The Shih Apso is a designer dog, meaning that it was meant to combine the best characteristics of two purebred dogs. One of those purebred dogs would be the Shih Tzu. The other would be the Lhasa Apso.
1. Small Dogs
Shih Apsos can see a fair amount of variation when it comes to their size. After all, they are designer dogs, meaning that they aren’t as consistent as their purebred ancestors. Still, Shih Apsos are on the smaller side of things, which makes sense because both the Shih Tzu and the Lhasa Apso are on the smaller side of things. Something that can make them very convenient for interested individuals with less living space.
2. Can Be Stubborn
Speaking of which, both the Shih Tzu and the Lhasa Apso can be stubborn. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that the Shih Apso can be stubborn as well. Interested individuals should be patient while working through stubbornness-related issues. Furthermore, they should start training and socializing their Shih Apso sooner rather than later for the best results. On top of this, a rewards-based approach is much-recommended.
3. Tends to Be Very Affectionate
Shih Apsos tend to be very affectionate. Unfortunately, this can be both a good thing and a bad thing. On the plus side, interested individuals can count on their Shih Apso to show them a lot of affection. On the not so plus side, these dogs have been known to exhibit a number of issues because of that affection. For example, they can become jealous if they feel that their owner’s time is being monopolized by someone else. Similarly, they can suffer separation anxiety if they are left on their own for prolonged periods of time.
4. Might Be Suitable for Use as a Watchdog
Some people think that Shih Apsos can make for useful watchdogs. This is because while these dogs are affectionate, they aren’t indiscriminately affectionate. As such, Shih Apsos won’t hesitate to voice their concerns if they notice the presence of strangers, though they tend to stop short of being considered yappy dogs.
5. Comes in Various Colors
There are some breeds that come in a very limited range of colors. In contrast, other breeds are much more diverse in this regard. Shih Tzus come in everything from brown and gold to black and white. Furthermore, it is very common for them to have multi-colored coats. Meanwhile, Lhasa Apsos show a similar range of coat colors. As such, interested individuals can count on Shih Apsos coming in a wide range of coat colors, which should be good news for those who are exacting in this regard.
6. The Shih Tzu Is Named for Lions
Shih Tzu is a Chinese term. To be exact, it is the Wade-Giles romanization of the Chinese word for “lion.” Supposedly, this is because Shih Tzus were bred to look like the depictions of lions in Chinese art as well as the rest of East Asian art. Having said that, it is worth mentioning that it is a related breed – the Pekingese – that is called the “lion dog” in Chinese. Shih Tzus themselves are called “Xi Shi dogs” in that country, which is a name that refers to one of the most beautiful women in Chinese history. As for the relationship between Shih Tzus and Pekingese, there is one theory that Shih Tzus came from the crossbreeding of Pekingese with Lhasa Apsos.
7. The Shih Tzu Is Prone to Both Eye Issues and Ear Issues
Interested individuals might want to watch out for both eye issues and ear issues in their Shih Apso. This is because the Shih Tzu is prone to suffering from both kinds of problems. It is very common for these dogs to suffer from watering eyes because of their fur scratching their large eyes. Furthermore, some Shih Tzus suffer from allergies that can cause excess discharge around their eyes. Older dogs are also known for developing cataracts. As for ear issues, it is very common for Shih Tzus to develop ear infections because of their ear hair growing too long and becoming too unclean. Due to these issues, interested individuals might need to speak with their veterinarians about eye drops as well as ear cleaners.
8. The Lhasa Apso Is Said to Have Started Out as an Indoor Sentinel
The Lhasa Apso has a reputation for being watchdogs. Indeed, the breed is said to have started out as indoor sentinels for Tibetan monasteries. Naturally, this has had a huge influence on the Lhasa Apso’s characteristics. To name an example, these dogs tend to be cautious around strangers, which is one of the reasons that Shih Apsos tend to be cautious around strangers as well.
9. The Lhasa Apso Is Tough
Lhasa Apsos are adorable-looking dogs. As a result, people have been known to assume that they are friendly, gentle-natured lapdogs. This is not quite the case because Lhasa Apsos tend to be quite tough. As mentioned earlier, they are stubborn dogs. Furthermore, they often have calm and deliberate personalities, which combine with their keen senses to make them well-suited to be watchdogs. There is one issue in that some Lhasa Apsos won’t stop at barking but will instead proceed to biting if they feel that they are being pressed, so this is one more reason why interested individuals should start socializing their Shih Apsos as soon as possible.
10. Don’t Need a Huge Amount of Exercise
Shih Apsos aren’t particularly energetic dogs. As a result, they don’t need a huge amount of exercise. Most Shih Apsos will be fine with just a short walk every single day. However, if they can’t get that, they will be fine with some play-time instead. This is one of the reasons that Shih Apsos are sometimes recommended as a companion animal for older individuals who aren’t as mobile as they used to be.