Meet the Lhasapoo: Half Guard Dog, Half Circus Star, All Heart

Most people think of medium and large dogs when they imagine a Doodle. The first breed mixes that come to mind are usually Goldendoodles, Labradoodles, and Bernedoodles, but there are small-sized Doodles, too! 

The Lhasapoo dog—a Lhasa Apso Poodle mix—rarely weighs more than 18 pounds and stands no more than 15 inches tall. A tiny mixed breed with curly double coats and inquisitive, playful personalities, the Lhasapoo looks like the perfect lap dog on paper. However, Lhasapoo dogs need a surprising amount of mental stimulation, and their energy levels and high intelligence can make them a little difficult to train. 

the Lhasapoo dog

If you think a Lhasapoo could be your perfect canine companion, start your research journey with our quick guide to this small-sized mixed breed. 

Meet 4 Insta-Famous Lhasapoos

Let’s meet some adorable Lhasapoos to give you a good idea of the variety within this mix! You’ll see that Lhasapoos come in lots of different coat colors, and some take more after their Poodle parents while others take more after their Lhasa Apso parents. 

1. Bertie Boo

Lhasapoo dog
Source: @BertieBoo_The_Lhasapoo

Sweet little Birtie Boo is a 3-year-old Lhasapoo from Scotland with a gorgeous golden coat and a knack for making her humans laugh. 

2. Leo

Lhasapoo dog
Source: @LhasapooLeo

5-year-old Leo from Derbyshire, England is an extra-fashionable Lhasapoo—look at how he rocks that sweater!

3. Muffin

Lhasapoo dog
Source: @Muffin_Lhasapoo

Lovely little Muffin is an all-white 4-year-old Lhasapoo from Montreal, Canada with a cheerful, friendly personality that earns her friends wherever she goes!

4. Dakota

Lhasapoo dog
Source: @Dakota_Lhasapoo

Dakota is a 3-year-old Lhasapoo from Girona, Spain who loves to romp on the beach! Whether it’s chasing a ball or playing with other dogs, Dakota is up for a good time. 

Lhasapoos Are Smarter Than You!

Lhasapoos are a mix of Lhasa Apso dogs and miniature Poodles—though some breeders try to breed this mix even smaller by using a toy Poodle parent instead. Lhasa Apsos are a breed of purebred dog from Tibet and were originally bred to serve as sentinels in Buddhist monasteries. Unlike guard dogs who might be used to chase off intruders, the small-sized Lhasa Apsos were more akin to alarm systems and would patrol the inside of monasteries instead of the outside and grounds. 

Miniature Poodles are the smaller version of standard Poodles and were bred down in size to make them more easily transportable. While standard Poodles were bred as hunting dogs—specifically duck hunters—smaller Poodles like the miniature became popular in circuses where they would perform tricks. Whip-smart and eager to please, miniature Poodles eventually transformed into one of the world’s most popular family dogs. 

So, what do you get when you combine a tiny pseudo-guard dog and a miniature circus performer? 

Lhasapoo Temperament

Lhasapoos are affectionate, cheerful, and intelligent little dogs who form firm bonds with their humans. Thanks to their Lhasa Apso parents, Lhasapoos are somewhat territorial, and may choose one human over others in the family. Though some may be social and playful, others can be a little more reserved and nervous. 

High-energy and prone to boredom, Lhasapoos can be difficult to mentally stimulate to the point of satisfaction, and some people find that this breed is constantly alert. A curious and sometimes mischievous dog breed, the Lhasapoo isn’t as easy to train as you might think a Poodle mix would be. Many Lhasapoos are hard to potty train, and can be picky, which makes it hard to motivate them with food. For example, many Lhasapoos won’t accept dry dog food or hard treats, and will only eat fresh, more flavorful meals. 

Lhasapoo dog
Source: Dog Breed Info

With positive reinforcement and lots of dedication, you can train your Lhasapoo to be well behaved and go potty in the right place. However, this breed’s tendency towards stubbornness can make them a tough nut to crack for first time dog owners. 

Lhasapoo Size

Lhasapoos are small dogs standing around 10–15 inches tall and weighing between 10–18 pounds

Lhasapoo Health

Mixed-breed dogs are generally healthier and less prone to inherited/genetic health conditions than purebred dogs, but that doesn’t mean they are always free from health problems. Some health issues to look out for if you own a Lhasapoo include:

  • Eye and vision problems (i.e. progressive retinal atrophy, dry eye, cherry eye)
  • Joint issues (i.e. patellar luxation, elbow and hip dysplasia, Legg-Calve-Perthes)
  • Kidney disfunction
  • Epilepsy
  • Von Willebrand’s disease—a clotting disorder

Where To Find a Lhasapoo for Sale

Lhasapoo dog

We don’t recommend buying Lhasapoos or other “designer” mixed breeds from breeders. The vast majority of intentionally-bred mixes come from less-than-reputable breeders like puppy mills and backyard breeders. These breeding programs do not perform proper health or genetic testing on their breeding pairs, and breed for looks rather than for health and breed longevity. 

Instead, we recommend searching local shelters and rescue groups for Lhasapoo puppies or adults. You can also try adopting from a breed-specific rescue like IDOG—which rehomes Doodles nationwide—or the American Lhasa Apso Club Rescue

Lhasapoo FAQ

Need more information before you decide that a Lhasapoo is for you? Read our answers to the internet’s most common questions about this mix. 

Are Lhasapoos Hypoallergenic? 

Yes, sort of. There is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog, but if you are specifically allergic to dander, Lhasapoos might make you have fewer allergic reactions than other breeds. 

Do Lhasapoos shed? 

Yes, but very little. Lhasapoos often have a thick double coat thanks to their Lhasa Apso parents, so they shed seasonally. Because they are also part Poodle and grow their fur continuously, you’ll need to be ready to pay for professional grooming sessions at least every 8 weeks. 

Are Lhasa Apso hypoallergenic? 

Sort of. Lhasa Apso are a low-shedding breed, and may drop less dander than other dogs. However, they still have the same amount of allergen as any other dog breed

What is the average Lhasapoo lifespan? 

On average, Lhasapoos live between 10–18 years

How much do Lhasapoo puppies cost? 

If you see Lhasapoos for sale from breeders, the average price will be between $500–$1,000. While this might seem like a good deal for a dog from a breeder, it’s important to remember that the Lhasapoo is not a purebred, and is therefore not subject to breed standards. Most people intentionally producing mixed breed dogs are not doing proper health and genetic testing, so it’s best to avoid buying from them and supporting this practice. 

How can you get rid of Lhasapoo tear stains? 

Lhasapoo coat color can vary, but light-colored Lhasapoos in particular are prone to tear stains. Though not dangerous, tear stains can be irritating and unsightly. Luckily, it’s easy to treat your dog’s tear stains at home with wipes, grooming tools, and specialty shampoos. 

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