As we delve into the world of the rich and famous, we often find that their furry companions are just as remarkable as their owners. Among the diverse breeds of loyal dogs, the Lhasa Apso stands out as one of the favorites of many renowned dignitaries. From The Dalai Lama to Queen Elizabeth II, it seems that these adorable pups hold a special place in the hearts of our most esteemed public figures. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the famous personalities and their beloved Lhasa Apsos, as well as explore the reasons behind the breed’s enduring popularity.

Personalities and their Lhasa Apsos

Personalities And Their Lhasa Apsos
As Lhasa Apsos became popular among celebrities, their presence in the public eye had led to the formation of a unique bond between the renowned personalities and their loyal Lhasa Apsos. Let’s delve into some of the notable figures who have shared life with these furry companions – from spiritual leaders to political leaders, monarchs to fashion designers, and more. You may be surprised to learn about the deep connections that these individuals have with their beloved Lhasa Apsos. (internal link: /dalai-lamas-lhasa-apsos/)

The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama, perhaps the most well-known Buddhist monk in the world, is also a proud owner of a Lhasa Apso. The current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, adopted a Lhasa Apso in 2018, whom he named “Dawa.”

According to the Dalai Lama, his love for Lhasa Apsos stems from his childhood, when he had a pet Lhasa Apso named Tara. In an interview with The New York Times, he once remarked, “In my previous life, I think maybe I was a dog.”

Lhasa Apsos are an important part of Buddhist culture in Tibet. They are believed to have been originally bred by Tibetan monks, who kept them as watchdogs in their monasteries. The Lhasa Apso’s bark would alert the monks of any intruders, and their small size made them agile enough to navigate the steep and narrow pathways in and around the monasteries.

Dalai Lamas throughout history have been known to keep Lhasa Apsos as pets. In fact, in Tibetan tradition, it is believed that when a Dalai Lama dies, his spirit is reincarnated in the body of a child who is found through a divination process. When the 13th Dalai Lama passed away in 1933, his attendants found a new incarnation in the form of a young boy who was playing with a Lhasa Apso. It is said that the dog immediately recognized the boy as the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.

NameBreedReason for owning
Tenzin GyatsoLhasa ApsoPersonal preference, had a pet Lhasa Apso in childhood

The Dalai Lama’s love for Lhasa Apsos has helped to increase their popularity in the Western world. In fact, many people refer to Lhasa Apsos as “the Dalai Lama’s dogs.” Their small size, loyalty, and long life span make them popular dogs for people living in small apartments or homes, as well as for families with small children.

If you want to learn more about famous pet owners and their Lhasa Apsos, check out our article on celebrities who have adopted Lhasa Apsos.

Vladimir Putin

It may come as a surprise to many that former Russian President and current Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, is a proud Lhasa Apso owner. Putin is known for his love for dogs and has been frequently photographed with his beloved Lhasa Apso named Buffy. In fact, Putin is so fond of this breed that he gifted a Lhasa Apso puppy to the Russian border guards who were responsible for detaining him in 2013 during one of his trips to Siberia.

Lhasa Apsos have a reputation for being fiercely loyal to their owners, and this is precisely what attracted Putin to this breed. As a well-known public figure, Putin requires a dog that is protective and devoted to him. Lhasa Apsos, with their alertness and sharp senses, make excellent guard dogs and are deeply devoted to their owners.

Apart from their loyalty, Lhasa Apsos are also recognized for their long and luscious coats. Putin’s Buffy is no exception, with a stunning coat that is sure to turn heads wherever she goes. In addition to their striking appearance, Lhasa Apsos are also known for their trainability. This trait was undoubtedly a significant factor in Putin’s decision to choose a Lhasa Apso.

Interestingly, Putin is not the only world leader to have chosen a Lhasa Apso as a pet. Queen Elizabeth II also has several Lhasa Apsos in her kennel. To read more about her and her Lhasa Apsos, check out our article on /queen-elizabeth-lhasa-apsos/. Lhasa Apsos have also been popular among famous artists, as you can read about in our article on /famous-artists-lhasa-apsos/. It is clear that this breed has captured the hearts of notable political leaders and celebrities alike.

