The Furry Critter Network

Abso Seng Kye Breed Description

Back to Canine Breed Menu

Breed Organization

The American Lhasa Apso Club

Native Country

Other Names
Lhasa Apso, Lhasa, Lhassa Terrier, Bark Lion Sentinel Dog

Life Expectancy
Approximately 13-14 Years

Litter Size
Average 4-5 Puppies

Breed Group
AKC Non-Sporting

General Description

The breed standard requires dark brown eyes and a black nose, although liver-colored lhasas have a brown nose. The texture of the coat is heavy, straight, hard, neither woolly nor silky, and very dense. They come in a wide variety of colors including black, white, red and gold with various shadings. Lhasas can be with or without dark tips at the ends of ears and beard. The tail should be carried well over the dog's back. The breed standard currently used by the American Kennel Club was approved on July 11, 1978.

Breed Standard

Head: Round. Skull moderately narrow, not entirely flat. Moderate stop. Straight nosebridge. Muzzle not angular. Complete dentition desirable.
Ears: Pendulous, with abundant feathering.
Eyes: Medium-sized, dark.
Body: Long and compact. Neck strong, well-arched. Well-sprung ribs. Well-developed hindquarters. Strong loin. Straight back.
Tail: Set on high, carried well over the back. Well-furnished with hair.
Hair: Long, abundant, straight, and hard, neither woolly nor silky. Moderate undercoat. Abundant topknot hanging over the eyes. Well-furnished mustache.
Coat: Golden, sable, honey, dark grey, slate grey, smokey grey, or parti-color (several distinct colors, black, white, or brown).
Size: Dog: approx. 25 cm. Bitch: slightly smaller.
Weight: 4 to 7 kg.


The Lhasa Apso has existed in Tibet for thousands of years. A sacred animal, he was kept in temples and palaces, and the finest specimens lived with the Dalai Lama. Apso means "Tibetan goat". The Lhasa Apso did not appear in the West (England) until around 1930, because exporting the breed was forbidden. The first official standard was defined in 1934.


Hardy, lively, courageous, and always on alert, the Lhasa Apso is very strong-willed, confident, and somewhat stubborn. Calm, affectionate, intelligent, and gentle with children, he makes a good pet. He is an excellent watchdog, since he is mistrusting of strangers and has a keen sense of hearing and a sharp voice. He needs firm training.

He can live in an apartment, but he loves to walk. He does not like being left alone. He requires daily dematting, brushing, and combing, as well as monthly bathing and regular attention to the eyes.


Watchdog, Pet.


They are known to suffer from sebaceous adenitis, a hereditary skin disease that occurs primarily in Standard Poodles, but has also been reported in a number of other breeds, including the Lhasa Apso. They are also known to suffer from the genetic disease progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) which can render them blind. Responsible breeders have their breeding dogs checked yearly by a canine ophthalmologist to check that they are not developing the disease, which is inheritable in offspring. Lhasa Apsos are also prone to eye diseases, such as cherry eye and keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS or dry eye syndrome).

Back to Canine Breed Menu

Featured Rescues

"Don't Shop ... Please Adopt"

laptop pro


The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.

Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country.

The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

laptop pro


If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)

laptop pro

Rescue Me

Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network

Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.