The Lhasa Apso is an elegant yet sassy member of the Non-Sporting Group. The appearance of this dog cannot be mistaken. With its long flowing coat and small stature, the Lhasa Apso makes the perfect companion for individuals that enjoy a small house pet, yet one with the personality and boldness of a guard dog. They weigh from 13 to 15 pounds and stand from 10 to 11 inches tall.
The temperament of the breed is that of a bold, independent watchdog. Like many smaller types, the Lhasa Apso is as stubborn as it is affectionate, which makes it an excellent watchdog. They enjoy the company of the rest of the family – making it perfect for indoor living. The Lhasa Apso is moderately friendly towards other pets, less so with other dogs, and absolutely weary of strange people.
A Brief History of the Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso is an ancient breed with its roots from Tibet. Its history is mixed in with the Buddhist beliefs that the souls of the Lamas would enter the bodies of these dogs immediately after death, thus creating high respect and reverence for the little canines.
These dogs were also used as dependable watchdogs in the monasteries. They would sound off the alert through barking when visitors approached. This service gave rise to the nickname “Abso Seng Key”, which means the Bark Lion Sentinel Dog.
When the breed made its way to England they were known as the Lhassa Terrier, even though it was not a terrier in any way, shape or form. The name Lhasa Apso is the breed’s western name, said to have been derived from its native name.
The first Lhasa Apso dogs made their way to the United States sometime during the early 1930s. In 1935, the breed became recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club) as a member of the Terrier Group, then changed officially to the Non-Sporting Group in 1959.
Upkeep Requirements for The Lhasa Apso
Despite the small size of the Lhasa Apso, this dog needs a moderate amount of daily exercise to keep it happy. These exercise requirements can be met with several brisk walks on the leash or simply running around the living room. Play sessions outdoors are also acceptable so long as the area is safe.
This breed is not meant to live outside. They were originally bred for companionship and should stay that way. Apartment living is best suited for the Lhasa Apso. Grooming requirements consists of a thorough brushing every other day to keep its long coat neat and clean.
Lhasa Apso Health Concerns
The average lifespan of the Lhasa Apso is between twelve and fourteen years. The only major health concern in the breed is patellar luxation. Minor health issues include distichiasis, entropion, renal cortical hypoplasia, and PRA. Rarely seen is vWD, CHD, sebaceous adenitis, and urinary stones. Veterinarians suggest that the Lhasa Apso dogs get specifically tested for knee and eye problems.
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