The Lhasa Apso is a hunting breed from Tibet originally bred to guard monasteries. The breed often barked a warning to its master until the master came to check on the intruder.
The breed generally stands 10 to 11 inches tall and weighs 12 to 14 pounds. The breed should have muscular legs and a tail which is carried in a tight screw over the back. The Lhasa Apso has medium sized dark brown eyes and a black nose. Its coat is double layered. The coat can be nearly any color and is generally long, draping over the body and eyes. The breed is fairly similar in appearance to the Shih Tzu breed.
The Lhasa Apso today is used frequently to guard military centers and government labs, but it can also make an excellent watchdog for a family. The breed is suspicious of strangers and protective of those that care for it. The breed is fairly high-maintenance when it comes to exercise and training. The breed needs exercise daily. Its training regimen must be strict and its owner dominant, or the Lhasa Apso will try to dominate its owner.
The breed has a typical lifespan of 12 to 15 years.