Tibetan Terrier vs Lhasa Apso – A Detailed Comparison Of Both Breeds!

Hi, my name’s Irena and I’m going to talk to you today about the Tibetan Terrier and the Lhasa Apso.

Perhaps you don’t know a lot about these dogs but they originated in China and Tibet with the introduction of Buddhism into China in 500 AD and Lamaism into Tibet in 632 AD.

I love dogs by the way and have four of my own, all crazy and lovable and I wouldn’t be without any of them.

Short Introduction: Tibetan Terrier vs. Lhasa Apso

Tibetan Terriers and Lhasa Apsos look very similar with their floor-length thick coats and feathery curly tails.

However, there are differences between them, not the least being that Tibetan Terriers are quite a bit bigger than Lhasa Apsos and are probably a little more family friendly.

Overview of a Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan Terriers are also called Holy Dogs of Tibet. What a great honor for them. They were used as watchdogs as well as companion dogs in Buddhist monasteries and for nomadic herdsmen.

Tibetan Terriers were thought to be good luck and were never sold but only given away as a gift.

They are not true terriers as they don’t dig in the same way as normal terriers do. They are very affectionate and do well as therapy dogs.

Overview of a Lhasa Apso

Long haired dogMany years ago Lhasa Apsos were sentinels at palaces and monasteries in the Himalayas. Just like Tibetan Terriers they make great watchdogs.

However, Lhasa Apsos think that they are bigger dogs than they are and they protect their family to the death.

They are suspicious of strangers especially if they are not socialized early.

They are not always the most obedient dogs out there so training may be a little hard.

Tibetan Terrier vs Lhasa Apso: Which is Bigger?

Tibetan Terriers are bigger than Lhasa Apsos. They are 14 – 17 inches in height and 18 – 30 pounds in weight, while Lhasa Apsos are 10 – 11 inches in height and 12 – 18 pounds in weight.

However, this doesn’t make Lhasa Apsos think they are any less dog than Tibetan Terriers.

Lhasa Apsos aren’t scared of other dogs and will stand up to dogs twice their size.

Tibetan Terrier vs Lhasa Apso: Temperament: How do They Behave?

There are a lot of similarities in temperament between the two breeds. Both make brilliant watchdogs and who doesn’t want to be protected? Their hearing is impeccable which helps their guarding duties.

Both dogs love their families, but are a little shy and perhaps even suspicious of strangers. This can be lessened by socializing them early.

The more people they meet as puppies the easier it will be for them to interact with people outside their family.

curly haired dogIt isn’t too difficult to train Tibetan Terriers as they are eager to please their owners. Lhasa Apsos on the other hand can be a little stubborn.

They both need positive reinforcement in the form of treats and praise rather than being shouted at or smacked.

There are some more differences in temperament between the two breeds.

Firstly, Tibetan Terriers don’t like being left alone so are not the best dogs to have if you are out for a large part of the day. On the other hand Lhasa Apsos don’t suffer from separation anxiety at all.

In addition, Tibetan Terriers are more laid back and will get on with other dogs and even cats. Lhasa Apsos like to be top dog so don’t get on so well with other pets.

However, if they are socialized with dogs or cats as puppies, it will be easier for them to get on with other animals when they become adults.

Tibetan Terrier vs Lhasa Apso Life Span: What’s Their Life Expectancy?

The lifespan of the Lhasa Apso is 12 – 15 years and of the Tibetan Terrier, 15 – 16 years.

This is quite strange as small dogs usually live longer than larger dogs so you would think that the Lhasa Apso would have a longer lifespan.

Tibetan Terriers vs Lhasa Apsos: Are They Prone to Health Conditions

Both breeds are reasonably healthy dogs, but there are some health issues that you do need to look out for. The main concern with Tibetan Terriers is eye problems.

They can suffer from cataracts, glaucoma, lens luxation, and progressive renal atrophy, all of which can make them blind.

Lhasa Apsos can also get progressive renal atrophy and in addition, cherry eye and dry eye.

Tibetan Terriers can suffer from either hip or elbow dysplasia. These are both painful conditions caused by bad joints. Quite often they have to have surgery and this can be expensive.

They can also have hypothyroidism and be born partially or fully deaf.

Lhas Apsos don’t have so many other health problems.

