Despite his smallness, the Lhasa Apso dog breed is not in the toy dog breed group of the American Kennel Club (AKC). Although he was once in the terrier dog breed group, he does not have the characteristics of a terrier and so he now falls under the non-sporting dog breed group.
The Lhasa Apso dog breed has origins in the monasteries of Tibet. His original purpose was as both a watchdog and companion. In fact, his other name Abso Seng Kye means Bark Lion Sentinel Dog. The Lhasa Apso dog breed has a lot of similarities with the Tibetan Terrier and Shih Tzu dog breeds and are often confused. In early AKC registries, they were all considered one in the same breed.
Although the Lhasa Apso dog breed is a small dog (10-11 inches tall and 13-15 pounds), he makes a good watchdog because he will bark at intruders. He is wary of strangers but has a happy disposition with his family. He also generally gets along well with other pets.
The smallness and temperament of the Lhasa Apso dog breed makes him a good family companion. He requires only a short walk or a little play time per day. He can be both playful and affectionate. The Lhasa Apso dog breed, however, can be a bit independent and stubborn. Positive reinforcement is the best way to train this dog breed. Negative reinforcement is no fun for him and he will be inclined to react negatively in return.
While the exercise of the Lhasa Apso dog breed are minimal, his grooming requirements are a bit more involved. He needs a good brushing or combing daily and a regular shave to keep his hair from getting matted. The hair of the Lhasa Apso dog breed is straight, long, and dense. He has a feather tail, feathered feet, feathered ears, and long hair on his face. The Lhasa Apso dog breed has a tail which should be shorter than the length of his body. The tail is carried upwards and over the back. He has a narrow skull, a prominent black nose, and an even or slight undershot bite.
The Lhasa Apso dog breed is an adorable dog breed. But like most purebred dogs, he can acquire a number of genetic health issues. The most common are patellar luxation, various eyelid problems, progressive retinal atrophy, and renal cortical hypoplasia. Patellar luxation is a skeletal issue with the knee cap. It can be very painful and lead to lameness. Progressive retinal atrophy is where the retina of the eye deteriorates, possibly to the point of blindness. And renal cortical hypoplasia is failure of the kidneys which can be deadly.
If you are considering purchasing a Lhasa Apso dog breed, be sure to research the breeder thoroughly. Ask if they are a member of any other breed clubs other than the AKC. And ask if they have done any testing to confirm if the dog is not prone to any hereditary diseases. A good and responsible breeder will probably also be a member of the American Lhasa Apso Club, Inc. and they would have done some testing on the breed to verify his quality. A good purebred Lhasa Apso can also be found at Lhasa Apso breed rescue groups and possibly even at the local animal shelter.