Lhasa Apso: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health

The Lhasa apso dog breed is characterized by being small, vigorous and balanced. Their abundant hair can be of different colors. It has a sociable, cheerful and friendly character. At Petlifey, we explain everything about the Tibetan Lhasa apso.

Character of the Lhasa apso breed

The Lhasa apso is cheerful and sociable, it is an animal that is very self-confident, balanced, firm and not at all nervous. It always maintains an alert attitude and is prudent with strangers.

This doggy pet is characterized by having a tough, resistant behaviour and with a lot of temperament. Something that draws a lot of attention to those who approach the breed for the first time thinking that it is a lapdog and companion like the Chihuahua.

It is true that he is affectionate, devoted and obedient to its owner, but at times it can be very stubborn, so it needs good training and an education based on permanent motivation.

The fruit of a thousand-year-old selection for this function, the Lhasa apsos are excellent guardians, since, in effect, for millennia they were the sentinels of the temples and palaces of Tibet. It is because they have excellent hearing, they are always attentive to everything that happens around them and they warn very well of any unexpected presence.

However, although they can be somewhat reserved with strangers, with members of their family environment they are cheerful and friendly.

With children they get along especially well, as they become perfect companions in their games and adventures, and they follow them, alert and active, wherever they go.

In fact, the only problem can arise when animals are subjected to too high a rate of activity, since they can become overexcited, something that also happens in the presence of unknown visitors.

Its relationship with other dogs is also usually quite good, but if there are hierarchy conflicts this little hairy puppy does not back down from any opponent, and with other animals it can have an acceptable relationship only if it gets used to them since it is a puppy. On the other hand, it is a very adaptable pet, in the sense that it lives just as well in the country as it does in the city, and is also an extraordinary traveling companion.

In general, this is a relatively unproblematic breed as long as it is given the necessary attention, and it can also be a good choice for owners inexperienced in dog ownership.

But it is advisable to seek the advice of a good professional, as this helps to make the path of training and education easier and more bearable.

For example, you will notice that the Lhasa apso should not be treated based on what it looks like, a small pet, but based on what it really is: a large dog. Something similar to what happens with the pug dog.

Indeed, this is a large dog in a small suit, with a strong and determined character, so if it is treated as a mere pet, with pampering and consent, it can cause the syndrome of the little dog.

This would lead to behavioral disorders that are serious and worrisome, because, in itself, this is already an animal with a very strong temperament.

  • Energy: medium / high. Energetic and vigorous, you need to do some routine exercise.
  • Temperament: with a strong character and sometimes stubborn, it is a cheerful, affectionate, alert, self-confident and very balanced dog.
  • Adaptability: It does not present problems to live in any environment.
  • Sociability: It is very attentive and affectionate with its family, especially with children, but with strangers it is somewhat suspicious and sullen. Other dogs are well tolerated, as well as other pets, but hierarchy problems can occur.
  • Health: very good. It is a generally healthy animal.
  • Longevity: very high. Live well over 15 years.
  • Utility: company. It is almost always used as a companion animal, but it is a great guardian.
  • Use: companion dog.

Characteristics of the Lhasa apso

Speaking of the general appearance of the Lhasa apso and its physical characteristics, it is a small dog, well balanced, vigorous and endowed with an abundant coat that can appear in a wide variety of colors.

It is a dog with a small but vigorous body, with a strong back and a level back. If it weren’t for the size, it could be said that it is just like its “brother” the Tibetan terrier.

The length from the point of the shoulders to the point of the buttock is greater than its height at the withers, so the body structure of the dog is rectangular. Its figure is elegant and balanced.

Its head features a mane of long, straight hair that falls over its eyes and blends into a well-developed beard and mustaches. It has a narrow skull, a moderate stop and a black nose. It has oval and medium-sized eyes, they are framed by the long fur of the eyebrows and the one that falls from the head. The iris is dark, and they are not bulging but they are not sunken either.

Its ears become practically invisible under the hair on its head. The ears of the Lhasa apso are hanging and are also covered with abundant hair in the form of fringes.

The straight, muscular legs of this dog are supported by rounded feet with strong foot pads. They are well covered with hair.

The tail is set high and the dog carries it happily, with an upright bearing, on its back. It is covered by abundant hair in the form of fringes.