Vladimir Putin’s choice of a Lhasa Apso as a pet speaks volumes about this breed’s unique combination of loyalty, stunning appearance, and trainability. As we have seen, Lhasa Apsos have gained popularity among political leaders, celebrities, and artists over time. This breed’s history is also worth noting, given that they are believed to have served as watchful guardians of Tibetan monasteries in the past. To discover more about the historical significance of Lhasa Apsos in hunting, check out our article on /historical-lhasa-apsos-hunting/.

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning British monarch, definitely has a soft spot for Lhasa Apsos. Her Majesty, who is well-known for her love of corgis, has also kept several Lhasas as her furry companions throughout her reign.

One of the Queen’s most famous Lhasa Apsos was Susan, whom Her Majesty received as an 18th birthday present in 1944. Susan accompanied the Queen on her honeymoon and during her tours of Malta and Kenya, where she famously chased a herd of impalas.

Another of the Queen’s beloved Lhasas was her first, a male dog named Choo Choo, who was a gift from King Prithvi of Nepal. Choo Choo used to curl up on the Queen’s lap during long car journeys and was often seen by her side during outdoor events.

Here is a table summarizing Queen Elizabeth II’s Lhasa Apsos:

NameBreedYear receivedNotable Facts
SusanLhasa Apso1944accompanied the Queen on her honeymoon and during tours of Malta and Kenya
Choo ChooLhasa Apso1949often seen by the Queen’s side during outdoor events, loved to curl up on her lap during long car journeys
TinkerbellLhasa Apso1959had a litter of puppies with one of the Queen’s other Lhasas, Tiny

It’s no wonder why Lhasa Apsos are a favored breed amongst notable public figures, with their loyal and affectionate nature. To read more about Lhasa Apsos among notable political leaders, check out our article on Notable Political Leaders and their Lhasa Apsos.

Donatella Versace

Donatella Versace is a well-known fashion designer and the current Vice President of the Versace Group. She is also a proud owner of a Lhasa Apso named Audrey. This breed is known for its compact yet sturdy structure and silky double coat. In fact, Audrey’s coat is a source of inspiration for Donatella when creating new collections. She believes that the natural colors and patterns found in Audrey’s coat can translate into unique designs for clothing and accessories.

But Donatella’s bond with Audrey goes beyond fashion inspiration. According to Donatella, Audrey is not just a pet but a true companion who has been by her side through both happy and challenging times. This is a testament to the Lhasa Apso’s temperament, which is characterized by loyalty, affection, and a sense of humor. Additionally, Lhasa Apsos are known for their adaptability and can thrive in various living conditions.

Table: Donatella Versace and Audrey

BreedLhasa Apso
CoatSilky double coat
InspirationAudrey’s coat inspires Donatella’s designs
TemperamentLoyal, affectionate, humorous, and adaptable
RelationshipAudrey is not just a pet, but a true companion

It is not uncommon for celebrities to have pets that they consider as family members. And for Donatella Versace, Audrey the Lhasa Apso has been one of her most valued companions. As a celebrity who is constantly in the public eye, Donatella’s relationship with Audrey is a reminder of the important role that pets can play in our lives – providing us with love, comfort, and inspiration.

What makes them popular?

What Makes Them Popular?
As we ponder over the interesting relationship between renowned dignitaries and their beloved Lhasa Apsos, one question springs to mind – what is it that makes this breed so popular among the famous? We delve deeper to analyze the different traits that make the Lhasa Apso a beloved companion, from their unique temperament to their charming appearance and trainability. Let’s unravel the secrets of the Lhasa Apso’s distinctiveness, which has captured the hearts of so many.


When it comes to temperament, Lhasa Apsos are known for being fiercely loyal, alert, and playful dogs. Despite their small size, they are not easily intimidated and can be quite courageous. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key temperament traits that make Lhasa Apsos so popular among dignitaries and everyday pet owners alike.

