The Shih Apso: Facts Behind This Irresistibly Lovable Mix Breed

shih apso

“Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso Mix”

Weight 12-18
Height 9-12
Lifespan 12-15
Coat Colors Black, Fawn, Gray, Tan, White
Coat Traits Long and Silky, Wavy or Straight, Smooth or Coarse, Hypoallergenic
Temperament Affectionate, Friendly, Outgoing, Loyal, Clingy

The Shih Apso, also known as the Lhasa Apso Shih Tzu mix, is a delightful companion known for its hypoallergenic coat. These furry friends are small in size, with a weight range of 12-18 pounds and a height of 9-12 inches.

Their coat can be long and silky, wavy or straight, and either smooth or coarse. With their black, fawn, gray, tan, or white fur, they make a beautiful addition to any household. The Shih Apso has a lifespan of around 12-15 years, giving you years of memorable moments with your loyal friend.

Shih Apso Generations

As with all mixed breed dogs, there are different generations of Shih Apsos that can be produced.

F1 Generation

The F1 generation of the Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix is the result of the breeding of a Shih Tzu and a Lhasa Apso parent. These dogs are considered to be the purest Shih Apsos as they are a direct mix of the two parent breeds.

F1 Shih Apsos can have different traits and characteristics from each parent breed, and it’s difficult to predict how they will turn out. It’s important to note that reputable breeders will only breed healthy and purebred dogs to produce F1 Shih Tzu mixes.

F1B Generation

The F1B generation of Shih Apsos is produced by breeding an F1 Shih Apso with a purebred Shih Tzu or Lhasa Apso. This generation of Shih Apsos will have more of the traits of the parent breed that they are crossed with.

For example, if an F1 Shih Apso is bred with a Lhasa Apso, the resulting F1B Lhasa Apso Shih Tzu mix will have more Lhasa Apso traits. F1B Shih Apsos are typically more predictable in terms of temperament and physical appearance.

F2 Generation

The F2 generation of Shih Apsos is produced by breeding two F1 Shih Apsos. This generation of Shih Apsos can have a wider variety of traits and characteristics compared to the F1 and F1B generations.

Because F2 Shih Apsos have a higher degree of genetic variability, it can be more difficult to predict how they will turn out. However, F2 Shih Apsos can still make great pets and can have a range of personalities and physical appearances.

Shih Apso History

The Shih Apso is a relatively new mixed breed dog that is a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Lhasa Apso. While the breed is not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club, it has gained popularity in the United States in recent years.

The Lhasa Apso is an ancient breed of dog that originated in Tibet and was often kept in Buddhist monasteries. The Lhasa Apso breed was introduced to the United Kingdom in the 1920s and was eventually recognized by the Kennel Club in 1934.

The Shih Tzu is also an ancient breed that originated in China and was bred to be a companion dog. They were highly valued by Chinese royalty and were often kept in palaces as guard dogs and were known as the “lion dog” due to their lion-like appearance. The breed was introduced to the United States in the 1930s and was eventually recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969.

The Shih Apso breed likely originated in the United States, where breeders began crossing Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apsos to create a new hybrid dog. While the breed is relatively new, it has gained popularity due to its friendly and affectionate nature.

The 13th Dalai Lama is said to have gifted a pair of Lhasa Apso dogs to a woman in the United States in the early 20th century, which may have contributed to the breed’s popularity in the Western world.

Today, the Lhasa Apso Shih Tzu mix is a popular companion dog in the United States and is known for its small size and friendly demeanor. While the breed is not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club, there are many breeders who specialize in producing healthy and well-bred Shih Apsos.


Shih Apso Appearance

The Shih Apso is a small, designer dog breed that typically weighs between 12-18 pounds and stands at a height of 9-12 inches. This breed has a compact yet sturdy build and is known for its adorable appearance.

One of the most striking features of the Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix is their long, silky coat, which can be either wavy or straight, and come in a variety of colors such as black, fawn, gray, tan, and white. Their coat is dense and double-layered, giving them a plush and fluffy appearance. The Shih Apso is also hypoallergenic, making it a great choice for those with allergies.

