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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are considering getting a Lhasa apso puppy, however, I have been unable to find consistent information about them, many of the articles I read contradict each other. Here are my questions:

Are they nonshedding?

Easy, or hard to train?

Do they bark excessively?

Arguably most important, will they snuggle?

Thank you for any help!

951 Posts
My experience?

No dog is non-shedding. Light, medium, or heavy is probably a better way of looking at it. In theory the L A is supposed to be a light shedder, but, as they tend to have very long hairs, this in my book puts them in medium shedder territory. Also, they do have an undercoat which 'blows' (drops out is replaced with a new one) seasonally. So lots of shedding then. Note, even without the regular shedding and shedding of undercoat, these dogs need a lot of grooming.

LA is stubborn and headstrong and sensitive to hard corrections. So yes, they are harder to train than many other dogs. Still infinitely doable with positive enforcement. I'm not a 'all positive training all the time' type of guy, but it really is the best method a lot of the time, and it really is the best method for a dog with temperament like the LA. Note, for someone getting a first dog, or for someone who already has a dog that you struggle to get to obey, the LA is a poor choice because of it's stubbornness and independent nature making it hard to train.

They are watchdogs. They were bred to bark. They are also quite wary of strangers. So yes, barking will be more of an issue with this dog than many other dogs.

Yes, they are affectionate to their owners. Note no dog likes to be hugged, but most tolerate it.

If you want a small long haired dog, I am not sure this is the best choice.

Have you considered it's relative the Shih-Tzu?

Honestly, the LA, Shih-Tzu, Pekingese, and I am sure a few others, all share similar lineage. All are wary of strangers, stubborn, and have a 'what's in it for me' attitude (which can lead to training difficulties, including housebreaking)

However, the Shih-tzu and to a lesser extent the Pekingese have been bred so long as pure companions with a more western mindset to what makes a good companion, that these traits are much more subdued.

Shih-tzu sheds less, barks a whole lot less (in fact among all small dogs this is probably top for low barking) less stubborn (although still somewhat stubborn), and more open to strangers.

Pekingese seems to fall between the Lhasa Apso and the Shih-tzu.

Grooming is a big deal for all of these.

Another option would be the Havanese.

Note these are me speculating on you wanting a somewhat small dog with long hair. Don't know where your priorities are. Maybe you are looking for anything with long hair! Then go for the Old English Shepherd! Maybe you are looking for a small dog, then a Papillon is hard to beat!

2 Posts
Lhasas are most well known for their loyalty. I rescued a Lhasa mix 15 years ago and he's still my best buddy today.

I would say that Lhasas are very light shedders. You should get them groomed often - especially if you want to keep their hair long. Personally, I would keep their hair short, especially if you have children. If you are good at keeping up with brushing, then you can probably get away with a professional grooming every 12 weeks. If you are not, then every 6 weeks. Otherwise, they will get matted.

Training...well, Lhasa's are smart, but they are stubborn. House training might be a little bit of a problem (especially if it is raining out). I had to crate Joey when I was away up until he was about 4 years old and anytime we moved to someplace new or he was staying somewhere different. Walking on a leash and simple obedience like "sit" and "stay" will be very easy to train because they really want to please you.

Barking - they are not known as a yappy dog. Mine is not a yappy dog.

Snuggling - actually, my lhasa mix is not much of a snuggler. He actually really deosn't like it. He likes to sit at the other end of the couch or another seat and watch over everything - especially me.

1,431 Posts
My niece had one for 14 yrs and said she was the most difficult dog to potty train that she had ever owned!.........and she barked......a lot! She also was not a very friendly dog in that she didn't seek attention from people and her groomer hated her! LOL!!!! She did love my niece though, and my niece loved her enough to keep a gallon of Nature's Miracle in the cupboard at all times Hahaha!!!

5 Posts
We had LA for 12 years - mother and daughter. Mom was very smart, too smart. She would obey when there was something in it for her. She was very vindictive. If we left her and she didn't like it she would be a naughty girl. She chewed thru 2 doors, 4 baby gates, tore up carpeting, you name it. All was much better when we started crating them whenever we left and at night. She was a wonderful dog until I got married and the kids started coming. She was very jealous. But her daughter was completely different. She was sweet and affectionate and tried to do what you wanted but she was kind of slow at learning things. Both were barkers! And both were groomed short about every 8 weeks. We didn't have a dog for 9 years because those 2 had been so difficult. We now have had 2 shelties and a collie. Much better choices for families. Good luck.

21 Posts
As a Maltese owner (they are very similar to the Lhasa Apso), I can say that these are great dogs!

Some issues with these dogs:
They can be a bit stubborn, but they definitely can and will learn all of the basic commands you want them to know.
They are a bit harder to housetrain than other dogs. My Maltese still poops in the house every once in a while, but usually you can get them to go outside pretty well.

Things I love about them:
I am in love with their snuggling! Some of these dogs will snuggle for hours! This all depends on the individual dog, of course, some might not like to snuggle. But I've known dogs in this group of breeds that will snuggle with you forever if you let them!
They are so sweet! They love their owners, and are great with kids!
They're just so adorable! Especially when they have their hair cut! I take my Maltese to the groomer every 2 months to keep her hair clipped, and I love the look of a clipped Lhasa as well!
They. Barely. Even. Shed. I cannot express how much I love this about them. I've never heard of anybody even finding a single hair off of a Lhasa.
They're surprisingly smart as well!
And especially for the Lhasa, they have an extremely long lifespan! One of my books says 15-18 years! Holy crap!

About the barking, they can bark quite a bit, but that also depends on the individual dog. Ask whoever you buy the dog from about which of their dogs would suit your needs and preferences.

The Lhasa can be a bit stubborn, but it will also walk for miles if you go on walks! They can be slightly suspicious of strangers, but a little training and the right dog will help combat this issue.

I cannot stress enough the importance of choosing the right dog. Read the thread in this forum about puppy mills. Find a breeder that cares about their dogs and is not just in it for the money. Ask to visit their kennel and meet and see all of the dogs and where they live before you buy.
Please consider adopting a dog from a shelter. One advantage of buying an adult dog is that their personality is already known, so the shelter or rescue staff can tell you what the dog is like!

More breeds to check out:
Shih Tzu: Intelligent, bouncy, outgoing, family oriented
Bichon Frise: Gentle, intelligent, extrovert, hates staying home alone
Coton de Tulear: Loyal, bright, sociable, happy, hates staying home alone
Löwchen: Affectionate, lively, outgoing, family-loving, agile
Bolognese: Intelligent, low-energy, loves to play, forms close relationships with owner, people-loving, can be reserved and shy
Maltese: Brave, energetic, fearless, gentle, amiable, lively, fun-loving. I have a soft spot for these, Maltese are so fun and such great family dogs!
Havanese: Spectacular family dog, intelligent, easy to train, affectionate, also can be a good watchdog
Kyi Leo: Bred originally from Lhasa Apso and Maltese, but are rare and hard to find. They are relaxed, alert, and active.

I hope everything goes well!
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