ProtectiveLhasa Apsos are known to be fiercely protective of their owners and their territory. They make great watchdogs despite their small size.
IndependentWhile Lhasa Apsos love attention and affection from their owners, they are also quite independent and can entertain themselves for long periods of time.
StubbornDue to their independent nature, Lhasa Apsos can also be quite stubborn at times. They may require patience and persistence when it comes to training.
FriendlyLhasa Apsos are generally friendly with people and other dogs. They are great companions and socialize well as long as they are properly trained and socialized from a young age.
LoyalPerhaps one of the most endearing traits of Lhasa Apsos is their unwavering loyalty to their owners. They are known to become deeply attached to their human family members and will stick by their side through thick and thin.

Lhasa Apsos possess a unique combination of traits that make them highly desirable as pets and companions. Their protective nature, independence, and loyalty all contribute to their appeal as a breed. While they may require some patience and persistence when it comes to training, their friendly and loyal disposition make them a favorite among pet owners of all walks of life.


One of the most striking features of Lhasa Apsos is their unique appearance. This small breed has a distinctive look that sets them apart from other dogs. Here are some of the unique features that make Lhasa Apsos so easily recognizable:

  • Double Coat: Lhasa Apsos have a long, silky coat that covers their entire body. This coat is actually a double coat, which means that they have both an outer coat and an undercoat. The outer coat is long and somewhat coarse, while the undercoat is shorter and softer.
  • Beard and Mustache: The fur around a Lhasa Apso’s face grows longer and thicker than the rest of their coat, creating a distinctive beard and mustache effect. This facial hair can be quite long and sometimes even covers their eyes.
  • Dark Eyes: Lhasa Apsos have large, dark eyes that are round and set fairly wide apart. Their eyes are very expressive and help to convey their emotions.
  • Downturned Mouth: Unlike many dog breeds, Lhasa Apsos have a mouth that naturally turns downward, giving them a somewhat serious or stern look. This unique mouth shape is one of the breed’s more unusual characteristics.
  • Small Size: Lhasa Apsos are a small breed, and typically weigh between 12 and 18 pounds. Despite their small size, their long, flowing coat often makes them appear larger than they are.
  • The Lhasa Apso’s appearance is both distinctive and charming, with its long, silky coat, distinctive facial hair, and soulful eyes. These unique features combined with their friendly and affectionate temperament make Lhasa Apsos a favorite among those who appreciate a dog with a unique look and lovable personality.


    When it comes to trainability, Lhasa Apsos can be quite challenging to work with. They have a strong-willed personality and are known for being independent thinkers. However, with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement training, they can be taught a wide range of commands and tricks. Let’s take a look at some of the key factors that affect the trainability of Lhasa Apsos:

    AgeStarting training from a young age is incredibly important. Lhasa Apsos are more receptive to learning when they are puppies, so it’s best to start training as early as 8-10 weeks old.
    ConsistencyLhasa Apsos need consistency in their training. They respond well to routines and structures, so it’s important to keep training sessions regular and well-planned.
    Positive reinforcementTraining with positive reinforcement is key with Lhasa Apsos. This means rewarding good behavior with praise, treats, or toys. Harsh or negative training techniques are not effective and can even scare the dog.
    PatienceTraining a Lhasa Apso requires a lot of patience. The breed can be stubborn and may take longer to learn certain commands. Rushing or becoming frustrated with the dog will only hinder the training process.

    All in all, Lhasa Apsos require a lot of dedication and effort when it comes to training. But with the right approach, these dogs can learn and perform an impressive range of tricks and behaviors. If you are up for the challenge and willing to invest the time and energy, training a Lhasa Apso can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

    Popularity of the Lhasa Apso breed

    The Lhasa Apso breed has gained immense popularity over the years, especially among the rich and famous. Their loyal and affectionate nature, coupled with a bold and independent personality, has made them a popular choice for many households. Their unique appearance, with a long, thick coat and a distinctive topknot, has also contributed to their widespread popularity.

