Joyslyn's Lhasa Apsos
Frequently Asked Questions

What can you tell me about the temperament of the Lhasa Apso?

After sharing my life with Lhasas since 1973, I can tell you that each individual is different. However, if expected to generalize about Lhasa temperament, here is what I can tell you:

Cat-like: Lhasas tend to be rather independent and sometimes can be very stubborn. When you ask them to "come," they often take their own sweet time about it or look at you, very regally, as if to say, "Who? Me? Come to you? Whatever for?"

Sensitive: Lhasas hate strict discipline and are best trained using a reward system. If you correct a Lhasa harshly, expect some future retaliation! However, high praise and rewards (especially yummy treats) yield great results.

Devoted: A Lhasa is loyal to those he loves and those who love him in return. We have found that when we have placed adult Lhasas in pet homes, they have easily transferred that loyalty to their new owners. The same is true for our show dogs who have left us for brief periods for a sojourn with professional handlers. Lhasas grow to love those they are with, who feed and care for and love them in return. Lhasas are devoted to family and home and, although content to be with and play with all family members, will often chose one "favorite" family member.

Playful, frisky, fun-loving, clownish, spirited, happy: You get the picture! Most Lhasas love life and have an exuberant attitude that shows it. Some are "rough and tumble" types, and many Lhasa owners are enjoying training these dogs for agility competitions. Other Lhasas tend to be more regal and expect to be waited on hand and foot. Most retain their exuberance and happy attitude to the end of their lives, their spirit hampered only by the ravages of time on their bodies.

Alert: Remember the breed was originally bred to be an interior watchdog. They have keen hearing and will bark when they think an alert is necessary. Some even bark when there seems to be nothing to bark about. Lhasas are vocal, but not yappy, dogs.

Suspicious of strangers: Again, their heritage calls for them to be suspicious. The descriptor "chary" in the Standard refers to the Lhasa's aloofness around strangers. Lhasas like to size up a stranger before accepting him/her as a friend and resent people who come on too strong when they first meet. The proper way to greet a Lhasa is to let him come to you. Do not swoop down upon him, no matter how cute or cuddly he seems. Your welcome will not be appreciated! (Of course, some Lhasas have not read the Standard and have never met a stranger!)

Smart: Lhasas are thinkers and planners. (I've had Lhasas that are smart enough not to show how smart they are!) Lhasas remember people, places, and events. They understand what you say to them. If they could talk, they would carry on quite a conversation! Many have a sense of humor and you'd swear they were grinning after pulling one of their little pranks!

Independent: Lhasas do not need constant companionship. Yes, they enjoy being with their people but they are also happy to entertain themselves. They love toys and chew bones. They appreciate walks and exercise outside but do not need a great deal of exercise.

Superior: Most know they come from an ancient heritage where they were highly prized. They know they are special, and they expect you to know it too!

Not lap dogs! While their cute expressive faces and lovely coats tend to make people think Lhasas are lap dogs, their looks are deceiving. Those who expect their Lhasa to sit on a pillow and look pretty are in for a surprise. The breed is hardy and independent; dignified and aloof; inquisitive and intelligent; active and interested in the world around them. Most prefer being with you rather than being held (for long periods of time) by you. They want to be your companions and certainly enjoy their share of hugs and cuddles, but make no mistake, the Lhasa Apso is not an ornament or a lap dog and should not be treated as such.

Are Lhasas good with children?

Maybe. It depends on the individual Lhasa and the children in question. Most Lhasa breeders prefer NOT to place their Lhasas in homes where children are very young (under 5 or 6). That is usually because of young children's behavior and breeders trying to protect their puppy from children they do not know.
You can read more by going to this article about Lhasas and children.

Is there a preferred color in this breed?

No. The breed standard says that all colors are to be considered equal. Some breeders have preferred colors, but the majority breed for good temperaments, good health, and sound confirmation before they breed for color. Although the standard does not point it out directly, the requirement of the nose being black precludes a liver-colored Lhasa from being shown.

Is it true that Lhasas change color as they age?

Yes, that is true. Generally, a puppy that is born "brown" will end up being light gold or cream color as an adult. Some blacks will silver out as they age. To read more about color in Lhasa, click here.

What can you tell me about grooming a Lhasa?

I can tell you lots and lots about grooming. But why repeat myself? You will find many of my articles and grooming tips elsewhere on this website.

What is the difference between a pet puppy and a show puppy?

Sometimes there is very little difference in quality. I know I have sold many a show prospect to pet homes simply because I did not have the resources (time, space, and money) to keep, train, and show each show prospect in the litter. Please read this article: What Makes a Puppy a "Show Puppy"? to help you better understand the difference. Often the difference between the "show" and "pet" designation lies in the person who is evaluating the puppy.

Do you guarantee a puppy sold as a show prospect will become a champion?

