Lhasa Apso illustration
Utility

Lhasa Apso

Originally kept by Tibetan monks as companions and watchdogs

Breed characteristics

Size
Small
Exercise
Up to 1 hour per day
Size of home
Flat/ Apartment
Grooming
Every day
Coat length
Long
Sheds
No
Lifespan
Over 12 years
Vulnerable native breed
No
Town or country
Either
Size of garden
No garden

About this breed

The Lhasa Apso was one of the first breeds to be used as a companion dog. For many centuries he was kept by Tibetan monks in their isolated monasteries where they served as companions and watchdogs. The breed was credited with spiritual powers and considered to bring prosperity and fortune to the owner, hence it bore the name of Talisman Dog. It was also believed that when monks died they might be reincarnated as one of the monastery dogs.

The breed was jealously guarded in Tibet and did not reach other countries until the late 19th Century. They were recognised by The Kennel Club in 1908 and classified along with the Tibetan Terrier as Lhasa Terriers. In 1934 the two breeds were divided and both breeds have prospered in the show ring.

Read the breed standard

Images for this breed

The Utility breed group

This group consists of miscellaneous breeds of dog mainly of a non-sporting origin, including the Bulldog, Dalmatian, Akita and Poodle. The name ‘Utility’ essentially means fitness for a purpose and this group consists of an extremely mixed and varied bunch, most breeds having been selectively bred to perform a specific function not included in the sporting and working categories. Some of the breeds listed in the group are the oldest documented breeds of dog in the world.

Breed standard colours

Breed standard colour means that the colour is accepted within the breed standard and is a traditional and well-known colour in this breed.

Breed standard colours in this breed include:

  • Black
  • Black & Tan
  • Black & White
  • Brindle
  • Brindle & White
  • Brown
  • Brown & White
  • Cream
  • Cream & White
  • Gold
  • Gold & Black
  • Gold & White
  • Gold Brindle
  • Golden
  • Grey
  • Grey & White
  • Honey
  • Honey & White
  • Particolour
  • Red
  • Red & Gold
  • Red & White
  • Sandy
  • Tan & White
  • Tricolour
  • White

Other colour/s

'Other' means you consider your puppy to be a colour not currently known within the breed and one that does not appear on either the breed standard or non-breed standard list. In this instance you would be directed through our registrations process to contact a breed club and/or council to support you on identifying and correctly listing the new colour.

Non-breed-standard colours

Non-breed-standard colour means that the colour is not accepted within the breed standard and whilst some dogs within the breed may be this colour it is advised to only select a dog that fits within the breed standards for all points.

Colour is only one consideration when picking a breed or individual dog, health and temperament should always be a priority over colour.

Health

Whether you’re thinking of buying a puppy, or breeding from your dog, it’s essential that you know what health issues may be found in your breed. To tackle these issues we advise that breeders use DNA tests, screening schemes and inbreeding coefficient calculators to help breed the healthiest dogs possible.

More about health

Priority health schemes and tests

The Kennel Club's Assured Breeders must use the following schemes, tests and advice. All other breeders are strongly advised to also use these.

Important health schemes and tests

We strongly recommend that all breeders, both assured breeders (ABs) and non ABs, use the following schemes, tests and advice.

Find out about a particular dog's results

Please visit our Health Test Results Finder to discover the DNA or screening scheme test results for any dog on The Kennel Club's Breed Register.

You can also view the inbreeding coefficient calculation for a puppy's parents, or for a dog you're thinking of breeding from.

Have any questions about health in your breed?

If you have any concerns about a particular health condition in your breed then you may wish to speak to your vet or you could contact your breed health co-ordinator.

Breed health co-ordinators are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. They acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.

Contact the breed health co-ordinator for the Lhasa Apso.

Breed watch

Category 1

Currently no points of concern specific to this breed have been identified for special attention by judges, other than those covered routinely by The Kennel Club breed standard.

Read more about Breed Watch

Breeding restrictions

There are a number of The Kennel Club rules and regulations that may prevent a litter from being registered, find out about our general and breed specific breeding restrictions below.

More about breeding

There are not currently any additional breed specific restrictions in place for this breed.

More information

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