The Lhasa Apso, also known as the Abso Seng Kye (Barking Lion Sentinal Dog), has its origins in Tibet, and is named after Lhasa, the capital city of that country. Despite its size, the Lhasa Apso was bred as a palace and monastery guard dog and its history can be traced back several thousand years. The Lhasa was so highly regarded that it was once considered that the souls of their owners entered their dog’s bodies upon their passing from this world to the next.

Not until the early 1930s did the Lhasa Apso appear outside of its native Tibet. Prior to that, its exportation was forbidden because of the breed’s holy status.