The Lhasa apso temperament is unique.
They are happy, very mischievous and clown-like, yet can also be majestic, dignified and sometimes independent and aloof. The have very expressive facial features. Adoring owners often remark on their “human-like” characteristics. The Lhasa can be very sensitive to human feelings, and can be a wonderful companion to individuals with disabilities and health problems. They will almost “cater” to the emotional needs of their owner. No two Lhasa personalities are exactly alike. Lhasas can be trained successfully in obedience using the right methods for this breed; they are not, by nature, an extremely obedient breed, but with time and patience they can learn almost anything. Lhasas are very intelligent with the ability to reason, and can sometimes by accused of “scheming”. Due to this fact, consistency is plays an important role in the success or failure of their training. A Lhasa owner must establish him or herself as the “alpha” or leader. This will only happen if the leader is fair and consistent. Lhasas do not respond to tyrants well and will assume the role of leadership with a pushover owner!
Lhasa puppies are very playful, energetic and curious. As they mature they will become calmer and more dignified. The Lhasa will never lose its playful nature. The Lhasa is slow to mature. Lhasas do not reach their prime until well into their third or fourth year. New owners need to keep this in mind when house training Lhasa puppies. Lhasas age elegantly; keeping a young appearance and attitude most if not all of their lives. The average lifespan of the breed is 12 to 15 years old, although many have lived to be several years older.
The Lhasa apso was bred as an indoor watchdog for hundreds of years. Lhasa apsos are often suspicious of strangers and consider themselves guardians of their home and property. They are usually less protective away from home. Early socialization is critical to a Lhasa’s success as a family member. Exposing your young Lhasa to many different types of people will help to overcome the breed’s natural tendency toward wariness of strangers. Time invested in training the Lhasa apso will be worth the effort; as they dedicate themselves loyally to their family.