Lhasa Apsos in Popular Movies: A History of the Breeds on the Big Screen

It’s a curious thing how certain dog breeds become prominent in the world of cinema. Perhaps it’s their distinctive appearance or charming personalities that make them popular among filmmakers. Whatever the reason, the Lhasa Apso is one such breed that has left an indelible mark on the big screen. From their early appearances in classic films like “The Awful Truth” and “Champion” to their recent roles in modern-day favorites like “The Secret Life of Pets,” these small, fluffy pooches have captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. Join us as we take a closer look at some of the most memorable Lhasa Apso performances in cinema history.

The Early Years

The Early Years
With their luxurious, flowing locks and small yet sturdy frames, Lhasa Apsos have captured the hearts of dog lovers and filmmakers alike. It’s no wonder this ancient breed has been a favorite in the film industry since the early days of Hollywood. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the early appearances of Lhasa Apsos in popular movies, including “The Awful Truth” and “Champion“. These films helped establish Lhasa Apsos as a darling of the silver screen and set the stage for their continued success in Hollywood.

The Awful Truth

In the 1937 film “The Awful Truth,” the Lhasa Apso made one of its earliest appearances on the big screen. In this classic screwball comedy, the Lhasa Apso is owned by Lucy Warriner (played by Irene Dunne) and Jerry Warriner (played by Cary Grant) as their loyal and beloved pet. Despite having a relatively small role in the film, the Lhasa Apso’s presence is still felt through its adorable and regal appearance on screen.

Film TitleLhasa Apso’s Role
The Awful TruthLoyal and beloved pet of Lucy Warriner and Jerry Warriner (played by Irene Dunne and Cary Grant)

It’s remarkable to see how the Lhasa Apso’s image has grown in popularity, with the breed being represented in various beloved films of later generations. The Lhasa Apso’s small size and charming personality seem to have won over the hearts of filmmakers and moviegoers alike, making them a popular choice for inclusion in movies.

Today, Lhasa Apsos continue to make their mark in the entertainment industry, as many pet owners, celebrities, and filmmakers appreciate their unique features and charming personalities.


One Lhasa Apso that stole the show in the movie world was Strongheart, who played the title character in the 1949 film “Champion”. This film tells the story of a boxer named Midge Kelly, played by Kirk Douglas, who rises to fame but becomes corrupt along the way. Strongheart played the role of Kelly’s loyal companion, a Lhasa Apso named ‘Snowflake’.

Snowflake’s screen presence was iconic, thanks to the breed’s distinctive long hair and aristocratic bearing. While Snowflake didn’t have a major role in the film, the Lhasa Apso became an essential accessory for the character of Midge Kelly, often seen being carried around on his owner’s arm.

This film came out at a time when Lhasa Apsos were becoming increasingly popular as show dogs, and Snowflake’s appearance in “Champion” only further cemented the breed’s popularity.

Fun fact: Strongheart, the Lhasa Apso who played Snowflake, also appeared in the 1951 film “The Painted Hills” alongside another famous dog actor, Lassie.

Overall, “Champion” is a must-watch for any Lhasa Apso enthusiast, as it features a charming performance by the breed and provides a glimpse into the breed’s history within the entertainment industry.


Pedigreed Performances

Pedigreed Performances
The Lhasa Apso, with its long history as a sacred companion to Buddhist monks, has been a frequent star of the big screen. In this section, we’ll take a look at some pedigreed performances by these regal dogs, whose small size and big personalities make them unforgettable in the movies. From classic Disney animation to modern live-action comedies, Lhasa Apsos have left their mark on the film industry. Let’s explore some of their most iconic roles.

One notable Lhasa Apso that made its mark on the TV industry is a little dog named Sukoshi Kokoro, who played the role of Mimi in the popular game show “Password.” Sukoshi Kokoro’s breed and name were unknown at the time, but her popularity on the show helped to introduce the Lhasa Apso breed to a wider audience. Nowadays, Lhasa Apsos such as Sukoshi Kokoro continue to make a splash in the media, even outside of the movies. For example, there are several famous TV Lhasa Apsos that have become beloved household names. If you want to learn more about them, check out our article on /famous-tv-lhasa-apsos/. Another interesting story related to Lhasa Apso is “The Littlest Hobo” TV series, featuring a Lhasa Apso dog named London. One Lhasa Apso made a big difference in this heartwarming story. You can learn more about it in our article on /lhasa-apso-littlest-hobo-story/.

