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Lhasa Apso

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Origin:

Lhasa apso derives from Tibet where it was used in Buddhist monasteries to alert the monks when uninvited guest or enemies approached. The word ‘Lhasa’ is the capital of Tibet and ‘Apso’ means ‘longhaired’. Thus, the name actually just means ‘longhaired Lhasa dog’ in Tibetan.

Character and behaviour
Lhasa apso is reserved toward strangers but friendly and loyal toward family and friends. It actually barks rather loud in spite of its size. This breed consider it an important task to alert the family and act as watchdog which is why early socialisation with other pets, dogs, and people is important.

Lhasa apso is a small social pet dog, which loves to please its owner. However, it is also one of the most robust, strong-willed, and independent dogs of all the small breeds. They say that when a Lhasa apso looks in the mirror it sees a lion. The independent attitude of a Lhasa apso can be problematic in training sessions.

History of the dog breed

Lhasa apso derives from Tibet. The tough climate in Tibet presenting long ice winters and short but very warm summers has formed some of the most resistant dogs in Tibet. On these grounds, Lhasa apso is a very robust dog with a dense and practical coat that protects the dog in all kinds of weather conditions.

The Buddhist monks used Lhasa apso as an alerting watchdog. It was believed that a late Lama could take up residence in a Lhasa apso until his reincarnation.

The Lhasa apso has been found in historic narratives from the monasteries in Tibet and can be dated back to 800 B.C. They were also popular in the Tibetan court. A DNA analysis proves the Lhasa apso to be among the oldest dog breeds.

Appearance, grooming and health
The Lhasa apso has a long coat but can be cut short if desired. Even though the coat is long and dense, it does not shed a lot. In return, grooming the Lhasa apso takes time.

The coat can have many different colours but are most often white with a hint of brown or black. It is usually 9-11 inches tall and weighs 11-17 pounds.

Often, the Lhasa apso lives to be 18 years old but the average life expectancy is 15 years.

What you should know about the breed:

  • Small but robust, strong-willed, and independent dog.
  • Long coat but can be kept short.
  • Does not require a lot of exercise and can easily live in an apartment.
  • Barks when strangers approach your door.
  • Requires a lot of grooming.
  • Can be hard to house train.

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