They can get silvery dandruff which means that their coats become dull and brittle. It can also make them smell musty and give them skin lesions.

Tibetan Terrier vs Lhasa Apso: What do They Look Like?

A white and brown dogTibetan Terriers are larger than Lhasa Apsos and are more powerfully built.

They also have a longer shaped head. Lhasa Apsos are more delicate and their muzzles less pronounced. Tibetan Terriers have medium length muzzles and a well-developed jaw.

Both dogs come in a variety of colors. Tibetan Terriers can be white, gold, tricolor, silver, black or brindle. Lhasa Apsos can be honey, black, parti-color, white, or slate.

Tibetan Terrier vs Lhasa Apso: What Kind of Coat Do They Have?

In this respect, Tibetan Terriers and Lhasa Apsos are very similar. Both have a long double coat. It’s wooly underneath and long and fine on top.

Surprisingly, even with so much hair Tibetan Terriers hardly shed at all. Lhas Apsos on the other hand do.

Tibetan Terrier vs Lhasa Apso Grooming: How Much Do they Require?

With so much hair, both Tibetan Terriers and Lhasa Apsos need a lot of grooming. Both should be brushed just about every day otherwise their hair can get tangled which can cause problems.

Both dogs need a bath at least once every month and their toenails clipped. Tibetan Terriers have snowshoe feet and the hairs between the footpads do need to be trimmed.

It’s not a bad idea to take these dogs to a professional groomer every now and then for a complete makeover.

Tibetan Terrier vs Lhasa Apso – Can They be Trained Easily?

Lhasa Apsos are stubborn and independent dogs so they can be difficult to train.

The best thing to do is to start training your puppy the first day you bring it home. Obedience classes also wouldn’t go amiss.

Tibetan Terriers are a little easier to train but again it’s a good idea to start young.

They have a lot of energy so it’s important to calm them down. Both breeds work best if you give them treats when they do what they are told rather than being told off.

If you are struggling to train your Tibetan Terrier or Lhasa Apso we have created a great article which reviews Brain Training 4 Dogs an amazing programme that can teach your dog amazing tricks!

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 Tibetan Terrier vs Lhasa Apso: What do they Eat?

A well exercised dogTibetan Terriers were used to eating just gruel in China and Tibet. They are dogs that savor their food and they don’t always eat everything in their bowls, not like my lot!

It is better to feed them a home cooked diet rather than commercially produced food as they will enjoy it more.

The fact that the Tibetan Terrier doesn’t overeat is good as a slim dog has a healthier life and won’t die of obesity.

Lhasa Apsos eat more heartily than Tibetan Terriers. However, don’t overfeed them. It can lead to unpleasant digestive issues and you don’t want to be in the same room as them when this happens!

Tibetan Terrier vs Lhasa Apso Family Dog: Are They Good With Children?

Tibetan Terriers love children. They really enjoy playtime and can match the energy levels of kids.

However, they are probably a little too energetic for children under the age of 6.

Lhasa Apsos on the other hand don’t like children so much as they find their energy levels too high.

However, once children reach their teens and learn how to handle these dogs, Lhasa Apsos will fit in.

Tibetan Terrier vs Lhasa Apso Environment: Where are They Best Suited?

Both breeds can live in an apartment as they don’t need a lot of exercise.

They need a couple of short walks a day as they are basically couch potatoes.

If you have a yard, let them out so they can have a breath of fresh air. However, beware with Tibetan Terriers.

They are escape artists and if they get bored, they will dig their way out or scale the fence.

Tibetan Terrier vs Lhasa Apso Running Costs: Are They Expensive to Look After?

Costs for having these two breeds is middling. Both need a lot of grooming so if you can’t handle this yourself, you will have to go to a professional groomer and this costs money.

If you need help grooming your dog yourself we have created a create article on how to groom a dog.

However, food costs shouldn’t be too high.

Tibetan Terriers don’t eat a lot and Lhasa Apsos need to be kept on a diet so they don’t get overweight.

Final Thoughts: Tibetan Terrier vs Lhasa Apso

Happy looking dogTibetan Terriers and Lhasa Apsos may be different breeds, but they are very similar in lots of ways.

They are both double coated with long hair, make good guard dogs, and love their families.

However, Lhasa Apsos are more independent and despite their size, think that they are top dog.

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