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Their breeding began in the 1950’s with the accidental mating of a Lhasa Apso and a Maltese in U.S.A. “Kyi” means dog in Tibetan and “Leo’’ means lion in Latin. Unlike other crossbreeds, the name Kyi-leo has officially been registered as a trademark, making the dog on the lines of a brand rather than a breed.


                                                               Facts About  Kyi-Leo
Breed Group Herding
Breed Type Crossbreed
Country of Origin U.S.A.
Other Names Kye-leo
Size Small
Height 8-12 inches
Weight 9-14 pounds
Competitive Registration/ Qualification Information ACA, APRI, ARBA, CKC, DRA, KLC, NKC
Shedding Minimal
Hypoallergenic Yes
Litter Size 2-7 puppies
Colour Black, Black and white, Brown and white, Salt and pepper, White/ cream.
Life Expectancy 12-14 years
Coat Long, Silky, Thick
Price $600-$800

Temperament & Personality

Kyi-Leo is known for its liveliness, alertness and catlike quickness. Its gentle nature helps it to get along with people. Children should be taught to be more kind to this dog because of its gentle nature. It is good with other dogs as well as non-canine animals. The dog can be a good watchdog and the owners should socialize the animal with people and noises from an early age. It will make it wary of strangers. The owners should be sure to meet their natural instincts as animals. It has a quiet and forgiving personality and is good for modern apartment living in the cities. They love to get petted and cuddled by the family and toys keep them engaged for a long duration. Kyi-leos have cat-like tendencies to grasp objects with their forelimbs. Lastly, they are a great addition to any family.



The Kyi-leo doesn’t need vigorous training but needs a daily walk. If not taken to a daily walk, it may develop behavioral issues. The Kyi-leo is not meant for super-active families. They don’t want to go for heavy adrenaline exercises, rather they would struggle and hang out with their owners. The dog will also enjoy a good romp in a safe area, such as a large fenced-in yard. They also enjoy indoor games.


Professional help is needed for trimming and stripping if the owner does not want to deal with a heavy layer of hair. This breed is an average shedder which works in the favor of their owners.

Health Problems

Because of its small size, it has delicate legs and spine. Due to a lot of jumping, the dog is prone to have back pain. They should be given joint supplements from a young age and the owners should make sure that they handle them with proper care. This dog has a sensitive GI tract, so the owners should not give them table foods as they are prone to pancreatitis.



Feeding is an issue for this breed as it easily gets overweight because of its small size. When the Kyi-leo pups are between the age of 8-12 months, they need 4 meals a day. When it hits its first birthday, the owner should give it a bowl of meal per day. The owner should learn the dog’s eating habits and offer premium quality dog foods to ensure that it gets a balanced diet.

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