In terms of their body structure, the Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix has a round head and large, either expressive round eyes or almond-shaped eyes. Their ears are floppy and feathered, and their tail is carried high and often curls over their back. The Shih Apso’s nose is typically black, and their muzzle is short and square.

The Shih Apso’s appearance is often compared to that of their parent breeds, with many similarities seen in their smaller bone structure and dense, long hair. While the Shih Tzu has a broader skull and shorter nose, the Lhasa Apso has a narrower skull and a longer, more rectangular nose.

Despite these differences, the Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix, also known as Lhasa Tzu, often shares many similar features with both parent breeds, resulting in a unique and adorable look that comes in a small package.

Shih Apso Lifespan

One of the most common concerns among potential pet owners is the life expectancy of this breed. Shih Apsos usually live between 12-15 years, which is typical for small to medium-sized dogs.

However, this lifespan can vary depending on a variety of factors such as diet, exercise, and overall health. To ensure that your Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix lives a long and happy life, it is crucial to provide them with a healthy and balanced diet, regular exercise, and proper veterinary care.

With the right care and attention, your Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix can live a long and fulfilling life by your side.

Shih Apso Ideal Environment

These small dogs are great companions for single people or families with older children. They are also well-suited to apartment living, as they don’t require a lot of exercise and can be content with short walks around the block.

When it comes to living environment, one of the most important things to consider for potential owners of this breed is their need for companionship. The Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix does not do well when left alone for long periods of time, which can lead to separation anxiety.

This means that if you work full-time or have other commitments that take you away from home often, then this may not be the right breed for you.

Another thing to consider when looking at the ideal living environment for this breed is their size. The Shih Apso is considered one of the smaller dog breeds, and they may not be suitable for households with younger children who may not understand how to handle them properly.

It’s important to teach children how to interact with these little dogs in a gentle manner so as not to cause any harm or distress.

Overall, the Shih Apso makes an excellent companion for those looking for a small dog that will bring joy and love into their lives. With proper care and attention, these designer dogs can thrive in various living environments, making them perfect pets for both single people and families alike.


Shih Apso Temperament

The Lhasa Apso Shih Tzu mix is a small hybrid dog breed that makes a great companion and lap dog. They are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them a popular choice for family members of all ages.

One of the most notable temperament traits of the Shih Apso is their desire to be close to their owners. They love nothing more than snuggling up in a lap and getting lots of attention and affection from their human family members. This makes them a great choice for those looking for a loving and loyal companion.

Despite their small size, the Shih Apso is known for their friendly and outgoing nature. They tend to get along well with other dogs and people, making them a great choice for families with children. However, it’s important to supervise interactions between small children and the Shih Apso to prevent any accidental injuries.

The Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix can also have a stubborn streak, which is a common trait among many small dog breeds. However, with proper training and socialization, this stubbornness can be overcome, and they can become well-behaved and obedient pets.

One of the most endearing temperament traits of the Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix is their close bond with their owners. They are loyal and devoted pets that love to be by their owner’s side at all times. This close bond often results in a protective and watchful nature, making them great guard dogs despite their small size.

Overall, the Shih Apso’s character and personality traits make them an excellent choice for families and individuals looking for a friendly, loving, and loyal companion. They have a strong desire to be close to their owners and make great lap dogs.

With proper training and socialization, this small dog breed can be well-behaved and obedient pets, and their close bond with their owners makes them great protectors.

Shih Apso Grooming

Shih Apsos have long, dense double coats that require regular grooming to keep them clean, healthy, and looking their best. Here are some tips on how to properly groom your Shih Apso.


Shih Apsos should be brushed on a daily basis to prevent matting and tangles in their long coat. A slicker brush or pin brush is recommended to remove loose fur and debris from their coat. Grooming your Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix daily will help maintain a healthy coat and prevent the need for frequent bathing.


Shih Apsos should be bathed every 4-6 weeks to keep their coat clean and free of dirt and debris. Use a mild shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for dogs, and make sure to rinse thoroughly to prevent any leftover residue. Shih Apsos can be prone to ear infections, so it’s important to keep their ears dry during and after baths.


Shih Apsos have floppy ears that can trap moisture and debris, leading to ear infections. To prevent this, it’s important to clean your Shih Apso’s ears regularly using a gentle ear-cleaning solution and cotton balls. Make sure to dry their ears thoroughly after cleaning.


