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Lhasa Apso Vaccinations, Why and When you Should do Them

N.B This post contains links that will redirect you to my Amazon Affiliate Program.

When I was young my mother took me along to the doctors to be vaccinated against all sorts of diseases that humans can pick up during a lifetime. Just as my mother cared for me we must take care of our Lhasa Apsos from an early age. In this post, I’m going to explain to you when and why you should vaccinate your Lhasa Apsos.

Lhasa Apso vaccinations should be carried out from the early weeks in life. To prevent the numerous diseases that our precious pets can get during their existence. Vaccinations are vital.  This responsibility is yours, your Lhasa Apso may even die if they don’t get their proper vaccinations in time.

  1. Canine Distemper
  2. Canine Hepatitis
  3. Bordetella Bronchiseptica
  4. Heartworm
  5. Coronavirus
  6. Canine Parainfluenza
  7. Leptospirosis
  8. Kennel Cough
  9. Lyme Disease
  10. Parvovirus
  11. Rabies

As you read on through this post I want to convince you of the importance of the vaccinations necessary for your Lhasa Apso. The consequences if you do not vaccinate your dog will become life-threatening for them.


Why Your Puppy Needs these Vaccinations

Now you have your new Lhasa Apso puppy at home you need to think about getting them vaccinated against those 11 diseases above. At this moment your puppy is so cuddly and full of life, no doubt smelling nice as you keep them clean and brushed. But life-threatening dangers are lurking just a short time away that could seriously affect or even kill your beautiful little one.

Your puppy needs these vaccinations to help them lead a healthy disease-free life. Even though it might seem an inconvenience for you to take them down to your local veterinarian it is something you will be glad you will have done.

The diseases stated above are dangerous and could be fatal for your Lhasa Apso but these can be prevented by the vaccinations.  With so many diseases, there will be a large and confusing number of vaccinations your puppies are going to need. Do they need one for every disease or are some vaccinations made with two or three formulas where they can treat more than one disease?

Vaccinating, of course, will not only protect your dog, but you will also be protecting other dogs that come into contact with yours. Not spreading any diseases because your dog is vaccinated, which in the perfect world would mean no dog diseases, but unfortunately, we do not live in that perfect world.

As in human vaccinations, dog vaccinations are either a weak form of or a copy of the disease, made in laboratories. Once your Lhasa Apso has been inoculated against one of the specific diseases their body will start to create antibodies to fight that particular disease. Later in life if they contract that specific disease the antibodies that were created after the inoculation will then go and fight off the invading disease more effectively.

The success of vaccinating our pets has seen an enormous drop in fatalities. There are some diseases that have become almost eradicated thanks to vaccinations. A responsible owner will vaccinate his Lhasa Apso,  an irresponsible owner who does not vaccinate his dog is contributing to these eradicated diseases making a comeback.


When Should you Vaccinate your Puppy?

Vaccinating will need to start between 6 and 8 weeks against Measles, Parainfluenza and Distemper

Vaccinations called DHPP will be introduced between 10 and 12 weeks, this is against Distemper and Adenovirus, which is Hepatitis, and again Parainfluenza and Parvovirus

The vaccination against rabies will occur between 12 and 24 weeks but prior to this, between weeks 14 16, another DHPP vaccination is required.

From 12 to 16 months Rabies, DHPP are necessary.

Thereafter every 1 to 2 years dhpp.

And every 1 to 3 years Rabies, this is required by law.

Here is a chart to help remember the time schedules

Puppy’s Age Recommended Vaccinations Optional Vaccinations
6 — 8 weeks Distemper, measles, parainfluenza Bordetella
10 — 12 weeks DHPP (vaccines for distemper, adenovirus [hepatitis], parainfluenza, and parvovirus) Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
12 — 24 weeks Rabies none
14 — 16 weeks DHPP Coronavirus, Lyme disease, Leptospirosis
12 — 16 months Rabies, DHPP Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
Every 1 — 2 years DHPP Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
Every 1 — 3 years Rabies (as required by law) none

Opinions vary from veterinaire to veterinarian about having your pet vaccinated every year. Some are saying having too many vaccinations in older dogs could create more of a health risk. While others believe the contrary, to prevent dangerous diseases yearly vaccinations are essential they belive.
A Puppy at the Vets


The Effects of these Diseases on your Lhasa Apso

Not vaccinating your dog exposes them to contracting any one of the diseases mentioned above, let’s look at these diseases one at a time, what the effect will have on the health of your pet.


What is Distemper?  Canine distemper is a viral illness that is very contagious, there is no known cure. It attacks many forms of animals and wildlife including our dogs. The distemper virus is a member of the group of viruses that attack humans, similar to measles, there are also other distemper viruses that attack cattle and pork, so as you can see this is a widespread virus and needs to be kept under control.

A young puppy will be much more open to contract this viral disease. You and I can assist in reducing this virus by vaccinating our young puppies as soon as possible against the distemper virus. In the chart above we can see a puppy should be vaccinated against canine distemper at around 6 weeks old.

Signs of distemper

As with all illnesses, you will notice your pet behaving differently from normal. At the beginning of contracting canine distemper your pet’s temperature will rise to fever levels, around 39.7 degrees Celsius, visual signs to watch for will be a runny nose and eyes, which may also become reddened.

More signs will be diarrhea, being sick and coughing constantly.  Add to this the reduction of food intake, becoming tired and lethargic, resulting in your dog losing weight.  The canine distemper virus as it becomes installed in your dog’s body then starts to attack other systems and especially their nervous system, their brain is not left out of this viral attack. Obviously the attack of the brain and your pet’s nervous system will become evident when you see your dog having seizures, fits, attacks of hysteria.

Also, check their paws, if you notice your Lhasa Apsos paw pads becoming large and thickening this may also be a sign of canine distemper, some variations of the virus can create this effect. Unfortunately, dogs that have an immune system that has been weakened due to other factors or illness could within two to five weeks after the onset of canine distemper die.

How can your dog become infected by canine distemper?

The reason is not vaccinating your puppy, when they are mixing with infected dogs your puppy can contract the disease.

How can you treat distemper?

As I outlined at the beginning of this article there is no cure. There is no treatment available to cure this viral disease. If your dog has canine distemper then all a veterinarian can do is to make the conditions less painful for your pet. There will be a need to feed your Lhasa Apso by intravenous drips to make sure they receive the proper nourishment. You will also need to keep their eyes and nose properly cleaned using moist cotton pads. As your Lhasa Apso becomes weakened by the distemper virus antibiotics may be given to help control any secondary infections from bacteria, if your puppy is beginning to have seizures or convulsions potassium bromide and phenobarbitals may be needed to control these problems.

Canine Hepatitis

What is canine hepatitis? Canine hepatitis is an infection in your dog’s liver, this infection was originally called canine adenovirus.  Although called canine hepatitis, it can also affect bears, wolves, coyotes, and foxes so it is not restricted just to dogs, it is everywhere.

What are The Signs of Canine Hepatitis?

Typical canine hepatitis signs are a sore tummy, coughing, sadness in your Lhasa Apso, including a loss of appetite and high temperatures, up to fever levels. More signs include jaundice, being sick, and in really bad cases bleeding disorders inside the body that will eventually create hematomas that can form in the mouth.

How is Hepatitis contracted?

The hepatitis virus is contracted through blood, stools, urine, saliva and runny noses from infected dogs. The virus will enter by the nose or mouth of the host animal. After a period of 4 to 7 days of incubation, the virus will then continue its journey to the liver and kidneys.

How can you treat hepatitis?

This virus is treated symptomatically, almost all dogs recover having no treatment. Of course to prevent your pet contracting hepatitis you must vaccinate against it. One recent study concerning the vaccine against hepatitis has shown that immunity against this virus can last up to 4 years.

If your Lhasa Apso has contracted hepatitis and is now recovering you should steam clean everywhere, kennels, the area where they have slept, very hot steam will destroy the virus, which can live for several months in ideal conditions. One final observation before we finish on hepatitis is, the virus can still be in your dog’s urine for up to a year later, so be vigilant.

Bordetella Bronchiseptica

What is Bordetella Bronchiseptica?  Bordetella Bronchiseptica is a bacteria that causes a runny snotty nose and a hacking type of cough which is easily contracted by our pets. This bacteria is common in dogs and it is a disease that will affect the respiratory functions. It is also known to affect rabbits and cats, humans have also been known to contract it in very rare cases.

How do dogs contract Bordetella Bronchiseptica?

In our canine world, it is called kennel cough. This virus is extremely contagious and can be passed from one dog to another through the air or by direct contact with other dogs.

What are the signs of Bordetella Bronchiseptica?

Kennel cough as it suggests will involve constant coughing of your dog, it may sound as though there is something stuck in their throat and they’re trying to cough it up. This is one of the side effects, a sore throat your dog may be suffering from the constant coughing.

As with most illnesses, your dog will have a high temperature, running a fever, and will appear to be constantly tired, the nose of your dog may be runny with greenish or white discharge.

How can you treat Bordetella Bronchiseptica?

Fortunately, if your Lhasa Apso has contracted Bordetella bronchiseptica and it is only mild infection, supportive treatment will cure the problem. To help reduce the chances of a secondary attack antibiotics may be administered. Maybe your pet is having difficulty breathing, (Lhasa Apsos have a shorter muzzle) this could become a problem later. Cough suppressants or medication to help this could be prescribed. To help relieve your pet’s suffering when walking use a harness and not a collar, which will pull on their throat, increasing their soreness and irritation.


What is Heartworm? Heartworm is a potentially fatal disease, known as Dirofilariasis in the medical world ( I am not going to try to say that again) it is a parasite that is carried in the blood. As the word suggests these are real worms that get inside a dog’s heart and the arteries of the lungs.

It is almost unimaginable that these worms are circulating inside their little hearts. The female worm can grow to 15 to 36 cm long and 5 mm wide!  On the other hand, the male heartworm will be around half this size. Now I have a phobia of garden worms and to know worms as long as this could be inside my little Lucky’s body makes me want to be sick. There can be as many as 300 worms inside their body, yuck.

Once your pet has been diagnosed with heartworm, these little slimy things can live up to 5 years inside your pet’s body. The female worms during these 5 years can produce millions of baby worms called microfilaria, these small worms will start their life in the small vessels of the bloodstream before their turn attacking the heart and larger blood vessels.

What are the Signs of Heartworm?

Your Lhasa Apso may have been infected several years beforehand without your knowing it. The first signs of heartworm do not start to show for several years after the initial infection. For this reason, Heartworm is not seen in young puppies, it will be diagnosed in younger dogs from 2 to 8 years old.

Typical signs to look out for if your dog in this disease will be a soft dry cough, a loss of stamina, they will have breathing problems. Because the worms are also in the lungs these symptoms will be more noticeable after exercises. In cases where a dog is severely attacked by heartworm, they could suddenly die through overexertion.

How do Dogs get Heartworm?

This disease is not contracted when a dog has physical contact with other dogs. It is spread by mosquitoes. If a mosquito has bitten an infected dog,  then lands on your dog and bites your dog, then the infection is passed on. We can see from studies that heartworm cases increase when the mosquito season is in full swing.

Is Heartworm Treatable?

Yes, heartworm is treatable, with today’s new drugs 95% of dogs suffering from heartworm have a successful recovery. In some diagnosed dogs that have heartworm in an advanced stage it will be decided by the veterinarian to treat the damaged organs before killing the heart worms. Sadly dogs at this advanced stage will only have a few months to live.

Dogs that have been diagnosed with heartworm at an early stage will be treated by injection. The medicine treatment used to combat heartworm is called melarsomine. This drug will kill the adult heartworms in the vessels and inside the heart. The treatment has to be carried out over a period of time which will include several injections.

After the first administration of the drug via this injection procedure your dog will need to rest for 30 days. Thereafter your veterinarian will decide a schedule where your Lhasa Apso will need at least two or maybe more injections which will be spaced out at daily intervals.

There may also be an antibiotic treatment with a drug called doxycycline after the melarsomine treatment. These antibiotics are used to fight off any infection of bacteria that actually live inside the heartworm.

Canine Coronavirus

What is Canine Coronavirus? This viral disease infects the intestines and is very contagious. It is specific to wild and domestic dogs worldwide. Once a puppy has been infected by the virus this same virus then duplicates in the small intestine of your puppy.

Canine Coronavirus is classed as a mild disease on its own. On very rare occasions some puppies have known to have died if they have canine coronavirus combined with other viruses which affect the intestines.

What are the Signs of Canine Coronavirus?

There will often be no visible signs of this disease. A large majority of dogs that have this illness will show no signs. Thus making it difficult to detect, there are two signs to take note of,  the first could be a couple of days of uncontrollable diarrhea. Noticing their feces having an orange or yellow-greenish colour and liquid should alert you to an intestinal problem. Very young puppies can actually die as a result of canine coronavirus which can cause severe inflammation of their small intestine.

How do Dogs Catch Canine Coronavirus?

Your Lhasa Apso can catch canine coronavirus if they are in kennel areas. When other dog excrements are left lying in the compound which are from infected dogs. Your dog risks catching canine coronavirus when walking in park, unfortunately, some owners do not collect their dog’s feces.

What is the Best way to Combat Canine Coronavirus?

The best way to combat canine coronavirus is a vaccination against the virus when your dog is still a puppy. If you notice your puppy suffering from the symptoms stated above seek veterinarian expertise immediately, as these conditions are often fatal for very young puppies.

Keeping your dog isolated will help prevent the disease from spreading. Being extremely vigilant when out walking helps, make sure that your Lhasa Apso does not lick or try to eat feces of other dogs.


What is Leptospirosis?  The bacteria leptospira attacks the kidney and liver of our dogs. Being an infectious disease it is passed from dog to dog. Leptospira bacteria multiply in the bloodstream and will then pass on to the kidneys and livers.

What are the Symptoms of Leptospirosis?

If your Lhasa Apso has lost his appetite, tired, seems depressed, has a high temperature, being sick, drinking much more and urinating more. These are all the signs and symptoms that your dog has leptospirosis, needing urgent medical care.

A symptom called jaundice can also develop inside their mouth, you will also notice the whites of their eyes turning yellow. Leptospirosis once contracted develops fast and on rare occasions within a few days it can turn out to be deadly.  On the contrary, some dogs that contract the disease in a mild form will not show these symptoms which may allow the leptospirosis to go undetected.

How do dogs catch Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is caught with direct contact with infected urine with the bacteria leptospira. Some dogs can catch this disease when they drink water that may be infected where another dog has urinated into a puddle. Being such a small bacteria the leptospira can also infect your pet through soft skin tissue which can include their nose, their eyes, their mouth and even broken skin areas, for example, scratches and broken sores on their skin.

