VCA Animal Hospitals

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.

Have More Questions on Lhasa Apsos?

We are here to help! Input your zip code and search to locate a hospital nearest you.

See all VCA Animal Hospitals

Ask the Vet

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


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

Find a VCA General Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


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.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.