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Lhasapoos: Characteristics of the breed and how to live with a Lhasapoo
The Lhasapoo gets its name from being a mix between the Lhasa Apso breed, and a Poodle. This is usually a Miniature Poodle for reasons of size compatibility. As with all cross breeds, there is great potential but also possible dangers. Though it is nice to think that you can cross two breeds and get the best of both worlds, this is not how genetics work. In reality, the breeder has little control over whether certain traits of the parents are passed on to the puppies. For example, the coat may have tight curls, loose curls, be wavy or even straight – this is hard to predict based on the parents!
In this article we will lay out the main characteristics of the Lhasapoo, some information about its likely personality, and some tips that will help you live with this breed if you go ahead and add one to your family.
Physical characteristics of a Lhasapoo
Lhasapoos always have cute and alert faces – though it can be hard to see them under the fur! This is a big part of their appeal – they are very expressive little dogs.
They have stout and sturdy bodies. Their weight is quite low, typically between 10 and 20 pounds (4 to 9 kilograms). This makes them easy dogs to have around and they will eat less food in comparison to big dogs. Their height is pretty variable, but they are generally no bigger than 2 feet to the shoulders.
In addition to the variation in coat curliness that we mentioned earlier, there can be plenty of color variation in their fur. There are a multitude of single colors, or you can get what is called a particolour – a solid colour plus some white fur. Poodles are considered by some people to be hypoallergenic, and as a result very suitable for people with dog allergies. Lhasapoos can be promoted as hypoallergenic as well. Unfortunately that is something of an urban myth, because allergies are not caused by the type of coat but by the dander (dead skin cells that all dogs will shed). There isn’t actually any evidence that any breed is more or less allergenic than the others. There is certainly some variation in how severely certain people react to certain dogs, but there is absolutely no guarantee that a Lhasapoo will be hypoallergenic.
The Lhasapoo needs to be treated in a way that is suitable for a moderately active dog. They will generally adapt easily to your lifestyle as an owner, but they do need a good walk or an active playtime every day. They certainly aren’t as manic as many breeds, which may suit those who are looking for a calmer ownership experience.
If you are keen to try it, and your dog is healthy, they can be used for dog sports such as agility and obedience competitions. They might not be the fastest, but they are agile enough.
Personality of a Lhasapoo
The Lhasa Apso was originally bred to serve as a watchdog. This means it had a suspicious nature, and dogs like this will always be on the lookout. They are excellent dogs to alert you to any activity, but this can mean that they are ‘yappy’ and will bark at any disturbance. The Poodle part of the mix may help to calm this tendency down.
Lhasapoos are companion dogs. They love their people and need to live in the house, never outdoors. They may have different natures, but this depends on many variables. It is believed that they are different depending on the strength of inheritance from each side of the cross breed. Stubbornness and independence can come through strongly from the Lhasa Apso side. On the other hand, the Poodle side of the cross is likely to make your dog more playful and less aloof!
Lhasapoos are intelligent dogs, and this quick mind makes them very trainable. As with all dogs, it is important to train them well and train them quickly. They respond best to positive reinforcement techniques – these can take the form of praise or play rewards as well as food. The personality of a dog, like with most humans, is dependent on a mixture of inheritance and environment. Interestingly, it is believed that the Lhasapoo’s mother is more likely to influence the puppy’s behaviour, as this is the parent they will spend time with.
How to live with a Lhasapoo
The tips given below are important to use with your Lhasapoo to ensure that your life with them is as easy as possible.
Training your dog as soon as you get them home, even from just 8 weeks old, is well worth it. This is key to ensuring that they get the best start and always know what the rules are in your house. It is recommended by many trainers to get them to a puppy kindergarten. This allows for socialization with lots of other dogs. The only downside to this is the risk of disease, so check with your vet that your dog has all the necessary vaccinations before you take them along to one of these events.
Grooming and coat care will be important to ensure that your dog is healthy, happy and pleasant to be around. Professional grooming is recommended every four to six weeks to keep your dog looking at their best, with regular bathing at home in-between. It is important to groom regularly because the fur can become matted. Treated regularly, it will ensure that your Lhasapoo is wonderfully soft and snuggly.
The rest of what you need to do to look after your dog is basic maintenance. Keeping their nails trimmed and keeping ears clean and dry are essential for most dogs. For small dogs, you should bear in mind that they are particularly susceptible to dental disease. Brushing their teeth frequently with a good dog toothpaste will help keep them in good health and stop their breath from causing you any issues!