This small toy dog is a cross between the Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso, and it’s commonly known as the Shih Apso or the Lhasa Tzu.
These dogs are known for their strong thighs and lion-shaped body, which earned them their nickname “Lion dog” among the Tibetan monks. These friendly dogs are loyal pets and are eager to please their owners.
In this article, you will find a lot of information about the Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix from its history, health issues, and care guidelines. Keep reading on to find out if this is the dog breed for you.
Shih Apso History
Before diving into the history of the Shih Apso, we must first look at the history of both parent breeds.
The Shih Tzu has been around for centuries and originated in China. The Shih Tzu was used as a companion for the royals; they nicked named this small dog a lap dog because they liked to have this breed sit on their lap.
Eventually, the Shih Tzu was brought from China to other parts of the world like Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The American Kennel Club finally recognized the Shih Tzu in the late 1960s.
The Lhasa Apso was a well-known sacred dog in Tibet. The ancient monks used these dogs to help guard them and alert them if they saw any strangers around.
It was very hard to get a Lhasa Apso because the Dalai Lama actually had to gift you this breed of dog, or you would not be able to get one. So they only gave these dogs to people who the Dalai Lama deemed worthy enough to have this dog.
Eventually, the American who received this dog breed brought it back to the United States and wanted to start furthering the breed.
Lhasa Tzu Appearance
This designer breed can look different from puppy to puppy. Each puppy will take on traits from one of the breed’s parents, the Shih Tzu and the Lhasa Apso. Both the Shih Tzu and the Lhasa Apso have very similar features. Most likely, your dog will have a long smooth coat that almost feels like hair instead of fur.
These small dogs are usually light in coloring and come in shades of tan, fawn, white or gray. They have a typical toy dog appearance with a small head on a slightly larger body.
Your dog’s legs will be short, and your dog will stay pretty small. You will find your dog to have a variety of different color options that they may inherit; you can find our list below.
They are hairy dogs with two coats, one shorter undercoat and a long, either straight or wavy outer coat. Their faces have a squashed appearance and usually have darker markings or patches on them.
Typically these dogs have longer hair around their faces and a distinct long mustache. In addition, they have long floppy ears and a short stubby tail.
Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso Mix Coat
The Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix will have a relatively long coat. Both the parents of this breed have long silky hair that is smooth and soft. Shih Apso’s have a double-layer coat that helps keep them warm as well as clean from outside elements.
This mixed breed will need to be brushed and groomed often because the long hair can get tangled up in knots. This is also a perfect breed for people who suffer from allergies to dog hair because this breed is considered hypoallergenic.
What Colors Do They Come in?
There are a few colors and color combinations that you can expect your dog to have; they are:
Your dog could have just one of these colors or a combination of a few of these colors.
Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso Mix Temperament
These cute dogs are a favorite among many people not only for their sweet toy-like looks but also for their charming and friendly nature. Typically they take the best traits from their parents.
It takes its bold behavior from the Shih Tzu, and at times it can be quite energetic. However, while it is a playful and friendly dog, it can be quite standoffish with strangers. This dog needs a lot of socialization with small children and other animals.
Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso Mix Size
This small dog measures about 9-12 inches (23-30cm) in height and weighs between 9-16lbs (4-7kg). This is the general range of size that you will find the Shih Apso to have.
Shih Apso Health Problems
This dog lives between 12-14 years, and because of its mixed breed, it rarely suffers from any of the illnesses that purebred dogs suffer; however, it can suffer from joint and eye problems. Below are a few health issues that your Shih Apso may inherit or develop.
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome – The Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu both naturally have smashed-in faces, which can result in small nasal passages. This can make it harder to breathe, which is a condition called Brachycephalic Syndrome. This can make breathing difficult for your dog during certain tasks such as exercise.
Eye Issues – Small dogs and breeds who tend to have bulging eyes can develop eye issues. One of the most common eye issues is cataracts. This can be fixed, but if it is not taken care of, it can make your dog go blind.
Allergies – Any dog can suffer from allergies, and it is good to beware of the signs; that way, you know your dog has a food or skin allergy.
To make sure that your dog has not inherited any of its purebred parents’ conditions, potential owners should always check its parents.
Life Expectancy of a Shih Apso
The expected life span of this mixed designer breed is between 12 and 14 years long. Of course, this is subject to your personal dog’s health. Remember to take your dog to yearly checkups with the veterinarian; that way, they can notify you of anything that might be wrong or concerning to them.
This dog needs to live indoors and is sensitive to extreme heat. However, because of its small size, it is the perfect dog for first-time dog owners who live in an apartment.
This mixed breed has separation anxiety, meaning it will not be that happy alone and ignored for long periods. To help your dog get over separation anxiety or crate training, you will need to train and work with your dog a lot to change that behavior.
This dog does not shed much, and it is ideal for those people who suffer from allergies. It is an ideal dog for older people as very little maintenance is needed, and they make great companions.
