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Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021
The Schapso is a small cross of a Miniature Schnauzer and a Lhasa Apso. She has a life span of 12 to 15 years and is also referred to as a Miniature Schnauzer/Lhasa Apso Mix. She is a friendly and outgoing little dog but she gets very attached to her owner and is often described as being a ‘velcro dog’.

The Schapso is a great lap dog but she does have a lot of personality and is a funny mix of nap time and play time. She will suit a family or single home and can live in a house or apartment. Since she can have problems with same sex dogs and she needs some help with getting on with other pets and children remember to start her socialization early.

Here is the Schapso a Glance
Average height 10 to 14 inches
Average weight 12 to 15 pounds
Coat type Wavy to curly, soft or wiry
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Moderate
Brushing Daily if kept uncut
Touchiness Very sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Somewhat tolerant
Barking Rare
Tolerance to Heat Moderate to very good depending on coat
Tolerance to Cold Good to very good
Good Family Pet? Very good
Good with Children? Good to very good with socialization
Good with other Dogs? Good – needs socialization
Good with other Pets? Good with socialization but may chase small animals
A roamer or Wanderer? Moderate to average
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent due to size
Good Pet for new Owner? Very good
Trainability Moderately easy
Exercise Needs Slightly active
Tendency to get Fat Average to above average
Major Health Concerns Eye Problems, Urinary Stones, Myotonia Congenita, Von Willebrands, Congenital Megaesophagus, Patellar Luxation, SA, kidney problems
Other Health Concerns Allergies
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $450 to $1000
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $535
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $300 to $400

Where does the Schapso come from?

Mixed breeds are how all of the purebreds we have today were originally started. However in most cases the mixing was done to lead to an eventual standard. The other example of mixed breeds are accidental mixes we call mutts. Over the last 50 years though more interest and breeding has been done to look at mixing usually two different purebreds with the intended outcome being that first generation of puppies. These are being called now designer dogs. Unfortunately the popularity and money making aspect of creating designer dogs means there are far too many bad breeders and puppy mills to avoid when buying. Most too have no known origins so we look at the parents to have a better idea of where it comes from.

The Miniature Schnauzer

In the mid to late 1800s the Miniature Schnauzer was developed in Germany to hunt and catch vermin on farms like rats and to act as guard dogs. He was bred by crossing the Standard Schnauzer with small breeds like Affenpinscher, the Miniature Pinscher and even possibly the Pomeranian and Poodle. During the two World Wars dog breeding struggled and some breeds were almost gone, but the Miniature Schnauzer stayed popular.

There are differences from the dog we see today to that one over a hundred years ago. Then they came in several colors but today main colors are silver and black. He is a very outgoing dog always wanting to be part of family activities. He likes to be close to you and will often position himself so that he is touching you when you are sitting down. He is a feisty, needy dog who is smart and easy to train. He does have a stubborn side and will try to manipulate you if you let him.

The Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is seen as a sacred dog in Tibet. His name comes from the holy city there. He has been around for thousands of years and was bred by nobility and monks only. His purpose was to protect and guard them. The Dalai Lama has gifted pairs of this dog to people in other countries he deemed worthy, and that was the only way the dog left Tibet. He was meant to bring good fortune and prosperity. He came to America in 1933 when a pair were gifted to a naturalist and world traveler who used them as his foundation for a kennel.

Today he is still very much a protector and watchdog. He is aloof with strangers until he gets used to them. He takes longer to mature than most dogs and has an interesting mix of traits being playful but regal, happy and fierce, devoted but independent. He has to be reminded often who is pack leader. He does not require a lot of activity and though independent he will follow you to stay close.


The Schapso is an affectionate and friendly dog. She is very outgoing and social, she loves to play but she also likes to take her naps in between so while she can be energetic she also breaks it up with rest time. She is fairly smart and is also very loyal. She comes from two parents who do not mind being left alone in the home. She can vary with this as she can be quite clingy and will likely follow you around the home to be close to you. She is a charmer and friendly with new people. She is loving and affectionate with her family.

What does the Schapso look like

This is a small dog weighing just 12 to 15 pounds and standing 10 to 14 inches tall. She has ears that flap over and her coat can be soft or wiry and various lengths depending on which parent she is more like. Common colors are black, white, brown, grey and cream.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Schapso need to be?

The Schapso is just slightly active though she does have her energetic moments. Her size means little actually exercising is needed to keep her happy and healthy so she is well suited to owners who are not that active themselves. When she is out she will enjoy a long a walk a day or a couple of moderate ones. Some time off leash somewhere safe is also a great idea such as a dog park. There she can also socialize. She does not need a yard though she would be happy to play in one. She is therefore suitable for apartment living.

Does she train quickly?

As a fairly smart dog who is eager to please she is moderately easy to train so not much extra effort is needed but it will be a gradual thing. She can sometimes have a stubborn side to her and she will need gentle, positive and consistent training. Keep it engaging and be firm but encouraging. Use treats as a way to motivate and reward and offer her praise and encouragement. Make sure part of her early training also includes socialization so that she can be the best dog she can be.

Living with a Schapso

How much grooming is needed?

The coat does shed a moderate amount so there will be regular grooming needed. She is not hypoallergenic so is not good for homes with people who have allergies. If you keep her coat short the brushing can be done a couple of times a week but if you keep it long it will need daily brushing. You should also be prepared for regular vacuuming of loose hair from the carpet and furnishings. Additional trimming on a regular basis around the eyes and ears will also be needed and these areas will also need wiping clean regularly. Bath her just when she really needs it to protect the natural oils she has that she needs.

Also make sure you take care of keeping her teeth clean to avoid dental problems. Brush at least two to three times a week. Her nails will need to be clipped when they get too long. Since there are live nerves and vessels in the lower section of her nails be sure you know where to clip or have someone do it for you.

What is she like with children and other animals?

In general the Schapso is very good with children especially if she has been raised with them though socialization is important and will help. With other pets she is usually fine but she tends to have a higher prey drive than some dogs so may chase small animals. She also can be aggressive with other dogs of the same gender so again socialize and supervise.

General information

This is not a dog to get for her watchdog ability, she sometimes barks to alert you of something but may also opt not to! Her barking is rare and she will need to be fed ½ to 1 cup of a good quality dry dog food a day. This amount should be halved to create two meals.

Health Concerns

There are health concerns to be aware of with the Schapso that she can inherit from her parents. These include Eye Problems, Urinary Stones, Myotonia Congenita, Von Willebrands, Congenital Megaesophagus, Patellar Luxation, SA, kidney problems and Allergies.

Costs involved in owning a Schapso

A Schapso puppy can currently cost between $450 to $1000 depending on where you get it from. Initial costs of a crate, carrier, collar, leash, blood tests, deworming, micro chipping, an exam, shots and spaying come to about $400. Annual medical basics like pet insurance, vet check ups, flea prevention and vaccinations come to between $435 to $535. Annual non-medical costs start at $300 to $400 for essentials like food, treats, toys, training, license and miscellaneous costs.


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Featured Image Credit: Left: Miniature Schnauzer, Debra Anderson, Shutterstock | Right: Lhasa Apso, Pixabay

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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