Lhasa apsos have long, flowing coats that require constant grooming. Lhasa owners who do not show their dogs usually keep them in a shorter hairstyle. This breed's hair tends to mat easily without frequent brushing, so a shorter hairdo is easier for both pups and people.
Long or Short?
A Lhasa apso in full coat is beautiful, but a properly trimmed Lhasa can look just as attractive. Lhasa hair sheds little, which is good for people with allergies but bad for the dog if his coat it isn't brushed several times a week. The Lhasa coat can be trimmed in several variations to match your dog's comfort and your convenience. Have the dog's coat trimmed by a professional groomer who is familiar with Lhasa coats several times a year to avoid removing mats or tangles in long hair, which can be painful for your dog.
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Lhasa apso hair can be trimmed close to the skin in a puppy cut or left slightly longer to maintain more of a typical Lhasa look. Have the hair trimmed close on the dog's body, legs and face for a puppy cut, or ask the groomer to leave a few inches of hair all over for a more fluffy look. Trim the hair on the ears evenly for both looks. Trim the muzzle around the nose and eyes, leaving the dog with a short beard. Use a combination of the two styles according to your preference. For instance, many Lhasas sport short hair on the body but longer hair on the legs and head.
Lhasa Coat Growth
Begin early to bathe and brush your Lhasa puppy so he is used to grooming. A Lhasa puppy won't need a haircut until he's about 9 months old, although he should be bathed and brushed weekly until then. His adult coat will grow in between 9 months of age and his first birthday. It will be harsher and more wiry than his puppy coat. An adult Lhasa will have a double coat with a soft undercoat and a coarse outercoat. If your pup is clipped, his coat will feel softer than a Lhasa with a long outercoat.
Owning a Lhasa apso is a commitment to grooming. These dogs need to be bathed once a week and brushed daily if the hair is long, or two to three times a week if it's clipped. Bathe your dog with a shampoo made for dogs and blow the coat dry on a low setting. Never brush the coat dry; mist it first with water or spray conditioner. If you opt for a shorter cut, a trim will be required two to three times a year to keep the coat in shape. Choose a groomer who is experienced with Lhasa coats and cuts. Trim the hair on your Lhasa's feet weekly, underneath the paw and between the pads.