Lhasa Apso temperament: pros and cons

Lhasa Apsos are beguiling little dogs with their dark, soulful eyes and their abundance of fur. Before you go out and pick a Lhasa pup though, it’s important to be realistic about what you can expect. Like all good relationships, the bond you have with your dog will need to be based on acceptance, understanding and unconditional love. You can only agree to these caveats if you know this breed’s temperament inside out – not only the good traits, but the bad as well! So, here they are.

Playful and entertaining

Whilst they might put on a brave, aloof front when out in public, these little dogs can be clowns behind closed doors. They are one of the breeds that is said to be slow to mature, meaning that they don’t reach adulthood for about three years. This means they will retain their playful personalities long after they have left puppyhood.

Loyal to his family

Lhasa Apsos can be protective and loyal. In fact they bond closely with their owners, usually preferring a single person in the household to a group.

Intelligent with a “big” personality

These little dogs are not meak lapdogs. As their Tibetan name suggests, they are like little lions at times! Clever and alert, they like lots of mental stimulation.

Calm and dignified

Lhasa Apsos have a calm grace about them and they are usually very calm and composed wherever they go. This is one of the qualities that their Tibetan owners first admired in them. They very rarely have problems with separation anxiety or timidity.

Suspicious and aloof with strangers

Lhasas aren’t particularly good with strangers, but they won’t cause too many issues either. You’re more likely to find that they calmly ignore people they aren’t used to rather than cause a fuss. Lots of socialisation as a puppy is a useful way to combat this trait.

Stubborn and manipulative

You might hear these dogs being described as manipulative from time to time, which is a little bit too anthropomorphic. In reality it just means that they will happily find their own way to rebel against you or do their own thing if the mood takes them! They are free spirited, independent creatures at heart.

Difficult to house train

Lhasas are notoriously difficult to house train, so be prepared to make a big effort when it comes to toilet trips! The good news is that they are relatively intelligent creatures so there is light at the end of the tunnel. With a bit of patience and ingenuity Lhasas can be taught to behave around the house.

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