Things You Should Know Before Buying A Lhasa Apso Dog
The Lhasa Apso, though very similar to the slightly smaller Shih Tzu, is a small breed reaching only 11 inches high at the shoulder, BUT this is a prime example of a dog that thinks it is much bigger than it really is! The Lhasa Apso was originally bred in Tibet as a vigilant watchdog for palaces and monasteries, because they are more than willing to protect, and are very loyal. Many people choose this breed because they think it is cute, and believe it will make a wonderful lapdog. However, there is much more to this breed, so let us take a closer look at the character and attributes as well as its general health to find out if this is the dog for you.
The Lhasa is more of a companion dog nowadays and can live up to 15 years of age. Additionally, although it looks harmless enough, many are surprised to find that Lhasas will guard their homes and families fiercely, due to their protective nature. They have many traits that are generally associated with a good watchdog: highly intelligent, independent, can certainly think on its own, and sometimes mischievous too. This dog can be trained successfully, but it will take time and patience, and don’t expect them to be the most obedient dog in the class!
Seeing a Lhasa Apso puppy will certainly capture your heart, with its fluffy coat and sparkling eyes, it will be almost impossible to just walk away… you will simply have to get one. However, with their long and thick coat, although beautiful, your Lhasa will take quite a bit of time and maintenance when it comes to grooming and brushing. Keep this thought in mind: brushing on an almost daily basis is necessary to avoid tangles and matting, and if you don’t have the time, then you will probably end up on a first name basis with your local dog groomer.
Lhasa Apso dogs are very playful and this can stay with them, even in their later years, and they do like to stay close to the family and, in particular, their owner. However, because of their independent nature, they are also more than happy to stay at home alone, keeping an eye out and guarding the family property. When choosing a puppy, try to pick an average one, not one that is bossing around its litter mates, but also not one that is sitting in the corner shy and sulking either. That being said, a good temperament to watch out for when picking a Lhasa will be one that comes up to you and doesn’t mind being held by you.
As with all purebreds it is important to buy from a professional, reputable breeder, who will be able to answer any questions you have, and be willing to show you both parents, as well as associated paperwork and lineage. Moreover, a good breeder will be able to confirm that the parents have been tested for certain conditions, and have been cleared of them.
Having said that, there are some conditions to be aware of, and although your Lhasa may never get any conditions throughout its lifetime, it is always prudent to be aware of them, just in case.
Lhasa’s can develop ‘Cherry eye’, which is a red mass in the corner of the eye, and treatment is generally surgery. Patella Luxation is another condition that can develop as in many smaller breeds, which is a dislocation of a joint, like a kneecap or elbow. Although painful, many dogs can live relatively normal lives with this. Allergies can be a condition of many, if not all, different breeds, but it’s worth noting that over time an owner will probably learn what type of allergies their dog may have, if any.
There are some other rarer conditions that Lhasas can develop, but it is recommended that you seek out a vet once you buy your puppy, so that s/he can have a full checkup. Keep in mind, that regular vet visits can result in early detection on many conditions, and also it is important to get any inoculations that may be needed. Moreover, you can speak with your vet about any dietary changes that may be needed, and follow any medications precisely if and when the need arises.
The Lhasa Apso is not an expensive dog to take care of, probably not eating much more than a cup of food daily, and does not require lots of exercise. This makes the Lhasa a great pet if you only have a small apartment, but it is also happy in a larger dwelling too. The Lhasa’s beautiful long, thick coat comes in a variety of colours including honey, black, white and even slate, and some owners cut the coat short for more manageability, and to keep the grooming time down a bit.
Finally, before you go puppy-hunting to buy your Lhasa Apso, be sure to purchase some items before you get your puppy home. Some things to be sure to get are: a comfortable bed for your Lhasa to rest and sleep, a water and food bowl, leash and collar, (although with small breeds a harness type is recommended), some toys and definitely some treats for training. Once you have all your purchases in order, you can go buy your new Lhasa Apso puppy, and welcome this new addition to your family, and enjoy the many years of fun you will definitely have together.