6 Fun Facts About the Lhasa Apso

lhasa apso puppy walking through flowers

The Lhasa Apso is a small dog with a playful and affectionate personality. They are energetic, tend to get along well with children, and make fantastic family pets. Here are a few more fun facts about the Lhasa Apso:

1. Lhasa Apso Were Originally Tibetan Guard Dogs

The Lhasa Apso, like the Tibetan Terrier, was originally an indoor guard dog. They originated over a thousand years ago in the Himalayas. They could often be found guarding and overseeing the interiors of Buddhist monasteries and also sacred places and palaces. Often, these small dogs guarded the interior of these holy spaces while Tibetan Mastiffs stood guard outside.

2. Their Name is a Mix of Folklore and Reality

Lhasa comes from the name of Tibet’s sacred city where these dogs could often be found. Apso means “long-haired dog”. So, they got their name by being a long-haired dog from Lhasa. The Lhasa Apso is also called the “bearded lion dog” and this is rooted in folklore.

In Tibetan folklore, the protector of Tibet is a mythical Snow Lion. The Lhasa Apso is considered an earthly and real representation of this mythical protector. This is why they are considered a “lion dog” and also why they were often considered sacred.

3. The Lhasa Apso Was Originally Considered a Terrier

Because of their appearance and close relationship with other Terriers, the American Kennel Club originally recognized the Lhasa Apso as a member of the Terrier Group. This occurred in 1935. In 1959, the breed was reassigned and recognized as a member of the Non-Sporting Group.

4. They Are Playful and Tend to be Funny Dogs

Although it would make sense for a dog with a sacred guardian background to be more serious and reserved, that does not tend to be the case with a Lhasa Apso. They may be initially reserved with strangers, but Lhasa Apso tend to be friendly and confident dogs. Another one of the facts about the Lhasa Apso is that they tend to be comedic, and funny dogs.

These dogs tend to be quite playful and energetic. Plus, these dogs tend to have a comical disposition, which means they will often do cute and funny things if it gets them attention and affection from their favorite people. They are not above looking silly or acting foolish to make themselves the center of attention.

5. Training Classes Are Encouraged for First-Time Owners

Although the Lhasa Apso is highly intelligent, eager to please, and picks up on things quickly, they also tend to have a stubborn streak. At times, they will take on a character similar to a willful, stubborn, and determined toddler. They also get bored easily and will attempt to use their cute face to push boundaries.

Because of this and because inconsistent training leads to undesirable behaviors, first-time dog owners are encouraged to enroll in puppy training classes. This will help keep training consistent, strengthen the bond you have with your Lhasa Apso puppy, and also offer some opportunities for socialization.

6. Their Coat is Low-Shedding, But it Requires Maintenance

Although a Lhasa Apso coat is low-shedding, it does require a lot of maintenance to stay healthy and looking great. You can choose to keep your Lhasa Apso’s coat long or get it clipped into a “puppy coat” for a shorter look.

Regardless of the cut of the coat, you’ll need professional grooming every 4-6 weeks and a bath or two at home between visits as they tend to need a bath every two weeks. Also, a Lhasa Apso’s fur tends to mat when damp even if it’s clean.

So, after a bath, you will need to make sure their coat is completely dry and that you brush them well. If their coat is kept in a long clip, you will need to comb out tangles every day to prevent mats from forming. If it’s kept in the shorter “puppy cut”, you can get away with brushing a few times a week.

These are just a few fun facts about the Lhasa Apso. If you think this small, loving dog breed could be the right one for you, learn more about them and check out the available Lhasa Apso puppies. You could end up finding your new best friend!