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The La-Chon is a wonderful mix of the independent but loyal Lhasa apso and the playful bichon frise. These dogs’ temperaments vary seeing as they have a bichon frise parent historically kept as a lap dog, and the Lhasa apso kept as a guard dog.
It is critical to fully understand this designer dog’s various physical and emotional attributes before inviting one to your home. Luckily, we have covered all you need to know about this bichon frise mixed breed to know if the pup is the right pick for you and your family.
La-Chon (Lhasa Apso x Bichon Frise Mix) History
La-Chons have a history drowned in mystery since no one knows the true origin of these dogs. The parent breeds have a well-documented history, with the Lhasa Apso being one of the top 14 ancient dogs recognized by the American Kennel Club.
La-Chons were recently developed in the USA as designer dog breeds. The practice of designer dog breeding aimed to combine desirable physical and personality traits of various popular purebred dogs into one all-rounded pup. Those bred from the purebred parent breeds have vast differences in appearance and behavior and are referred to as first-generation hybrids (F1). Two La-Chons produce (F2) generation mixes that have stronger genetic profiles.
La-Chons commonly go by other names including Lhasa-Chon.
La-Chon Appearance, Coat, Size & Weight
The La-Chon is bred from two tiny dogs making this a small dog breed. The bichon frise and the lhasa apso parent breeds are quite similar in height and weight so the size of the La-Chons doesn’t vary a lot.
La-Chons are non-sporting dogs that stand at a height of 9 to 12 inches at the shoulders and weigh around 7 to 20 pounds. Height may just be the only constant physical attribute of the La-Chon because the difference in measurements of size is quite narrow.
These pups attain adult height and weight at 8 to 12 months along with the mental maturity to go with the grown-up size. La-Chon puppies are delicate creatures that can even fit in the palm of your hand. It is critical to handle them with care because they injure pretty easily.
The way La-Chons look depends on the parent breed they take after. F1 generation mixes vary greatly in appearance because of the wide spectrum of genetic possibilities. The F3, F4 generations, and so on stand a better chance at a more reliable look.
In general, the La-Chon is well proportioned with a rounded head along with a shortened muzzle. They have floppy ears that are typical to the parent breeds that must be trimmed to avoid overgrown hair. They have almond-shaped eyes and a cute, black nose that you simply can’t resist bopping.
The La-Chon has the double coat that is seen in both parent breeds which necessitates regular brushing to avoid tangles. The outer coat can either be dense and curly like the bichon frise or straight and silky like the lhasa apso.
La-Chons have gorgeous colorings made more diverse by the Lhasa apso parent because they come in more color variations than the bichon frise. The most common colors are white, cream, black, brown, blue, and tan but they can have multiple markings of different colors.
Both parents are hypoallergenic so you have a pretty good chance with La-Chons if you suffer from allergies. Even though there can’t be a fully hypoallergenic dog, the La-Chon is a safe bet in comparison to other dog breeds.
La-chon Maintenance, Activity, and Space Requirements
La-chons are good for novice doggy owners because their maintenance requirements aren’t too intense. Grooming is the most challenging part of maintaining a La-Chon pup but even then, it is still quite doable.
The long luscious hair does not come free of charge because La-Chon owners need to put in the work in terms of maintaining it. The good news is that they aren’t big on shedding so you can focus your energy on proper coat maintenance.
Regular brushing is essential for a healthy and shiny coat as it removes knots and tangles that develop into matting. Pets with double coats like the La-Chon are notorious for hair matting when shed hair from the inner coat gets tangled up in the outer coat.
Small dogs such as the La-Chon are also susceptible to dental problems because their teeth are overcrowded. Dental issues such as canine periodontal disease can lead to life-threatening medical conditions like kidney failure if left untreated. To avoid dental problems in your pup, brush their teeth twice a week or even daily if you can, the more times the better.
Professional grooming is required every month or every other month because the La-Chon has a lot of hair that needs to be trimmed. You can also trim your La-Chon at home giving special attention to the face and the ears. Too much hair on the face could impair vision and excessive hair in the ears is a breeding ground for infections.
La-Chons are prone to getting tear stains if their eyes aren’t cleaned properly. Clean their eyes with a damp cloth to avoid dirt and gunk from accumulating underneath their eyes. Tear stains are a lot more obvious on light-toned La-Chons.
Excessive bathing should be avoided at all costs because it will strip your pup’s coat of essential oils that keep the skin and hair healthy. Bathing them every month is adequate and when they get dirty during playtime or daily walks.
Note: Use a pin brush for regular maintenance brushing as opposed to a slicker brush. Brushing your pup’s hair weekly with a sleeker brush could cause excessive loss of hair in the inner coat.