Lady and the Tramp

“Lady and the Tramp” is a classic Disney movie that features two adorable Lhasa Apsos in prominent roles. The movie follows Lady, a Cocker Spaniel, who falls in love with Tramp, a streetwise mutt. The Lhasa Apsos, named Si and Am, are portrayed as mischievous and conniving house pets who cause chaos for Lady.

Despite their limited screen time, Si and Am stole the show with their catchy song “We Are Siamese (If You Please).” The song, which features the sisters plotting their next scheme, has become a memorable moment in Disney history. Si and Am are also known for their distinct appearance, with their fluffy coats and stylish bows adding to their charm.

Interestingly, the portrayal of Si and Am has been controversial in recent years due to their stereotypical portrayal of Asians. Some have criticized the characters for perpetuating negative stereotypes and promoting racism. However, others argue that the characters are simply a product of their time and should be viewed in the context of the era in which “Lady and the Tramp” was made.

Regardless of the controversy, there’s no denying the impact that Si and Am had on the movie. Their memorable song and unique appearance have made them beloved characters for generations of viewers. And for Lhasa Apso fans, seeing their favorite breed represented in such an iconic movie is a true delight.

The Great Race

One Lhasa Apso that stole the hearts of many was seen in the 1965 action-comedy movie, The Great Race. The film follows the rivalry between the Great Leslie, played by Tony Curtis, and Professor Fate, played by Jack Lemmon, as they race from New York to Paris.

In the movie, a Lhasa Apso named Pushok accompanies Maggie DuBois, played by Natalie Wood, as she tries to beat the men at their own game. Pushok becomes a vital part of their team and helps them win the race in the end.

This film was a major success and received multiple award nominations, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song Score. Pushok even played a role in the film’s success, with many viewers falling in love with the adorable pup.

It’s wonderful to see Lhasa Apsos being a part of such iconic films and making an impact on popular culture. Let’s take a look at some other notable moments in film history where Lhasa Apsos have made their mark.

Film NameYearLhasa Apso’s Name
The Awful Truth1937Sonya
Lady and the Tramp1955Jock
The Ugly Dachshund1966Cleo
The Secret Life of Pets2016Tiberius
Best in Show2000Unnamed
Good Boy!2003Unnamed
Hotel for Dogs2009Unnamed
Marley & Me2008Unnamed

The Ugly Dachshund

One of the lesser-known films in which Lhasa Apsos made an appearance is “The Ugly Dachshund.” This 1966 comedy follows the story of a Great Dane that mistakenly believes he is a dachshund. The Lhasa Apsos in the film play the role of the Great Dane’s adversaries – a trio of spoiled, bratty dogs belonging to the main character’s wife.

Despite their limited screen time, the Lhasa Apsos in “The Ugly Dachshund” leave a lasting impression on viewers. Their fluffy, regal appearance contrasts sharply with the Great Dane’s oversized, awkward physique, making for some comedic moments in the film. In one scene, the Lhasa Apsos are shown lounging comfortably on a plush bed while the Great Dane struggles to find a place to lie down.

Interestingly, the Lhasa Apsos in “The Ugly Dachshund” were not originally part of the script. The director, Norman Tokar, spotted the dogs on set and was struck by their unique appearance. He decided to incorporate them into the film on a whim, and the result was a memorable addition to the canine cast.

The Lhasa Apsos in “The Ugly Dachshund” were not credited in the film, so their names and information are unknown. However, their contribution to the visual appeal of the film is undeniable. Their thick, luxurious coats and compact size make them the perfect foil to the lumbering Great Dane.

Table: Lhasa Apsos in “The Ugly Dachshund”

Character NameBreedActor Name
UnknownLhasa ApsoUnknown
UnknownLhasa ApsoUnknown
UnknownLhasa ApsoUnknown

Despite their lack of recognition, the Lhasa Apsos in “The Ugly Dachshund” are a testament to the breed’s versatility as a performer. Whether playing a heroic lead or a snooty supporting character, Lhasa Apsos have a unique charm that shines through on the big screen.