How is Leptospirosis Treated?

Your dog can contract the bacteria leptospira from urine of infected dogs.  We all know how much are dogs enjoy sniffing around trees and lamp posts where other dogs urinate,  which of course are markers. In doing so they are increasing the risk of catching the leptospira bacteria. Are you fortunate enough to be living in the countryside? Be on your guard as even skunks, wolves, deer, raccoons and many other wild animals can spread this leptospira bacteria.

Lyme Disease

Borrelia Burgdorferi is the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. This bacteria can be picked up by ticks that will become the vector and pass it on to our dogs. The first case ever found was in Lyme Connecticut.  Lyme disease is regularly found in the northeastern States, upper midwest and also in Californian states, but is also found in the other 48 states on the continent. Anywhere that Ixodes ticks can be found there is a strong chance that dogs can contract Lyme disease.

What are Lyme Disease Symptoms?

Taking between 2 to 5 months after the infection and incubation period symptoms will come in three states.

The first one is acute, which will include a slowness in all their movements, a reluctance to eat, tiredness, a depressive attitude, high temperatures with fever, severe arthritis, joints that may be swollen, when you touch them will feel warm, you’ll also notice that their lymph nodes become swollen and they have a strange movement from standing on one pair of legs to the other pair of legs to reduce their pain.

The second state of Lyme Disease called subacute is a continuation of joint inflammation and arthritis causing an ongoing lameness.

The final state of Lyme Disease is known as the chronic state, which will now include heart problems, signs of brain malfunction, and damage in their kidneys. This kidney damage could eventually lead to Lyme nephritis, usually at this point, there is nothing that can be done to help your pet and eventual death is imminent.

Lyme nephritis can be detected by seeing your Lhasa Apso becoming anorexic, muscles degenerating, sickness , tiredness and one of the easiest signs that you will notice is that their breath will have a bad odour.

Again vaccination is the only sure way to protect your pet dog against Lyme disease, if you have any doubts, obtain veterinary advice immediately.

How do Dogs Catch Lyme Disease?

As we have read in the paragraph above Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks that jump on to their passing hosts. Whilst out walking your Lhasa Apso in the garden or park, ticks living in the grass are just waiting for your pet to walk past. They jump onto your dog and get down through the hair to the skin surface where they sink their jaws into the skin of your pet. Transmitting the Lyme disease they are carrying.

Can Lyme Disease be Treated?

Yes, Lyme disease can be successfully treated by an antibiotic called Doxycycline. The favorite choice of most veterinarians. Other antibiotics are also available. Once your pet has been diagnosed with Lyme disease and the treatment of antibiotics has started you must continue until the end of the treatment. Vaccinating your dog against Lyme disease is strongly advised before it gets to this condition.


Parvovirus in our canine friends is a viral infection. Parvovirus is easily spread from one dog to another. The more common form of Parvovirus attacks the intestines of our Lhasa Apsos, the second form is a virus that will attack the heart. Death can occur in young puppies that have parvovirus. Although radically reduced by conscientious owners vaccinating their puppies early in life, Parvovirus still attacks puppies.

What are the Symptoms and Signs of Parvovirus?

Just as with many of the other diseases are dogs can catch signs to look out for to see if your dog has caught parvovirus are, laziness, being sick, weight loss to the point of anorexia, and diarrhoea that contains blood.

Other signs include eyes and mouth that become red, the heartbeat may also be high even though they have done no exercise, they could also be cold to your touch as their body temperature drops.

How do our Dogs get Parvovirus?

The most common way that Parvovirus is transmitted is when your dog has been in contact with a dog that is infected or again when they eat some feces, in which the virus is contained. As dogs like to smell other dogs’ bottoms they increase the chances of getting the Parvovirus. Likewise, if we have inadvertently walked in some infected dog stool whilst walking we could bring Parvovirus back home on our shoes.

Is Parvovirus Treatable?

This disease needs to be controlled in a Hospital as a real cure has not been found as of yet. In a hospital environment, the veterinarian will be focused on the symptoms and attempting to cure them, preventing any bacterial attacks. Whilst in this environment intravenous drips with the correct nourishment and fluids will be administered.  Although 70% of infected dogs treated in hospitals survive, there are cases that result in death. Caused by secondary bacterial infections in blood with bacterial toxins and dehydration. These other factors are fatal.


Rabies is a virus that attacks the spinal cord and brain of all mammals including us humans. Known around the world, rabies puts fear in the mind of humans, not only for ourselves but fear of our own dogs catching it. There are three places on the Earth where rabies has never been reported this includes Hawaii, Australia, and Antarctica. We can see this virus is everywhere.  Around the world every year 50000 humans die because of rabies, the toll for animals goes into millions. This virus rabies, nearly always ends in fatality for animals. If humans can get an anti-rabies vaccination in time and are kept in hospital they can survive, but go through excruciating pain.

What are the Signs if your Dog has Rabies?

There are two types of rabies, furious and paralytic, after contracting rabies your dog will progress into one of these two stages, sometimes they can be affected by both types. The furious type of rabies, as the name indicates, will manifest in differences in their behavioral comportment. This includes behavior changes that incite your otherwise calm dog to attack and become over-aggressive.

The second type of rabies is the paralytic type, often called dumb rabies. You do not need much explanation about the second type, your dog will become confused, weak and will slowly become paralyzed. Eventually leading to their death.

How does a dog get rabies?

Rabies is transmitted by dogs biting each other. If your dog has been in a fight and its skin has been pierced then you should immediately take them long to your veterinarian who will probably no doubt give your dog a rabies booster.

Can Rabies be Treated?

Assuming you are a responsible pet owner you have already vaccinated your dog against rabies. It is actually the law in the United States that all dogs must be vaccinated against rabies every year, once every three years depending on which state you are in. A quarantine period of six months can be imposed on an animal that has come into contact or has been bitten by another animal with rabies. Even a vaccinated animal that has scratched or has bitten a human will be put into quarantine or may even be put to sleep and then a postmortem will be undertaken.  You can see rabies is taken very seriously and any responsible owner will vaccinate their pet against this terrible virus that even attacks humans. Finally, if you think your own Lhasa Apso is infected by rabies, do not come into contact with its saliva, it could be fatal for you.


You have learned reading this post, just to the end, the importance of vaccinating your puppy at a very early age. You have also now gathered enough knowledge of the various diseases with the results of not vaccinating. Take vaccinating your Lhasa Apso seriously, you will enjoy many years together as a responsible owner.













When Can You Breed A Lhasa Apso? Think Before You Decide

N.B This post contains links that will redirect you to my Amazon Affiliate Program.

Are you an owner of a Lhasa Apso? If you are then you will probably in the future want to breed your Lhasa Apso. I have scoured the internet to find you the answers to many questions about breeding Lhasa Apsos in particular. These answers will help you, they give much detailed advice if you decide to go ahead and breed your Lhasa Apso.

When can you breed a Lhasa Apso? Lhasa Apsos come on heat from six months, they can become pregnant at this age. Veterinarians advise this is too young to start breeding. Eighteen months to two years is ideal for breeding. Give your young female a chance to grow first.

Do you want to learn more about breeding your Lhasa Apso? Questions you may ask yourself or that may arise during breeding are covered below. Read on to get the answers.

  1. Introduction
  2. Ethics
  3. Costs of Breeding
  4. What Age
  5. Choosing a Stud
  6. How to Tell When the Female is in Heat
  7. When is a Female too Old to Breed?
  8. Do Males go into Heat?
  9. How Long Does the Pregnancy Last?
  10. How many Puppies in a Litter?
  11. Why Do Dogs Get Stuck Together After Mating?
  12. Is my Male Fertile?
  13. Think Before you Breed your Lhasa Apso

1 Introduction

What is the reason you want to breed your Lhasa Apso?  To make money, to prolong the Lhasa Apso breed, because you love your dog?  Let’s take these one at a time.

Selling puppies can be a lucrative option to increase your revenue for the end of the month. If your puppy’s a purebred then you can expect to sell them for around $500 each. A puppy with all the Kennel Club certificates and is show quality then you can expect $1,300 to $5,100. In some cases, you can demand more than this if you have a Lhasa Apso from a superior pedigree stock with all the history and documents of the descendants. If you would like a little extra revenue once a year then this is an option to help you financially.

Your Lhasa Apso is your best friend and she’s special, she is your companion and gives all her love to you. Maybe you want to prolong the species of Lhasa Apsos and your motive is not the financial side of breeding. Would you like to breed pure Lhasa Apsos so that the breed continues? This breed is renown for its fearlessness, and their high spirits, their qualities as guardians, and of course are very loyal to their Masters. If your desire is to bring pleasure to potential owners then go for it.

Your Lhasa Apso probably loves you more than you love her!  You are her master, if you have raised her correctly, she will adore you even more because they need a leader of the pack and this is your role. Breeding your female is not going to change her thoughts and love for you. I don’t think this option is a reason for breeding your dog.

2 Ethics

The primary goal and reason you should be breeding your female Lhasa Apso is to continue the breed, help improve and maintain their quality, their qualities as watchdogs and valued companions. This brings me to the question of purebred or mixed breeding.

If you own a pure Lhasa Asapo why breed her with another breed of dog only to have a mixed litter. This is defeating the idea of increasing pure Lhasa Apsos in the world. They are so cute and adorable, if I had a female then I would make sure I chose a pure Lhasa Apso stud to breed her with.

One procedure I disapprove of is that some breeders attempt to genetically modify the Lhasa Apso to obtain perfect show dogs. This is like being Frankenstein, making, one-day dogs that do not resemble the original Lhasa Apso. The Lhasa Apso has been on this planet for nearly 3000 years, and if we breed correctly will carry on for many more centuries to come.

Mixed breed Lhasa Apsos can also be adorable and cute if you are looking to breed for financial gains mixed breed puppies will sell for less than purebred puppies.

Breeding your female will help to calm them down, making them a much friendlier and passive dog. What you should never do though is to force your female to breed, it should be natural. She will give strong indications if she is not ready to breed, ie; refusing to allow the stud to mount.

3 Costs of Breeding

Now you have made the decision to breed your Lhasa Apso. Following the advice above she should be a minimum of 18 months old, preferably two years old, so that her internal organs have fully developed. She should be in good health and have no hereditary diseases that can be passed on to her puppies, do get the relevant blood tests undertaken to confirm she has a clean hereditary background.

Obviously, breeding is going to take two partners. You will need to pay for the services of a stud to breed with your female. Prices do vary from as little as $75 going up to $500+ This upper price is for a stud that has a reputation in shows and registered in the AKC (American Kennel Club)

Negotiations are possible with stud owners. You could offer them first pick of the litter if they are offering a service priced low, thereby allowing them to sell one of the puppies.

Unforeseen costs could be incurred if there are complications during the pregnancy or in the actual birth of the puppies. Assuming all went well and the puppies are in good health, they are now going to need all their vaccinations and injections and this, of course, has significant costs.

All these vaccinations that they need, will protect them from illnesses and diseases such as

  • Heartworm
  • Kennel cough
  • Dog distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Parainfluenza
  • Coronavirus
  • Lyme disease
  • Leptospirosis
  • Parvovirus
  • Rabies

The first 9 vaccinations will cost normally between $60 and $70. To this, you need to add the rabies vaccination which will cost around $20. These vaccinations are vital and I’ll give you one example, if your puppies develop heartworm then the cost at the veterinary starts at $400!! It is easier and cheaper to prevent heartworm than trying to eradicate it when it is too late. Hundreds of dogs die needlessly every year because of heartworm.

Finally adding to the cost of breeding you need to account for their puppy food and a stock of absorbent matting.

4 What Age?

Lhasa Apsos can start to breed as early as six months, when they have their first cycle in heat. This is in expert’s opinions far too young to start breeding. Your dog at this tender age has still not fully developed all her internal organs. Breading at this early age could damage their organs irreversibly. It will be much better to start breeding at the age of eighteen to twenty-four months. By this time your dog will be more willing to breed with the male as well.

5 Choosing a Stud

Of course, it’s easy to find a stud dog, but finding the best is another story which can be daunting. In the following paragraphs I will help you with this task.

Assuming you are going to breed pure Lhasa Apsos then you need a purebred stud. If you search on the internet you will find many offers that should meet your needs.

The first thing you should check with a potential stud are papers and certificates confirming their lineage. This can be achieved by contacting the owners. Take this opportunity to discuss the characteristics of the stud and his temperament. You may also bring into the conversation your desires and expectations from the litter.

Look at the color of the stud and what you think your puppy’s eventual colors might be. Many factors can be used to determine what your puppy’s characters would be. If your female is aggressive then look for a stud non-aggressive that may help reduce the aggressiveness in the puppies.

At this stage, you know of all the health and genetic problems that Lhasa Apsos may have. Make sure your female has been checked completely to make sure she has none of these hereditary illnesses. Likewise, you should demand the certificates confirming the stud has none of these problems.

Choosing a stud that is middle-aged or a bit older lessens the chances of choosing an immature stud. An older stud has proven that he can live a good age and would be a good choice. Beware not to choose a stud too old, as there might be problems in his sperm count.

Stud location is an element that needs to be considered, if you live on the east coast and the stud is on the west coast the travel expenses will be enormous. If you fly your female to the stud, there will be flight costs, once at the studs kennels will you have to pay boarding fees while she is there? Remember the Lhasa Apso breed have a shorter muzzle and there could also be complications on the flight. The option of choosing a stud locally will make things easier, you could actually go and see the stud and talk to the owner personally.

Finally as in all operations where finances are involved you need to be clear and precise in the agreement terms that you should draft up in a contract. Some owners will ask for a fee, others may ask for a puppy, what if your female does not give birth to a litter? What are the arrangements in this case? are you reimbursed or a second rendezvous the next time your female is in heat,  at no extra cost to you of course.

6 How to Tell When the Female is in Heat?

As we prepare to breed we need to determine when is the best time for the stud to come into contact with the female.  Smaller dogs like the Lhasa Apso reach sexual maturity at an early age, they can have their first heat at six months of age. But we have already decided not to breed them until they have reached at least eighteen months old.

These heat cycles happen normally twice a year, being six months apart, although at the beginning these periods may change slightly they will settle down into a regular pattern later. They will have their cycle always around the same time of the year thereafter. Our small Lhasa Apsos could have a yearly number of four heat cycles.

Having gained the knowledge now,  our female could possibly come into heat as much as four times a year, how long do these cycles last? Each dog is different and a cycle can average from two to three weeks. Visual signs that your female has started her heat cycle will be a discharge from the vulva. You may like to use a high tech machine to help determine when she will come into heat and this one on Amazon will do just that. You may also notice that she starts looking at her vulva and licking it, the vulva will also start to become swollen. The end of the cycle will be marked by no more discharge and when the swollen vulva has returned to its normal size.