As for its fur, the entire body appears covered by an outer layer of abundant long, smooth and hard-textured hair. It also has a lighter undercoat.

Let’s now see in more detail what the Lhasa apso breed standard looks like :

Lhasa apso breed standard

  • General appearance: it is a small, vigorous and harmonious animal.
  • Size: miniature.
  • Height at the withers: between 24 and 26 cm for males and between 21 and 23 cm for females.
  • Weight: between 5 and 7 kg for males and between 4 and 6 kg for females.
  • Origin: Tibet / United Kingdom Patronage.
  • Body : the body structure of the Lhasa apso is rectangular, since the length of its body, measured from the point of the shoulders to the point of the buttocks, is greater than its height at the withers. The body is robust and strong.
  • Back: The upper body line is level and the loin is strong.
  • Chest: the ribs are well extended backwards.
  • Head: covered with abundant long hair that falls over the eyes, it is large and has a very showy and developed beard and mustaches.
  • Skull: It is moderately narrow and sinks a little behind the eyes, but it is not flattened, nor is it dome-shaped or apple-shaped.
  • Muzzle: it is not very long, but neither is it square, and it has a straight nose. It measures about a third of the total length of the skull.
  • Nose: it is black.
  • Eyes: they are of medium size, oval and are placed facing the front, without being prominent, but not sunken either. The iris is dark pigmented and when the dog looks straight ahead, the white of the eyeball is not usually appreciated either above or below.
  • Ears: they are hanging and are covered by abundant fringes of hair.
  • Nose-frontal depression (stop): moderate.
  • Jaws: the incisors are placed in a wide and straight line, and when the animal closes its mouth, the lower teeth are in front of the upper ones, but in contact with them, so the bite is in reverse scissors.
  • Neck: strong and well arched.
  • Forelimbs: they are straight and have abundant fur. Its shoulders are well tilted back. The forearms and arms are strong, straight and muscular.
  • Hind limbs: Well developed and muscular. The legs have good angles and are covered with abundant fur. The hocks, seen from behind, are seen to be parallel and not very close together.
  • Feet: they are rounded and compact, like “climbing shoes”, and have solid foot pads. They appear covered in hair.
  • Tail: set high, the dog carries it raised and resting on the back, but not in the form of a “handle” or “handle”. However, it often bends a little near the tip. It is covered with abundant fringes of hair.
  • Hair: double-layered, the inner one has light hair, while the outer one is endowed with long, straight, abundant hair with a hard texture, neither woolly nor silky. It can adopt a wide variety of colors: from gold to black , through sand , dark gray , brown .
  • Color: Lhasa apso can come in a wide variety of colors, from white to black, including gold, sand, honey, brown, slate, dark gray, or smoke. There are also multicolored specimens.
  • Movement: The Lhasa apso dog advances with a light and agile movement.
  • FCI Classification: ° 227 Group 9 – Companion Dogs. Section 5 -Tibetan dogs.

Lhasa apso cubs

If you are here reading this article, it may be because you are considering adopting or purchasing a Lhasa apso puppy. But before taking the big step, we believe that there are a number of aspects that you should know first.

The Lhasa apso is one of the companion breeds with the most demand for puppies today, mainly due to its great beauty. This means that there are unscrupulous that do not always guarantee the integrity of the animal.

The specimens of this breed tend to establish a good relationship with other dogs, especially if they are used to coexistence from their first months of life. The first to teach them how coexistence works is always their mother, who is very affectionate and sweet with her young.

It is a dog that needs some maintenance. This dog’s long coat needs to be brushed thoroughly and daily to keep it looking healthy, shiny, and strong.

As the hair can cover the eyes making it difficult for them to see, its owners often pick it up with small tweezers, which gives it a very funny and funny image.

Lhasa apso breed diet

The feeding of the Lhasa apso is very important, since it must be avoided at all costs that the animal becomes obese or excessively overweight. But at the same time, it must be supplied with enough nutrients for its energy level.

Therefore, apart from giving them a balanced and healthy food, rich in essential nutrients that keep their muscles in shape and with an adequate supply of fats. It is highly recommended to subject the dog to the doses of exercise indicated for its age and condition.

It is also very important that the diet of the lhasa apso is varied so that the animal does not get “bored” and stops eating. Fortunately, most of the best brands of dog food have food or kibbles specially made for these types of pets.