Shih Apso Exercise
This dog does not need a lot of exercise, but it does love being accompanied outdoors. Therefore, short walks of about 20 minutes are ideal; the rest of the time, small toys can be given as a form of stimulation.
Since this breed is not as active as others, this breed will be perfect for people who don’t go outside very much or the elderly that may need a low exercise maintenance dog.
Even just simply roaming around the yard will be perfect for this dog breed. Getting some toys and a trip once a week to the dog park will be good for this breed.
Lhasa Tzu Feeding
This is a small breed dog meaning it will not need a lot of food daily to keep this dog sustained. For example, the Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix only needs one cup of small breed dog food.
This can be a combination of wet and dry dog food or even just dry food. Depending on the brand, you will be looking at around $0.80 to $1.05 a day for food costs. The cup of food that your mixed dog needs should be broken up into two or three small meals throughout the day. So give a 1/3 cup for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Make sure the food quality has a good protein source in the first three or four ingredients, such as Turkey, chicken, or a beef meal, along with healthy vegetable carbohydrates.
There are a few dog breeds that can get obese easily if they are fed too much food. Unfortunately, this breed is one of them, so please make sure you are only feeding your dog the required amount of food. If you feel your dog needs more food, make sure you ask a professional veterinarian first.
Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso Mix Grooming
These dogs have long hair with two coats, and they need to be brushed on a daily basis to keep their hair tangle-free. To keep their coat sleek and shiny, it is recommended to wash them once a month.
As they can have eye discharge at times, it is recommended to take a damp Kleenex and wipe under their eyes in an outwards direction to keep the eye area clean and to prevent them from getting infected.
Do not forget to have the groomer clip your dog’s nails when they get too long. You can be brave and try to attempt this, but most people let the professionals do this job to ensure you are not cutting into a vain.
Shih Apso Training
Training the Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix can be quite a difficult task. This breed can be quite stubborn when it comes to training, even though the parents of this mixed breed are quite intelligent.
You will need to be persistent with training and work very hard with your dog to accomplish simple things you want your dog to listen to.
One way to help enforce the good behavior or tricks learned during training is to have treats handy with you that you can give your dog. Positive reinforcement is always great when training.
Training will also go much easier if you start to train your dog on the basics when it is a puppy. This is because so many dog owners begin training their dogs young; that way, they start to learn and pick up on evidence guidelines you have set.
Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso Mix Puppies
Puppies of this mixed breed do not cost a lot in price. However, if you have looked at other designer mixed-breed dogs, you will know some can be very expensive, while others can also be very affordable.
This mixed breed is quite affordable compared to the purebred parents of this breed, which can cost more than $1,000. So you can expect to spend anywhere from $200 to over $1,000 for this mixed breed, this will all depend on the breeder and the parents of the puppies used.
Don’t forget to find a reliable breeder that will tell you anything you want to know about their dogs and one you can trust. Also, once you get your new puppy home after eight weeks, you will need to spend money on the additional stuff like toys, vet visits, food, and supplies.
Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso Mix Litter Size
This is a very small breed of dog. Both the parents of this breed are quite small, too, so you will not get as many puppies in a litter as you would from a large breed dog.
You can expect to get anywhere from one to four puppies in a litter. Sometimes a female can have more, but it is rare. As you know, sometimes not all the puppies make it.
In this section, you will see highlights of important information from this article.
- The Shih Apso is the nickname given to the mixed breed that combines the Shih Tzu and the Lhasa Apso together.
- It is not known in history when these two dog breeds were bred together to create this designer dog.
- Shih Apsos will stay rather small like their parents, weighing 9 to 16 pounds.
- Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mixes take on appearance traits from both parents but generally look the same as they both will have short legs, small size, and cute smashed-in faces.
- This is a very friendly, playful, and loyal dog breed that would make a wonderful family companion. Unfortunately, this breed can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone without you for long periods of time.
- There are some minor health concerns when it comes to this mix. However, regular checkups will give you peace of mind and help to catch any health issues.
- Your dog will not need much exercise during the day; twenty to thirty minutes will be enough.
- This mix needs one cup of high-quality dog food per day that is broken down into smaller meals.
- Training can be done when your dog is a puppy so it can learn as much as possible.
- Purchase your Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix from a reputable breeder that can answer all your questions and give you a healthy puppy.
Here are some awesome questions that people and potential owners have about the Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix.
Designer dog breeds can range in price due to popularity. The Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix ranges in price from $200 to over $1,000. Some breeders sell their puppies for way more than that. This is just a general range that you may find the Shih Apso listed for.
Both the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu have a lot of similarities. However, while they look similar, they actually have different shaped heads and noses. The Lhasa Apso also has higher energy than the Shih Tzu. Both dog breeds will make for a wonderful family companion, and when you mix them together, you are getting the best traits from both breeds.
The Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix will stay a small breed dog when combined together. You can expect your mix to weigh between 9 to 16 pounds and span 9 to 12 inches in height.
Close relatives of the Shih Apso
Below you will find a few breeds that closely resemble the Shih Apso, they are:
- Lhasa Apso
- Shih Tzu