Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Weight: 4-6kg (9-14 lbs.)
Height: 20-30cm (8-12 in.)
Grooming Requirements: High Maintenance
Exercise Requirements: Moderate
Popularity in Australia: Rare Breed
Dog Type: Classified as Herding Group but most consider it a lap dog
Most suited As: Companion
Also known As: No other names
Expected Life Span: 12-15 years
This little jewel was a happy accident in San Francisco, California in the 1950s. A Lhasa Apso and a Maltese got together and produced the first litter. They were then line bred over a 20 year period, until the early 70s when the dogs became established as a separate breed. Kai in Tibet means dog, and in Latin Leo means lion.
They are now recognized by the ARBA (American Rare Breed Asso.), the National Kennel Club, the Continental Kennel Club, the American Pet Registry, the Dog Registry of America, and the Kyi-Leo Club.
These little balls of fur are excellent companions, being calm and do not stress easily. They are friendly, eager to please, and train nicely. They will alert you to company or strangers, but are not usually aggressive. They will get along well with children and other pets.
This dog is very playful and loves attention but can be left alone while you go off to work without destroying your home or annoying the neighbors with incessant barking.
The Kyi-Leo will alert you to visitors and strangers, but generally is not overtly aggressive.
This dog gets most of his exercise requirements through play, but they still will need a walk each day. If you have a good sized fenced yard, of leash time will be appreciated even more. They do not need hard exercise or to become overweight as this can cause knee problems in this breeds small legs.
Size/weight and Colour
These little guys come to 20-30cm at the withers, (8-12 inches), and weigh in at 4-6kg, (9-14 lbs.).
Their colour is mostly white with the most common secondary colour being black, but there are some with tan markings. Their fur is log and dense, with a thick fringe around their muzzle. The silky fur can be straight or wavy. They have slow hair growth with the coat not being at its fullest or longest until they are two years old.
They must be brushed daily to keep their fur from becoming matted. A bath and use of a good conditioner is recommended twice a week.
This breed can develop skin problems if grooming is not performed regularly and properly. They are also prone to luxation of the patella, especially if the dog becomes overweight. Improper diet also causes pancreatitis in a significant percentage of these dogs.
Children that are too young to be careful should not have this dog as a pet. Their spin and joints can be damaged from play that is too rough, or from being dropped.
All this dog needs is lots of interaction with the family or owner and daily walks. Of course, he would also benefit from a small fenced yard to romp and play in.
Not suitable due to small size and fragile joints and spine.
This breed may have up to 4 puppies in a litter.
Kyi-Leo Organisations in Australia
No club information listed
Kyi-Leo Organisations in the UK
Kyi Leo – Pet Owners Association
Kyi-Leo Organisations in the US
Kyi-Leo – Continental Kennel Club
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