How to Train a Lhasa Apso Puppy

Updated February 21, 2017

Lhasa apsos, originally bred as guard dogs for Tibetan monks, are now considered lapdogs by many canine lovers. Classified as a toy dog by the American Kennel Club, Lhasa apsos have a long, dense coat and are often groomed as show dog. While they appear docile and cute, Lhasa apsos are actually headstrong pets that can be suspicious of strangers. Training this hardy breed takes a bit of perseverance, but it will pay off with a well-behaved pet.

Assert your authority. Lhasa apsos are an independent, strong-willed breed, so establish your authority immediately during the training process. Stay calm and maintain a steady schedule with your pet. This will increase the puppy's confidence in you and make it less likely to stray from commands. Use a higher-pitched voice to praise your dog for a job well done, and a stern, but not angry, voice to admonish it. Lhasa apsos take cues from your behaviour. If you maintain a serene attitude, so will your puppy.

Use the crate method to potty train your Lhasa apso. Buy a plastic or wire crate that has adequate space for your puppy to sleep and stretch easily. Line it with comfortable dog blankets. Begin the training by sitting next to your puppy at the crate's door. Put a treat inside the crate. Praise the puppy when it eats the snack. Keep the door open, and wait for your pet to leave the crate. Don't acknowledge the puppy when it exits the crate, only when it enters. Gradually move away from the crate until the puppy is comfortable staying inside it, and close the door.

Open the crate door. Lead the Lhasa apso to the place where you want it to relieve itself. Return it to the crate for five minutes with the door closed. Repeat this process until the puppy pees in the desired spot. Praise the animal when it relieves itself.

Control excessive barking. Place chew toys, balls or other toys in the dog's crate or play area to relieve boredom. Ensure that your Lhasa apso gets enough exercise. Dogs often bark if when they're tense from lack of movement. Hold a snack or toy that makes your dog bark in front of it. Say "Speak" when the dog barks, and praise it. Then teach the dog to be quiet. Say "Quiet" or "Stop" while the dog barks, and offer it a treat or toy. Repeat this until the dog learns that the words mean "Stop Barking."

Teach your puppy to sit. While your dog stands in front of you, hold a treat over its head. Dangle the food backwards over the puppy's mouth. Your Lhasa apso will raise its nose toward the food and its lower its haunches. Feed the puppy as soon as it sits, while you are saying, "Sit". Repeat a few times until your puppy feels comfortable.

Train your puppy to stay. While your dog sits, say "Stay," and hold food over its head. Don't feed the dog, but praise it for staying still. Then you can feed it. Repeat this procedure, adding a few seconds each time. After practicing this for awhile, your Lhasa apso will remain still even when you walk out of the room.


Don't hold food or treats too high over your puppy's head. This may make the puppy jump to retrieve the morsel. If you have small children, consider another breed. Lhasa apsos can be stubborn and can become agitated when teased by a youngster.

Things You'll Need

  • Dog treats
  • Dog toys
  • Crate
  • Dog blankets
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About the Author

Marianne Moro is a copywriter and journalist based in Hollywood. She has been writing professionally since 1999, specializing in home remodeling, interior decorating, pets, travel and holistic health. Moro was a part-time editor and contributing writer for, a home remodeling and decorating website, and has also contributed to the Cutting Chair and Entertainment Today.