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Tibetan Kyi Apso Dog – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Large
Weight: Must not exceed 100 pounds
Height: Must not exceed 28 inches
Longevity: 12
Bark Tendency: Medium to High
Aggression: Medium to High
Compatibility to other pets: Low

Adopt a Tibetan Kyi Apso, Dog Breed Guide


The Tibetan Kyi Apso is dog breed that was used by nomadic tribes in Tibet as the first line of defense against strangers, intruders and predatory animals. They alarm their masters by letting out a loud and monotonous warning bark! These dogs were made to wear thick red collars that are made by the tribes residing on Tibet’s High Plateau from yak wool. This collar serves as protection when these dogs battle ferocious predators such as snow leopards and packs of wolves.

Currently there are two Types of Tibetan Kyi Apso that are being breed:

The American line of this breed is larger than the ones bred in Tibet.

Official Name

Tibetan Kyi Apso


Date – Ancient Times
Country – Tibet
Family / Group – Working, Flock Guardian, Primitive

Recognized By:
Tibetan Kyi Apso Club
American Rare Breed Association


The Tibetan Kyi Apso is a very ancient dog breed that originates in Tibet’s western High Plateau region that is near Mt. Kailash. It is considered as an ancient dog breed that is believed to have been used by the Changtang people for several hundreds of years. This large Tibetan dog breed was created to be guardians and protectors of sheep, goats as well as yaks. This breed was not developed for their appearance, but was bred to produce a very functional and efficient livestock guardian.

Today, the Tibetan Kyi Apso is very rare outside of Tibet. They are only 65 known Kyi Apso dogs around the world back in 1998. Nine of these dogs are from North America.


The Kyi Apso is a very athletic guardian dog and bred to be hardworking guardians. When not working, these are mellow dogs that can be considered as laid back. This is a dog breed that is naturally protective of their flock as well as their territory. It is said that the Kyi Apso are more cat-like than they are dogs, sharing a lot of traits to cats such as their aloofness to people in general. Overall, the Tibetan Kyi Apso dogs are very intelligent and charming dogs with sense of humor.

Bred For

The Tibetan Kyi Apso was bred by the Changtang people who used them as flock guardians in Tibet’s High Plateau region.


The Tibetan Kyi Apso is a dog breed that will not be suitable to live in the city or keep as an apartment pet. They are mountain dogs that need to have a regular job. If kept in rural areas, these dogs will require a home that has a large and well fenced yard.


The Tibetan Kyi Apso has an all-weather double coat that should be trimmed occasionally. These dogs shed hair constantly but in very little amounts. They will shed heavily during the later part of the first quarter.


The Tibetan Kyi Apso can be well trained in obedience training but should be trained using the “clicker” method.


The Tibetan Kyi Apso dogs are free of major genetic diseases and is considered to be an ancient dog breed.


The Tibetan Kyi Apso should be well exercised and demands to have a regular job. If not used as a working dog, they should be taken out for long and brisk walks every day and also given sufficient time to play, run freely and have a good romp in wide open spaced.