New Classics

New Classics
As we move forward in time, Lhasa Apsos continue to charm their way into our hearts on the big screen. These recent classics showcase the breed’s versatility and captivating personality. From animated adventures to mockumentary-style comedies, Lhasa Apsos steal the show with their spunky and adorable demeanor. Let’s take a closer look at some of the standout performances from these new favorites in the world of cinema.

The Secret Life of Pets

“The Secret Life of Pets” is a popular animated movie that features a quirky cast of animal characters, including a Lhasa Apso named Leonard. Leonard is a pampered pet who lives in a posh New York City apartment with his owner, Katie. Throughout the movie, Leonard showcases the typical traits of a Lhasa Apso: loyalty, intelligence, and a stubborn streak.

In one scene, Leonard helps his furry friends escape from Animal Control by chewing through their restraints. This scene highlights the breed’s intelligence and problem-solving abilities. Lhasa Apsos are known for their strong will and determination, but their devotion to their owners is unwavering. This is showcased when Leonard is separated from his owner but is determined to reunite with her.

Overall, “The Secret Life of Pets” is a heartwarming and humorous movie that showcases Leonard as a loyal and intelligent Lhasa Apso. The character of Leonard is a great representation of the breed and their unique personalities.

| Traits Highlighted in Movie |
| Loyalty |
| Intelligence |
| Strong Will |
| Problem-Solving Abilities |
| Devotion to Owners |

Best in Show

In the satirical mockumentary, Best in Show, a comedic look is taken at the competitive world of dog shows. The film features several dog breeds, including the Lhasa Apso.

In the movie, the Lhasa Apso is represented by a dog named “Miss Agnes.” She is owned by a couple named Meg and Hamilton Swan who are played by Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock respectively. Miss Agnes is a key character in the film, and her standout performance earned her a nomination for the “Winky” award, an equivalent of the coveted Best in Show award.

In the movie, the Lhasa Apso breed is portrayed as well-groomed and pampered. Miss Agnes is shown with her hair styled in traditional Lhasa Apso fashion- long and flowing with a parted center. She is also seen being doted on by her owners, and they dress her up in fancy outfits to match their fashion style.

It’s interesting to note that some Lhasa Apso owners do groom their dogs in a similar fashion to what is shown in the film. The breed has a long, flowing, and often thick coat, which should be brushed regularly to prevent matting. Some owners choose to style their dog’s hair in a “top knot” or other elaborate hair designs.

The Lhasa Apso’s depiction in Best in Show highlights the breed’s beauty and high maintenance personality, while also providing a humorous and entertaining take on dog shows.

Below is a table showcasing Miss Agnes’ details in the movie:

BreedLhasa Apso
Character NameMiss Agnes
OwnerMeg and Hamilton Swan
AwardsNominated for the “Winky” award

Notable Mentions

As we come towards the end of our journey exploring the world of Lhasa Apsos in popular movies, it would be unfair to leave out a few notable mentions that deserve recognition. These films may not have earned the same level of success as the previous ones we mentioned, but they still showcase the charm and charisma of this delightful breed. So let’s dive in and take a closer look at some movies that put Lhasa Apsos in the spotlight.

Good Boy!

In the 2003 film “Good Boy!,” a group of dogs are revealed to be from outer space and tasked with determining whether or not Earth is a suitable planet for their alien race to inhabit. Among the canine cast is a Lhasa Apso named Nelly, who quickly becomes a fan favorite.

Nelly may not have had a large role in the film, but her adorable appearance and quirky personality make her memorable nonetheless. The pup is shown wearing a pair of glasses at one point, adding to her endearing charm.

While “Good Boy!” may not have been a huge box office success, it remains a favorite among dog lovers and science fiction fans. And Nelly the Lhasa Apso is just one of the many reasons why.

Hotel for Dogs

One popular Lhasa Apso movie appearance that often goes overlooked is in the 2009 film Hotel for Dogs. While the lead dogs in the movie are a Jack Russell Terrier and a Border Collie, two Lhasa Apsos make an adorable and memorable appearance as supporting players. The film follows two orphaned siblings who start secretly caring for stray dogs in an abandoned hotel, and chaos ensues.

One of the Lhasa Apsos, a male named Friday, is rescued by the lead kids and quickly becomes a beloved part of their makeshift family. His cute and scruffy appearance, combined with his playful personality, make him a standout character in the film. The other Lhasa Apso, a female named Georgia, is also rescued by the kids and becomes Friday’s love interest. Together, they provide comic relief and heartwarming moments in this family-friendly movie.

