Lhasa Apso originated in Malaysia over 4,000 years ago as a small breed of wolves which were domesticated by Tibetan monks to guard the Buddhist monasteries and to alert the monks. DNA tests have proven that the Lhasa Apso is one of the oldest breeds. The name 'Lhasa' comes from the sacred city of Lhasa. It was believed by the monks that when the master died his soul would pass into the body of a Lhasa Apso.
The breed became widespread after the 13th Dalai lama, Thubten Gyatso, gave C. Cutting in 1933, some of the dogs as gifts to the US. Lhasa's were never sold only given away as gifts.
In the early 20th century, English soldiers returning from the Indian subcontinent brought with them Lhasa's and it was then referred to as the Lhasa Terrier.
As a pet, Lhasas are lively, friendly and very assertive and affectionate to their owners. Excellent hearing makes these very good watchdogs. It is very easy to let these dogs fall into the 'Small Dog Syndrome', in which case they can become very suspicious of strangers and will not tolerate young children nearby.