Absolutely NOT! Once that puppy leaves my house, his training, grooming, and socialization are no longer controlled by me but by his new owner. If you, as the new owner, do not socialize the puppy well to accept the sights, sounds, and smells of dog shows; if you do not teach him to stand for examination by strangers, to let strangers look at his mouth, to walk on a lead, and to stack himself; if you do not condition and groom his coat properly for presentation in the show ring, the dog's chances of winning and earning his championship are vastly diminished. I guarantee that when the puppy leaves my house that I have evaluated his temperament and confirmation and, to the best of my knowledge and ability, have determined that he has the potential to become a champion. Helping him fulfill that potential is up to you, his new owner.

Should I buy a male or a female?

That is entirely up to you. Personally, if I were buying a pet and planning to have it neutered/spayed, I wouldn't care which sex it was. I'd just pick out whichever puppy in the litter appealed to me most. I did a quick survey years ago about male vs female. You can read the results by clicking here.

What are some things I should consider if I want to add a second Lhasa to our family?

Think about your current Lhasa's age, sex, and personality. If you have an older Lhasa, has he/she been around puppies or younger dogs? What was his/her reaction to them? Is your current Lhasa jealous of attention you get from other pets? Do you have the resources (time, temperament, money) to raise, train, and provide veterinary care for more than one pet? Do you want a male or female? Read more about getting a second Lhasa.

How often do you have puppies? Do you keep a waiting list?

We generally breed two or three litters a year. Yes, we keep a waiting list. Since we breed only two or three litters in a year, many people who ask to be put on a list find a puppy while they are waiting for our puppies to be born and for me to notify them. It saves us all a lot of time if people who are interested in one of our puppies maintain contact via email every other month or so. We appreciate the contact and have made a lot of new friends as people await our next litter!

Do you ship your puppies?


How soon do you let your puppies leave home? When can we come to visit and choose our puppy?

We do not allow the puppies to leave until they are at least 9 weeks old and have had at least one of their puppy vaccinations. If you live close enough to visit, you may come to see the puppies when they are between 7 and 8 weeks old. However, we generally discourage such visits because if you are not the first person to be able to choose your puppy, you run the risk of falling in love with a puppy that might not be available to you. We usually take pictures of the puppies and will post the pictures on the blog so you can see how they are growing and what they look like.

How much are your puppies?

You should probably email me for current prices, just in case I am behind on updating this web site! The price for pet puppies $1800, plus the sales tax Illinois requires dog breeders to charge. In our county the tax is 9%.($162)

We also require buyers to agree to register their puppies with AKC within 30 days of buying the puppy. If you can't agree to do this or don't intend to follow through on this agreement, please do not come to us for a puppy.

Do you have both parents available for us to see?

We are very proud to show you the parents of the puppy you are buying. The dam is always available, but the sire is available only if one of our own dogs sired the litter. If we sent the dam away to be bred, obviously we cannot show you the sire.

Do you have a health guarantee?

Yes, we do. Click here to see it. Please note that if you are required to have the puppy spayed/neutered, failure to do so by the date indicated on the health certificate voids the guarantee.

How do you decide which buyer gets which puppy?

The first choice of a puppy always goes to me. People buying show puppies get to choose before people buying pet puppies. Otherwise, when you are put on a waiting list for a male or female, you are given a choice in the order in which you appear on the list. Many people make a selection after seeing the puppies' photos. The only exception will be if I think a particular puppy's disposition is not suited for your family. For instance, a very stubborn outgoing puppy does not belong in a home where people want to baby him and are too timid to set boundaries for him. My goal is for both buyers and puppies to have happy lives together!

Explain more about the deposit you mentioned.

I do not take deposits until the puppies are born and I am sure they are thriving. When I am ready to accept deposits, I notify potential buyers by email. A deposit holds a puppy for you and assures you that I will not sell the puppy to another buyer. Deposits must be for at least $100. Fifty dollars of a deposit is non-refundable if you change your mind about getting the puppy. The entire deposit is refundable if a serious health problem shows up during the puppy's health check. The deposit is subtracted from the total amount due for the puppy. The balance is due on the day you come to get the puppy.

Do you ever have adults available for adoption?

Yes we do. We sometimes have both males and females available. They have to go to people who have owned Lhasas previously. We keep a notification list, so email us if you are interested.

Do you have other breeds for sale?

No, we do not. We show and breed only Lhasa Apsos. Please do not inquire about any kind of Lhasa Apso mix. Mixing breeds and breeding "designer dogs" (which are nothing but mutts with cute names that people and pet shops are charging exorbitant prices for) is against everything we stand for. If you disagree, do not bother to inquire about our puppies.

Where is Macomb, Illinois?

Ha! We get this question a lot! Macomb is in west central Illinois at least 75 miles from any major city (e.g., Peoria, Moline, Springfield). Macomb's claims to fame are Western Illinois University and the historic Macomb downtown square, courthouse, and park. How do you get here? All I can say is look on a map and follow either highway 67 or 136. One of them will bring you here. If you are flying in to pick up your puppy, you will have to make a connection to an airport in Peoria, Bloomington, Springfield, or Moline, IL or Burlington, IA. All are within a one and a half hour drive. If you fly into Chicago or St. Louis, you'll have a four hour drive to Macomb. We do not recommend flying into Quincy.

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Joyslyn's Lhasa Apsos
Joyce and Lynn Johanson
Phone: (309) 837-1665