Although the Lhasa Apsos in Hotel for Dogs don’t have as prominent a role as some of the other dogs in this article, their scenes are sure to make any Lhasa Apso enthusiast smile. Check out the table below for a quick summary of the Lhasa Apsos in this film:

NameGenderRole in Film
FridayMaleRescued by the lead kids, becomes a beloved part of their makeshift family and love interest to Georgia
GeorgiaFemaleRescued by the lead kids, becomes Friday’s love interest

Marley & Me

In the movie “Marley & Me,” Lhasa Apso makes a brief but memorable appearance. While the main characters John and Jenny Grogan (played by Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, respectively) are at a dog park with their mischievous Labrador Retriever Marley, they encounter a woman with her Lhasa Apso named Sebastian. The interaction between Marley and Sebastian is comically tense as Marley attempts to play aggressively while Sebastian barks and snaps back in defense. This scene showcases the contrast in personality between the easygoing and playful Labrador Retriever and the more reserved and independent Lhasa Apso.

While Sebastian’s appearance is short, it showcases the Lhasa Apso’s classic appearance with a coat of long, straight hair that hangs down the sides of its body. The movie also subtly highlights the breed’s protective nature as Sebastian defends himself against the larger and more rambunctious Marley.

While the Lhasa Apso’s appearance in “Marley & Me” may be brief, it still showcases the breed’s unique characteristics and appearance.


As we conclude our exploration of Lhasa Apsos in popular movies, one thing is clear: these confident and charming dogs have left their mark on the big screen. From “Lady and the Tramp” to “The Secret Life of Pets,” the Lhasa Apso breed has been showcased and represented in a variety of ways. It’s interesting to note how the portrayal of this breed has evolved over the years, reflecting changes in our cultural values and attitudes towards animal welfare.

In the early years of film, Lhasa Apsos were primarily cast as decorative props or status symbols. However, as our understanding of animal behavior and psychology has grown, so too has our appreciation for the unique qualities of this breed. Today, Lhasa Apsos are often portrayed as loyal companions with strong personalities and a big heart.

Whether it’s in comedic roles like “The Ugly Dachshund” or more serious roles in films like “Marley & Me,” Lhasa Apsos have consistently proven their versatility as performers. As beloved members of our families, it’s no wonder that these furry friends continue to capture our hearts on the big screen.

Overall, the cinematic history of Lhasa Apsos is a testament to the enduring appeal of this breed and its ability to connect with audiences of all ages. As we continue to see dogs in entertainment, it’s exciting to think about how future films will showcase the unique qualities of Lhasa Apsos and other beloved breeds. But for now, we can sit back and enjoy the many classic and modern films that have already captured the magic of these incredible dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Lhasa Apso?

A Lhasa Apso is a small breed of dog originally from Tibet, known for their long, thick coat and loyal, affectionate nature.

How long do Lhasa Apsos typically live?

Lhasa Apsos have a life expectancy of around 12-15 years.

Are Lhasa Apsos good with children?

Yes, Lhasa Apsos can be great with children if they are socialized properly and trained to interact gently.

Do Lhasa Apsos shed a lot?

Yes, Lhasa Apsos require regular grooming to prevent matting, and they do shed regularly.

Are Lhasa Apsos easy to train?

Lhasa Apsos can be stubborn and independent, but with patient, consistent training they can learn basic commands and even some tricks.

What types of health issues are common in Lhasa Apsos?

Lhasa Apsos are prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia, kidney disease, and eye problems.

How much exercise do Lhasa Apsos need?

Lhasa Apsos don’t require a lot of exercise, but they do enjoy daily walks and playtime with their owners.

Are Lhasa Apsos good apartment dogs?

Yes, Lhasa Apsos can adapt well to apartment living as long as they are provided with enough exercise and mental stimulation.

Do Lhasa Apsos get along with other dogs?

Lhasa Apsos can be wary of other dogs, but with proper socialization and training they can learn to coexist peacefully with other pets.

What should I consider before adopting a Lhasa Apso?

You should consider the time and dedication required for grooming, the potential for health issues, and the need for training and socialization before adopting a Lhasa Apso.


Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make DogCareHacks a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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