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.