Health and diseases of the Lhasa apso breed

The Lhasa apso is a healthy and strong breed, its longevity is well above the average age of similar breeds, and it is very easy to find specimens that are over 15 years old without suffering any type of problem.

It is true that they can be affected by some diseases. But these have such a low incidence that they are not even considered typical of the breed .

For example, if the coat is not properly cared for or the presence of parasites is not properly monitored, it is very possible that a skin allergy will develop . In some specimens, despite being a small dog, cases of hip dysplasia may occur, but they are irrelevant.

Other than that, some of the other more common conditions include some cases of eye or kidney problems. But with such an incidence, that it should not be worrying for its future owners.

What they do have to control exhaustively instead is obesity. This is surely the most important and widespread health problem among all dog breeds today. An especially high affectation among dogs considered companion, as is the case of the Lhasa apso.

Many owners seem to forget that their dog needs some exercise too. To stay in shape and to burn excess energy and calories consumed, so that sometimes the animal becomes fatter than necessary.

The problem is that being overweight increases the incidence of many health problems, such as respiratory or cardiovascular and joint diseases.

On the other hand, the best health strategy for a Lhasa apso owner is to act preventively. Going regularly to the veterinarian to complete the vaccination, revaccination and deworming programs. As well as, to control the state of your mouth, eyes, ears, hair and skin.

Likewise, this should be in charge of keeping a strict control of the evolution of the growth and the weight of the animal in the different stages of its life, as already mentioned.

Well cared for and fed, having undergone proper training and socialization, and properly groomed, the Lhasa apso is a perfect animal. Good adviser, very affectionate with his family, cheerful and active and, above all, spectacularly beautiful.

Specific care of the Lhasa apso breed

Although apparently the aesthetic maintenance of the Lhasa apso may seem very expensive and complicated, since it has very long and abundant hair, it is actually quite simple, but as long as a good work routine is established and it is strictly followed .

Brushing the Lhasa Apso

The coat of this breed is very profuse and reaches a significant length, so it requires intensive and frequent brushing. Its texture is strong, similar to that of goat hair, neither too rough nor too silky.

It must be taken care of daily so that the annoying and unsightly knots do not form , which can cause the need to be cut, if they cannot be undone manually or, even, to have to shear the animal in the most serious cases.

For the correct brushing of the Lhasa apso coat it is advisable to use a good brush with natural bristles.

You start by working the mantle from the spine to the sides. Trying to brush throughout the depth of the hair, from the roots to the tips.

Once well brushed, a second brushing can be done using in this case a soft metal card. Proceeding in the same way as before with the brush.

Finally, with the help of a metal comb a final brushing is given. To avoid the formation of tangles and knots.

Lhasa Apso arrangement

This breed does not need a special cut, as the hair is allowed to grow evenly on both sides of the body until it touches the ground. Therefore, you only have to trim the ends of the coat when they are too long.

Also, if there is a lot of hair between the pads, it can be trimmed. With the help of smooth scissors, to facilitate the dog’s movements.

And the eyes also deserve special attention from the owner of the Lhasa apso. It is necessary to ensure that, like the ears, they are always clear, clean and dry.

Lhasa Apso Bath

It is a fairly clean animal that, as it also spends most of its time at home, does not get too dirty. But, even so, this dog must bathe from time to time especially if it is really dirty.

To do this, the most important thing is to always use a suitable shampoo for the hair of this breed. A special product that does not affect its structure or its rough texture.

After having soaped and washed vigorously, but without harshness, the entire coat of the dog, proceed to rinsing.

A task that must be meticulous, as it is important that there is no trace of soap left. This could cause the appearance of eczema, allergies or itching very annoying for the animal.

It is convenient to take advantage of this moment of the bath to control the state of the nails. Cut them if they have grown a lot and impede the free movement of the dog or simply bother them due to their great length.

Lhasa Apso drying

Once bathed and rinsed, it is very important to remove all the excess water and retained in the mantle. To do this, first of all you can use your hands, with which the fur will be squeezed to drain it. Secondly, you can use towels or some blotting paper to absorb excess water.

Finally, it is recommended to use a good hair dryer and a soft card to leave absolutely no traces of moisture.

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