• Overview

    These assertive little dogs have a unique personality that allows them to be serious guard dogs in one instant and cuddly companions in the next. They are trustworthy and devoted guard dogs who can be wary of strangers but devoted to their owners, who love them for their playful instincts and gorgeous coats.

    View Grooming Diagram for lhasa apso
  • Personality

    If it seems like your Lhasa Apso's mood swings are less predictable than the stock market, don't worry. That unique personality is a characteristic of the breed. These dogs are able to turn on a dime, from affectionate, carefree playmate to fiercely independent guard dog. They take their responsibility as their family's protector very seriously, and they're not about to let their petite size get in the way. Although these dogs are only about 11 inches high and clock in around 15 pounds, they were bred in Tibet to be valuable royal watchdogs. At their heart, however, they are loyal companions who love cuddling and spending time with their owners. They are quite content to live inside and they have no excess energy to exhaust through exercise. Most of their activity comes from staying alert while guarding the home and clowning about with their owners.

    These little dogs tenaciously strive to prove their independence, which doesn't win them any awards in obedience classes. They are quick to lose patience and become frustrated. For this reason, they are not always happy to share their homes with children, whose clumsiness and noise they find irritating.

  • Coat Care

    His extensive coat is long and straight, often flopping over his head and extending to the floor. The full coat, which covers his whole body, helped protect the Lhasa Apso from extreme weather in the Himalayan mountains of his homeland. Now, it is one of his distinguishing features that makes him a popular pet. Even though it looks like the Lhasa Apso can barely see from behind his curtain of hair, his eyelashes are strong enough to allow him to see quite well. The Lhasa Apso is a double-coated dog with a coat that should be hard to the touch. The outer coat is heavy and slightly rough to the touch. The under coat is shorter and softer and gives the coat its body. Lhasa Apsos come in many colors, including a warm honey, black, white, tones of gray and mixed colors.  Lhasa Apsos do not shed frequently, so trimming occasionally around their paws and eyes will help them avoid discomfort.

Lhasa Apso
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The Lhasa Apso loves to look his best. That gorgeous coat will take some effort to groom. Daily brushing and combing is necessary for dogs without short clips. Brush out their flowing coats with a wire brush and a rake-like comb to avoid mats and tangles.

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Your Lhasa Apso will need to be bathed to keep his long coat from becoming dirty, but because these dogs to not naturally enjoy the water, help him get used to bathing as a puppy.

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Hair Clipping

Lhasa Apsos do not shed frequently, so trimming occasionally around their paws and eyes will help them avoid discomfort. If you choose to keep your dog in a puppy clip, he will need to be clipped frequently and trimmed carefully around his face.

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Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

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Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Drop coated dogs have sensitive ears and long hair that tends to grow into the ear. Their ears need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. Small dogs like Shih Tzus and Havanese are prone to developing tear stains around their eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

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Lhasa Apsos are also prone to dental problems, so help your dog become accustomed to tooth-brushing routines early in their puppy years. Brush their teeth daily if possible.