At the beginning of each cycle, when she is in heat, she has now become prey for any male dogs in the area. In this first week of the cycle, although attracting male dogs, she is not ready to accept a male and will not allow one to mount. Eight to ten days after the beginning of the cycle the blood flow will become less, this is the time when they become receptive. At this time she will also release pheromones and hormones in small amounts of urine that male dogs will pick up as a signal that she is ready to mate with.

So now we have all this information when is the best time to mate your dog? Not an easy question to answer precisely but your female will ovulate and become receptive by the 11th day of the cycle. At this point, your female will be looking for a male partner. But to make the problem even more difficult, the ovulation could start later or even earlier during their cycle.

Finally, there are some tests your veterinarian can undertake to determine much more accurately the best time to mate your dog. These tests are;

A Serum Progesterone test, which is a simple blood examination to determine the progesterone levels. This particular test is very sensitive and has become popular because of its accuracy.

The vaginal smear test, this is a non-invasive smear of the vagina where the veterinarian, using a microscope, can detect changes in cell numbers and appearances, this test is carried out over a few days and can predict the ovulation in your female and when is the right moment to mate.

7 When is a Female too Old to Breed?

Dog breeding is a satisfying and rewarding occupation for a dog owner but there comes a time when your cherished pet has become too old to continue breeding. What is the age limit when your dog for health reasons should stop breeding? Do female dogs stop having heat cycles as they get older?

Any female Lhasa Apso in good health could still have complications and health problems when breeding and giving birth. As your female becomes older then these complications and health issues could be exaggerated to the point where you risk their lives.

There are many opinions as to what age should you stop breeding your dog, as a general rule the standards suggest six years is a good time to stop. Size and breed also come into the valuation when considering at what age to stop breeding. The strictest age is five years old which would seem to be young for a Lhasa Apsos that can live as long as fifteen years old. If you intend to continue breeding your Lhasa Apso after these ages then do consult your veterinarian.

Specialists and veterinarians advise stopping breeding your dog after she has had four litters.  Sadly there are breeders that come under the label of “Puppy Mills” and do not care for the well being of the female they just keep on breeding until the dogs can no longer have litters.

You must stop breeding your female if any medical issues have occurred which would be detrimental to their health. some of these issues could be a prolapsed or distended uterus, diabetes, and a common problem with Lhasa Apsos is hip dysplasia.

If your female has pregnancies that become complicated then again breeders and vets advise stopping breeding. Such complications could include a cesarean section, stalled labor, and delivery, or if they have had a miscarriage at any point then you should stop breeding.

8 Do Males go into Heat?

No! male dogs do not go into heat. Well, that answered that question very quickly, but let’s expose this question a bit more. Don’t worry if you have been waiting for your male to come into heat because basically they do not come into heat. Perhaps you have noticed his behavior has become more amorous, this is no doubt due to him being able to smell the hormones and pheromones of a female in the nearby vicinity.

You have probably heard that saying that male dogs are always “randy” this is due to their natural instincts. If there are females on heat in your area your male will become excited! The odor of hormones and pheromones a female gives off becomes at its highest in the middle of her heat cycle and will attract male dogs. Male dogs will become less interested in the female towards the end of a heat cycle as this sent starts to become less pungent.

9 How long does the Pregnancy Last?

Now that you have successfully mated your female with her stud, you need to know how long the gestation period will be. This can vary between fifty-eight and sixty-eight days, sixty-three days which equals nine weeks being a normal gestation period. Your veterinarian can perform tests to ascertain more precisely how far your female pregnancy has gone. And more helpfully can give you a date when she will give birth to her puppies.

The gestation period of dogs is broken into three trimesters each about three weeks in duration. although you could possibly see some visual signs your female Lhasa Apso is pregnant it can be sometimes very difficult without your veterinarians expert diagnosis.

To give you an idea of the time needed from the conception to birth.

Firstly the embryos will start their journey through the uterine horn after about one week after their creation. They will have found the uterine lining by the sixteenth day and will snuggly embed themselves there. Six more days later, this is now day twenty-two into their journey, the fetuses will begin to form. Taking your female to your veterinarian between twenty-eight and thirty days he will be able to see the heartbeats of the fetuses with ultrasound equipment.

Continuing the creation journey of your new puppies on day thirty-two their eyelids will start to develop, next you will see their little toes start to grow around day thirty-five,  quickly followed by their claws five days later. Their skeleton and coat start to form around day forty-five. You will be able to see your puppies skeletons and form after fifty days, by taking her to your veterinarian who will conduct an X-ray and count how many puppies she has.

Your new puppies will be completely formed around fifty-eight days and you may notice the mother starts looking for a place where she can give birth. The time is getting close, within the next three to four days your female should be going into labor, it is advised that someone with experience or even your veterinarian should supervise this time because complications could occur.

There are three stages of labor for your female Lhasa Apso, the first can last anywhere between twelve to twenty-four hours. This will be the moment when the first contractions begin in the uterus, sometimes there are no outward signs in this first period. Your pending mother will probably be restless, she may be panting, she may be sick, maybe gone off her food, these are definite signs that she has begun her labor.

Then comes the second stage of labor, it is in this second stage when she will give birth to her newborns, this second stage can also take up to twenty-four hours. Once the first puppy is born the others normally follow between thirty to sixty minutes later for each, on no account should it take more than two hours for each puppy. Having been following your female’s pregnancy with your veterinarian you will have the exact number of puppies that will be born so you’ll know when she has finished.

The final and third part of this labor is when the placenta appears to be completely delivered.  This normally starts in the second stage of labor and the third and final part is when there is no more placenta being delivered, your baby has done her job.

10 How Many Puppies in a Litter?

Now your female has puppies growing inside her you will want to know how many she can bring into the world. How many more little mouths are there to be feed?

Just with other breeds of dogs litter sizes of a Lhasa Apso can vary with up to a maximum of eight puppies. The normal number of puppies in her litter will between four to six though.

To know for sure exactly how many puppies she is carrying you can have your female x-rayed by your veterinarian, where you will be able to see the exact number of puppies.

11 Why Do Dogs Get Stuck Together After Mating?

Once your female and her stud have completed their romantic encounter together you will notice that they remain stuck together, for a considerable amount of time afterward.

The reason and why this happens is a natural phenomenon. After mating the penis of the male becomes stuck inside the female and this can last fifteen to thirty minutes. Although the two dogs may look in pain and cry this is normal and you should not be concerned.

The reason this happens is, as the penis enters the female’s sexual organ the bulbous gland, which is part of the male dog’s penis, begins to swell and becomes too large to withdraw. During the time they are stuck, which can last for as long as thirty minutes the male organ will continue ejaculating sperm, this, in turn, will impregnate your female. After this time, which looks stressful the bulbous glands will gradually reduce in size and the two dogs will disengage on their own.

If this is your first experience in breeding your dog you must never, I repeat never, try to separate the dogs once they are stuck together, you may hurt both dogs in trying to do so. Also, the fertilization of your female will be unsuccessful with a possible negative result for pregnancy. Leave them on their own and time will play its part.

12 Is my Male Fertile

It can sometimes occur that a male dog will be infertile, but it is not very common.

In rare cases, the male dog might not be able to mate. If the mating act was successful, the fertilization of the female could be unsuccessful. Some reasons why your male dog is infertile could be sudden hormone changes a physical injury or an infection. Ask for veterinarian advice if you are concerned about the fertility of your male Lhasa Apso.

Some things to look out for, a litter size smaller than normal even though your dog has successfully mated with the female. Abnormalities in the sperm could also occur, low sperm count or even misshapen sperm. Again consult your veterinarian who can examine and confirm this dysfunction. There may even be hormonal problems and obviously, as your male dog becomes older their sperm production will decrease.

13 Think before you breed your Lhasa Apso

Now you have reached the end of this topic I asked you, seriously think about why you want to be breading your Lhasa Apso. What are your motives for doing this? Are you putting your female at risk? Will you be able to meet the financial cost of breeding your female? Do you have space where you live to accommodate twenty-four extra little feet running around? You will be responsible for the health and the well being of these little puppies. They are coming into your home for a few weeks, and before you can sell them you need to care for them as your own children!

Related Questions

Can a large dog mate with a small dog?

Yes, they can!!  Be careful when your female Lhasa Apso is in heat that no big dogs find her. Do not rely on a crate or a garden fence to be her birth control, they should be closely supervised during this time in estrus. A small Lhasa Apso that has been fertilized by a large breed of dog is going to have difficulties when the time comes to give birth to the big puppies. The larger puppies will be almost impossible to pass through the vaginal organ of a Lhasa Apso and cesarean operations are often necessary.

Is Crossbreeding good?

Mixed breed dogs could be called designer dogs, they are bred intentionally from two different adult breeds. Studies have shown that crossbred dogs compared to purebred dogs prove the mothers were superior, giving better care and larger milk production.  Crossbred dogs tend to live longer and are less subjected to inherited diseases that purebred dogs suffer from. There is no prediction of what coat color the cross-breed may have. An example of a cross Poodle-Labrador which is called a Labradoodle could be born with the coat of a poodle or a Labrador or a combination of both!





Lhasa Apso Old Age Symptoms, What are they and how to treat them

N.B This post contains links that will redirect you to my Amazon Affiliate Program.

Having owned a Lhasa Apso for 17 years I believe I can help you understand what these symptoms are. How you can look out for them, and how to treat them when they appear.

As Lhasa Apsos advance in age, they start to get old age symptoms. What are they and how do you treat them. You might be aware of some of these symptoms. There might be some listed below that you are unaware of. Preparing yourself to handle these symptoms as and when they arise will make you more confident as a Lhasa Apso owner.

I am not an animal doctor, although I do have the experience of seeing my Lhasa Apso reach 17 years. Now his old age symptoms are slowly taking over his body, I will share with you now what I have learned and how I have cared for him.


Well, I am definitely not a young buck anymore, maybe I should be classed as a worn-out Bull!  Having passed the retirement age, my body aches all over nowadays. Needing glasses to see, some medication to keep hypertension in place and some arthritis going through my joints. I’m sure my old age symptoms are beginning to show.

Lucky my Lhasa Apso I have had since he was 1 year old, we’ve been together 16 years. With ups and downs in his health that were thankfully nothing dangerous. Now at 17 years old he has been showing signs of these old age symptoms that our Lhasa Apsos get. Firstly we can look at a comparison of dog years against the equivalent human years. Lucky now being 17 years old his equivalent human years are 84 years old.

How Old can Lhasa Apsos Become

Check the list below to see how old your Lhasa Apso would be if he was a human.

   Dog   =   Human

  1.            7
  2.          13
  3.         20
  4.         26
  5.         33
  6.         40
  7.         44
  8.         48
  9.         52
  10.         56
  11.         60
  12.         64
  13.         68
  14.         72
  15.         76
  16.         80
  17.         84
  18.         90
  19.         94
  20.         98

Being a Lhasa Apso owner you will know that small dogs live longer lives than larger dogs. The oldest Lhasa Apso on record lived to the ripe old age of 29 which would have made him the equivalent in human years of 134 years old.

Lhasa Apsos in healthy conditions on average lives between 14 and 16 years old,  as we see above exceptional cases exist. My own Lhasa Apso is almost 17 years old taking him just over the average. Hopefully, I will have him for a few more years despite his old age symptoms.

In the meantime, I am preparing myself for that day when Lucky will eventually cross the Rainbow Bridge. It is going to be hard to except. If you are in the same situation as me and need to prepare for that day, I wrote a post that will help you to prepare for that day. You can read it here.
An Old Dog

Symptoms to Look For

  1. Weight increase
  2. Slowing down
  3. Sleeping more
  4. Cloudy eyes
  5. Not responding to you
  6. Incontinence
  7. Deteriorating coat
  8. Lumps appearing on the body
  9. Bad breath
  10. Difficulty when getting up
  11. Memory loss
  12. Reduced appetite
  13. Changes in character
  14. Losing balance
  15. Muscle spasms
  16. Sadness
  17. Drinking more

1 Weight Increase

As we get older we tend to exercise less, maybe you are retired like me and spend more time at home on the computer or watching TV. Our doctors advise us continually that we must spend time exercising outside, at least a 30-minute walk each day to keep our joints mobile, with huge benefits for our hearts and lungs. not forgetting our articulations.

As your Lhasa Apso gets older their activity level will drop. If you are still feeding them with the same quantity of the food as when they were young and active their weight could increase. A good way of weighing your Lhasa Apso is after you weigh yourself, then pick up your Lhasa Apso and hold them in your arms, stand on the balance again and there you will see a new weight, deduct the first weight from this new weight and you will have the weight of your Lhasa Apso.

The Remedy

As they get older they are going to need less energy food and I recommend that you should be choosing food for aging or senior dogs, depending on your dog’s age. My Lhasa Apso, who is 17 years old is on dry food for senior dogs.

Every half-pound in weight that your Lhasa Apso gains are going to put more pressure and load on his bone structure and muscles. Keeping a watchful eye on your Lhasa Apsos weight is primordial as they get older. Just as our doctors advise us to exercise on a regular basis, then I recommend you take your aging Lhasa Apso for short regular walks.  This will be a double winner for you and for your Lhasa Apso.

As you progress on your joint exercise program do keep an eye on your dogs condition. If you notice they are suffering then take a rest for a few minutes, allow your Lhasa Apso to recuperate before attacking the rest of your walk together.

2 Slowing Down

I know as my age has increased I find my walking pace slower now than it was when I was middle-aged. Although I think I am still in my thirties and forties my body is beginning to tell me otherwise. I find myself breathing harder after doing less exercise and feel my heart beating harder for less energy output. These symptoms I have accepted as I become older.

I have noticed in my Lhasa Apso over the last 5 years that he tends to play less and does much less running around now,  obviously his age is beginning to tell on him.

My vet has told me Lucky has a strong heart and this is allowing him to do his crazy running around for 10 minutes. As your Lhasa Apso passes 12 years old do keep a watchful eye on them to determine if they are becoming slower in their activities, if you do notice a reduction in there speed then this is what I think will help.

The Remedy

If whilst exercising with your Lhasa Apso and you have noticed a reduction in their liveliness and energy whilst running around then you must adjust the exercise that you are giving them.

Adjust the amount of time you take your Lhasa Apso for walks, maybe half the time that you used to regularly walk. If you’re in the park and you are able to throw a ball or a stick then don’t throw it so far, give your little pet the chance to rest during this playtime. Remember their hearts are becoming weaker, even if they give you the impression that they are Indestructible little dogs.