La-Chons have minimal energy requirements mostly due to their small sizes. About 30 minutes of daily walks and a little playtime is enough for them. If the bichon frise is strong in La-Chons, they will be more than happy to spend the day with you on the couch. Lhasa apso-prominent pups are more independent so they will be okay with less activity time with you.
As highly intelligent pups, mental stimulation cannot be overlooked else destructive behaviors will develop. Keeping your pooch stimulated goes a long way in having a well-mannered pup that is happy and content.
The La-Chon can adapt well to life in an apartment. Their small size coupled with the minimal energy requirements means that this pup is an ideal candidate for living in small spaces, though they will enjoy a yard too.
They can be yappy at the sight of strangers, which is frowned upon in most apartment buildings. Adequate training will help curb this barking problem along with proper socialization during puppyhood.
La-Chon Temperament and Intelligence
La-Chons are both alert little watchdogs and ideal lapdogs. The personality of a La-Chon is entirely dependent on the parent they will take after but they generally have a very pleasant disposition.
They are overall happy dogs that bring joy everywhere they go, making them very lovable pups. La-Chons have unwavering loyalty to their loved ones that only intensifies the high level of affection they have for their families.
The unending love comes at a cost because La-Chons can develop separation anxiety. They are suitable for large families such that there’s always someone at home to keep them company. Sufficient exercise and crate training can help teach La-Chons that they’ll be okay by themselves for short periods.
The Lhasa apso is known to be a good judge of character, which is why they were used as guard dogs by the monks in the past. They can pass this trait down to the La-Chon, who may bark at any unfamiliar faces relentlessly unless trained otherwise. Adequate socialization is critical. La-Chons are small dogs with little to fear and will go up against a dog several times their size without second thoughts, thanks to their lhasa apso heritage.
Expect your La-Chon to be incredibly smart because both parents are very intelligent breeds. If they take after the bichon parent, La-Chons will not just be smart, they will also have a high drive to please you, making them even easier to train. La-Chons that take after the Lhasa apso have more of an independent streak that could slightly complicate training. If your pup is stubborn during training, patience and positive reinforcement will be beneficial in the process.
Mental stimulation in the form of puzzles and other mind games is absolutely crucial for La-Chons because of their high level of intelligence. Understimulation is followed closely by unwanted behaviors such as chewing on the furniture.
La-Chon Health and Lifespan
La-Chons are considered to be senior dogs at 11 years of age and have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. Hybrid vigor due to a widened gene pool means that La-Chons lead quite a healthy life.
That said, this hybrid can experience health issues typical to the parent breeds such as:
- Hip dysplasia: A serious condition where the ball part of the pelvis head of the dog isn’t fully covered by the socket of the hip resulting in a loss in the range of motion.
- Kidney problems: Also referred to as renal disease where the kidneys cease to function properly and can either be acute or chronic kidney failure.
- Patellar luxation: Also known as slipping knee cap where the knee cap moves out of place leading to limping.
- Allergies: While La-Chons are unlikely to cause allergic reactions to their owners, they can suffer from allergies. Licking paws and rubbing the face are common indications of an allergic reaction.
- Ear infections: They could have plenty of hair in the ears that can hold on to bacteria leading to ear infections. Regular ear trimming is required to avoid ear infections.
- Dental problems: Tartar buildup causes diseases in the mouth that lower the quality of life for your pup. Loss of teeth is a common effect of untreated periodontal disease along with gum infections.
Is La-Chon the Right Breed for you?
While the above should give you sufficient information to answer that question in a way that best suits you, below are some extra pointers. You should consider getting a La-Chon if:
- You are at home most of the time: These cut pups can develop serious separation anxiety once left alone for a very long time. Dogs suffering from separation anxiety will bark incessantly in an attempt to get some attention from their owners. If you won’t be home most of the time, the next viable option is to leave your La-Chon with a relative or a close friend. Families with large households are suitable for this pup because that way, there will always be someone to keep them company while you are away. However, they need to be supervised with small children.
- You don’t have an active lifestyle: Senior citizens or any other person that doesn’t move a lot can own a La-Chon with ease. They are small, meaning that they have relatively low exercise requirements that can be met by simply taking them out for a daily walk.
- You are an allergy sufferer: La-Chons are hypoallergenic dogs that are easy on people that suffer from allergies. It is not a guarantee that these pups won’t trigger your allergies because no dog is fully hypoallergenic. Check with your doctor first.
- You have limited space or live in an apartment: As mentioned above, La-Chons are highly adaptable to apartment living because they are small in size and they don’t need a lot of space to cater to their energy levels.
La-Chons will make a great addition to your family because they’re highly affectionate.
Early socialization and training will ensure that you have a well-mannered pup especially if you notice stubbornness earlier on. Quality time with owners is key to this designer dog’s happiness as they were bred as companion dogs. That’s especially the case if they are more like a bichon frise than a Lhasa apso.