Lhasas are great dogs and I admit to a little bias. They are not the dog for everyone; such a breed does not exist. If you are looking for a dog that will mindlessly follow direction, this is not the breed for you! If you have a good deal of common sense and want a companion that will be a lifelong friend and source of joy and you believe that more is accomplished with a firm voice than a rough hand, this may be your kind of dog. Lhasas are a thinking person's dog. A Lhasa is born knowing there is more than one way to do a thing and they will demonstrate that knowledge over their lifetime.
Lhasas are small enough to be manageable for most people and big enough to be a good family dog. They are not a "lap dog" that requires constant coddling, quite the opposite, they are a big dog in a small package. You do this breed a great disservice by denying them exposure to the world and all it's wonders. Satin pillows are not required. If you are looking for an elegant couch ornament with flowing tresses to match the decor, you have missed the fact that under all that glamour is a unique and intelligent dog. The qualities that are "Lhasa" are only covered by hair, not defined by it.
The hair is optional. It can be trimmed in any number of attractive and low maintenance styles should that be more suitable to your pet's lifestyle. I have always felt that if your pet is left out of family activities because the activity must be followed by untimely extensive grooming, it is time to trim the dog's hair. The coat does require some care. It can be as little as 10 minutes daily and a weekly bath session or as much as an hour daily and a weekly bath session. (2 hours-floor length and fully coated) That is the choice of the owner. Lhasas do not shed like a short coated breed, but lose undercoat (just as you lose hair). They must be brushed regularly to stay tangle free.
Lhasas are perfectly capable of nature trail hikes and romps in the snow, usually enthusiastically leading the way. I have placed puppies in homes that cottage on weekends, visit nursing homes (therapy dogs), sail on weekends, travel extensively, fly their own planes, go fishing, or just stay home and enjoy the garden.
To say "they are not lap dogs" is not to say they are not affectionate. Most Lhasas like to snuggle with you and will. Lhasas are very loving with friends and family, but not always inclined to greet strangers like old friends. You must understand the original purpose of the Lhasa was that of a Sentry dog- not to be confused with a guard dog meant to protect by physical means. They are the alarm system, not the armed guards. They are alert and have extremely sharp hearing. Lhasas are not indiscriminate barkers, but are determined that you investigate their concern, and will persist until they are satisfied that things are "in order". The best description I have heard of the Lhasa mindset is "they hate to see you come and then they hate to see you go!" They are wary of strangers, but warm up to acquaintances if given the opportunity to look them over.
Are Lhasas good with children? This is a common question. The most reasonable answer is "are your children good with a Lhasa?" Children who are old enough to understand that this is a living being and are being raised in an environment where the pet is respected will have a devoted companion. Adult Lhasas who have had good experiences with children from puppyhood tend to be good with children. Adult Lhasas who have never been exposed to children can find children a bit overwelming. Not every Lhasa is a good candidate for active children, any more than every Lhasa being appropriate for a quiet seniors lifestyle. The key to success is a reputable breeder who will select a puppy with the "right" disposition for your family. My Lhasas love children....but a child has never been allowed to drop them, strike them, pull their hair, fall on them intentionally, chase them or tease them. They have had many hours of snow fort building and defending the castle, playing under blankets, discovering the slip 'n slide and wading pool, the perils of a skateboard and watching cartoons with a friend. On the other hand, my son has had toys chewed, Legos mangled, toes, fingers and ears nibbled and his face, ears and neck licked from every angle and then the odd disappearing cookie.
A small price to pay for puppy love.