3 Sleeping More

I for one do enjoy a siesta in the afternoon nowadays. I think it’s my right after working for almost  51 years in physical jobs. (that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it) As the years accumulate our bodies tend to need a bit more rest, and this is true for our Lhasa Apsos. If your Lhasa Apso sleeps a lot more than usual it is of course because they’re getting a bit older and need that extra rest.

I have seen my own Lhasa Apso Lucky sleeping for very long periods now he is 17 years old. When I see him like this it reminds me of people in pension houses or old people’s homes, they sleep most of the day poor folk.

When they are young Lhasa Apso puppies use up so much energy will also need more time to sleep. But we’re talking about older dogs. Most dogs sleep a lot during the day, up to 12 to 14 hours in a 24-hour cycle! I’m sure if you look at your Lhasa Apso right now he’s having a little siesta somewhere or is just waking up. We can assume that a dog in later years will be sleeping 14 to 16 hours or more in a 24-hour cycle. The difference between dogs and humans is that we tend to sleep all night and stay awake all day but our dogs sleep day and night in shorter periods
Old sleepy Lhasa Apso

The remedies

I cannot give much advice as to what to do on this subject. It is natural for your older Lhasa Apso to sleep so make sure they comfortable With a nice comfortable bed. Let them sleep as much as they need. Although we love to see our pets resting there is an error that we could let them sleep too much. One reason why your dog could possibly be sleeping more is that they have arthritis. With their aching bones, weaker muscles and arthritis these three conditions will make them want to sleep more.

Another problem could be hypothyroidism, which can affect our are middle-aged to Lhasa Apsos. The thyroid hormones decrease with age When there are reduced amounts of thyroid hormones in your dog’s blood then they will sleep more. When they are awake they will be slow in their actions. Becoming overweight is another problem with a reduction in thyroid hormones.

4 Cloudy Eyes

I have to wear glasses now because my eyesight has deteriorated. Lhasa Apsos will as their age increases get cloudy eyes or blue eyes. This eye problem is called nuclear sclerosis, or lenticular sclerosis. This condition can also be seen in horses and humans.

The good news is that this condition is not painful for our dogs. Nuclear sclerosis is a slow process and our dogs will adapt as their eyesight becomes less, I can vouch for this with my own Lhasa Apso who can only see shadows and outlines now. Sometimes he even bark’s at me because he sees a shadow or an outline and doesn’t recognize me anymore.

If you notice your dog’s cloudy eyes have a blue aspect to them, then this is caused by cataracts. Normally this may take many years to develop, but in some rare cases, cataracts can start and cause blindness within a few weeks.

One more illness in the eyes is called glaucoma which also causes cloudy eyes. This can be a hereditary disease. A build-up of pressure in the dog’s eyes caused by a fluid that isn’t drained properly. Causing the eye to swell and eventual blindness.

The Remedy

The conditions outlined above are natural with the onset of old age. If you notice your Lhasa Apso eyes becoming cloudy or blue do go and consult your veterinarian to get his or her expert advice and determine if medical treatment is required. Mostly these cloudy or blue eyes are harmless and adults dogs will adapt over time, the dogs relying on their superior sense of smell to find their way around. I am amazed how Lucky who cannot see hardly anything now still knows his way around nearly 2 hectares of grounds and still finds his way home.

5 Not Responding to You

Trying to get our dogs to respond when they were puppies was difficult enough, but we persevered with the training and up until they reached old age they have always responded to our commands. Now that old age has caught up with them they start to respond less. There are several reasons why our pets do not respond.

The first and most logical reason will be that their hearing has diminished. Slowly as the years accumulate they hear nothing. I’m sure they would still love to obey your commands but just cannot hear your voice anymore.

Another problem your dog may have that will stop them responding to your call might be they have arthritis, they ache all over and don’t particularly want to move. Finally and sadly it could be canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome. This is common in aging dogs, their memories deteriorate and although they might hear you they do not understand your commands and carry on in their own little world.

The Remedy

Taking the last problem first, dementia, sadly there is no cure or anything you or your veterinaire could do to stop it’s progression this is only going to get worse as time goes on.

After a visit to your veterinarian who has ruled out dementia in your Lhasa Apso then the cause is certainly their hearing is affected or they have arthritis.

One way to determine whether it is their hearing or arthritis is to call their name and see if they respond, maybe there is a lift-up of their ears,  their head-turning towards you, these would be signs that they have heard you but because of the pain they don’t want to come towards you. After calling their name, if they do not move their head or their ears or wag their tail then they just have not heard you and have impaired hearing. To give Lucky praise when it is due I now pick him up and talk directly into his ears hoping he hears something now.

6 Incontinence

As time goes by and your Lhasa Apso starts getting older this problem will no doubt be a concern for you. This is involuntary on your dog’s behalf. More commonly seen in neutered females of our pets it can also affect unneutered Lhasa Apsos. As our beloved pet’s become older they are prone to get different types of diseases, becoming senile they perhaps do not realize that they are passing urine.

Some of the signs to be looking out for are wet patches on their bedding, their rear legs or tummy if a male having wet hair. You might notice they are licking around their private areas more often. Check this area to see if the urine is burning their skin because of its acidity. Finally, there will be a strong odor of urine in the bedding and on your dog.

The Remedy

When you see the first signs of incontinence then I suggest a visit to your veterinarian for a control to make sure there are not any problems around the bladder area or infections.  Only then will your veterinaire prescribe treatment to help control this incontinence. To help at home use special bedding that absorbs the urine, just like babies nappies do, this will reduce any burning or scalding of the skin of your pet.

Regular washing of your dog’s rear legs and tummy will also help reduce burning or scalding from the urine. Encourage your dog to go outside more often to pass urine.  I would suggest not to reduce their water intake, excessive drinking does not cause incontinence.

Expect to see results within a couple of weeks if your veterinarian has prescribed medication to help in this problem of incontinence.

7 Deteriorating Coat

As I have got older I have noticed my hair becoming thinner and the greyer, much to my dismay. You may have noticed as your Lhasa Apso is aging, around the muzzle the hairs turning grey.  Check the quality of their hair and any signs that may alert you to take action, this could be shedding more hair than normal, matting.

The Remedy

When our dogs are advancing in age they are less active, with decreased muscle form and maybe arthritis they are going to be restricted in their ability to bend, scratch or bite areas that are causing itchiness to them. To help them overcome their reduced mobility daily brushing will be beneficial for them.

You will be doing the scratching for then and I am sure as they appreciate this they will let you know in their body actions. At the same time, you are brushing take a good look as this is the opportunity to check their skin condition.

As we become older our skin becomes fragile and sensitive and this is the same for your Lhasa Apso be careful with the brushes and combs that you use on a senior dog and of course always brush more gently. A soft bristle brush I suggest is one like this.

8 Lumps Appearing on the Body

Lumps appearing on the body of your Lhasa Apso are usual with old age and normally nothing at all to worry about. When you’re sitting down and having a quiet time with your dog, having a slow stroke and suddenly, your hand comes across a lump. You immediately become really worried thinking it’s a cancerous growth. Thankfully most of these lumps are non-cancerous and are just fatty tumors with nothing to worry about. Even so, it’s still best to check this out with your veterinarian. After the visit, you will be more at ease, if it is a cancerous growth you’ve got it at an early stage, and have the chance of treating it before it becomes dangerous.

These lumps are called lipoma or to ordinary people like you and me, fatty tumors, as our Lhasa Apsos age these are a natural part of the aging process. Sometimes if they are in areas that could restrict the movements of your pet then again consult your veterinarian for a solution. Some of these lipoma lumps can enter the tissue of the muscles and might have to be removed.

The lipoma that we should fear is called liposarcoma, these are malignant and may spread into organs and even your dog’s bone system.  Hence the reason to continually check your dog’s skin when brushing or giving a cuddle, although these liposarcomas can develop they are rare.

The Remedies

If you have found some of these lipoma lumps or fatty tumors then, of course, you must go and consult your veterinarian who will take a smaller sample and do a check with a microscope where he might be able to determine the severity of the tumor. Failing this your veterinarian will send a small piece of the lump to a laboratory to be analyzed by a specialist.

Once you receive the result and let’s pray that a lump is benign then there is no reason to have it removed, unless stated above it’s in a place which would restrict your pets movements.

If the diagnosis confirms the lump is cancerous then surgery, chemotherapy or even radiation may be necessary and in some cases all three techniques will be used. As a final note to this particular old age problem with are Lhasa Apsos the good news is most of these lumps are not dangerous.

9 Bad Breath

As humans, we are lucky, after eating we normally go to the bathroom to brush our teeth and clean the food debris leftovers in our mouths and on our teeth, which helps to freshen up our breath.

Now our Lhasa Apso pets do not have this instinct to clean their teeth, food remains stuck in between their teeth which decomposes and gives them bad breath. Your sweet Lhasa Apso is a breed of dog that enjoys licking, kissing and being very close to their master,  oh but what horror if they have bad breath.

Bad breath in a dog could be an alert to a health problem that you must investigate further. Bad breath is mostly caused by bad oral hygiene just as it would be with humans. A buildup of plaque and tartar on their teeth is a breeding ground for bacteria.  If this tartar and plaque go unattended it can cause periodontal disease where the gums retract away from the teeth, this is where the bacteria will increase, eventually causing infections and breakdown of tissue, even losing teeth. This is the main reason why dogs have bad breath.

Another disgusting habit that dogs seem to enjoy which we find gross, is they enjoy rummaging in old garbage sacks, going as far as eating cat poop, they will sometimes eat their own or other dogs poop, obviously, this will cause bad breath and make us sick at the same time just thinking about it.

If there is a sweet smell around your dog’s bad breath this could well be the symptoms of diabetes, which of course is treatable but a serious condition.

Sometimes your dog’s bad breath might smell like urine, this is not the result of your dog drinking urine. An odor of urine in your dog’s bad breath is something you must not overlook, this is probably a sign of kidney disease and you must visit your veterinarian urgently.

Lhasa Apsos that are being sick and their breath smells absolutely vile should alert you!!  this could be a sign that they have liver problems. Again urgent consultation with your veterinarian.

The remedy

The first thing I advise you to adopt in your daily routine with your Lhasa Apso is at least once a day to clean their teeth. You can find in pet shops toothbrushes for dogs and even small finger brushes that we put on our own fingers and brush the dog’s teeth. I personally have a small toothbrush with a chicken-flavored toothpaste for Lucky. This takes time and patience, eventually, your pet will allow you to do this operation.

I also have chew sticks which I give to Lucky after his meals, he lays down and chews away, quietly cleaning his teeth at the same time. You may also add toys that they can chew on, also helping to keep plaque and tartar off their teeth.

Our small Lhasa Apsos are prone to losing teeth, their teeth are closer together where plaque and tartar can build up easier than with larger breed dogs. What you feed your pet is also a determining factor concerning bad breath.  Lucky has dry meal biscuits, occasionally he will have some chicken and greens from our meals.

Just as we can rinse our mouths with oral mouthwashes, these are now available for our dogs in the form of water additives, adding small amounts to their drinking water.  Apart from the dog’s tooth paste, they are special dental health diets that can be purchased to help combat your dog’s bad breath.

10 Difficulty When Getting Up and Moving

If I was a dog I would be twelve and a half years old, I just put this in so that you go back up to the top of this post and see how old I am in human years. I now have difficulty standing up from a sitting down position. If your dog is around this age and you have noticed that getting up from a lying down position is difficult. They are likely suffering from arthritis which does not differentiate between four-legged and two-legged beings.

Arthritis though is not the only health issue that could create this difficulty when your dog wants to get up from a lying down position. Degeneration of nerves is another cause along with a weakness in their muscles or the muscle mass becomes less.

If your dog has not reached an age where they can be classed as old, then other medical problems could be the cause of this difficulty. Your dog may be experiencing pain that has nothing in common with their muscles bones or joints. Pain could be coming from inside their abdomen, they may have some form of inflammation in one of there organs. The liver or spleen for example.

If your Lhasa Apso hasn’t reached an old age yet and are experiencing difficulty getting up check their claws, if their claws are too long these can make it difficult when getting up. Lung and heart disease can also create mobility problems.

Regular visits to your veterinarian are important, they will be able to determine what the causes are and will prescribe the correct medication or treatment necessary for your pet.

The Remedy

What can you do to help make life a little easier for your Lhasa Apso that has arthritis? If your home has tiled floors with no rugs or carpets it would be helpful for your dog if you were to place some rugs on these slippery tiled floors. There are under mats that are anti-skid/slip which you could incorporate under your carpets or rugs where your pet walks regularly. That will be preventing any unforeseen accidents. My Lhasa Apso sleep’s on the foot of my bed, in the mornings I always help him down so that he does not have to jump and hurt his joints.

It is difficult to see our pets in pain so we should try and ensure they are comfortable and in the best health possible. Keeping the temperature in the room or where their cage is kept at a comfortable temperature. A dog that is overweight will suffer more than a dog of correct weight suffering from arthritis, Check their weight, keeping it to the recommended weight.

Talking of comfort, make sure their bedding is nice and soft for them.  Arthritis in the neck will make it difficult to lower the head to their food bowl, Using a stand to raise up the food bowl closer to the level of their mouth will assistant enormously.

Finally, there are medications to alleviate their suffering and pain in the joints. Do check with your veterinarian so that they can advise you and prescribe the correct dosage for your pet. Personally I take Omega 3 capsules every morning,  and it’s possible you can give special pet capsules for your Lhasa Apso as well.

11 Memory Loss

Have you noticed strange behaviors in your dog lately?  Have you seen your dog getting lost in the house, do they seem to be eating less, does your dog bark for no reason, and when you come home from work, is there is a lack of interest in your arrival? All these changes in their behavior are sure signs they are getting older and losing their memory.

Now your dog is aging, when you see these signs you may be asking yourself is my dog getting Alzheimer’s disease?  Is it possible for dogs to get Alzheimer’s? In the animal world it will be called senior dementia, basically the same as Alzheimer’s. Now let’s look at some of the signs to look out for.

Cognitive dysfunction syndrome in dogs can be observed by seeing your dog standing by the door, waiting and wondering why it is not opening, standing in the corner of a room looking at the wall not knowing what to do next. Is your Lhasa Apso anxious? Do you see them walking backward and forwards around the house not knowing what they’re doing? Are they having toilet accidents in the house?

Does your  Lhasa Apso bark for no reason at all?  When your family members arrive does your pet recognize them still?  has your little bundle of joy started to lose their appetite? have they forgotten to eat today?

All of these symptoms stated above are definite signs of old age in your dog and the onset of cognitive dysfunction syndrome.