Regular nail trimming is important to prevent overgrowth and discomfort for your Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix. Trim their nails every 4-6 weeks or as needed. Use a nail clipper specifically designed for dogs, and be careful not to cut the quick (the blood vessel inside the nail).


Oral hygiene is an important aspect of Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso mix grooming. Daily brushing is recommended to prevent tartar buildup, bad breath, and potential dental issues. Use a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste to brush their teeth, and make sure to get both the front and back teeth. Additionally, offering dental chews and toys can help maintain good oral health.

shih apso puppy

Shih Apso Nutrition

Proper nutrition is essential to keep your Lhasa Apso Shih Tzu mix healthy and happy. Here are some important things to keep in mind when it comes to your Shih Apso’s nutrition.


Shih Apsos are a small dog breed, so they don’t require as many calories as larger breeds. On average, adult Shih Apsos require between 300-500 calories per day. However, this can vary depending on factors such as age, activity level, and weight.


Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass in dogs. Shih Apsos require a moderate amount of protein in their diet, with a minimum of 18% protein recommended for adult dogs. It’s important to choose a high-quality dog food that contains animal-based proteins, such as chicken or beef.


Carbohydrates provide energy for your Lhasa Apso Shih Tzu mix, but it’s important to choose the right types of carbohydrates. Look for dog foods that contain whole grains, such as brown rice or quinoa, as well as fiber-rich vegetables, such as sweet potatoes or carrots.


Fats are an important source of energy for dogs and also help with the absorption of certain vitamins. However, too much fat in your Shih Apso’s diet can lead to weight gain and other health issues. Look for dog foods that contain healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids from fish or flaxseed.

How Much to Feed Your Shih Apso

The amount of food your Lhasa Apso Shih Tzu mix needs will depend on their age, weight, and activity level. It’s important to follow the feeding instructions on the dog food label and adjust the amount as needed based on your Shih Apso’s individual needs. Puppies and young dogs may require more frequent feedings, while adult dogs may be fed on a daily basis.

If you have concerns about your Shih Apso’s nutrition, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian. They can recommend the best type of food for your Lhasa Apso Shih Tzu mix and help you create a feeding plan that meets their nutritional needs. Additionally, if your Lhasa Apso Shih Tzu mix has food allergies or sensitivities, your veterinarian can recommend a special diet or food alternatives.

Shih Apso Training

Training is an important aspect of owning a Shih Apso. Here are some tips and subheadings for training your Shih Apso.


Socialization is key to helping your Shih Apso become a well-adjusted and well-behaved dog. Introduce your Lhasa Apso Shih Tzu mix to a variety of people, animals, and environments from a young age. This will help them learn to interact appropriately with others and prevent fear and aggression issues.

Basic Commands

Teaching your Shih Apso basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and leave it is important for their safety and your peace of mind. Use positive reinforcement methods such as treats, praise, and playtime to reward your Shih Apso for good behavior.

Potty Training

Potty training is a crucial part of owning any dog, including the Shih Apso. Establish a routine for taking your Shih Apso outside and use positive reinforcement to reward them for going potty in the right place. Consistency and patience are key to successful potty training.

Leash Training

Leash training is important for the safety of your Shih Apso and others. Start by introducing them to the leash and collar in a positive and relaxed manner. Use treats and praise to reward them for walking calmly on the leash, and avoid pulling or yanking on the leash.

Behavioral Issues

If your Shih Apso is displaying unwanted behaviors such as excessive barking, digging, or chewing, it’s important to address these issues through training and positive reinforcement. Consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist for guidance and support.

It’s important to remember that training your Shih Apso takes time and patience. Use positive reinforcement techniques and be consistent with your training efforts. With time and dedication, your Shih Apso can become a well-trained and well-behaved companion.

Shih-Apso breed

Shih Apso Exercise

Exercise is an important aspect of keeping your Lhasa Apso Shih Tzu mix healthy and happy. Here are some tips and subheadings for exercising your Shih Apso.

