Designer dog breeds are nothing new, but every time you think you’ve seen the best of them, another one comes along that’s too cute for school. The Yorkie Apso is one of the most adorable to date. One part Yorkshire Terrier and one part Lhasa Apso, they’re small, furry, and sweeter than a bowl of sugar. Personality-wise, they’re little attention seekers, loving nothing more than to follow their owners around, bossing them about, and generally acting like little Little Lord Fauntleroy’s. Find out more as we uncover ten things you didn’t know about the Yorkie Apso.
1. Their history is a mystery
For as long as there have been dogs, there’ve been mixed breeds. It’s only in the last century, though, that breeders have intentionally started creating new designer breeds by mixing pedigrees and treating their resulting litters as a deliberate choice rather than a happy accident. At some point in history, it’s very likely a few Yorkshire Terriers and Lhasa Apsos met, fell in love, and became the proud parents of some Yorkie Apsos. When those meetings stopped happening by chance and started being organized by outside forces, no one quite knows. It’s thought it probably happened in the US around 30 years ago, but anything more than that is your guess as good as ours.
2. They’re a mix of Lhasa Apso and Yorkshire Terrier
Although we don’t know much about the Yorkie Apso’s origins, we do know plenty about its parent breeds. As wagwalking.com explains, one side of the Yorkie Apso’s family is made up of Lhasa Apsos. Considered a sacred dog in their native land of Tibet, the Lhasa Apso was named after the holy city of Lhasa, where they were kept as pets by Buddhist monks. Legend has it the Dalai Lama would often give one to honored guests. In 1933, the breed made its way over to the US; two years later, they were recognized by the American Kennel Club. The other side of the family is made up of Yorkshire Terriers. These strong-willed, stubborn little dogs were originally bred as ratters in the UK. When they made their way over to the US in the late 19th century, they abandoned their ratting roots and restyled themselves as pampered pets.
3. They’re high maintenance
If you’ve seen a picture of a Yorkie Apso, you won’t be surprised to learn they’re a high-maintenance breed. Their soft, fluffy hair needs thorough, daily brushing to stop any mats from forming. Due to how intensive their grooming needs can be (and especially how quickly the hair around their eyes grows), some owners opt to get them professionally trimmed once a month to stop their coat from growing out of control. Nails should be trimmed once or twice a month. Like most small breeds, they’re susceptible to tooth decay: thrice-weekly brushing should keep their pearly whites sparkly.
4. They’re not great with kids
Although the Yorkie Apso is affectionate, they tend to prefer grown-ups to kids. They’re not particularly fond of other dogs either. Early socialization and training can help, as the more exposure they receive to both children and animals from a young age, the better they’ll tolerate them later.
5. They don’t need much exercise
The Yorkie Apso doesn’t need masses of hikes and jogs around the park to keep fit and healthy. Although they’re an active breed, their tiny size means they’ll burn off most of their energy simply running around the house. They still need regular, structured exercise, though – 2 x 30 minutes walks a day with a play session in between should be enough to keep them happy. Due to their high intelligence, they make excellent candidates for obedience and agility classes. As they’re notorious diggers, be careful of letting them play in the yard unless you’re on hand to watch – they’ll have dug their way to freedom before you know it.
6. They’re not for novices
As pawsnpups.com writes, the Yorkie Apso can be a challenge to train, especially for first-time owners. Even though you’d imagine their high intelligence would come in handy, their stubbornness, short attention spans, and feistiness mean that even if they understand a command, they won’t do it unless they want to. Consistency, patience, firmness, and a lot of positive reinforcement will eventually win the day, but until then, prepare for a struggle.
7. They have a sensitive side
Despite being strong-willed and sensitive, the Yorkie Apso has a sensitive side that needs to be indulged. They love being the center of attention and can feel hurt if they’re ignored or left to their own devices too much. In an ideal world, they’d have you all to themselves and go wherever you go, whenever you go there. Although that obviously can’t happen all the time, too much time alone or without interaction can make them lonely, unhappy, and even prone to separation anxiety. As a result, they tend to be better suited to homes with singles or couples who can give them the attention they crave.
8. Their health needs to be monitored
Both the Lhasa Apso and the Yorkshire Terrier are predisposed to several health issues. While crossbreeds are generally more immune to genetic problems than pedigrees, they’re still at risk of developing the same issues as their parent breeds. These include patellar luxation, hypoglycemia, kidney problems, collapsed trachea, and eye conditions. To help minimize the risk of any problems, buy from a reputable breeder and always ask to see confirmation of the parent’s health. Regular checkups with a vet can also help catch any small problems before they turn into major ones.
9. They’re tiny
Neither the Lhasa Apso nor the Yorkshire Terrier is exactly large, and neither are their offspring. These tiny delicate dogs are little more than pocket-sized. Males are a little heftier, weighing between 7 – 15 pounds and measuring 8 – 11 inches tall at the shoulder. Females tend to weigh between 7 – 13 lbs and measure 8 – 10 inches at the shoulder.
10. They have huge appetites
As petguide.com writes, the Yorkie Apso might be a petite pooch, but they’re also prone to obesity. Despite having tiny stomachs, they’ll fill them as often and fully as possible if they’re allowed to free feed. To avoid problems, keep them to a regular meal schedule – if you’re feeding them dry food, 1/2 cup of kibble at breakfast and 1/2 cup of kibble at lunchtime should be enough for most adults. Any treats used to reward them for good behavior or as part of training should be kept high-quality, low calorie, and nutritious.