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Choosing a new dog can pose many questions. One often asked is what are the good and bad points to look for when choosing a dog. Read the results to this question now before you make your choice and possibly regret it.

Are you asking yourself this question? What are the pros and cons of the Lhasa Apso breed? The Pros for choosing a Lhasa Apso is that they make good guard dogs, do not shed hair and are loyal. The cons are they are not ideal for small children, bark a lot, and need lots of brushing.

Owning a Lhasa Apso is not going to be easy with their stubborn character, but this is counteracted with more pros. Lets go into depth to see these qualities and defaults in this breed.

Lets start with the Lhasa Apso qualities, in my opinion the positive points far outweigh the negative

The Pros


In my home country, we have a saying, “all good things come in small packets” The Lhasa Apso certainly falls into the small packet category measuring no more than a handful of inches tall and not much longer. The benefits over having a small breed over a larger breed dog soon start to swing the balance towards the Lhasa Apso.

The cost of feeding a Lhasa Apso is far lower than feeding a German Shepard for example, a bag of 2 kilos of dry meal for my Lhasa Lucky can last easily one month. Try feeding that German Shepard on that amount for one month!

“What goes in must come out” here we are referring to the other end of the animal, the resulting pile of poo left in the garden can be a big problem with a large dog breed. Again small breeds win.

Traveling with a large breed in the car will normally be putting the dog in the rear of a station wagon/hatchback with restraining bars or using a crate, reducing space for baggage.

Owning a Lhasa Apso allows you to keep them in the rear seat area, that could be in a travel sleeping pod or securely harnessed with a quality product.

Being small helps when traveling by plane as they can travel along with you in the cabin in a small airline authorized travel case that can slide under the seat in front of you.

We can see above that the small Lhasa Apso has its good points. These positive points continue.

Long Coat

Lucky my Lhasa has his coat short for the simple reason that he spends most of his day with me in the grounds where I work. Having a long coat would become so dirty each day that he would need to be bathed each night.

If you are choosing a Lhasa Apso as a new pet and the environment he/she will be in is clean then let that coat grow long to display all it’s beauty. A well -roomed Lhasa Apso is a joy to behold.

When you run your hand over that silky coat and feel the velvety texture your choice to own one will take you another step towards choosing a Lhasa Apso.

Guard Dog

Have you read about the origins of the Lhasa Apso breed? I will help you understand a little why they make such good guard dogs. They were raised in Tibet by the Tibetan monks some 800 years before Jesus.

They bred and trained these small dogs to become excellent guard dogs, to alert the monks if anyone was approaching the temples. The Lhasa Apso of today will provide you with an early alarm system for your property just as they did two thousand eight hundred years ago for those monks.

Being such a small size the Lhasa Apso is not going to scare your hardened burglar, nor are they going to bite that bad intentioned person, but they will alert you before they get close to your home giving time to call the police or security forces.


My Lhasa Apso is so cute he just makes me want to pick him up a cuddle him to bits! They have lovely big eyes that melt your heart. A facial expression that is unique to their breed. They even walk different to other dogs, Lucky makes me smile often when he is trotting with his front leg doing a swinging motion.

Animated Personality

A Lhasa Apso will keep you amused for years to come with its personality and playful antics. Once they have grown up and out of that puppy stage they still have an animated personality to keep you smiling.

Good Companions

We all like to have a good human company to share a dinner, have a moment to talk, friends are special and we appreciate them.

The Lhasa Apso breed are really great pet companions, always wanting to be accepted into your family, they will reward that acceptance with you by being your best friend.

Like To Be Close

When we are close to someone we feel protected, loved, and needed. We are part of someone’s life. A Lhasa Apso will adore being close by your side, as I write Lucky is laying at my feet.

They are there to protect you, that is their first natural instinct don’t forget. Of course, they love you and show that by being close to you. In the grounds when I am working Lucky will go off and surveys the site before coming back to lay down nearby keeping a watchful eye on me.