Daily Exercise

Shih Apsos are a small dog breed and do not require as much exercise as larger breeds. However, they still need daily exercise to maintain their health and prevent boredom. Aim for at least 20-30 minutes of exercise per day, such as a brisk walk or playtime in the backyard.

Indoor Exercise

If outdoor exercise is not possible, there are plenty of indoor exercise options for your Lhasa Apso Shih Tzu mix. Indoor playtime with toys, hide-and-seek games, and short training sessions can all help keep your Shih Apso mentally and physically stimulated.

Interactive Toys

Interactive toys such as puzzle feeders or toys that dispense treats can also provide mental stimulation and exercise for your Shih Apso. These toys challenge your dog to use their problem-solving skills to access their food or treats.

Dog Parks

Visiting a dog park can provide an opportunity for your Shih Apso to socialize with other dogs and get some exercise. However, make sure your Lhasa Apso Shih Tzu mix is comfortable around other dogs and that the dog park is safe and well-maintained.

It’s important to remember that while exercise is important for your Shih Apso, it should also be appropriate for their age, health, and physical abilities. Always consult with your veterinarian before starting a new exercise regimen with your Lhasa Apso Shih Tzu mix. By providing regular exercise and stimulation, you can help keep your Shih Apso healthy and happy.

Shih Apso Health Issues

These small breeds can be prone to certain health conditions that owners should be aware of.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a common condition in dogs, including Shih Apso. It occurs when the hip joint does not fit properly into the socket, leading to pain and lameness. Treatment options include medication, physical therapy, and surgery.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is an inherited eye disorder that causes gradual vision loss in dogs. Early signs include night blindness or difficulty adjusting to changes in light levels. There is no cure for PRA, but early diagnosis can help slow its progression.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation is another common condition in Shih Apso dogs. It occurs when the kneecap slips out of place due to weakened ligaments or a shallow groove on the thighbone where it sits. Treatment may involve surgery or physical therapy, depending on the severity of the condition.

Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is an inherited condition that affects the elbow joint of some Shih Apso dogs. It can cause pain and lameness due to abnormal growth of bone tissue around the joint, which can lead to arthritis over time if left untreated. Surgery may be necessary to correct this condition if it becomes severe enough.

Kidney Problems

Kidney problems are also common in Shih Apso dogs due to their small size and predisposition towards urinary tract infections (UTIs). Symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, and weight loss, so it’s important to take your dog for regular checkups with your vet if you notice any changes in behavior or appetite that could indicate a problem with their kidneys.


Final Thoughts

The Shih Apso is an incredibly loving breed of dog that makes an excellent companion for people from all walks of life. They are smart, affectionate animals who thrive when given lots of love—and, yes, some extra brushing every now and then!

With regular veterinary check-ups and plenty of exercise each day, you’ll have no problem keeping your pup happy and healthy for many years to come! So if you’re looking for a loyal companion who loves cuddles just as much as an adventure—give this delightful breed a second look!


• The Shih Apso is a small hybrid dog breed, weighing 12-18 pounds and standing at 9-12 inches tall. It has a long, silky coat in various colors, and it is hypoallergenic.

• This breed has three generations – F1 generation (bred from a Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso parent), F1B generation (bred from an F1 Shih Apso and purebred Shih Tzu or Lhasa Apso), and F2 generation (bred from two F1 Shih Apsos).

• Originating in the U.S., the breed has gained popularity due to its friendly and affectionate nature. Its lifespan is 12-15 years with proper care.

• The ideal living environment for the Shih Apso is one with companionship, where owners are not away for long periods of time, as this can lead to separation anxiety.

• These dogs are known for their friendly and outgoing nature, making them suitable for families with children when they are properly handled.

• Grooming includes daily brushing, monthly bathing, ear cleaning, nail trimming, and tooth brushing.

• Shih Apso nutrition should consist of the right number of calories, moderate protein, healthy carbohydrates, and beneficial fats.

• Training for your Shih Apso should include socialization, basic commands, potty training, and leash training.

• Exercise for your Shih Apso should include daily activity, indoor exercise, and outdoor activities with other dogs or interactive toys.

• Health issues that may affect Shih Apso dogs include hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, patellar luxation, Thubten Gyatso, and elbow dysplasia.

• Kidney problems are also common in this breed due to their small size.

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