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Chi Apso (Chihuahua & Lhasa Apso Mix): Pictures, Guide, Info, Care & More

Written by: Oliver Jones

Last Updated on May 22, 2024 by Dogster Team

A chi apso with pink flowers

Chi Apso (Chihuahua & Lhasa Apso Mix): Pictures, Guide, Info, Care & More

The Chi Apso can also be called the Lhasa Chi. They are teddy bear-like in their appearance and just as sweet and cuddly as you would imagine. These tiny little dogs are playful and quite loyal, making them a good mix for families that want to own a dog for the first time. They are easy to please but need plenty of love and attention.

Breed Overview


7 – 11 inches


10 – 20 pounds


12 – 15 years


Pied, white, brown, cream, black

Suitable for:

Active families, first-time owners


Loyal and loving, friendly, spunky

The Chi Apso is a hybrid mix between the Chihuahua and the Lhasa Apso, so they have a combination of intelligence and spunk from both parents. They have a dense double coat that comes from their Lhasa Apso parent. They rarely have the shorter coat of their Chihuahua parent. If you are interested in one of these little dogs, here is everything that you need to know.

Chi Apso Characteristics

Chi Apso Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Chi Apso Puppies

You should always look at your local animal rescues and pet shelters to see if you can find a dog like the Chi Apso. You may not find the exact breed that you want, but you will have the opportunity to give a lonely and abandoned animal a loving home.

If you decide to adopt from a breeder, you must check to ensure that your money will go to a breeder who cares for and protects their dogs. You should ask to get a tour of their facility. They should be willing to take you into every area in which they allow their dogs so you can ensure that it is sanitary and safe. Before adopting your Chi Apso puppy, you should also ask for a copy of their parents’ health records. Doing so helps you and your vet know about possible genetic predispositions that your pup could have to certain diseases.

Photo Credit: Left-  Africa Studio, Shutterstock | Right – kshitijprakash, Pixabay

Temperament & Intelligence of the Chi Apso 🧠

The Chi Apso is a highly adaptable pup that enjoys being around family more than anything. They desire to please you and won’t enjoy it if they end up making you angry or upset. Because of that, they can be easy to train.

Chi Apsos can be somewhat of a mixed bag because the personalities of the Chihuahua and the Lhasa Apso are not incredibly similar. Lhasas are usually friendly but also quiet, alert, and cautious due to their monasterial upbringing. Chihuahuas, on the other hand, tend to be much louder and even dominating. Both of the breeds are protective.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

These little dogs are well-suited to families of all kinds, including those with young children. They are small, but thanks to the Lhasa Apso, they have dense bodies that make them stronger and able to withstand rough handling from young kids. However, you should still always watch their interactions to ensure that neither the child nor the dog gets hurt.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Properly socializing your Chi Apso with other pets from a young age will make all the difference with this breed. They are often quite friendly. Because of their small size and lack of a prey drive, they can even get along with animals like cats.


Things to Know When Owning a Chi Apso

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Chi Apso might be a little dog, but they still need sustenance. Since they are a bit more muscular than a typical tiny dog, it is best to give them food with slightly more protein. If they get more exercise than average, you should give them food for small, active dogs.

Try to give your Chi Apso 1 cup of food a day, spread out in two meals, so they don’t get indigestion. Always make sure they have fresh water to drink as well.

Exercise 🐕

The Chi Apso is a small dog that has a relatively low demand for exercise. If you decide to walk with them, try to walk them at least 5 miles each week. You should still let them get out and be active for at least 30 minutes every day.

With their little legs and low stamina, be careful not to push your Chi Apso too far too fast. They can go on hikes with you, but always be vigilant to watch that they don’t get overtired or end up hurting themselves from overexertion.

Training 🎾

Training your Chi Apso is essential. Make sure you are ready to reinforce positive traits and not to encourage negative ones. It is common to see owners reinforce negative behavioral traits in these dogs without even realizing it. Instead, talk to a local trainer or someone with experience training well-behaved dogs so you can encourage your Chi Apso to be the best that they can be.

Chi Apsos usually are easy to train but can sometimes be uncooperative when it comes to listening. You don’t want to coddle them too much either, since this can result in separation anxiety. In these dogs, separation anxiety often manifests in biting and excessive barking.

Socialization and introductions into all kinds of environments from a young age are essential to give them time to socialize.

Grooming ✂️

Your Chi Apso will require some amount of maintenance because they tend to inherit the long, thick coat of their Lhasa Apso parents. You should brush them at least once a week, making sure to use a de-matter to get out all the knots and mats that they might have. Afterward, use a pin brush to gently get the last tangles out and help disperse their natural oils to keep their coats healthy.

It is typical to take your Chi Apso to a groomer every 4 to 7 weeks to get their coat tidied up and shaped. This schedule will keep them looking healthy and presentable. Bathing them should only happen when they need it, since their skin can be sensitive.

You should not only care for their coat but also their teeth and nails. Trim your pup’s nails about every other week to keep them comfortable and short. You should brush their teeth every other day to keep their teeth and gums in good condition.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Chi Apsos are relatively healthy dogs. There are still a few conditions that you should keep an eye out for, though, particularly as they age.

Minor Conditions
  • Allergies
  • Cherry eye
Serious Conditions
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Kidney disease
  • Collapsed trachea

Male vs. Female

There are no established differences between males and females in this breed.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Chi Apso

1. The Lhasa Apso gets its name from a holy city in Tibet.

Lhasa Apsos are one of the oldest dog breeds that we have on record. They originally come from the mountains of Tibet. The monks who lived in the holy cities nestled into the sides of mountains bred and raised them to help out around the monasteries and cities. At night, these dogs would guard the monasteries.

If you have ever had a Lhasa Apso or been around them, you might think that they are not vicious-looking. However, their job wasn’t to attack but to warn those inside the monastery of strangers.

It is unclear exactly where the Tibetan monks bred these dogs from because there are not many records of other dog breeds around at the time. It was so long ago that now it is difficult to find written texts or evidence of the Lhasa Apso’s breeding before they simply became a regular fixture in the city of Lhasa.

The theories around their heritage stem from them being descendants of Northern breeds like the Tibetan Terrier. Others think that they were likely mixed with some kind of mountain wolf. The dogs ended up being so treasured that until the 1900s, the dogs were gifted only from the Dalai Lama on occasion, which is how they ended up coming to the United States in 1933.

2. The heritage of the Chihuahua is widely debated.

The Chihuahua is another dog whose breed is quite old yet shrouded in mystery. The Chihuahua was closely related to another dog that came from Central and South America. However, the Chihuahua got much luckier because their cousin was hunted and eaten to extinction.

Chihuahuas come from Southern Mexico, and they were often kept as prized possessions of the Toltec people. They were thought to bring healing and were even considered the guides of those who had died, helping them over to the other side. At the time, the breed’s name was Techichi.

Because of their spunky character, the Chihuahua has also grown to be quite popular here in America. Many celebrities have called Chihuahuas their breed of choice. According to the American Kennel Club, they rank 30th on the list of the most popular dogs in North America.

3. The Chi Apso is currently recognized by the Designer Breed Registry.

The Chi Apso is a relatively new breed because of the developing interest in designer dog breeds in the late 1990s. They have gotten established enough for their breed to become recognized by the Designer Breed Registry, among other hybrid organizations and clubs.



Chi Apsos are an excellent breed to consider if you are a first-time dog owner or need a pup that is adaptable to a wide variety of situations, children, and other pets. Ensure that you give them plenty of attention and love while consistently working on training.

Featured Image Credit: Valeria Plusnina, Shutterstock

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