Do Not Shed Hair

This I think is the best positive point of owning a Lhasa Apso, they do not shed any hair at all. Other breeds loose hair so much you find yourself cleaning every day. Hair gets on your clothes, furniture, on the kitchen worktop sometimes that leaves a negative on the hygiene side of things.

The Lhasa Apso is one of the rare breeds of dogs that do not have a coat of two layers. They have only one coat of hair that has that particular element of not shedding. No more hair all over the home or on your clothes.


The definition of loyalty is one hundred percent devotion to someone. Loyalty is also a commitment long term. The Lhasa Apso is a breed that meets that one hundred pour-cent loyalty towards their leader and will always be around to protect you.


Having a well-trained dog by your side is a pleasure. People do like to see that your dog can obey your commands. Training the Lhasa Apso is easy because they are intelligent and want to please their masters.

Chloé, my daughter trained Lucky to obey many tricks, they spent many years together repeating those tricks every day. Now he is much older and my daughter has now flown the nest, even so, he still remembers those tricks he learned 14 years ago.

Long Lives

It is a known fact that small dogs can live to advanced ages, the Lhasa Apso is no exception and to prove my point my Lucky is seventeen years old.

Giving the correct food helps tremendously in prolonging the life span to the maximum. Regular visits to the vet for check-ups and inoculations extend the life expectancy too.


This is one of their best qualities. When we think of fearlessness we have visions of warriors, soldiers, or the ten times world judo champion, big strong images of these fearless people come to mind.

On the other hand, the Lhasa Apso is not one of the biggest dogs around, but this lack of size and muscle does in no way reduce that fearless character inherent to this breed.

When workmen come to the home and enter the yard Lucky is straight out there at their heals barking away just to let them know to stand off until I arrive.

They were bred so long ago in Tibet to guard temples and their masters, this fearlessness is in their DNA.

My own dog I have known to chase one hundred kilo wild boars in the grounds. They do not worry about their size, all that matters to them is to guard and protect you.

The Cons

Of course, your saying it can not be all good points with this little bundle and you are correct the Lhasa Apso does have some negative points that we will take a look into now.

More brushing

You have more than not seen pictures of the Lhasa Apso displaying that beautiful long coat that grows down to floor level and hiding their legs.

To have that coat in constant splendor demands daily washing and brushing. This may not be possible if you have a heavy personal work routine. It is time consuming making this the first negative point.

As I mentioned above my own dog has a short coat for the goal of not having to wash him daily, but he looks adorable, just like a little teddy bear.

Ear Cleaning

Cleaning your dog’s ears is essential as this will prevent ear infections. It’s an easy job to do and you must make sure that it’s properly done, you must not go sticking cotton buds down inside the ears.

To make the job easier it would be preferable to perform this task in the bathroom or the shower. Then you can give your pet a warm shower afterward bearing in mind that they will shake their heads and all the debris and rubbish from the ears will go everywhere including all over you.

You should wash your dog ears with an ear cleaner recommended by your vet, check on the label there is no alcohol or hydrogen peroxide included as this can cause irritation for your dog.

So you can see this is extra work cleaning their ears could make this a negative point.

Not Ideal For Small Children

I was reluctant to add this to the negative points on this post. Personally, with my Lhasa Apso Lucky, I can only vouch for his good behavior around children. He has been raised with my daughter and has never been aggressive.

Because of their loyalty to their masters, these dogs are protecting their leaders, and if a young child approaches the dog a little bit over enthusiastic then this breed can have aggressive reactions whilst protecting their owners.

There are numerous breeders that will have a family meeting with possible new owners with children to assess the compatibility with the Lassa Apso.

Breathing Issues

Although not a short-nosed breed the Lhasa Apso sometimes suffers from breathing problems. sometimes they can have a sneezing session where you think maybe they are having problems to breathe.

