More About the Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso Mix aka the Shih Apso

Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso MixThis 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 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.

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 it.

Typically these dogs have longer hair around their faces and a distinct long mustache. They have long floppy ears and a short stubby tail.

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.

Shih Apso History

Before we dive into the history of the Shih Apso, we need to first look at the history of both the parent breeds. 

The Shih Tzu has been around for centuries and was originated in China. The Shih Tzu was used as a companion for the royals, they nicked name this small dog a lap dog because they liked to have this breed sit in 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 Shih Tzu was finally recognized by the American Kennel club 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. 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 parents of the breed, which are 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. 

The legs of your dog 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.

Shih Tzu And Lhasa Apso

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:

  • Black
  • Tan
  • Fawn
  • White
  • Gray
  • Sable

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 its 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. 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

Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso MixThis small dog measures about 9-12 inches (23-30cm) in height and weighs between 9-16lbs (4-7kg).

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 from, however, it can suffer from joint and eye problems.

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 15 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 to anything that might be wrong or concerning to them.

Living Conditions

This dog needs to live indoors, and it is sensitive to extreme heat. Because of its small size, it is the perfect dog for first-time dog owners who live in an apartment.

This mixed breed does have separation anxiety meaning that it will not be that happy alone and ignored for long periods of time. 

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. 

Shih Apso Exercise

This dog does not need a lot of exercises, but it does love being accompanied outdoors.

Short walks of about 20 minutes are ideal, and 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 simple roaming around the yard will be perfect for this dog breed. Get 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. 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 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 quality of food has a good source of protein 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 to much food. 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 MixShih 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.

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 very persistent with training and work very hard at it 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.

Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso Mix Puppies

Puppies of this mixed breed do not cost a lot in price. If you have looked at other designer mixed-breed dogs, then you will know some can be very expensive, while some can also be very affordable.

This mixed breed is quite affordable compared to the purebred parents of this breed that can cost more than $1,000. 

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 as well as 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.

Shih Tzu And Lhasa Apso Puppies


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.

Close relatives of the Shih Apso

Below you will find a few breeds that closely resemble the Shih Apso, they are:

3 thoughts on “More About the Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso Mix aka the Shih Apso”

  1. My 20 lbs male Lhasa Apso may have gotten my 10lbs Shih Tzu pregnant Will she be ok? I’m concerned about the size differents


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