VCA Central Kitsap Animal Hospital

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso

Basic Lhasa Apso Information

  • Lifespan: 12 - 14 years
  • Height: 10 - 11 inches
  • Weight: 13 - 15 pounds

Medical Conditions Seen in Lhasa Apsos

Lhasa Apso Traits

  • Joggin Partner
  • Lap Dog
  • Good with Children
  • Warm Weather
  • Cold Weather
  • Grooming Requirements
  • Shedding
  • Barking
  • Ease of Training

Lhasa Apso History

  • Recent DNA studies indicate that the Lhasa Apso is among the 14 most ancient breeds recognized by the AKC.
  • The Lhasa apso is an ancient breed from Tibet, where it was revered in the villages and monasteries.
  • The dogs acted as monastery lookouts, sounding the alarm at the arrival of visitors. This gave rise to their native name of Abso Seng Kye, which means bark lion sentinel dog. The name Lhasa apso may be derived from this.
  • The souls of llamas were believed to enter the dogs' bodies after the llamas died, which added to the reverence given these dogs.
  • When the breed first came to England in the early 1900s, it was called the Lhassa terrier.
  • The breed came to America around 1930. It was recognized by the AKC in 1935. At that time it was assigned to the terrier group, but it was reassigned to the Non-sporting group in 1959.
  • The Lhasa's popularity has risen slowly but steadily in the last two decades

Lhasa Apso Behavior Concerns

  • Makes a loyal and entertaining companion.
  • Playful and good with children.
  • A one family dog, tending to be aloof toward strangers. Early socialization so that it willingly accepts new people is important.
  • Generally friendly toward other dogs and pets.
  • Tends to be bold, stubborn and independent, which makes training using force methods extremely unproductive.
  • Does best with reward-based training involving food or games.
  • Some tend to bark a lot.
  • Housetraining can be more challenging than with many other breeds.

Lhasa Apso Suggested Exercises

  • Makes an active and alert housedog.
  • Although many of its physical exercise needs can be met with indoor games, it still needs the mental stimulation of walking and sniffing outdoors.
  • A walk around the block once or twice daily will meet its outdoor needs, not counting bathroom breaks.
  • Many Lhasas have been trained to use indoor potty systems.
  • Does well at dog parks as well as it is separated from large dogs.
  • Does not tend to enjoy hot weather.
  • Swimming is not recommended unless constantly supervised.
  • Games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.

Lhasa Apso Grooming

  • Coat is long, hard and straight.
  • Brushing and combing every other day is necessary to prevent mats.
  • Many pet owners elect to have their dogs professionally groomed, or clipped into a trim that is more easily cared for.
  • Hair must be kept out of eyes to avoid irritation.
  • The hair around the anus must be checked daily for hygiene issues.
  • Shedding is below average.

Suggested Lhasa Apso Nutritional Needs

  • Lhasa apsos tend to stay in good weight.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.

Did you know?

  • Grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs.
  • Some dog parasites are transferable to humans.
  • Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your dog.

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Have unanswered pet health questions? Dr.Donna Spector, with 10+ years of hands-on Internal Medicine experience, is here with your answers every Friday.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

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Emergency Care

Your emergency needs can be met right here at our hospital. 

VCA Central Kitsap Animal Hospital provides 24 hour care, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Emergency veterinarians, licensed veterinary technicians, and veterinary assistants are on staff 24 hours a day. 

We provide the highest standard in veterinary  emergency and critical care services.  We have on-site oxygen support, canine and feline blood products for transfusion, and critical care monitoring equipment such as ECG, pulse oximetry, and blood pressure.  Our critical care diagnostic equipment includes a full in-house laboratory, with coagulation profiles and blood gas analysis; a point-of-care ultrasound unit; and digital radiography with stat interpretations by board-certified radiologists.  We are trained and equipped to perform a variety of emergency surgeries and procedures.  We provide the highest standards of pain management.  Emergency internal medicine consultations, including full diagnostic ultrasound and endoscopy, are available. 

Please call or come in immediately if you feel your pet is having an emergency or needs after-hours care.