long, harsh-textured coat. It is known for its self-confidence and cheerful character.
Dogs of the breed are small in size and well balanced in build, weighing between 5 and 8 kilograms. The height varies between 25 and 28 centimeters in males, and is slightly less in females. The life expectancy of this breed is 12 to 15 years. They belong to Group 9 of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which groups companion dogs.
Breed history in brief
The Lhasa Apso breed originated in Tibet and served as sentry dogs for palaces and monasteries in the Himalayan mountains. They were associated with the Dalai Lama and came to the United States in the late 1940s. Lhasas are known as "bearded lion dogs", representing the Snow Lion in Tibetan folklore. The breed arrived in Britain in the early 1920s and were initially labeled "Lhasa Terrier," but were later differentiated from the Tibetan Terrier, an ancestor of the breed. Today, the Lhasa Apso is a popular breed as a companion dog due to its size and affectionate personality.
The Lhasa Apso has a compact and balanced body, with a level topline and a strong loin. It has well laid back ribs and a high set tail, carried over the back, often bent in the area near the tail end. Its skull is moderately narrow, with a medium stop. Its eyes are dark, medium-sized and oval, and its ears are pendulous and covered with abundant bangs.
The coat is long, smooth, dense and harsh in texture, with a moderate undercoat. Accepted colors include golden, sand, honey, dark gray, slate, smoke, multicolored, black, white or brown.
The Lhasa Apso is a breed with a unique and distinctive personality, combining cheerfulness and confidence with prudence and alertness. They are beloved dogs by their owners, but also require proper care and attention to ensure balanced behavior.
Common health problems
The Lhasa Apso, with optimal care and attention, can live a long healthy life, although it is predisposed to certain health problems. Among the most common diseases or disorders are atopy, brachycephalic syndrome, cataracts, exposure keratopathy syndrome, familial kidney disease, hydrocephalus, intervertebral disc disease, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, lissencephaly, patellar luxation, progressive retinal atrophy, nictitating membrane eversion and urolithiasis.
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