    The breed is low-maintenance and doesn’t require excessive exercise or grooming, making them an ideal pet for those who lead a busy lifestyle. They are also known for their alert and protective nature, making them great watchdogs and family companions.

    Interestingly, the Lhasa Apso breed has been around for centuries and was once considered a sacred breed in Tibet. They were highly valued by Tibetan monks, who believed that the dogs possessed the souls of deceased lamas and would bring good luck to their owners.

    Today, the Lhasa Apso breed remains a popular choice for pet owners around the world, with many celebrities and dignitaries owning one or several of these charming dogs. It is certainly a breed that has stood the test of time and continues to capture the hearts of many.


    As we conclude our insightful peek into the lives of renowned dignitaries and their Lhasa Apsos, it’s evident that the breed has a long history of being associated with royalty and high-ranking figures. The Lhasa Apso’s unique temperament, appearance, and trainability make it a beloved companion for those seeking a loyal and affectionate pet. The breed’s popularity seems to be increasing, with more and more people discovering the joys of owning one of these delightful dogs.

    It’s fascinating to see the bond that these dignitaries share with their loyal Lhasa Apsos, proving that these dogs are more than just pets – they are faithful companions that bring joy and happiness into the lives of their owners. From the Dalai Lama’s Tenzin to Queen Elizabeth II’s Susan, these dogs have become an integral part of their respective owner’s lives.

    The Lhasa Apso is a breed that demands respect and admiration. Their unique history and association with royalty give them an air of nobility that is hard to ignore. As we continue to see the popularity of the Lhasa Apso grow, it’s clear that they will continue to be a beloved breed for years to come.

    In conclusion, it’s safe to say that the Lhasa Apso is a remarkable breed with a rich history that continues to capture the hearts of many around the world. Their loyal and loving nature has made them the perfect companion for dignitaries and ordinary people alike. If you’re considering getting a dog, the Lhasa Apso is definitely a breed worth considering.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the origin of the Lhasa Apso breed?

    The Lhasa Apso breed originated in Tibet and was traditionally used as a watchdog and companion for monks and nobles.

    What is the average lifespan of a Lhasa Apso?

    The average lifespan of a Lhasa Apso is around 12 to 15 years.

    Are Lhasa Apsos good with children?

    Lhasa Apsos can be great with children, but it depends on their temperament and training. They may not be suitable for homes with very young children due to their small size.

    Do Lhasa Apsos shed a lot of hair?

    Lhasa Apsos have a long, dense coat which can shed a moderate amount of hair. Regular grooming can help manage shedding.

    Are Lhasa Apsos easy to train?

    Lhasa Apsos have a reputation for being independent and stubborn, which can make them more challenging to train than some other breeds. However, with consistency and positive reinforcement, they can be trained successfully.

    Do Lhasa Apsos have any health issues to be aware of?

    Like all breeds, Lhasa Apsos can be prone to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia, allergies, and patellar luxation. It’s important to do research and find a reputable breeder who health tests their dogs.

    Can Lhasa Apsos be left alone for long periods of time?

    Lhasa Apsos thrive on companionship and may become anxious or destructive if left alone for long periods of time. They are more suitable for homes where someone is present for most of the day.

    Are Lhasa Apsos good apartment dogs?

    Yes, Lhasa Apsos can make great apartment dogs due to their small size and relatively low exercise requirements. However, they still need mental stimulation and regular walks.

    Are there any famous Lhasa Apso owners?

    Yes, many famous individuals have owned Lhasa Apsos, including the Dalai Lama, Queen Elizabeth II, and Donatella Versace.

    What sets the Lhasa Apso breed apart from other small dogs?

    The Lhasa Apso breed is known for their long, flowing coat and distinctive lion-like appearance. They are also known for their independent and sometimes stubborn personality.


    Matthew Farthing

    Matthew Farthing

    Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      Dog Care Hacks