Choosing to purchase a dog is much more complicated than many people realize. Deciding on a breed can be even more complex. Research should be done and restrictions must be set. If you are contemplating a Lhasa Apso, that probably means you are looking for a small companion who is relatively easy to train. The Lhasa Apso certainly fits this description. At an average of 13-15 pounds and 10-11 inches tall, the Lhasa Apso is an ideal size for people who live in an apartment or other small dwelling. Furthermore, with a variety of coat colors, including sand, honey, black, brown, white, or a mixture, the breed is certainly attractive. However, as with any other breed, the Lhasa Apso does have traits of which any prospective owner should be aware.
The most problematic characteristic of the breed is probably its long coat, which requires regular grooming. It is recommended that Lhasa Apsos be brushed daily and bathed every 1-2 weeks.
Lhasa Apsos are known as “little lions,” a description which perfect sums up their temperament. Although devoted and affectionate with their master, they are naturally suspicious toward strangers. While this trait often makes Lhasa Apsos great watchdogs, it can result in aggressive behavior. Also, because Lhasa Apsos tend to be rather nervous, they need an owner who can spend a good deal of time with them – this breed does not like to be alone.
Behavior toward Other Pets and Children
The Lhasa Apso is generally not the best choice for a person who already has a pet and is simply looking for another one. Because of their dominant personality, these strong-willed little dogs are often ready to fight with other animals (even bigger ones). Although they can do well with children, be warned: Lhasa Apsos will not tolerate any type of mistreatment from clumsy children, and they will snap!
Unlike other larger breeds, the Lhasa Apso does not require much exercise. Although they should be given freedom to run around every now and then, these dogs do well without a yard.
As far as health goes, the Lhasa Apso is relatively free of problems. The most common conditions for this breed are skin and eye ailments. Occasionally there may be kidney problems, but these are very rare. Lhasa Apsos live an average of 15 years and, even at old age, remain youthful and faithful companions.
Positive Traits of the Lhasa Apso
- Obedient and easy to train
- Affectionate and loyal
- Few health problems
- Modest shedder
- Long lifespan
- Good watchdog
Negative Traits of the Lhasa Apso
- Can be stubborn and aggressive
- Requires a lot of attention
- Needs regular brushing and grooming
- Not the best choice for families with other pets or children
- A change in its owner’s lifestyle (moving, having children, etc.) can negatively affect its behavior
- Barks often; wary of strangers
Overall, the Lhasa Apso makes an ideal pet for a devoted owner who is home most of the time, does not mind barking, has few “strangers” visiting, has no other children or pets, and who can tolerate a strong-willed and dominant animal.
You should probably rethink a Lhasa Apso, however, if you want a dog for anything other than a companion, have children or other pets, entertain visitors regularly, don’t want a dog who barks a lot, are not able to brush, bathe, and groom a dog regularly, or if you are away from home for 8 or more hours at a time.