There is no need to be alarmed if your Lhasa apso has one of these sneezing sessions it is basically what vets call reverse sneezing.

If your pet has one of these sneezing Sessions one of the quickest and easiest ways to stop it is to gently pinch the nose together for one or two seconds to make them breathe through their mouth then all be okay. If you have any doubt over this and of course make an appointment with your vet.

Bark A Lot

Yes indeed they do bark a lot, they are there to alert you of any intruders coming into your home or even on the dogs’ territory. At night when lucky is sleeping in her bedroom, he is the slightest noise outside and will bark, even leaves blowing across the ground will alert him.

This is their natural behavior in communicating with us humans telling us something he is wrong. If the barking becomes excessively loud then you need to teach your dog not to bark for nothing. I have used this barking trainer to help Lucky stop barking which I brought from Amazon.


Although the Lhasa Apso is a beautiful dog and makes an ideal pet for a family they do have a little bit missing from their character, that being they are very stubborn.

Lucky likes to get his own way and he is very stubborn until he gets what he wants. An example, when I am playing with Lucky in the garden chasing ball he will always run off with the ball and never bring it back, that’s his way of getting his own, the stubborn little fella.


Along with his stubbornness, his possessive attitude is fully shown when we are playing ball when I eventually get next to Lucky he will not release the ball, and as we play together he will do his play growling. Just to let me know that the ball is his.


All dogs mark their territory when they urinate a little everywhere. This is now their ground that they are going to guard and protect. This could be classed as a negative point if they don’t let any of your friends into your grounds to visit.

Grooming Costs

When you ladies go to the hair salon you know the expense is high, now if you want to keep your beautiful dog in the same prime condition as yourself then you are going to have to visit the dog salon quite often, this will incur more expenses than with an ordinary short-haired dog.

Don’t Like Being Alone

This breed of dog was raised to live inside the temples with the Tibetan monks, it’s inherited in their genes that they should always be beside someone.

When we leave him for any amount of time they will, of course, feel lonely. This may cause them to bark or cry.

Do Not Like Cuddles

Although they are perfect family dogs and enjoy being indoors and in the human company they do have this strange attitude of not liking to be picked up and cuddled for too long. As I have mentioned before Lucky enjoys to be next to me, he will lie on the settee next to me for ages but as soon as I pick him up and put him on my lap and he will go away, he just does not like being cuddled.

Eye Problems

I have placed here in the negative points the problems that some Lhasa Apso suffer. Some suffer from the tear duct which is not irrigating properly their eyes, this can become inflamed sometimes with those big brown stains from their eyes running down into their fur on the nose. A product like this eye stain remover can help in removing those brown stains.

Related Questions

What health problems do Lhasa apso have

Although a small sturdy dog they do have a few health conditions that could become a concern. These include hip dysplasia, intervertebral disk disease, juvenile renal disease and sometimes as I mentioned above the eye problems called progressive retinal atrophy.

How much do Lhasa Apso dogs cost

If you are aiming to purchase a Lhasa apso then the asking price will be somewhere between $200 and $600 for a puppy. If on the other hand, if you would like a show dog then the prices will range from around $1000 to well over $5000 with a top breed Pedigree.

How long do Lhasa Apso live for

My own personal Lhasa Apso Lucky is almost 17 years old, they are really healthy little dogs and can live into their twenties. There is in the record books A Lhasa that lived to humongous twenty-nine years old! Just imagine purchasing a puppy the day of your daughters birth and that the puppy grew up till your daughter was twenty-nine years old, it’s amazing.


Well, of course, I am biased in that I own a Lhasa Apso. Of course, there are pros and cons before you buy your pet dog. This is not a simple matter to just choose because they look nice. After your decision and you decide the Lhasa apso is for you then I would recommend that you look at the ”products for your dog” on the top menu to find a selection of items that would be ideal for your new pet. Thank you for reading this article and do have a happy time with whatever pup you chose.

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