The Lhasa Apso dogs and puppies have come a long way from being the sentinels of Tibetan monasteries. Today they are the cute, furry companion dogs known for their long and dense coats. They have retained some of their traits that made them excellent watch dogs. Learn more about Lhasa Apso behavior, personality, health, and history here!
Lhasa Apso Dogs | Small Dogs With Alpha Personality
Lhasa Apso Dog Personality
It’s easy to underestimate Lhasa Apso dogs given their size and look, but they are not fragile at all. These sturdy canines are fierce, loyal, and protective owing to their heritage. About 2,000 years ago, these dogs used to guard monasteries in Tibet, alerting the residents if there were intruders.
So, the Lhasa dogs can be both wary and cautious to strangers and other animals. They have a keen sense of hearing and can bark very loudly. When push comes to shove, they can bite. However, they usually do these within reason.
If you already have dogs or other animals, as well as children, it’s best to socialize Lhasa Apso with them as early as possible.
Although they are already companion dogs, they still remain independent, which can be good and a bad thing. It means you can leave them by themselves for a long time. It may frustrate you if they don’t do your bidding. Since they’re also intelligent, you need to have patience in both training and housebreaking them. Watch out too as they can be manipulative. They can lie on the floor and not move if they don’t want to do something.
With proper training and perseverance, though, the Lhasa Apso dogs will reward you with endless fun and joy as they can be great comics.
Size & Color
Lhasa Apso dogs are small. Their height at the withers averages 11 inches for males and 9 inches for females. Both genders can weigh 13 to 15 pounds, which makes them heavier than other small breeds like a Shih Tzu.
These dogs look regal and confident with their head slightly raised. Their bodies are rather longer than tall. According to American Kennel Club (AKC), they have well-developed thighs and quarter legs, as well as strong loins – definitely healthy dogs.
Their colors can be dark grizzl, sandy, honey, They may al o be sable, which means they have a combination of light and dark hair of gray, red, and cream. Some Lhasa Apsos are brindle dogs, which have irregular black stripes, and can turn gray and indistinct as they grow older.
These dogs can live long lives, but there are also Lhasa Apso health problems you need to watch out. These include:
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – This refers to the deterioration of the photoreceptor cells. It is usually genetic. It can affect both eyes, and since it is progressive, it can ultimately lead to blindness. Breeders should screen their Lhasa Apso dogs regularly for this condition and should not breed them if they have the condition.
- Patellar Luxation – It is also referred to as the dislocation of the kneecap (patella). Caused by either congenital abnormality or trauma, it is widespread for small and miniature dogs. The best-known treatment for this is surgery.
- Sebaceous Adenitis – It is a rare inflammatory disease of the skin characterized by the presence of a lesion, scaling, and musty smell. It can be very itchy, which makes the Lhasa Apso dogs more prone to bacterial infection and alopecia. Treatments can be vary depending on the severity of the condition. These may include regular brushing to remove the flakes or to use medicated shampoos and certain hair oils.
- Renal Dysplasia – It is a congenital kidney disorder where the kidneys are abnormally formed. In its most severe state, it can lead to renal failure. Although the condition is already present at birth, the clinical symptoms such as blood in the urine, body wasting, or excessive urine output don’t become prominent until the dogs are a few weeks old.
- Chronic Allergies – Lhasa Apsos are also susceptible to chronic allergies, some of which can destroy their lovely dense coats. Depending on how serious the allergy is, they may require prescribed medications and avoidance of certain types of food.
As long as you keep up with the annual exams, seek tips and advice from the vet, and bring your pet to the doctor when something is not right, Lhasa Apso life expectancy is as long as 14 years.
Lhasa Apso dogs need exercise, but since they are relatively calm, there’s no pent-up energy to release. A few times a week will do. Aim for at least 15 minutes of leisurely walk. Don’t do something vigorous. With their short noses, they can experience trouble in breathing due to an excessive exercise.
Food & Diet
Lhasa Apso dogs are prone to allergies and skin conditions, so you need to provide them with high-quality dog food with the most natural ingredients. They can also benefit from a plain basic diet such as boiled meat or poultry, as well as some grains. You may also want to supplement the food with vitamin E and essential fatty acids to help maintain their coat and skin. Don’t forget to refer these to your veterinarian first. Also, Lhasa Apso dogs are picky and fussy eaters, so you may have to do some trial and error.
Ideally, you feed these dogs meals twice a day. Puppies may need more meals daily.
- Bathe once a week
- Brush hair daily
- Brush teeth once per week
- Trim nails once a month
- Clean ears regularly
- Trim hair every 6 to 8 weeks
Lhasa Apso dogs can be high maintenance. First, you need to take care of their long, flowing, and dense coats. You should brush their hair at least twice daily to prevent matting and tangling. If your dog is not participating in dog shows, you can clip or trim their hair every 6 to 8 weeks. Focus more on the hair that can cover their eyes. You also may tie them. Fortunately, they don’t shed a lot.
They also need a bath once a week, although it can be once every 2 to 6 weeks, depending on their level of activity and condition of their hair. They may require medicated or special shampoos and conditioners. Since they can build wax, you must clean the ears regularly. Trim the nails at least once a month and brush the teeth once a week to avoid plaque buildup.
Price Of A Lhasa Apso Puppy
Lhasa Apso for sale can purchase for as low as $400 and as high as $1,500. Male dogs tend to command a higher price than the female ones. When buying, look for pups with current or updated vaccinations, health guarantee, and a vet certificate. Always get one from responsible breeders.
The history of the Lhasa Apso dogs began thousands of years ago. Although they are believed to be close ancestors of other Tibetan dogs like the Tibetan terriers, many also think they are directly related to the wolves.
With their keen hearing and sharp barks, the monasteries in the cold mountains of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, bred them as sentinels. But it’s also possible their resemblance to the lions make them fitting to Buddhism: lions stand for Buddha’s power.
Only nobilities and monks grew Lhasa Apso dogs, which also meant they’re the only ones capable of giving them. True enough, these canines found their way to the other corners of the world when the wealthy and religious Tibetans gave them as presents to visiting dignitaries. The first pair, provided by the 13th Dalai Lama, arrived in the United States in 1933.
Tibetan monks don’t sell Lhasa Apso dogs due to the belief they can serve as vessels for the souls of the deceased Dalai Lama until they are reincarnated.
Lhasa Apso dogs are famous for their playfulness! Watch some of their fun tricks here:
Lhasa Apso dogs may not be the most affectionate pooches in the world, but you can surely count on them when you need loyal buddies. They may take some time to trust you, but once they do, you can bet they’ll protect you with their lives.
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