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How to Groom a Lhasa Apso

| Updated September 26, 2017

The Lhasa apso is a big dog in a small dog package, with a coat to match. The Lhasa coat is labor-intensive if it's kept long and requires daily grooming. If you like the breed but not the grooming, the Lhasa can be kept in a shorter haircut.

Start with Bathing

A Lhasa apso requires regular bathing to prevent dirt gathering in the coat, as well as mats and tangles. Plan to give your Lhasa a bath at least once a month or more. Bathe the coat carefully to avoid creating tangles.

Brush or comb the dog before bathing to remove any mats or tangles.

Place the dog in the tub. Use a rubber mat to give him secure footing.

Wet the coat with warm water, directing the spray downward to avoid creating tangles.

Add a shampoo designed for dogs to the coat and work down in the direction the coat falls to lather. Don't rub the coat in a circular motion or it could knot.

Rinse well with warm water. Squeeze the excess water from the coat and blot dry with a towel. Avoid rubbing up and down.

Finish drying the coat with a blow dryer set on low. Lay the dog on his side to dry the hair in layers.

Tools for Grooming

Teach your Lhasa pup early that grooming will be part of his life. Begin training him with treats and praise to lie down on a flat surface for brushing. Keep early grooming sessions short until he's accustomed to it. You'll want several grooming tools to maintain his coat.

  • pin brush
  • slicker brush
  • metal comb with wide and fine teeth
  • spray bottle
  • nail clippers or grinder
  • toothbrush and toothpaste for dogs
  • scissors
  • small elastic bands or barrettes

Daily Maintenance

Plan to brush your Lhasa once a day. Lay him on his side and part the coat starting at his stomach. Mix some conditioner or detangler with water in a spray bottle and spritz the area lightly. Brush in layers, working up his body and legs on each side. Finish with his head and ears, and go over his body with a slicker brush.


  • Work through mats or tangles with a metal comb. Gently pull apart knots before combing with the pointed end of a comb or your fingers. Remove mats when the hair is dry; they're much more difficult when it's wet.

Lhasa Feet

The hair on your Lhasa's paws grows quickly. Trim the hair between his paw pads and around the edge of his paws with scissors. Lhasa nails also grow fast, so trim them at least every two weeks. These chores will be simpler for you and your dog if performed when he's lying on his side.

Teeth, Ears and Eyes

Brush your dog's teeth daily using a toothpaste designed for dogs and a child's soft toothbrush. Introduce the toothbrush when he's young to get him used to it. Check his ears regularly for cleanliness and clean gently as needed. Ask your vet to pluck the dense hair inside the ears to help keep them clean.

Keep the hair out of your Lhasa's eyes with elastic bands or barrettes, or braid it to keep it back.

Puppy Cut

You can reduce grooming time by having your dog professionally trimmed to keep his coat shorter. The puppy cut is typically used for Lhasa apsos. This cut shortens the hair all over the body and face. Your Lhasa will still require regular bathing and brushing, but the task will take less time than if your dog's hair is long.