The Remedy

As you see these abnormalities appearing in your dog it would be a good idea to try and keep a log of what’s happening, the duration. Armed with this information you must go and see your veterinarian and discuss the problem to rule out any medical diseases first.

If senior dementia has been diagnosed by your veterinarian he may prescribe medication that will be helpful in treating your pet, one medication is called Anipyryl. To help reduce senior dementia anxiety some dogs are aided with DAP. A memory stimulating mat would help your dog’s memory.

As we see our parents increase in age sadly some of them will get Alzheimer’s disease and there is nothing we can do. This also applies to our Lhasa Apsos. All we can do is to try and make their last year’s with us as comfortable as possible.

12 Reduced Appetite

As age increases your Lhasa Apso could have difficulty digesting their food, they have been on the same diet most of their lives, which pleased them and did not create any digestive problems.  My Lhasa Apso lucky who is now 17 is on senior dry dog food which seems to suit him very well. With his senior age, he now burns off less energy, becoming slower in everything he does. Before you change their regular food diet always consult your veterinarian for their advice.

The Remedy

Once your veterinaire has ruled out any digestive medical problems it’s time to change to senior dog food that is specially formulated. Normally having increased fiber content these specially formulated dry foods are beneficial for their digestive tract and stomach. Introduce slowly this changeover period for 4 to 5 days. Gradually reducing the old food compound and increasing your new senior formulated food, so their stomach and intestines adapt slowly to this change.

A good idea to help your dog accept this new change of food is to add a little chicken stock/broth on the dry meal, or mixing in a little portion of tinned dog food.

For a special treat once a week you may try cooking a special meal for your Lhasa Apso.  Chicken is the best meat for our dogs, it is best to boil some chicken breast, along with boiled rice, adding some stock/ broth. Alternatively, you could boil barley with pieces of lamb included. Do not do this more than once a week.

13 Changes in Character

The physical changes in a Lhasa Apso as they get older is just one of the signs that we can see. You should prepare yourself for changes in their character as well. Signs you should be looking out for maybe anxiety, aggression, becoming destructive, fear, also they may become hypersensitive.

One of the symptoms that I can associate with my Lhasa Apso Lucky is restlessness at night. Sometimes in the middle of the night for no reason, in particular, he will get up and walk around, totally lost and scared. No amount of my comforting reassured him. It takes time, eventually, he will settle back down.

If your Lhasa Apso was anxious as a puppy and as they grew into an adult, they will more than likely show increasingly more anxiety problems as their age increases.

With their old age comes a reduction in eyesight, hearing, and sense of smell. Losing these faculties could result in your Lhasa Apso becoming aggressive without any provocation.

Old dogs can become destructive, destroying things around them in their frustration. There is a thing called (pica) which means eating objects that are non-food. Your sweet little Lhasa Apso might take a liking for your furniture and start to chew it. Others could start to chew on their own bodies or humans. Another problem in the destructive group is they scratch or start digging.

Lucky has become fearful in his old age and will bark at guests arriving at the home, but will do it standing behind me. Just to be reassured for himself.

The remedies

As you notice these symptoms of character changes you should carry out the remedies gently.  For example, if you went jogging with your dog, now just leisurely walks. Help stimulate your Lhasa Apso by continuing to socialize with other animals and people. To help stimulate their minds you could try some fun games together with rewards at the end.

Communication with your pet can be difficult if their hearing is impaired.  Don’t shout at them because they may think you are telling them off.  I suggest that you talk closely and softly into their ears, I do this with Lucky, not really knowing if he can still hear anything at all,  but it is better than raising my voice.

14 Losing Balance

Ageing Lhasa Apsos could be losing their balance for many reasons. These reasons can vary and they are signs that your dog may have a severe illness. Has your dog had a stroke, do they have a tumor, an ear infection or vestibular syndrome? These conditions are more likely the cause of why your dog is losing its balance. Any problem or infection within the inner ear can affect their balance. Doe’s your Lhasa Apso has a history of ear infections? Now they are getting older you should be keeping a very close watch on the cleanliness of their ears, to prevent infections occurring.

The main symptom is staggering, maybe a sudden fall and their ability to stay balanced. If you noticed rapid eye movement, tilting the head to one side, shaking their head or even being sick.  These signs should alert you to a serious problem, and you must seek your veterinarian’s advice.

The Remedies

After seeking your veterinarian’s advice and diagnosis you will need to take action. A stroke that your Lhasa Apso may have had, unfortunately, there are not many treatments available.

Brain cancer can cause a lack of balance just as much as any infections or even a growth inside the inner ear,  do have your pet take an X-ray to determine if either of these are the probable causes of your dog’s balance.

I noticed once in my Lhasa Apso when he walked he would put his ear on the floor as if to scrape it with his ear. After taking him to my vet, to my surprise the vet pulled out from his ear a dard of grass which was slowly working its way inside Lucky’s inner ear, fortunately, I acted in time before irreparable damage was done.

As always keep an eye on your Lhasa Apsos condition, if you notice that they start to lose their balance, I would advise you to take them straight away to your veterinarian for a complete examination to determine the cause.

Muscle Spasms

Muscle spasms are little twitches that can result from overexertion and injury or even brain damage. Although spasms can be painful they are not dangerous. Muscle spasms can also occur if your Lhasa Apso has a trapped nerve, slipped disc or muscle damage. These spasms can be detected as movements underneath the skin and you should visit your veterinarian who will be able to diagnose the causes.

The Remedy

Just as we need fluid when we exercise, our Lhasa Apsos need to be hydrated which will help reduce these muscle spasms. When your pet has a muscle spasm you can give relief by giving them a massage to the affected muscle area. Heat and cold can also be used as a solution to help relieve any pain and discomfort related to these spasms. Ice in a plastic food bag, wrapped around a towel can be placed on the affected area. Using a hot towel can also reduce muscle spasms. You may need massage therapy on the muscle. Good quality gloves like these will give your dog a great massage. If the root cause is a trapped nerve and massage or physical therapy has not worked, surgery may be the only answer to bring your Lhasa Apso some relief.


Our Lhasa Apsos are so comical and almost human-like, just like us they are emotional too. Their sadness is just another way in which they communicate their feelings towards us. Dogs can become sad if they lose a furry companion, or the owner dies. Changing to a new home or being on their own can create sadness. Maybe their food does not please them, or they have some problems with their health, being ill can also make them sad.

The remedy

When we have human friends that are going through a sad time, we do our best to comfort them. We should do exactly the same for a fury loved ones, although we cannot talk to find the problem a good owner will be able to discern the reason why their pet is sad and take appropriate action to cheer them up.

Drinking More

Is your Lhasa Apso drinking more water as their age increases?  this could be a sign of a health condition in your pet that needs to be controlled by your veterinarian. With this increase in water intake there will, of course, be an important urination increase. The normal amount of water intake per day for our dogs will be around 1 ounce of water for each pound in weight. A dog weighing in at around 10 lb in weight will need roughly one cup of water per day.
Lhasa Apso drinking

The Remedy

Is your pet drinking more because they are dehydrated if you are living in a hot country.  This can be dangerous and you should check for signs of dehydration. An example that you can do at home to determine if your dog is dehydrated he’s too grab a handful of fur on the back of their neck and pull it up. Now let go and if the fur does not go back down this is a possible sign your dog is dehydrated and you must consult your veterinarian straight away. On the other hand, if the hair that you have pulled up goes straight back down and as flat as it was before then your Lhasa Apso is not dehydrated.


Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu – What are the Differences?

N.B This post contains links that will redirect you to my Amazon Affiliate Program.

These two breeds of dogs are so similar. It is difficult to tell the difference between a Shih Tzu and a Lhasa Apso sometimes. In this post, I am going to explain to you what these differences are and how to spot them.

When these two dogs are together it will be easier to spot the difference. Not so easy though when they are not side-by-side. Are you asking the question is my dog a Shih Tzu or a Lhasa Apso? I have seen many comments on animal blogs especially dog forums where people were asking how can they tell the difference

After researching the answers on the internet I have compiled all my findings here. These findings will help you to determine which is a Shih Tzu and which is a Lhasa Apso when you see them.

Both dogs have a very similar look about them, both more than probably originating from China. It is not sure exactly where their origins started in China, but it is believed they are from the Tibetan Plateau region, near the city of Lhasa. Some things are obvious, others not as easy to discern, so let’s start the comparison


The Shih Tzu is a smaller size of a dog than the Lhasa Apso. The perfect size for a male Shih Tzu is anything between 7.9 to 11 inches tall. A female Shih Tzu will be the same size as the male. The Lhasa Apso will be slightly taller, being between 10 to 11 inches tall at the shoulders. Unlike the female Shih Tzu the Lhasa Apso female is smaller than her male counterpart, she will be between 9 to 10 inches tall. Their sizes differ so little between them but as we can see the Lhasa Apso is just those few inches taller.

  • Male       7.9 to 11 inches  tall   Shih Tzu
  • Female  7.9 to 11 inches  tall   Shih Tzu
  • Male       10  to 11 inches  tall        Lhasa
  • Female   9 to 10  inches  tall        Lhasa


As their sizes are different so their weight will be different too. Keeping in the same order we will start with the Shih Tzu male. This little bundle will push the scales from 8.8 up to 16 lbs in weight. Whereas their female partners come in at a lightweight 8.8 to 15.7 lbs in weight.

Now we know that the size of the Lhasa Apso is a little bit bigger, then their weight will be heavier in accordance. When our male Lhasa Apso steps on the balance the needle is going to swing to anything between 14 to 18 lbs in weight, we can see that the male Lhasa Apsos can be as much as 2 lbs in weight heavier than a Shih Tzu. And our sweet little females where do they come into the figures? Well, what I have found is they are a little lighter weighing than the males, from 12 to 14 lbs, but still lighter than their female Shih Tzu counterparts. Well for the ladies 16 ounces less is a lot when you’re only 10 inches tall!!

  • Male        8.8 to 16.0 lbs in weight   Shih Tzu
  • Female   8.8 to 15.7 lbs in weight    Shih Tzu
  • Male        14 to 18     lbs in weight       Lhasa
  • Female    12 to 14     lbs in weight       Lhasa

Coat Colors

When I was younger I remember a story that was called Jacob and his amazing multi-colored coat. With the multiple varieties of coat colors that are possible for a Shih Tzu, we could call then Jacobs dog. Ranging from black, white, brown and gold. And then just as if they had fallen in a paint making factory there can be multiple different mixtures of colors including, red and white, grey and white, black and white, solid liver, solid black, white and liver, and the list goes on!

Imagine when a couple of Shih Tzus have offspring. The chances of knowing what the puppy’s final adult color will be almost impossible. Once they have their adult coat and their true colors have become final their hair can also either be straight or wavy hair to add extra trauma for you!!
Shih Tzu

If you think Shih Tzu has many colors to choose from the Lhasa Apso also has many color combinations. The American Kennel Club stipulates there are thirteen different colors for a Lhasa Apso, eight of these being the standard colours, with five alternative colors. And to add to these there are six marking choices. The rules by the American Kennel Club are very strict and only these colors and markings can be used when a Lhasa Apso is registered with them. You will only be allowed to register one color and one marking for your Lhasa Apso when you register with the American Kennel Club

I will go into more precise detail about these color combinations because this is a Lhasa Apso website after all.

Standard colors of the Lhasa Apso

Their colours include black, white, black and tan, grizzle, which means a color combination of black with other variations of colors. Various colors of brown, ranging from a light cream colour to a dark cream. There is also a color which is like a red setter. An example of a grizzle color can be a combination of red hair and black hair to get a red grizzle colour. On the other hand with a mixture of white and black hair, this would be called the black drizzle. Variations of brown hair defined as cream, red, gold red and golden are also possible.

Alternative colors of the Lhasa Apso

These alternative colours include charcoal, grey, silver, liver, and blue. These colours will appear to be softer and diluted in colour. There can also be variations of grizzle. I’ve never seen a blue dog, when we talk about the Lhasa Apso with blue hair it is more like a washed out black. Another variation is silver grizzle, this is a combination of black hairs or blue hairs with cream color hairs mixed. Lhasa Apsos that have these alternative colors are very beautiful, outstanding to look at and own.

The 6 markings accepted for a Lhasa Apso

Although alternating from one dog to another these markings add beauty to the appearance of the Lhasa Apso. One of these markings called brindle is a mix of light and dark groups of colors which gives a coat a kind of stripey look. Less pronounced than stripes on a tiger, they still look very nice. Colors that can be seen in Brindle include white and brown, silver and black, cream and blue. Sometimes there can be splashes of white or other additional colors in different amounts. On some Lhasa Apsos, their toes and chest can be white. There are Lhasa Apsos which are drizzled all over their body, their legs, and their stomach. Black to Sandy tipping on the end of their hair, which is a lighter color darkens at the ends creating a smaller grizzle result.

Now you have seen the many and varied color combinations and markers of a Lhasa Apso.  You will have one of the best-looking dogs available but remember Lhasa Apso puppies will change their hair color as they become adult. It would not be a good idea to register your Lhasa Apso too early. The best advice is to wait from six months to one year old to be sure they have their final colors.

Lasa Apso

Types of coats

Both the Shih-Tzu and the Lhasa Apso have beautiful long coats making it even more difficult to tell which is a Shih Tzu or Lhasa Apso. One thing that can help to spot the difference between the two is the Lhasa Apso has a distinct parting running down their backbone with hair falling equally on both sides.

These long coats demand regular grooming and a Lhasa Apso that is in show condition will have its coat flowing right down to the ground, hard work but so beautiful and graceful. Check this video here I made on grooming my Lhasa Apso ( not a show dog ) also the brushes and combs I use can be found here


Their Different Temperaments

Each dog has its own special temperament that is specific to its breed and for its purpose. Shih Tzu was bred to be companions for Chinese emperors. Therefore they will have a more agreeable character and temperament. They can be classed as a lap dog. They are outgoing, happy and affectionate little dogs whose only purpose in life seems to be to cling close their masters following them everywhere. A positive point about the Shih Tzu is they are very children friendly and are not aggressive towards strangers. Probably due to their past history being the lapdogs for Chinese Emperor’s. They still tend to conduct themselves in a very elegant manner. Just like the Lhasa Apso they do have a stubborn streak about them, even if they don’t listen to your commands they are cute and can be easily forgiven.

On the other hand, the Lhasa Apso has a totally different temperament to Shih Tzu. Firstly his name means the Barking Lion Dog. There is a funny story that says when a Lhasa Apso looks into a mirror he sees a Lion! and in this department, they excel. The Lhasa Apso was bred specifically to guard the interiors of Tibetan monasteries. They have a loud bark, barking at anything or anybody that approaches their territory or their master’s home. Lhasa Apso has a very independent character about them which can be difficult for an owner that is not in control of their pet.  Bred as a watchdog they have excellent hearing and senses that make them perfect watchdogs for an apartment or home.

