Should You Get A Lhasapoo?

lhasapooIn the modern world, some things really haven’t changed from the way they were centuries ago. Bread is still one of the most important staple foods of society. Society still loves to brew and drink beer. Millions of different elements of the human experience have been radically altered by the onset of the new millennium, but some things remain the same.

One such element of human existence is the companionship of dogs. The domesticated canine remains a regular companion of billions of people the world over. Whether as a practical hunting or guard dog or just as a loyal friend and companion, people do love their canines.

Among the elements of dogs that haven’t changed over the centuries is how human beings continue to develop specific dog breeds. This is the process that, thousands of years ago, produced the first specialized breed of canine. Humans needed dogs for different tasks, and they simply ensured that dogs who performed those tasks well were bred together.

Eventually, these dogs became full-fledged dog breeds. Every breed is known for certain tasks, such as greyhounds and running or German shepherds and guarding. Some dog breeds are even bred to be companions who can thrive under circumstances that most dogs simply can’t handle.

Designer Dogs Bred For Apartments

One such breed is the Lhasapoo. This breed is a cross mix of a Lhasa Apso and a poodle. The poodle is typically a miniature poodle, though some full sized poodles are used in the breeding process. These two breeds have been around for some centuries, possibly even longer in the case of Lhasa Apsos, and combining them has become a recent trend in “designer dogs”.

Some people balk at the idea of designer dogs, but the truth is that this is a good thing for the animals in the long run. The fact is that mixing any breed of animal tends to actually help the resulting offspring, purging inbred defects and creating a healthier, less illness prone animal. The main trait this breed was designed for is the ability to live in small spaces. Sometimes this refers to houses with no backyards, but for many city dwellers, this also refers to apartments.

Much like the puggle, the Lhasapoo is intended to be a companion pet for city dwellers. They’re bred to be small, as well as friendly. The breed is generally considered good with children, though all dogs will have their own personality. Like all dogs of all breeds, these animals have their upsides, downsides, and quirks. This means it’s especially important to consider whether or not you’re prepared to be a dog owner. And that’s before you decide whether or not you’re prepared to own a specific breed of dog. A few warnings are absolutely in order before one gets one of these adorable dogs, however.

Things To Know Before Owning A Dog

First and foremost, if you must get just one puppy from this breed and no other dog, it is best to go to a reputable breeder. Most dogs sold in pet stores come from puppy mills and while most people familiar with dogs know about the horrific conditions of puppy mills, people who’ve never owned a dog may not know about them.

Puppy mills treat dogs and puppies as objects to be built and sold rather than living creatures. Puppies that lack “better selling” qualities are often killed and mothers tend to be impregnated more than their bodies can handle to produce more puppies. Reputable breeders may cost more, but given the utterly inhumane conditions that allow puppy mills to produce dogs on demand, it’s a small price to pay.

The second is to never, ever give a dog as a gift. While bringing a dog into a family may be treated as a gift, the fact is every household purchasing a dog should be ready and willing to take it in. Most dogs given as gifts end up on the street if they survive at all. Plain and simple, not every household is ready for a dog, least of all a dog they had no say in acquiring.

Ideally one will choose adoption for this special breed, as their popularity tends to make them fodder for puppy mills. This generally leaves the poor puppies abandoned out on the street. Adoption is definitely the way to go when getting any dog. Fortunately, if one really wants a Lhasapoo, most animal shelters have online databases where one can search for a specific breed of dog and adopt them from there.

Still, for those who are willing to be decent citizens of the world and not treat dogs as commodities, this breed can be a pretty impressive companion. This is especially true for people without space for a larger or more energetic dog. The Lhasapoo doesn’t need much exercise, making it a good dog for the elderly or perpetually busy. These dogs are intensely affectionate and cat-friendly, as well as being superb apartment dwellers, making them fine companions for owners who live in urban areas.

They’re fairly easy to train as well, which is quite beneficial. These dogs have a serious barking problem if they’re poorly trained. This is mostly because the Lhasa Apso was bred as a watch dog, and for those owners who feel up to the challenge, they can be trained as great guard dogs. This allows people who have to live in smaller spaces to have the same guard dog protection as those who can house a large dog.

Tending To The Health Of Your Pup

Due to inbreeding over the centuries, specific dog breeds often have specific physical health issues. This is true for these dogs as well. In general, you can expect them to be at risk for many of the same health issues as both miniature poodles and Lhasa Apso. However, the mixing of the two breeds will often lower the risk of these issues occurring. After all, it’s hard to breed mother and grandfather if you’re breeding two different breeds together!

When you’re talking to a breeder, ask for certification of health tests. There are a number of standard health tests that can be performed, and a number of groups that offer certification. These include groups such as the Canine Eye Registry Foundation, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, and others.

Some breeders will claim there’s no need for such certification. They often imply or outright state that they’ve never had problems with any of their breed lines. If you encounter such a breeder, walk away. Any breeder who prizes their animals will be happy to provide such certification. Not to mention, performing these tests can often save you money over time.

Grooming Your Dog

Lastly, this breed does need some specific grooming. Their fur can come in a variety of styles, essentially offering the full spectrum of fur styles from the two parent breeds or a mixed style of the two. That said, most have a curly, or at least wavy, coat.

You should expect to get your dog professionally groomed every month or so, in order to keep them free of tangles and matting. You should also brush their coat every three or four days.

This breed also requires the fur trimmed from around their genitals and lower belly trimmed. This helps with hygiene, keeping waste from getting caught in their fur. They also get reddish-brown stains in the fur directly under their eyes. This can be remedied by giving them a daily face wash, but as long as your beloved pooch is kept clean and hygienic these stains don’t generally present a problem.

These are wonderful dogs, especially for smaller living areas. If you’ve been hoping for an adorable dog that can do everything from offer companionship to guard your apartment, this is the dog for you.