Shih Apso

12-16 lbs
Lhasa Apso
Shih Tzu
The Shih Apso is a designer hybrid dog breed that is a cross between the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu. This small dog possesses many of the combined characteristics of its parents which makes it an ideal companion and lapdog. Shih Apsos generally stand between 9 and 12 inches and weigh 12 to 18 pounds. Females are most often smaller than males. The coat of the Shih Apso varies. It is typically long and either wavy or smooth. This little dog thrives on being a companion pet. He is ideal for elderly owners who want a small dog who enjoys being held and having ample attention lavished on him.
Date of Origin
Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu

Shih Apso Health

Average Size
Male Shih Apso size stats
Height: 9-12 inches Weight: 15-18 lbs
Female Shih Apso size stats
Height: 9-11 inches Weight: 12-16 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Kidney Problems
  • Liver Problems
  • Bladder Stones and Infections
Minor Concerns
  • Ear Infections
  • Allergies
  • Eye Disease
  • Hernia
  • Reverse Sneezing
  • Dental Problems
Occasional Diagnoses
  • None Known
Occasional Tests
  • Wellness Check
  • Chest X-rays
  • Dental and Oral Examinations
  • Clinical Exam
  • Eye and Ear Examination

Shih Apso Breed History

The Shih Apso is a relatively new breed and its origins are obscure. Often the Shih Apso is not an exact 50/50 ratio of its parents because the small dog has been bred for numerous generations. However, one thing is certain and that is that the Shih Apso is a delightful blend of both its foundation breeds, the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu. The Lhasa Apso holds the honor of being a sacred dog in Tibet. His name is derived from Tibet’s holy city of Lhasa. The monks and nobility of the Tibet bred the small little dog to be a companion and guard dog. Its duty was to alert its owners to intruders. Historically, the only way that a Lhasa Apso could leave Tibet was if the Dalai Lama gifted the dogs to individuals that he deemed worthy. The tiny Lhasa Apso first came to America in 1933 when a pair was gifted to an American traveler and naturalist. The gentleman used the dogs as the foundation for the breed in the United States.  The tiny Shih Tzu dog’s origins can be traced back to China and Tibet. The dogs were treasured pets and often referred to lovingly as ‘lion dogs’. The first pair of Shih Tzu’s left China in 1928 and arrived in the United Kingdom. Eventually, the breed made it to the U.S. and was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969. The Shih Tzu makes an ideal companion dog whose goal in life to consistently please his owners. 

Shih Apso Breed Appearance

Shih Apsos are small, stocky dogs. They boast a somewhat long body and short legs. His nose is a bit shorter than the Lhasa Apso’s but longer than the Shih Tzu’s nose. The overall facial features are usually a bit flat. The dog tends to have abundant hair on his face which gives him a lionlike expression. The head of the Shih Apso is usually small.  His ears are floppy and he sports a somewhat short tail. The hair is long and silky to the touch. It is often wavy or straight. In some dogs, they might lack the typical smooth texture and instead feel coarse to the touch. Common coat colors of the Shih Apso consist of white, tan, gray, fawn and black.
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Shih Apso eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Shih Apso nose
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Shih Apso wavy coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Shih Apso Breed Maintenance

The Shih Apso has a low to moderate shedding level. He benefits from daily brushing to keep his coat silky and tangle free. His long coat requires regular grooming to maintain its length. Many owners opt to have his hair trimmed short to prolong needed visits to the groomers. The Shih Apso has very little body odor and typically only needs a bath once per month. His nails will benefit from monthly clipping to keep them short. Once a week, his ears should be wiped clean of any debris. Many owners also opt to brush their dog’s teeth to prevent periodontal disease later in life.
Brushes for Shih Apso
Slicker Brush
Brushing Frequency
Shih Apso requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Shih Apso Temperament

The Shih Apso is an intelligent little dog just like its parent breeds. He does have a bit of a stubborn attitude though. This little dog bonds very closely with his family and often sufferers from separation anxiety when not close to his loved ones. Owners should expect the Shih Apso to follow them from room to room and rarely let their owner out of sight. He enjoys lounging on his owner’s lap and having attention lavished on him. The Shih Apso is protective of his owner and should be socialized young. In many cases, the dog remains standoffish and aloof around strangers. The little dog typically wants his owner all to himself and will often exhibit jealousy.

Shih Apso Activity Requirements

The Shih Apso is a lapdog who enjoys lounging either in his owner’s lap or beside him. He benefits from a short walk once a day but if the weather is inclement the little guy will be happy just playing a short game of fetch indoors. This little dog makes an excellent apartment pooch. Many people take their Shih Apso to dog parks to exercise and socialize. He is an ideal companion dog for older people because he requires very little exercise and loves to spend his time being a spoiled lapdog.
Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
4 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
30 minutes

Shih Apso Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1 cups
Daily Cost
$0.90 - $1.00
Monthly Cost
$25.00 - $30.00

Shih Apso Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Shih Apso size stats at six months
Height: 8 inches Weight: 10 lbs
Female Shih Apso size stats at six months
Height: 7 inches Weight: 8 lbs
12 Months
Male Shih Apso size stats at 12 months
Height: 10 inches Weight: 16 lbs
Female Shih Apso size stats at 12 months
Height: 10 inches Weight: 14 lbs
18 Months
Male Shih Apso size stats at 18 months
Height: 10 inches Weight: 16 lbs
Female Shih Apso size stats at 18 months
Height: 10 inches Weight: 14 lbs

Shih Apso Owner Experiences

11 Years
3 People
He was born in my closet. He has been my best friend and we have been through so much together. Lately he has been hiding from me and I am scared he is close to leaving me.
2 weeks, 2 days ago
18 Months
3 People
Long walks
Lounging next to me
Off leash running
He attached to me the most and follows me everywhere. Prefers when I walk him. Usually is well behaved off leash but sometimes decides he wants a longer walk than I can do but he is satisfied to stay with me most of the time... If he wants to play and get my attn and I don't listen to him, he will be destructive on purpose to get my attn! Such a huge personality. He was easily potty trained right away at 12-13 weeks, learned basic commands sit, down, paw - in a couple days, as well as some tricks and such, he understands mich more now, stops for cars when walking for safety, sidewalk, go home, stay, stop, wait for mama.. :)
8 months ago
8 Years
2 People
Long walks
Rescue dog with great temperament, friendly, well behaved
11 months, 3 weeks ago
8 Years
4 People
House & Yard
Nose work
Quite nice, he was our family dog then i brought him to my school where we train dogs. And he has really changed from a couch-potato to an active high-energy dog!
1 year, 1 month ago
3 Months
6 People
House & Yard
Enjoyable. Exciting.
1 year, 2 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd