Lhasa Apso or Shih Tzu: Adopting and Raising a Designer Cross Between Lhasa and Shitzu
Shih Apso: Reason for Our Choice
Ever since we were kids both Suddha (my husband) and myself wished to raise a pup (or rather lots of them) of our own. We grew up with dogs but to actually adopt one and raise one in our adult life was a commitment that we cherished long. When we were locked up by the fatal Covid19 threat inside our homes we began to actually think about the possibility of getting a pup. This was because, now that I was going to be stuck indoors for a longer period than my usual job as a college teacher allows me, we could give the puppy all the attention he or she deserved in the initial period of adoption.
Now that we had already decided to get a puppy we faced the worst problem, which breed do we choose? We loved all dogs, but we wanted a dog that would find us and our home good enough. My husband, with his chronic COPD and Debilitating AS condition is not ready to own an athletic breed which needs lots of exercise, he is also prone to allergies if a dog shed a lot of hair. We live in a small house with an even smaller backyard. We were not offering much to the dog that was going to be part of our lives, but we had a lot of concerns:
1. Non Shedding
2. Small Size
3. Independent (Does not need constant attention)
4. Lower Health Issues
5. Availability for Adoption.
Going through a million videos and articles online we zeroed in on either Shih Tzu or Lhasa. We knew we were signing up for a lifetime of grooming grooming and more grooming. We never knew that this decision will mean so much at the end when we finally ended up with a cross designer breed Shih Apso, who will always make us wonder if he is more like his Lhasa mom or SHih Tzu dad for he keeps switching between his Shih mode and Apso mode.
So that is the story behind adopting Pongo, the most wonderful and most enigmatic member of our family.
Shih Apso: A little bit about the parents.
The Shih Apso (or Lhasa Tzu) happens to be a cross breed between Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso. So we did a bit of research on the parent breeds to have some understanding of Pongo's potential concerns and issues.
Lhasa Apso is an ancient Tibetan breed, considered to be a blessing to a household. They were bred and raised by Tibetan Monks and guarded the monasteries, warning the massive mastiff dogs about any impending threat. That means they were bred as a sturdy, healthy breed with strong protective but independent streaks.
Shih Tzu, on the other hand, was bred as a companion dog by cross breeding Lhasa with Pekingese to serve as companion dogs to chinese emperors. Wait a minute, that means a Shih Tzu already has half a bit of Lhasa in it! That makes a Shih Apso a 75% Lhasa? Funny question but that is what we really found out.
Shih Tzus are different from Lhasa in not just their temperament (Shih loves a cuddle far more than Apso) but also their snout and coat. While a Lhasa shows a longer snout and more dense coat, a Shih Tzu has a silkier coat. A Shih Apso may inherit any of the above traits. Our Pongo looks much more like his Lhasa mom since his coat parts easily in the middle and he has a dense undercoat. Temperamentally? Well, that needs a separate article altogether I guess.
Pongo: The Shih Apso pup we adopted
His mommy is a purebred Lhasa Apso. His daddy is a black and white Shih Tzu. He won our hearts right when we saw him. Bred at a dog farm in the suburbs, the cute little fluff-ball was full of healthy energy without an ounce of bitterness. It took him less than 10 minutes to bond with each and every member of our family. We had apprehensions about the breed being aloof and stubborn. However, the first moments eased us into a hopeful cheer. In forthcoming articles I will give detailed account of how I groom him, what supplements we serve him, his feeding and training patterns and his mood swings.
Check out Pongo's Youtube Channel
Pongo's Puppy Diaries
© 2020 Monami