Taking seriously their role as a watchdog they can sometimes bite and when they are around children will need to be watched continuously. I good idea when around young children would be using a muzzle like this one from Amazon. They can also be very jealous of a person or a toy and will protect it with all there little ferocious character.

The Lhasa Apso is a very intelligent dog and enjoys learning new commands and tricks, remember though they cannot be forced to do anything with their stubborn character. Training your Lhasa Apso could take longer than with other breeds of dogs.

Having such a strong temperament and their independent character they are certainly not sissy dogs and not pushovers, they can also be bossy, so the Lhasa Apso is the total opposite temperament of a Shih Tzu.

Which is Easier to Train

With its long history and heritage as a companion dog the Shih Tzu will be easier to train. As with all dog training always reward your dog with praise and a titbit.

Being bread as a guard dog the Lhasa Apso is going to be more challenging to train with its independent, stubborn character.

When the Lhasa Apso has had enough training he will decide he’s going to stop, this is his stubborn temperament showing. Lhasas like to please their owners and will quickly learn all the tricks you wish to teach them, of course in their time and if they want to learn!

Different health problems

The Shih Tzu and the Lhasa Apso are prone to hereditary health problems. Both have short muzzles, the Shih Tzu muzzle is much shorter and higher set, being around one inch long and set no lower than the bottom of their eyes. Which gives it problems breathing sometimes. The Shih Tzu is a breed that most American Airline companies do not allow to fly because they can develop a breathing problem called brachycephalic airway syndrome. Which can be fatal for the shih Tzu or any dog with a very short nose.

Lhasa Apso also suffers from the shorter nose but not as bad as the Shih Tzu. Classed by the American Kennel Club as a medium-length muzzle. Many of the health problems that the Lhasa Apso can encounter you can read here.

The difference in Skull Shape

Apart from the visual difference of the muzzle between the two breeds another visual aspect to help discern which is a Shih Tzu or a Lhasa Apso is to take a look at the shape of their head. When you look at the Lhasa Apso their head is narrow and undomed, the Shih Tzu head is round, broad and domed. This is one of the easiest ways, including the muzzle, of distinguishing between a Shih Tzu and a Lhasa Apso.


Long Muzzle of a Lhasa Apso
The short muzzle of a Shih-Tzu


The difference between a Shih Tzu and a Lhasa Apso can be noticed by looking at their eyes. The eyes of the Shih Tzu are large and round whereas the eyes of a Lhasa Apso are less round, more almond-shaped.

The Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu can both suffer from eye problems. Let’s see what problems they can have with their eyes.

With those lovely big round eyes, almost human-like eyes, the Shih Tzu will break many a heart. Some of their eye problems can lead to blindness but this does not stop these little dogs from having a full life. Most of these eye health problems are not life-threatening and can be treated with medication.


          Shih Tzu round dommed head,          round eyes, short nose
Lhasa Apso smaller eyes longer muzzle, flatter head

Just as us humans can inherit health problems from our parents so can the Shih Tzu, even if the Shih Tzus parents are healthy and have never had eye problems a young pup can develop eye diseases later in life. Most of these eye diseases are caused by traumas or irritations that can be treated locally either by your vet or even yourself, there are a few rare cases where your Shih-Tzu may have to undergo surgical intervention. Because of those large big round eyes which are set in small shallow sockets all the dust and rubbish being blown around the city and your garden can enter easily into their eyes and create irritations.

Although the list is long I will mention here just a few of the eye problems Shih-Tzus and Lhasa Apso can encounter.

  • Exposure keratopathy syndrome
  • Cataracts
  • Entropion
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Excessive  tearing
  • Dry eye
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Cherry eye

Differences in Puppy Prices

Now that you are looking to buy a new puppy are there any differences in prices buying a Shih Tzu or Lhasa Apso? Going to your local breeders or buying privately might make a difference, I have done some research and these are the price estimations that I have found for folks living in America

If your budget dictates where you buy your Shih Tzu from then you can start by looking in your local pet store. Beware if you have heard bad stories about a particular pet store then obviously choose another one that has a good reputation, who treats their puppies well whilst they are awaiting their new owners. You should be able to purchase a young Shih-Tzu puppy for around $400 / $900 from a pet store. If your finances allow you can acquire your Shih Tzu from a reputable breeder, an idea of the purchasing price will be anywhere from $900 going up to $2,500.

The Lhasa Apso is in a different price range if you’re looking for a purebred with show dog qualities with all the pedigree certificates included of course. Before I divulge the price for a show quality dog, it is possible to obtain Lhasa Apso puppies without papers from pet stores for an average of $500. Now if you are thinking of purchasing a show quality dog with a full pedigree with all its certificates including reproduction rights then the starting price will be from $1,500 and can rise up to $5,100 and in some rare cases even more.

  • Shih Tzu Puppy Prices        Range from  400$ – 2.500$
  • Lhasa Apso puppy Prices      Range from  500$ – 5.100$ +

Differences in Annual Costs

Now that we have seen the prices between the Shih Tzu and the Lhasa Apso we must now look at the annual cost of each breed to see if there are any differences. As both dogs are approximately the same size the cost of food over the year will be the same. Clothing, leashes, and accessories for both dogs will also have very little difference over the year.

The only area where there might be a difference would be the veterinary costs if one of the breeds happened to have hereditary illnesses that needed treating.  Of course, if you have a Lhasa Apso that is a show quality dog then the grooming expenses would be far more expensive than for example a Shih Tzu that is only a house/companion dog. I think there would be very little annual cost differences between these two dogs of the same level of breeding.

Are there Differences in Exercise Needs

As both dogs are small they are not going to need hours at a time to exercise. Taking both of these dogs on short walks will be sufficient enough to keep them in good form if there is an area where you can let them off the lead/leash where they can chase around this will be very good for them.  I would say there is no difference in the exercise needs for these two little dogs.

Differences in Barking

Of course all dogs bark, it’s their way of communicating, just as we humans talk to communicate, dogs communicate by barking. Some much more than others depending on what they were bred for. Yes just like some humans do!  As we continue looking at the comparison between the Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso we need to remember the reasons why these two little dogs were bred.

We have learned that the Shih Tzu was bred for Chinese emperors as a lap dog, to be close companions, for these dogs it wasn’t necessary to be always barking. They would be more than happy playing, having cuddles or sleeping next to there masters.

The Lhasa Apso, on the other hand, was bred to be a guard dog and to this effect, they have a loud yappy bark, and they use it a lot. They are independent and prefer to be on their own, but not too far away from their master always ready to warn of any strangers coming into the territory they protect.

One thing an owner of a Lhasa Apso must train their dog to do from an early age is to obey the command to stop barking when they are told to. This is an absolute necessity living in confined housing estates, so not to create problems with neighbours living in small housing blocks or houses in close proximity.

Compatibility with Other Dogs

Whenever out walking I would advise you to always have your pet dog on a leash. Maybe in your country, it is illegal not to walk your dog without a leash,  in some countries in Europe this law does not yet exist. Being on a lead or leash will help to keep your dog under control if it likes to run off a little too often after cats. You can also quickly pull your dog back out of harm’s way if a strange dog arrives that is not on a leash.

Shih Tzus are happy go lucky, wouldn’t hurt a fly type of dog, and they generally get along well with other dogs. Lhasa Apsos with their hereditary guard dog characters can become aggressive and try to attack strange dogs. My own Lhasa Apso Lucky is a very domineering fellow and will try and dominate any size of a dog. I have a friend who has a Cane Corso a very large dog and my little Lucky would try to dominate him all the time, thankfully my friend’s dog is very passive, if not Lucky would have been gone in the blinking of an eye and one bite!
Cane Corso

Which of These Dogs is Best for an Apartment


So which of these two dogs would be the best choice for someone living in an apartment?

Both the Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso will adapt easily to living in an apartment, both of these dogs enjoy human company. Being in close contact with adults and children will have no adverse effect on their characters. The Shih Tzu being the better choice if you have very small children. These two breeds are small as stated above and they do not need much exercise, so two laps around the block should keep them in shape and not Overweight.

Of the two dogs it is the Shih Tzu that does not bark very much and would be the better choice from these two breeds to have for an apartment. A Lhasa Apso would be perfect as your sentinel guard dog who would alert you if anybody approaches your apartment door.

Is There a Difference in Their Popularity

Both these dogs are wonderful companions giving 100-percent love and loyalty to their masters. So which of these two little bundles of fur is the most popular? According to the American Kennel Club, the Shih Tzu is in 20th place which is quite some feat considering there are 194 registered dog breeds in the United States of America. Well done Shih Tzu because you are more popular than the Lhasa Apso who is in the 71st position. That’s making the Shih Tzu more popular and better well-known than the Lhasa Apso. I personally don’t mind because that means I have a rare dog: -))

My Conclusion

The research I have carried out and posted for you here I hope will help you discern the difference between the Shih Tzu and the Lhasa Apso. I personally have learned from doing this research and will be able to discern the difference much more quickly and easily now.  Thank you for reading my post this far. You could also take a look at my Youtube channel. Where you can learn all about the Lhasa Apso.







20 Tips on How to Groom a Lhasa Apso (Made Easy for You)

N.B This post contains links that will redirect you to Amazon and other Affiliate Programs.

If you are like me and you prefer to groom your Lhasa Apso at home then this is for you. I have gathered below a collection of 20+ tips on how to groom your Lhasa Apso.

Follow these 20 tips on how to groom a Lhasa Apso, and you will enjoy cuddling up with your pet always smelling nice and clean. They are made easy for you to follow in this article so that you can perform them in your own home.

Grooming your Lhasa Apso yourself is very satisfying, it will bind you closer together. Saving money at the same time is an added bonus. Continue to read and you will find these helpful tips.

Make sure to brush your dog’s fur daily. Especially if you have a show dog. At least once a week brush it for longer with more attention to detail. First, place your dog onto the grooming table or the area where you will carry out the brushing. Separate its fur into equal layers and begin brushing its fur from the inner layer towards the outer layer. If necessary, use some detangling spray this will make it easier to comb through.

In the unlikely and extreme cases of the Lhasa Apsos fur to be in knots, carefully and steadily use a pair of blunt-ended scissors over a comb to avoid cutting its skin. You may also use a Matt-breaker comb on your dog’s coat of matted hair which works wonders. Another fabulous brush that removes tangles from its fur instantly and efficiently is the detangling brush. Sometimes brushing your dog’s hair may cause infection if the skin is broken or scratched, but the Matt-breaker comb will not cause this infection on its skin if used correctly.


  1. Mat-Breaker comb
  2. Slicker brush
  3. Wire pin brush
  4. Rake Comb
  5. Shedding Comb
  6. Soft brush
  7. Flea combs
  8. Claw cutters
  9. Styptic powder
  10. Shampoos
  11. Conditioner
  12. Ear cleanser
  13. Ear powder
  14. Ear medication

The Purpose of the Matt Breaker

  1. The Mat Breaker comb is used specifically for breaking matted hair. These matted areas, especially with long-haired dogs are difficult to remove. Close to the body, they need special care when removing them so as not to damage your dog’s skin and cause infections. You must do this de-matting process before their bath time, after bathing your Lhasa Apso this matted hair will be even more difficult to remove! The best tip here is to use your Mat Breaker comb to remove the matted hair areas before you put your dog in the shower or bath.  One like this is perfect.

Using a Matt-Breaker

Before you start it is best to moisten their coat with a detangling spray to loosen up the hair and make the matted area’s easier to remove. Before using the Matt breaker comb you should gently brush them to remove any small knots in their hair using a comb or even your fingers to gently pull them apart.

Now you can proceed in using the Matt breaker comb to break up and remove the matted hair. Start by putting the mat breaker comb in the center of the matted area, gently and slowly proceed by pulling the comb away from the body.

You will need to repeat this operation several times to eradicate the matted area. When you are satisfied that all the matted areas are sufficiently broken and you have removed all the cut hair you can continue with a normal comb to brush the hair.

If your dog has matted hair they might be suffering from discomfort, matted hair is also dangerous for your dog, it remains moist trapping bacteria inside the matt which in turn can attack your dog’s skin
Matt-Breaker comb

Slicker brush

A Slicker brush is used for getting down through the outer layer of hair to the undercoat. Using a slicker brush daily will remove the soft fluff that is close to the body, if this is not removed it can turn into those matted areas, which as we have seen above can be difficult to remove and painful for your dog.

The Slicker Brush is almost always a rectangular brush. Unlike a normal soft brush the  Slicker brush is made from very fine wire hair, at the end, these wires are angled so it will not damage your dog’s skin.

Its Primary utilization is to remove the daily build-up of rubbish that can accumulate in your dog’s hair. Including dead hair and small knots. Not only does the slicker brush remove the daily debris it also helps to distribute the oils in your dog’s hair. Your Lhasa Apso will have a beautiful shiny coat. Thanks to the slicker brush.

You may be asking are slicker brushes safe to use on your Lhasa Apso. The answer, of course, is yes if used properly. One of the most common problems of using a slicker brush with too much pressure. Being light-handed and keeping the pressure to a minimum reduces the risk of scratching your dog’s skin which could result in infections.

To keep the risk of infections to a minimum check the skin of your Lhasa before brushing with the slicker brush. Be certain there are no flea bites or broken skin areas. Using a slicker brush can aggravate these problems creating more infections.

Here are some tips on using the slicker brush, Firstly to help prevent damage to the dog’s hair spray lightly some water or some conditioner over your dog. Do be gentle with the slicker brush. Starting from the neck slowly work your way towards the tail in the long slow gentle movements.

As you are performing this job listen to the noise brush is making and if you hear a type of scraping sound from the wire hair of the brush this means it has met a small knot. Now you must use extreme care in removing the knock maybe if it’s too difficult with a slicker brush then use a steel comb gently.

Now that top of the body has been brushed move on to the remaining areas including the tail, legs, neck and the underbody. you can use the slicker brush on their ears, but absolutely in no way use the slicker brush on their face or muzzle.
                                                                           Slicker brush 

Shedding Comb

The reason for using a shedding comb is to remove surplus hair from your dog. And as we all know some dogs will shed more hair than others depending on the time of year, the breed of dog and it’s gender.

Reduce the amount of dog hair in and around your home which is not very aesthetic is easy using a shedding comb. This will help you house cleaning by saving you time. Another advantage of using a shedding comb on your dog’s hair will have a thinner coat helping to keep your dog cool in the hot summers.

A shedding brush main function is to remove dead hair from your dog’s coat without damaging the living hair, dead hair is what you find around your house. The shedding comb achieves this with a special pair of knife blades on the head of the comb.

