The Lhasa Apso originated many centuries ago in isolated regions of the Himalayas as a companion and sentinel in Buddhist monasteries and houses of Tibetan nobility. They arrived in the U.S. in 1933 as gifts from the 13th Dalai Lama. They retain their status and companion and guardian today and are appreciated for their cheerful but independent natures and zest for activities such as agility that challenge their sharp minds and engage their athleticism. Apartment living can suit them just fine as long as they get regular exercise. They make excellent family pets but are naturally protective and do best in a family with older children. Their beautiful mantle of hair comes in a wide range of colors and needs frequent brushing and maintenance unless kept in a lower maintenance “puppy cut”.