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Chi Apso

Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021

chi apso

The Chi Apso is a small mixed dog the result of crossing a Chihuahua with a Lhasa Apso. He is also called a Chihuahua/Lhasa Apso Mix and has a life span of 12 to 15 years. He takes part in agility events and is a spunky and lively guy with a sweet disposition.

Here is the Chi Apso at a Glance
Average height 8 to 11 inches
Average weight 10 to 20 pounds
Coat type Double, straight, dense, thick
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Low to moderate
Shedding Moderate
Brushing Every couple of days
Touchiness Very sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low to very good – Lhasa are happy being left alone, Chihauhuas are not at all so it will really depend on which parent it leans towards
Barking Occasional
Tolerance to Heat Moderate
Tolerance to Cold Low to good depending on coat
Good Family Pet? Good to very good
Good with Children? Very good
Good with other Dogs? Good with socialization
Good with other Pets? Good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Low to moderate
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent
Good Pet for new Owner? Moderate – best for experienced owners
Trainability Difficult
Exercise Needs Slightly active
Tendency to get Fat Average
Major Health Concerns Patellar Luxation, SA, Eye problems, kidney problems, Hypoglycemia, Heart problems, Collapsed Trachea, Hydrocephalus, Open Fontanel
Other Health Concerns Shivering, allergies,
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $300 to $700
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $535
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $265 to $365

Where does the Chi Apso come from?

Like many dubbed designer dogs the Chi Apso is a deliberately bred mixed dog, which is what sets him apart somewhat from mutts as long as he was bred by a good and knowledgeable breeder. Many originate in the USA though not all. Most actually have little information on who bred them first and why. Owning any kind of designer dog has become quite a popular trend over the last decade or so. Some make some sense, many do not to some dog lovers. Unfortunately they have also become the focus of many bad breeders and puppy mills churning out new mixes for the money with no care over which dogs they breed, or for what happens to any unwanted animals. There really is an important lesson to learn here when buying a Chi Apso or any designer dog research hard on where you are going to buy from.

Since a designer dog can also take on any mix of looks and personality from either parents, (no the best of both parents is not a promise that can be kept with first generation crosses), here is a look at those parents to understand the Chi Apso better.

The Chihuahua

The Chihuahua does not have origins as clear as some pure breeds. The Chihuahua as we know him can be found in the 1850s in Mexico in a state called Chihuahua hence his name. Americans visiting there brought him home and people fell in love with how small he was. He has grown in popularity and is the 11th top favorite dog out of 155 AKC recognized breeds.

Today he is a bold and confident dog, alert and suspicious and quite sensitive. He usually bonds more closely to one person and can be reserved around others. If not socialized he can be timid.

The Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is a sacred dog in Tibet. His name comes from Lhasa the holy city there. He has been around for thousands of years and was not a dog owned by common people until very recently. He was bred by nobility and monks only and his purpose was to protect and guard them. He came to America in 1933 when a pair were gifted to a naturalist and world traveler. He then used them as his foundation for a kennel.

The Lhasa Apso today is still a protector. He will remain aloof with strangers until he gets used to them. He does take longer to mature than most dogs and has an interesting mix being playful but regal, happy and fierce, devoted but independent. He has to be taught and reminded often who is pack leader. He does not require a lot of activity. While he is independent he will follow you to stay close to you.


The Chi Apso is a cute, fun loving and gentle dog. He is very sweet loving his cuddles and enjoys receiving lots of love and affection. He is still independent sometimes though and he is intelligent. He is quite lively and spunky, living to day to day with a lot of joy but is not over excitable or hard to handle. He is usually friendly with others and makes a great dog for a family, couple or single owner looking for companionship.

What does the Chi Apso look like

He is a small dog weighing 10 to 20 pounds and standing 8 to 11 inches tall. He has flappy or erect ears and his coat can be like either parents. Often it is thick, straight and dense and can be double layered. Common colors are golden, brown, cream, white and black. His body is similar in shape and size to the Lhasa Apso but he can often be found to have the face of the Chihuahua.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Chi Apso need to be?

The Chi Apso is only slightly active so not much effort will be needed to keep him happy and in good health. As long as he has some toys to rotate through indoors that will go towards some of his physical and mental needs. A walk or two a day outside will be just about right. He is of a size that is well suited to living in an apartment and does not need a yard to exercise in, though if he has one he will certainly enjoy it! A trip to the dog park on a regular basis to give him off leash time and play time is a great idea.

Does he train quickly?

This is not a dog for a first time owner ideally as he is hard to train and experience will go a long way in helping with that. He needs a trainer who can remain positive and not express their frustration. One who is consistent, patient, firm and committed. Professional trainers and schools are out there if more help is needed. This is not a process that should be skipped and early socialization should also be carried out.

Living with a Chi Apso

How much grooming is needed?

The Chi Apso is low to moderate in his needs for maintenance. He sheds a moderate or average amount so there will be loose hair around the home and on your clothes and it will need to be kept on top of. His coat should be brushed rather than using a wire comb. Every two days should enable you to keep up with the hair and keep the coat free of tangles and debris. Wash him in a bath just when he needs it using a dog shampoo. Try to not give him a bath too often as it affects the oils he needs in his skin.

Dog nails are not like people nails. They have a lower part called the quick which has live vessels and nerves in it. His nails will need to be cut when they get too long but it is important not to cut through the quick. If you are not familiar with them have someone who is take care of it, like a professional groomer. He will also need his ears wiped once a week and his teeth brushed two to three times a week.

What is he like with children and other animals?

He is very good with children but can be submissive around other dogs though eventually he will play fine with them. He tends to be good with other pets too but early socialization is key to all of his interactions.

General information

He is not especially alert and is not a dog to get if you want a great watchdog. He does bark occasionally and he will need to be fed ½ to 1 cup of dry dog food daily. Ideally that should be split into two meals and it should be a good quality so that it is better for the dog.

Health Concerns

There are health issues the Chi Apso can inherit from parents who have not been cleared of certain issues. These include Patellar Luxation, SA, Eye problems, kidney problems, Hypoglycemia, Heart problems, Collapsed Trachea, Hydrocephalus, Open Fontanel, Shivering and allergies. SO make sure you have a breeder able to show you those health clearances. You should also visit the puppy before buying to check on the conditions he has been kept in.

Costs involved in owning a Chi Apso

A Chi Apso puppy can cost between $300 to $700. Other costs will come for things like a crate, collar and leash, carrier, blood tests, deworming, vaccinations, micro chipping and neutering. They will be around $360 to $400. Annual costs can be split into medical basics and non-medical basics. Medical would cover flea prevention, vet visits for just general check ups, vaccinations and pet insurance. They amount to between $435 to $535. Non-medical needs like treats, toys, food, license and training come to between $265 to $365. Extras like grooming, dog walkers or sitters, kennels and so on are going to make that figure go up.


Looking for a Chi Apso Puppy Name? Let select one from our list!

This is a lovely dog if you are prepared for the training issues and have the means to get through it. He will bring entertainment, loyalty, companionship and affection and all he wants is pretty much the same in return!

Featured Image Credit: Valeria Plusnina, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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