Normal daily brushing using a soft brush will help in keeping the dead hairs to a minimum around the house. You should spend around 5 to 10 minutes daily brushing your pet. Certain times of the year when the shedding becomes heavier, this will be the time to start to use your shedding comb or brush more often.
Shedding Comb

Soft Bristle Brush

A soft bristle brush Is an ideal brush to use on your Lhasa Apso if you are keeping their coat short. These soft brushes will remove some of the daily debris that has accumulated. It also has a beneficial effect on stimulating the dog’s skin whilst you are brushing.

A soft bristle brush used to with care can also be used to brush the mussel and face of your Lhasa Apso. Taking extreme care around the eyes.

There are various models available and you can purchase a soft bristle brush with a wire pin slicker brush combined, this makes brushing easy and quicker having two brushes in your hand at the same time.
                                                           Soft Bristle / Wire Pin brush

Flea Combs

Obviously you do not need to be told what a flea comb is for, let’s continue with the tips on this post and learn the best way to use a flea comb. The first tip I will give if at all possible then brush your dog outside this will prevent any of the flea eggs falling into your carpet with disastrous consequences.

If you have recently seen your dog scratching or biting his own skin these are tell-tale signs that your dog may have fleas. To determine if your dog has fleas or not you will have to do a close visual examination.  as you part the hair look closely at the skin to see if you can see the fleas, very tiny black insects that run around quickly on your dog’s skin.

A flea comb is one of the tools that you should always have in your pet’s equipment box. After the close inspection and you have confirmed your dog has fleas then you need to go and get your flea brush from the toolbox and start the job of de-fleeing.

Living in the countryside where are the risks of fleas and ticks are higher I always use this product from Amazon, which is placed along the spinal column of the dog. This Product lasts for 2 to 3 months and will kill the fleas before they install and do damage.

Before you start to de-flea your Lhasa, have beside you a basin of hot soapy water. As you comb your dog and find the fleas put them into the hot soapy water. Remember fleas jump and your water container should be deep enough so that the critters cannot jump out again.

Now you’re all set up and ready to go and hunt down these fleas. Take the flea comb and start brushing from the top of the head, working towards their tail, always checking to see if you have trapped any fleas in the flea comb.  Did you find some? Dump them into the hot soapy water, they will love you for a warm swim!!

Do not forget to check under their chin, under the armpits, inside their rear legs and around their bottom, these are all places fleas love to hide from you.

Do not rush this brushing and check regularly if you’re catching the fleas in the brush. There are two ways of removing the fleas from that brush/comb the first is to manually with your thumb and finger pull them out and putting them into the water, Alternatively, you can put the comb into hot soapy water swishing it around but this is not as effective as doing it manually with your thumb and finger, this is your choice.

Ok so now you have brushed your Lhasa completely, well done. Wait a few minutes and repeat the operation, After disturbing the fleas some may have escaped the flea comb and have moved on to newer places on your dog’s body hence the second brushing session to go and find these last resistant fleas.

After Brushing your pet twice now is the time to clean up. Take your recipient with the warm soapy water and dispose of its contents down an outside drain or down your toilet. If you have no choice and had to brush your dog inside your home you will now need to get out the vacuum cleaner, clean the work area to suck up any eggs that may have fallen from your dog into the carpet / tiled floor. If you were fortunate enough to be able to de-flea your dog outside, now is the time to hose down the floor area in case any of the eggs fell. You could save time in not having to use a bucket of hot soapy water by using an electric flea comb like this one

Nail Clippers

Oh, how I dreaded the idea of even trying to cut the nails of my Lhasa Apso. I once had a bad experience when a vet told me she did not like to trim the dog’s nails. She said to me that I should do it! I replied that it wasn’t my job but her job.

I’m sure if you were in my place you would have done the same as me, I changed my vet, then I searched on the internet how to cut dog’s nails. I found how and now I do it with no apprehension.

Dog nail clippers come in all sorts and sizes so be sure to take your time in choosing the correct ones for your Lhasa Apso. Some dog owners will say using a Dremel to grind down the dog nails is the best way,  but I use nail clippers to perform this job.

If your dog is already nervous about having their nails clipped then I think a Dremel with the constant noise of the motor and the grinding will upset them even more.

What is the best way to clip a dog’s nails at home? Well, the bad news is most dogs including the Lhasa Apsos do not like their nails clipped. If you have just acquired a puppy Lhasa Apso then I strongly advise you to start to trim their nails at an early age so they become used to you holding their foot and using the nail clippers. This will help them to become accustomed to this task. You might need your partner to hold and restrain your pet whilst you trim the nails.

A method to use if you are on your own is to lay your dog on its side, you standing on the opposite side of their legs, as you lean over your pet to reach the paw your own body will restrain your dog from moving. Pass your arm that is closest to the head over the back of the neck and with your hand grasp your pet’s paw.  Holding the nail clippers in your other hand you can proceed to cut their nails. Using your body to restrain your dog’s bodily movement. Your forearm holding the head down with your hand holding the paw.

There are available two types of nail clippers, one will be like a pair of scissors and the other is called a guillotine. Scissor type clippers are mostly used when the dog’s nails have grown far too long, Which could eventually curl and enter their pads causing injury. Remember dogs have a dew nail which is found a little way up above the others on the inside of their leg. Don’t forget this nail, it is sometimes forgotten.

One precaution that should be taken into account when clipping their nails is never to cut into the wick. If your dog’s claws are clear or white you will be able to see the wick, which can be seen starting at the base of the nail becoming transparent towards the ending. This ending point is where you must not cut into always leave 3 to 5 mm of the nail after the wick. If by accident you cut a little bit into the end of the week your dog will let you know with a short cry and you’ll see a little bleeding this is nothing to worry about and can be stopped using appropriate powders to stem the blood flow.
Nail Clippers

Styptic powder

Occasionally when we cut too close to the wick and you detect a small amount of blood coming from the nail, then you will need to stem the blood flow using a styptic powder. This powder contains Silver nitrate which will stem the flow of blood. Dogs do not enjoy having their nails clipped and they enjoy even less having styptic powder placed on their bleeding nails, do take care when clipping nails.

An alternative if you do not have a styptic pen or stick available you can use some corn starch. If this is scarce then try regular flour. Once you have applied one of these remedies to the bleeding area keep your dog calm, not allowing him to walk for a little while until the bleeding has ceased.

On a final note do not be overly worried if you do not have one of these remedies at home, the bleeding will stop naturally after a few minutes.


You’ve been out for the day with your Lhasa Apso and as we all know they just love to roll around and get dirty. It sure was fun watching them enjoy themselves but now you are back home and of your pet needs a bath or shower.

With so many different types of shampoos for a dog on the market which one do you choose, do you go for off-the-shelf chemical shampoos, do you prefer a natural shampoo or are you the type person that would prefer to make their own dog shampoo because this is possible.

Before we look at the available dog shampoo one thing you must never do is to shampoo your dog with human products, they are totally unacceptable for animals.

Let’s look at the supermarket off-the-shelf types first. The first one I looked at had all these ingredients

Aqua, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Polyquaternium-7, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, PEG-12 Dimethicone, DMDM Hydantoin, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid

Without taking each one of these products and looking to see what these chemicals are going to do to our dogs. They are absorbed into the metabolism through the skin. They could be potentially dangerous, may be cancerous. Personally I would not use any of these products on my dog.

Alternatively, you could use dog shampoos made from natural resources. I always read the ingredients that make the composition of the product, if they are renewable natural resources then I feel happy I am not contributing to my dog suffering from having toxic chemicals infiltrating into his body.

If you have the time and you enjoy making homemade products you could always try your hand at making your own natural dog shampoo.

Here is a recipe for making a basic dog shampoo.

2 cups of warm water

1/4 cup of dish soap

1/2 cup of white vinegar

Simply take these ingredients to mix them together, place your mixture into a hand spray bottle, and that’s all there is to it, a simple tip.

Ok so now you are armed with your homemade natural dog shampoo, your Lhasa is patiently awaiting you in the bathtub or the shower, now it’s time for you to start shampooing.

If you’re worried about too much water getting inside your dog’s ears then you could place a shower cap over them until the time you have to wash their head. First water your dog so that the coat is completely wet. Now with your spray bottle with your natural shampoo spray your dog’s body and work this really into the coat making a  soapy coat all over your dog.

Before moving to shampooing the head rinse thoroughly at least twice the body to remove all the lather. Now you can remove the shower cap and moisten your dog’s head and start to wash it, paying attention not to get the soap into their eyes. For the dog, this is the worst moment of shower time and they will more than likely do a lot of shaking so try and be as quick as possible shampooing their head and don’t forget to rinse twice I personally place my hand over the nose so that as little water as possible enters.


As with shampoos conditioners come from many different manufacturers. Choosing the right conditioner for your Lhasa Apso coat type is your decision, again read carefully the composition on the container it comes in. Again opting for natural sources is much kinder for your pet.

After you have spent 10 to 20 minutes washing your dog and getting water over the floor and yourself you may be asking why should I continue and use a conditioner. After the shampooing which has removed all the grime and dirt that has accumulated in your dog’s coat and at the same time has open the pores in your dog’s hair allowing the natural oils to escape. Which could lead to dry and brittle hair.

This newly washed hair now needs to be conditioned. Doing so will repair damaged broken strands, seal the pores, and give back a nice soft velvety texture. Using a conditioner will give your Lhasa Apsos hair a nice shiny look to it, also making it healthier and stronger. So yes it is worth your time getting more water on the floor and all over you as you condition your dog’s hair.

Ear cleanser

Some signs to look out for ear problems are a bad odor, inflammation or swelling, pain if you touch their ears, or a substance leaking from their ears. If you have detected or are in doubt of ear infection you must go and see your vet, do not try and clean infected ears as you could make them worse.

One area that can become overlooked is the ears of our dogs. After shampooing your dog and getting them completely dry it is now time to have a closer look inside their ears.

To prevent infections cleaning regularly is the answer. Do this with an ear solution brought specifically from your vet or one that can be made at home with;

1 part white vinegar to 1 part of water.

1 part hydrogen peroxide to 1 part water.

Prior to cleaning their ears try and get your dog to relax, this can be achieved by gently rubbing their tummy and talking softly. Once your pet is in a Zen mode you can start to clean their ears.

An error that some people make is using tips or similar type articles with alcohol. This mistake will dry the sensitive skin inside of the dog’s ear which could create allergic reactions. Cotton pads or balls are the best items to use that have been soaked in the solution.

To start with place a tiny amount of your solution inside the ear and work this around with small circular movements with your finger. Just as in bath time your Lhasa Apso does not like water in his ears nor does he like your ear cleansing solution and will shake his head, let them do this as this will help loosen up any dirt or debris that may be inside the ear.

If your dog is supporting his ear cleaning time then you could repeat this operation before using the cotton ball or pad slowly from the inside working outwards removing any dirt or wax that may still be lingering inside. There, your dog’s ears are nice and clean with less risk of infections occurring.

Dog Vacuums

Now if your dog is like mine and chases the vacuum cleaner around then it might be difficult to vacuum your dog. A good idea would be to switch on the vacuum close to your dog but not touching them with it, this would give them time to become accustomed to the noise.

Once your dog is happy with the noise then you need to start slowly introducing the vacuum attachment towards your dog’s body letting them feel this action as the loose hairs are being removed. This is a totally strange action for a dog to support, you may have to take quite a few efforts before your Lhasa Apso accepts to be vacuumed.

There are attachments that are gentle on dogs that you can fix to your house vacuum cleaner, obviously a reduction in the suction will be needed. These attachments are specifically designed for grooming dogs and come in a wide variety.

The moment has come when you start to vacuum your dog, beforehand give them praise and some treats which they will remember for the next time. Your dog may be scared still and runaway, give it a few more minutes and attempt for the second time again giving treats and praise before starting.

Start this vacuuming on the back, beginning from the head and working all the way back to the tail. Repeating this over the same area several times to be sure all the loose hair is removed. You could help by holding your dog’s collar to stop them from trying to escape.

Now that the body has been completely vacuumed you now need to concentrate on the legs. Starting at the top working down towards the feet, You could try holding their feet to restrain any leg movement making your job easier.

Lastly, have your dog lay down and starting from the collarbone going over the chest and down to the stomach continue vacuuming until all the loose hairs have been removed. At the end of this vacuuming session give your dog lots of praise and some treats which they will remember, hopefully, they will be glad to have this vacuum on their body the next time.
Nicely Groomed Lhasa Apso 

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All you need to know about the Lhasa Apso (the pros and cons)

N.B This post contains links that will redirect you to my Amazon Affiliate Program.

I have owned a Lhasa Apso for seventeen years, he’s called Lucky. The knowledge that I have gathered over the years concerning this little breed of dog, I would like to share that knowledge with you. Read more to understand the pros and cons of these little Lhasa Apso’s.


The Lhasa Apso the small dog with a huge character. You will either love it or hate it. Although small it has lots going for it, but lots going against it. Do we start with the pros or do we start with the cons this is the question?

In my personal view, the pros far outweigh the cons so let’s start with the pros. Where do we start with the Lhasa Apso? As stated above the first thing you will notice is that the Lhasa Apso is a small breed dog, that you could even say it looks like a toy dog,  but it is definitely not a toy.

Let’s go back to the origins of the Lhasa Apso and the reason this dog was bred. Around 800 to 1000 years BC making them one of the oldest breed of dogs known in the world. Along with some other breeds they are believed to be closely related to the ancestral wolf. Tibetan monks bread this little dog to be a Sentinel guard inside their monasteries, the Lhasa Apso was also a companion for the monks. These are the first two qualities that I would put into the pro category.  

Why are they called Lhasa Apso?

Now let’s look into how these little dogs got their name Lhasa Apso. If we look into the history and the origins of the Lhasa Apso we will find they originated from the Himalayan plateau near Tibet. The capital city there is called Lhasa.

The city of Lhasa is situated on the northern banks of the river Lhasa in the valley of the Himalayas. The plateau rises to 3700 m in altitude. So these little dogs are hardy creatures living at that altitude. So the first part of their name comes from the city near to their origins.

“Next is the word Apso, This can be found in the Tibetan language meaning bearded or long-haired, there are other opinions on the word Apso, some believing it comes from the word “raspo” in the Tibetan language meaning goat-like. Which would make the Lhasa Apso a woolly-haired goat-like dog.

Also known in Tibet as the Apso Seng Kyi, this can be translated into a “Bearded lion dog” I personally like this translation more than the woolly-haired goat-like dog translation.

