Lhasa Apso

Lifestyle Needs

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is a small and ancient companion dog.  The Lhasa’s temperament varies and he can be surprisingly noisy for his size.  Like all dogs he needs regular exercise.  His long and profuse coat needs frequent grooming and occasional trimming as well.

Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 11.1% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Effective Population Size - EPS


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

The Lhasa’s coat is very thick and long which will affect his quality of life, particularly in warm weather.  Hair will fall over his eyes affecting his ability to see and should be kept trimmed.

BVA/KC Health Schemes: www.bva.co.uk/chs

  • Eye disease:  Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) (gradual loss of vision) (annual testing)
  • Hip dysplasia (malformation of the hip joints causing pain and disability) breed mean score 12.7 (parents should be lower)

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:

DNA Tests Available

  • Renal dysplasia (kidney disease)
  • Haemophilia B (Factor 1X deficiency)

Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes

None known

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)

  • Sebaceous adentitis (a scaly skin disease affecting the functioning of the sebaceous gland)
  • Glaucoma
  • Atopic dermatitis (hypersensitivity to pollens and other protein particles – causes intense itching)
  • Patellar luxation (dislocated kneecap)
  • Intervertebral disc disease (partial rupture of a disc with compression of the spinal cord – pain and weakness, sometimes paralysis)
  • Atlanto axial subluxation (partial dislocation of bones in the neck – giving neck pain)
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (‘Dry Eye’ – leads to corneal damage including ulcers) (autoimmune disease)
  • Cancer: perianal gland tumors; intracutaneous cornifying epithelioma
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataract
  • Prolapse of the nictitans gland ( ‘Cherry Eye’ – the gland associated with the third eyelid is flipped outwards)
  • Hydrocephalus (water on the brain)
  • Urolithiasis – calcium oxalate/struvite (stone formation in urine)

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents.  Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):  www.puppycontract.org.uk

You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding:

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

List of Dog Breeds