11 Unique Characteristics Of Lhasa Apso Dogs

Lhasa Apso

The word “Lhasa Apso” is derived from the Tibetan word “Lhasa” which refers to the capital of Tibet and Mongolian word “Apso” which means goat-like. Lhasa Apso represents the characteristics of a Lion King. Several years ago they were known as watchdogs; however, they are now family pets protecting their families.

Introduction: Let’s Know What Is Special About Lhasa Apso Dog

Lhasa Apso dogs

Lhasa Apso is known by various names like Tibetan Apso, The Talisman dog, and Apso Seng Kye in Tibetan. They form an ancient breed and originate from the sacred city of Tibet- Lhasa, which lies in the mountainous ranges. Lhasa dogs are adorable and like to be loved and cuddled. They are tiny but it is said that when a Lhasa Apso sees itself in a mirror, they see a Lion King.

How Do They Represent Themselves?

Lhasa Apso- how they represent themselves

The heavy, dense, long, and flowing coat is a different feature of the Lhasa Apso. The ball-shaped head covered with dense hair caresses the tear folds in a graceful manner. They have long beards and their eyes are mashed with long fall of hair. The jaw is slightly short. They are short but walk with confidence and head held high with tail curled up over the back.

They have a life expectancy of around 12-14 years, reach a height of 10-11 inches, and weigh up to 13-15 pounds. Lhasa Apso dogs are said to be long-living. They come in almost all shades and colours but the most admired is the leonine shade of wheaten, golden, or honey with black tips of the ears. Other colours include grizzle, black, etc.

When It Comes To Patience!

Before going after Lhasa Apso, we must keep in mind that they were initially bred as watchdogs or companion dogs.  They are reserved and detached from strangers but are warm-hearted to people whom they trust. They have a high tendency to bark which may become a headache if not trained at an early age.

Lhasa Apso- when it comes to patience

They are less social, so it is highly recommendable to socialize them with other dogs and pets right from their puppyhood; so, that they can get companions to play with. They are quite suspicious in nature, however, they can be happy and lively when surrounded by friends and family.

Let’s check how well do they do with their health!

Lhasa Apso- health

Lhasa Apso is a much healthy breed but is susceptible to a few health problems. It may include progressive retinal atrophy, sebaceous gland tumours, entropion, and ectopic cilia. The most serious inherited disease is renal dysplasia, which is a deadly kidney disease.

History of Lhasa Apso: How they came into existence?

Lhasa Apso- history

The Lhasa Apso breed comes from ancient times. They originated in Tibet and come from the mountain terrain. It is said that they come from the Tibetan terrier and a similar herding type Tibetan dogs. Lhasa Apso became a definitive breed around 7th century AD when Tibet turned towards Buddhism. It is believed that they could control Lions and similarly Lhasa Apso were also mentioned as Lion King. Dalai Lama gifted Lhasa Apso to US guests and also kept them as pets. They have a high tendency to bark and are alert because of which they were kept as guard dogs and are great companions for the deaf.

Lhasa Apso with dalai lama

Lhasa Apso with Dalai Lama

Before the 1930s, both the Lhasa Apso and the larger Tibetan terrier were referred to as Tibetan terrier, which caused doubt and apprehension while exploring the history of both the breeds. By 1930, the characteristics of both the breeds were separated and the distinguished standards were written.

Unique Characteristics of Lhasa dogs

Lhasa Apso- unique characteristcs

1. The 7th Century Breed

Lhasa Apso- 7th century breed

Lhasa Apso is an ancient breed and has a vast history. They have been companions of Tibetan Buddhists in the mountain terrains.

2. Associated with the Lion King

Lhasa Apso associated with Lion King

The native name of the Lhasa Apso is Seng Kye which means Bark Lion Sentinel Dog. Lhasa used to guard Tibetan homes inside and Mastiffs used to guard outside as they had a high tendency to bark which was helpful in alerting humans from any strangers. It is said the Lhasa Apso is related to the mythical Snow Lion.

3. Believed to be Holy Souls

Lhasa Apso Buddhist connection

There is a strong belief among the Tibetan Buddhists that this dog comes right before every stage of incarnation. According to their belief, the souls of Lama or priests who are awaiting reincarnation as humans are being offered home by Lhasa Apso.

4. Well Adapted to Apartment Living

Lhasa Apso- best suited for apartment

Lhasa Apso forms a great choice for urban households. They can manage well even if they are not provided with large yards. Lhasa Apso dogs are best-suited for apartments.

5. Challenging To Train

This dog breed poses a challenge to train them. Forcing Lhasa Apso dogs into training only makes the matters worse. Harshness and teasing are not accepted by them. To make the whole process of training go peacefully, praise and treats are much appreciated.

6. A Dog Breed with an Independent Personality

Lhasa Apso dogs are notorious for harbouring an independent mind and personality. They are dominant and bossy in nature. Their owners should be aware of their manipulative characteristics. Apart from rendering them formal training, Lhasa Apso should also be trained to respect their owners.

7. Not Without Brushing!

Lhasa Apso require frequent grooming

Lhasa Apso dog breed requires frequent brushing and grooming. In addition to brushing the dog’s coat, regular trimming of the coat is also required to maintain hygiene.

8. An Intelligent Species

The dogs of this breed are intelligent and know how to use their brains. Since they were originally bred as watchdogs, Lhasa Apsos know how to exercise their brain. Being great guards, they rank quite well in terms of concentration and decision-making.

9. I Am Not A Couch Potato!

Lhasa Apso running

Unlike some other dog species, Lhasa Apso dogs are not lazy at all and are always ready for a game or two. Being an intelligent species, they train themselves to self-exercise. Only to spend their energy, they are more likely to run around in the room or fenced area.

10. Have a high tendency to Live Longer

Lhasa Apso tend to live longer

Lhasa Apso might have an average lifespan of 12-15 years but may live beyond 20 years. The oldest Lhasa Apso to live is recorded to be of 29 years.

11. Not Suitable for Kids

Lhasa Apso not suitable for kids

Although they are the perfect apartment dogs, however, Lhasa Apso is not ideal for a household with little children. A Lhasa dog is more likely to be impatient towards any sort of childish behaviour. In case a Lhasa is left with children, they need to be supervised.

Did you know how Lhasa Apso came into existence in the U.S? They were gifted by the 13th Dalai Lama to the U.S citizens who came to travel Tibet.

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