Role as Guard Dogs

In their role as a sentinel guard dog, they were posted inside the monasteries, and to this effect, they were used with their acute hearing to alert the monks if anybody managed to get past the Tibetan Mastiff exterior guard dogs. The rich people of Lhasa also used the Lhasa Apso as guard dogs for their homes and villas, with their loud bark they would warn the neighbors and their owners if anyone was in the vicinity.

It was strongly believed that the Lhasa Apso was sacred and that when the Lama’s died they would enter the body of a Lhasa Apso awaiting their reincarnation. Because of this belief, Lhasa Apsos were never sold, the only way to become the owner of one was if you were given one as a present.
Guard dog

Their Arrival into Europe and the U.S.A

Once upon a time, a long time ago, the British colonized large areas of the globe, particularly the Indian subcontinent. Amongst the many trophies and souvenirs the military men returned with were a few of these small Lhasa Apso dogs were brought back into England in the early 1930s In those early days the Lhasa Apso was known as the Lhasa Terrier.

The first Lhasa Apso’s arrived in the USA in 1933, A pair of Lhasa Apsos were a gift to a certain Mr. Cutting, they were presented to him by the Lama Thubten Gyatso the 13th Dalai Lama. Records at this same time state there was only one Lhasa Apso registered in England!

They were finally accepted into the AKC, (American Kennel Club) in 1935 and placed into the category of terriers. Later in 1959 they were removed from the terrier group and put into the non-sporting category.

If you are thinking of becoming the owner of a Lhasa Apso then I strongly advise you go to a certified breeding kennel, you will receive the papers necessary to prove your Lhasa Apso is a true pedigree. Once you have chosen your puppy and get them home then it will be time to start training them. But before that let us see some information concerning the Lhasa Apso.

  1. Lifespan, between Between 12 and 14 years
  2. Colors, all dog colors included
  3. Coat, long and straight
  4. Height, between 10 and 11 inches
  5. Weight, between 15 and 18 pounds
  6. Litter size, between 4 and 6 puppies


Another pro quality of the Lhasa Apso is they are very loyal to their owners. Wary of strangers, bred as sentinel guard dogs this apprehension towards strangers is normal. Firm training is required so they do not become aggressive to strangers.

They are an independent breed dog, very loyal, and do their best to please you. But they do have a stubborn side to their character, when not wishing to do a task they will let you know. Acting like a donkey in a smaller way they will just not move or obey any of your commands. You need to build over time a relationship with your Lhasa Apso where trust is respected by both.

The Lhasa Apso is a small dog but has lots of energy, needing regular exercise and discipline, this time together builds that bonding relationship with your dog. Joining a local dog club will help in the socializing of your puppy with humans and other dogs.

Their independent nature makes it difficult to housetrain them, this may take time and patience from you. Have with you some treats that you can reward your puppy with when things go correctly, they love to please their owners and will soon learn by receiving their treats.

The life span average of the Lhasa Apso is between 12 and 14 years but they can live much longer than that and the oldest on record lived to be 29 years old. My Lhasa Apso Lucky is 17 years old taking him beyond the average life span.

Being a small breed and with their inherited Sentinel character they do like to get high up so they can see more around them.  Lucky will often climb on to the back on the settee or couch to have this visual vantage point.

Being small, not much larger than a big cat they can get under your feet. You need to be careful around the house, so as not to injure them. With his age Lucky has lost most of his hearing and sight and is constantly beside us to be reassured. This can be dangerous at times

Health Problems

Lhasa Apsos have some illnesses specific to the breed. I will explain some of them here, but not in full depth. The Lhasa was bred to have a long back and short legs, this leading to a condition called chondrodysplastic Let’s see what chondrodysplastic means

Two syllables, the first being chondro, which means cartilage then dysplasia which means growth that is abnormal. This illness is visible in the Lhasa Apso with their short legs and long body.

Common illness are dry eyes, (PRA) progressive retinal atrophy, these symptoms can be seen at the age of 3 to 4 years. and cataracts, symptoms can be seen at the age of 3 to 6 years slowly leading to blindness in later years.

There are other eye illnesses called corneal dystrophy, cherry eye, corneal ulcers, lens luxation, and eyelash abnormalities.

A kidney disease that Lhasa Apsos suffer from is called Renal dysplasia, Unfortunately, this is a disease that is inherited from parent stock and sadly can kill puppies as young as 6 to 12 months old. You can have a DNA test on your dog to see if it carries this disease or is free from it.

Pyoderma is the result of Allergens creating allergies on the dog’s skin causing the dog to itch, Sebaceous Adenitis is a skin disease much more serious and is increasing in the Lhasa breed.

Due to their ears hanging low on the side of the head and the long hair, they are prone to get ear diseases. When grooming I suggest with your thumb and forefinger pulling out the hairs inside the ear canal, this does not hurt them.

Breeds that have long backs suffer more from intervertebral disc dysplasia.

Intervertebral disc dysplasia. or IVDD is a hernia in the spinal column, the soft discs in between each vertebrae collapse causing severe pain. In some cases, it can cause paralysis. These discs in between the vertebrae act just like shock absorbers on your car, cushioning jolts and shocks as your dog runs and plays.

Some signs are

  • Not wanting to jump
  • Weakness & Pain in rear legs
  • Crying
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Spasms over back or neck
  • Hunched neck & back
  • Appetite and activity level reduced
  • No bladder, bowel control

Patellar luxation. Another word used to explain this is floating kneecaps, which is common in small and tiny dogs. They can lead a normal active life not showing any signs of patellar luxation.  When suddenly for no reason they might suddenly limp, cry or lift the leg off the ground, signs of patellar luxation.

After a couple of minutes, they put the leg back on the floor, run and play again to your amazement as if nothing had happened. What happened whilst your dog was running around the knee cap has popped out of its correct position. Causing your  Lhasa Apso to stop dead in his tracks, after a minute or two the kneecap slips back into place and they carry on in their normal way.

Dysplasia of the hip joints. Hip X-rays on 800 Lhasa Apsos found 6% were Dysplastic. This disease attacks all sized dogs and is a problem with the bone structure and skeleton. The activity and movements of your dog will be restricted. Seeing your dog in pain is hard to accept. Hip dysplasia is hereditary. When buying a new puppy you should ask if the parents suffer from this disease as it will be passed on to the puppy

This poor little breed of dog has other illnesses that include heart disease,

Hypothyroidism, Thyroid glands not working properly will result in hair loss, lethargic, becoming overweight, not supporting a cold environment in your dog. There might also be signs of hypothyroidism if your pet is constantly having ear infections. Fortunately, this can be controlled by medication orally, a treatment for the rest of your dog’s life.

A serious brain disease called Lissencephaly can appear in young Lhasa Apsos. The effects of this illness manifest in sudden aggression and unprovoked attacks. Abnormalities in their behavior. Coordination problems when walking and visual deficiencies,  seizures are not uncommon.

Urinary stones, Pyloric stenosis, Von Willebrand’s disease, (blood clotting)

Estimates based on claims paid by Embrace Pet Insurance.

Condition Risk Profile Cost to Diagnose and Treat
Hip Dysplasia Medium $1,500-$6,000
Pyloric Stenosis High $1,500-$5,000
Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease High $1,000-$3,000
Patellar Luxation High $1,500-$3,000
Atopic Dermatitis High $100-$1,000
Hydrocephalus Medium $5,000-$10,000
IVDD High $2,500-$7,000
Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (Dry Eye) High $200-$1,000

You can read more on the common health problems of the Lhasa Apso here

My advice is to never ever buy a puppy from a pet store, you run the risk of buying an unhealthy puppy that will be difficult to housetrain.

Some more Pro’s

The above paragraphs have outlined some of the cons of the Lhasa Apso medically. So let’s get back and look at some other pros of this breed.


Contrary to what you can read on the internet about the Lhasa Apso not being an ideal dog for children. I can vouch in my case the opposite, Lucky my Lhasa Apso has been the perfect dog for my daughter. Chloé would put Lucky into a baby’s pushchair cover him in blankets laying on his back and go for walks in the grounds, never being aggressive towards her.

On one particular occasion, Chloé put ribbons all over Lucky while she was brushing him, and he took all this in his loving character for children. As we have Lucky since he was one year old he has been in children’s company constantly. I advise you to never leave any animal alone with a small child. No matter how good they are with children.
Time to visit the hairdresser!!


The size of the Lhasa Apso is a pro-quality as they are easy to take with you anywhere, for example, traveling or even going shopping. When considering their small size the amount of food intake is minimal which is positive for money management. Being small they are lightweight and are easy to pick up and carry, especially if the owner is older and not very strong.

Again being a small breed of dog they will need less physical exercise. Do be careful they do not become overweight, by getting too many treats or eating too much, and then not getting enough exercise. But don’t get it wrong their small size does not hide their big heart. Another advantage when walking your dog on a leash, they are not going to pull you around because of their strength!

Amusing and Playful

The Lhasa Apso has an amusing character, I have often laughed at Lucky’s antics when he’s been playing. Now, Lucky has an annoying game, I throw the ball which he would catch but he does not bring it back. He will run away and leave the ball somewhere for me to find.  Another funny trick he does when we are playing ball together is when I play football with him. It’s so amusing to see him using both his front paws to dribble the ball just like a footballer.
Playing Ball


As you have learned reading this article the Lhasa Apso was bred as a guard dog and a companion for the Tibetan monks. This makes them affectionate towards their owners and family. Once you have won their trust they will shower you with their love and affection. Being very independent they do like to spend some time close to their owners, even if they do not like to be cuddled for long periods


A good reason to own a Lhasa Apso is they are very loyal, becoming your companion and best friend for life. Their loyalty to you is primordial to them and they will protect you and your property to their last bark if need be. Their natural instinct is to protect you.

With a reputation for living long lives, a Lhasa Apso can be loyal to you for up to twenty years. The oldest on record living to the ripe old age of twenty-nine years old. My own Lhasa Apso Lucky has been with me for 16 years and his loyalty is irreproachable.


Lhasa apsos are a non-shedding breed making them hypoallergenic, of course, they need to be groomed regularly. If you are somebody that is allergic around dogs then a Lhasa Apso would be a good choice because they shed so little.

Now that you know your Lhasa Apso shed less dander or hair there will be fewer allergens floating in the environment. Reduced allergens in your home is a positive characteristic for you to take into account. This will enable you to live without allergic health problems.
Check this post for more details on Hypoallergenic

The Choice is Hard

I did say at the beginning of this article that the pros far outweigh the cons with the Lhasa Apso. And of surely they do. Now that you have read this article, in full I hope, you will by now have decided to become the proud owner of a Lhasa Apso. Let’s look deeper into how to start the process of becoming an owner of a Lhasa Apso.

On top of the criteria list you should look for a reputable dog breeding kennel. Searching on the internet or by talking to friends you will find the correct one that has a good reputation. Be careful of adverts that propose puppies at very low prices these may well not be true Lhasa Apsos.

So there you are at your chosen dog kennels, there in front of you before your very eyes are so many beautiful little Lhasa Apso puppies. How on earth do you choose one? The one that is so cute? the little one making eyes at you? Or are the colors of another one pleasing to you? the answer to the question is it’s your choice.  If you are attracted by the puppies color do bear in mind as they grow the coat color will change, this is normal.

Selecting at the Kennels

Be on your guard for unscrupulous kennel owners that might try and sell you a Shih Tzu instead of a Lhasa Apso, how can you tell the difference

The first major visual difference is in the muzzle, the Shih Tzu has a very short muzzle whereby the Lhasa Apsos muzzle will be longer. Then you look at the hair on the muzzle, the Lhasa Apso has less hair swirling around the muzzle.

Another sign between the two breeds which is easily identifiable is the eyebrows. The Shih Tzus eyebrows tend to be more open and expressive compared to the Lhasa Apso. This gives the Shih Tzu a rounded looking face. Some people even save a Shih Tzu looks like a grumpy old man with their expressions.

Continuing the difference between the two breeds. The Shih-Tzu is a smaller dog. The skull of a Shih Tzu is domed, unlike the Lhasa. There is a difference in height, around five cm more for the Lhasa, the Shih-Tzu will be lighter, two or three kilos less than a Lhasa Apso. If you see two puppies side by side and you have a doubt the biggest of the two will be the Lhasa Apso

Another sure visible sign your puppy is a Lhasa Apso is the hair color on the tips of their ears, this should be black. The hair on the muzzle will be black as well. And all purebred Lhasa Apsos have a black nose. When you look closely at a Lhasa Apso look along their backbone,  you will see that the hair or their coat is parted down the spine and will fall down straight on both sides.

Finally, when looking at both dogs the Lhasa Apsos head is longer and narrower than the Shih Tzu. The Shih Tzus eyes are much larger and round. Their characters will also reveal which breed they are from. If you are looking for a companion then the Shih Tzu will be the best choice, this was the reason they were bred. Whereas the Lhasa Apso was bred to be a guard dog, making them much more independent and wary of strangers, contrasting the Shih Tzu who is friendly and will accept everyone.

Cost of Puppies

Your choice has been made. You are now looking to buy Lhasa Apso puppy.  What are the typical prices you should pay for a puppy from a reputable kennel?  prices vary depending on the litter size the reputation of the Kennels.

Median Price: $725.00
Average Price: $500.00
Top Quality: $1,300.00 to $5,100.00

*Data sourced from the sale of 4024 Lhasa Apso puppies across the United States on

Bearing in mind once the initial cost to acquire your Lhasa Apso has been met there are the annual expenses that you must take into consideration. Overlooked quite often are the medical expenses deworming heart worming vaccination Flea control Training, Including Dog collars, leashes, dog crate if you are traveling, snow boots if you take them on a winter holiday, clothing, bedding, toys, and many other items. This all adds up to a large financial commitment.

For the initial cost of buying and purchasing the equipment and accessories vaccinations etc the first year will cost between $500 and $2,000 Thereafter this annual cost will go down to a sum of $500 to $1,000 annually

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A young Lhasa Apso


As you will have learned I have been the happy owner of a Lhasa Apso for 16 years, during this time I have received so much loyalty and affection from my Lucky, we have spent many many hours together in the gardens where I work, I have been amazed at his courageous character chasing wild boars in the grounds, for his calmness with my daughter,  with his loud bark alerting me to any abnormality.

To be honest with you I had always wanted a German Shepherd, but when Lucky arrived unexpected as a lost or abandoned puppy I took him into my home and have never regretted one single moment. Now he is reaching 17 years old I am preparing myself for the day when he goes over the Rainbow Bridge. I don’t think there will never be another dog that can replace him.

So until that day comes I will continue to look after him, now his hearing is reduced so much he cannot hear me call him, and with cataracts now he is slowly going blind. But this does not to seem to affect him finding me on the grounds, because he has such a sensitive nose and he can smell me out anywhere.