Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu

The Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu, I know, it could be a very hard decision to make; however, in my honest opinion you can’t go wrong with either. At a glance, the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu may look so similar that they could be mistaken for as twins. They are both believed to have originated in Tibet, China. They were kept as companions and referred to as “lion dogs“. Both breeds have a variety of coat colors such as brown, black and white combinations just to name a few. Both have long hair that requires extensive grooming. They are both approved by the AKC. These cute dogs have very subtle yet vast differences in their personalities and looks that can tell them apart from each other.

Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu

Meet The Lhasa Apso

picture of a lhasa apso - lhasa apso vs shih tzuThe Lhasa Apso was also regarded as the “bark lion sentinel dog” in the monasteries in Tibet for they were also kept as guard dogs. They were introduced into the US in 1933 as gifts of royalty. They generally have a life span of 10-20 years. On average, they weigh around 12-18 pounds. They have a height of 10-11 inches at the shoulders, and its length from the shoulder to the base of the tail would be slightly longer than their height. Its muzzle is long and positioned low on its face and their skull is narrow. Its head is flatter than that of a Shih Tzu’s yet still rounded. They have a long and straight coat that simply parts from the middle and falls loosely down. Their hair is rougher than a Shih Tzu’s hair and coat and can be a bit harder to tie up on a ponytail. The Lhasa Apso’s temperament is that it is a confident breed that could be aloof and wary of strangers. They are smart though, for when they see their owner welcoming newcomers, they will do the same as well. They are independent, have a bold and strong personality and could be mischievous. They are also alert, lively, spirited and playful dogs devoted to their master.

Meet the Shih Tzu

picture of a shih tzu dog

The Shih Tzu is actually thought to be the Lhasa Apso’s descendant as well as the Pekingese dog breed. They were mostly pets and companions to members of the Ming Dynasty. They were discovered by British soldiers back in the WWII and brought to England. Their life span is around 10-16 years. The Shih Tzu’s ideal weight is at 9-16 pounds and a height of about 9-10.5 inches. Due to this, they are considered smaller than a Lhasa Apso but could be about the same size. Its muzzle is set high on its face and is quite short, it does not measure longer than 1 inch from the tip to the base. They have a broad, round and domed skull. Shih Tzus have a soft, long, dense coat that may have slight waves and are usually tied up on top of their heads. The Shih Tzu’s temperament is outgoing, alert, lively, happy and playful. They could be sweet, gentle, and affectionate. They are trusting to anyone and will be a great pleasure to have as company. They are obedient and much more trainable than the Lhasa Apso, however, they could be more prone to eye problems.

I hope you have a better understanding of the differences between both breeds. They’re both adorable, loving, and caring companions that will bring you and your family years of enjoyment. Therefore, when it comes to the Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu, you cannot go wrong with either breed.



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