Lhasa Apso

Snow lion, Apso Seng Kye, Talisman dog

This hardy breed with a long life expectancy requires strict supervision. The Lhasa Apso, although seemingly harmless, can do as he pleases if not properly surrounded, and is an adorable dog that will make the best companion, if he is well accompanied and integrated into the family hierarchy, where the true leader of the pack will show him his place.

Height 25 to 28 cm
Weight 5 to 10 kg
Life expectancy 12 to 14 years
Hair Loss Medium
Excercise Need Medium

Quick Overview of the Lhasa Apso


  • Protector of his own
  • Courageous
  • Distrustful of strangers
  • Very playful and loves children


  • Long, massive and low silhouette
  • Hair falling on the eyes
  • Abundant mustache
  • Distinguished and proud


  • Excellent health
  • Not afraid of heat and cold
  • No particular pathology
  • Special attention paid to his eyes

Temperament of the Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso, in spite of his looks of nice doggie, is very protective towards his family and will know how to protect them against everything. In spite of his small size, he is very brave and barks incessantly if he feels that danger threatens his family.

This small apartment dog has a strong temperament and his behaviour reflects this great self-confidence. He is very distrustful of strangers but will be willing to make friends as soon as he is convinced of their good intentions.

He is very playful and an excellent companion for children. The Lhasa Apso is extremely loyal and very attached to his family. He does not really like solitude and is not very keen on running away.

He prefers to stay close to his master and family, even during walks or outings. He likes company but will be more inclined to stay close to his own family rather than to follow strangers.

lhassa apso personnalité

Breed Appearance

lhasa apso

The silhouette of the Lhasa Apso is elongated, massive and low. His mane, worn around the head, gives him the look of a miniature lion.

This little lion has the look of a lovely dog, with his abundant cascade of hair coming down on his eyes. With a moustache and a full beard, he looks quite distinguished and very proud.


Between 25 and 28 cm (9.84 to 11.02 inches) for the male
Between 25 and 28 cm (9.84 to 11.02 inches) for the female


Between 5 and 10 kg (11.02 to 22.05 pounds) for the male
Between 5 and 10 kg (11.02 to 22.05 pounds) for the female


His coat can be of any colour, it can't be unicolor or chocolate brown.


His hair is often compared to that of a goat, hence his name Apso, and it is stiff and long.


His head is abundantly furnished, like a head of hair. His eyes are medium size and dark in colour. His ears are very floppy and have a long overhanging fringe.

His nose is usually black. His tail is also very bushy.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 9, section 5 and is #227

Characteristics of the Lhasa Apso

Does this dog suit your lifestyle?

Every dog breed has its own characteristics. However, the actual character of a dog can vary from one to another within the same breed.

Find out if the Lhasa Apso is your ideal dog breed with our quiz.

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Life in an apartment
Good first dog
Tolerates solitude
Tolerates cold weather
Tolerates hot weather
Friendly with children
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other animals
Hair loss
Drooling level
Easy to care for
Robust health
Easy to train
Tendency to bark
Tendency to nibble
Instinct to hunt
Adventurous spirit
Energy level
Level of intensity
Need for exercise

Price and monthly budget

Price you can expect to pay for a Lhasa Apso puppy: between and
These prices are indicative and may vary from breeder to breeder
Average monthly budget for a Lhasa Apso:
The monthly budget includes the average expenses for food and hygiene products (grooming, anti-parasite...)

Lhasa Apso puppies near me

Tips About this breed

It's best to keep this little dog at home. Although his coat allows him to stay outside, he will deteriorate if he stays out too long.

This cute doggie with his long dress prefers by far the company of his family to the outdoor solitary games. That's why he will be happy in the city as well as in the country, because he appreciates being warm and cozy, in an apartment for example.

He does not need large spaces to thrive. A daily walk outside will do the trick, and he will be very happy to return to his cosy nest after the outing.

City or country, Lhasa Apso can satisfy many masters. However, remember that he does not like to be alone, that he needs a minimum of daily exercise, and that he tends to be rather dominant.

It is therefore necessary to provide him with a good education so that he understands who is the real leader of the pack in the house, and to provide him with a daily walk outside.

Health of the Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso has an iron constitution. Due to his very dense coat, he does not fear heat or cold. This very robust small dog has no particular health problems.

Some attention must be paid to the care of the eyes, as they tend to accumulate dirt. It is best to check daily to avoid eye infections.


Due to his long-haired coat, it is necessary to brush him at least twice a week. The puppy's fur requires very frequent brushing, and the eyes must also be cleaned often.

A bath from time to time is necessary, followed by drying, otherwise the hair remains wet for a very long time.

History of this breed

This little companion dog is said to have originated from Tibet. Apparently descended from a cross between the Tibetan Spaniel and the Tibetan Terrier, this adorable dog was considered sacred in Buddhist monasteries.

His extremely fine hearing enabled him to become the guardian of the monasteries at the time. The sacred city of Lhasa in Tibet, and the contraction of the word rapso, indicating a long-haired goat in Tibetan, were used to name this breed so much appreciated by the Lamas and the villagers living around the monasteries and the sacred city.

Despite his small size, the Lhasa Apso combined the work of a shepherd dog, temple guardian, guide and warning dog. His nickname of snow lion comes from the Tibetan people. For an animal of his corpulence, his hoarse and disturbing roar reminded them of the lion's and they nicknamed him so.

The Lhasa Apso regularly accompanied Himalayan crossings because, according to Tensing Norgay (the first man to climb Everest), he was able to sense the coming avalanche and warn the adventurers.

Despite the age of the Tibetan race, the Lhasa Apso did not appear in the West until the beginning of the twentieth century. It is in Great Britain that his breeding started, and that the breed became popular. In 1949, the first French kennel was born and it is in 1950 that the breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Lhasa Apso was also popularized through a television show that delighted the toddlers of the 1960s. The popular Pollux dog from the cartoon ''The Enchanted Roundabout'' is a Lhasa Apso.

The very famous magic formula "Tournicoti Tournicoton", executed by Zébulon, thus transporting Pollux to the land of Bois Joli, where he meets all his friends in the cartoon, delighted more than one for years.

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