Lhasa Apso Breed Information

Lhasa Apsos are a member of the ‘Utility’ breed group. Dogs in the Utility group were essentially bred for a specific purpose and so contain a variety of breeds. The function they have been bred for is not included in the sporting and working categories.

Lhasa Apsos are very affectionate, loving dogs to those they know. They can also be quite independent. They have a happy nature and will just as quickly jump at the chance of a cuddle and fuss as they will play.

Lhasa Apsos get along well with children and other pets in the household, given the right socialisation as puppies. They can be a little warier of strangers. Grooming on a daily basis is required to keep their long coats in tip-top condition and prevent matting.

Breed-related health problems:

Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Lhasa Apsos are prone to include:

  • Luxating patellas – the kneecaps slipping temporarily out of place.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy – gradual deterioration of the retina of the eye. Symptoms can start with night blindness and progress to total blindness.
  • Cataracts – opacity of the lens of the eye – giving a ‘cloudy’ appearance.
  • Glaucoma – increased pressure within the eye.
  • Atopy – hypersensitivity to certain allergens, causing itching and skin trauma.
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca or ‘Dry eye – decreased tear production, leading to dry eye and damage to the cornea (surface of the eye).
  • Intervertebral disc disease – abnormality of the discs that provide cushioning between the vertebrae (back bones).
  • Cherry eye – eversion of the nictitating membrane or ‘third eyelid’ – generally occurs in younger dogs and can be surgically corrected.
  • Hydrocephalus – increased accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles of the brain.

For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.

You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.

Exercise requirements:

Lhasa Apsos need around an hour of exercise per day. They are known to be quite stubborn, so sometimes training can be a bit more of a challenge. Plenty of practice and patience should overcome this – for training tips take a look at our dog behaviour page.

Estimated lifetime cost:

The likely lifetime costs for a Lhasa Apso are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:

The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.

Insure your Lhasa Apso with PDSA:

1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like Lhasa Apsos that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:

  • 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
  • 4 levels of cover to suit you
  • Monthly payment at no extra cost

*Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.

By insuring your Lhasa Apso with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.

Energy levels
 
Overall grooming needs
 
Compatibility with other pets
 
Easy to train
 
How much exercise
 
Suitability for children/families
 
Tendency to bark
 
Average lifespan 12-14 years
Size Small
Coat length Long
Possible health problems Luxating patellas (the kneecaps slipping temporarily out of place), Eye problems
Average price £300-£500
Estimated cost over lifetime £21,200-£25,400
Average weight 6kg-6.5kg
Breed group Utility
Minimum garden size Small

Not sure if the Lhasa Apso is the right pet for you?