Shih Tzu Vs Lhasa Apso

The Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso, are often mistaken for one another due to their similar appearance. Hailing from China, Shih Tzu is a crossbreed of Lhasa Apso and Pekingese. A good reason for their similarities. However, these two breeds have their own captivating stories and traits that set them apart.

Lhasa Apso was bred as a watchdog in ancient Tibet and used as sentinels in palaces and monasteries. Shih Tzu on the other hand is more of a companion dog, a trait from the Pakingese (parent breed) which was used as close companions to the Chinese royalty.

As we explore the enchanting world of these toy canines, we will delve into their histories, temperaments, physical characteristics, grooming needs, and suitability as family pets.

So, whether you are a dedicated dog enthusiast seeking to expand your knowledge of these charming breeds or someone considering making them part of your family, join us in uncovering the unique charms of the Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso as we compare and contrast their individual traits.

Shih Tzu vs Lhasa Apso

Key DifferencesShih TzuLhasa Apso
Weight10-16 pounds12-18 pounds
Height9-10 inches10-11 inches
CoatLuxarious, dense, flowingHeavy, hard, straight
Life span11-18 years12-15 years
TemperamentsFriendly, outgoing, affectionateIntelligent, stubborn, Loyal, Charming
Country of originChinaTibet
Health issuesHip dysplasia, eye disordersLuxation patella, eye disorders, periodontal diseases, skin allergies
A well-elaborated table of the key differences between the Shih Tzu and the Lhasa Apso.

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu comes from ancient China, where they were bred to be companions for the Chinese royalty. They are small, about 9-10 inches tall, and 10-16 pounds in weight. They may be little, but they have a big personality and a friendly nature that’s easy to love.

Shih Tzus have a luxurious, dense, flowing coat that comes in shades of gold, white, and brown. Despite their thick coat, they are considered hypoallergenic as they shade little to no fur making them suitable for people with allergies.

To maintain their appearance and general health, daily brushing and regular trimming are required.

With proper care, Shih Tzu can live up to 11-18 years. However, just like all dogs, they are prone to some health issues like hip problems which come as a result of strain on the joints maybe because of weight gain or wrong exercise. For that reason, it is important to feed them high-quality nutrition in small potions to prevent obesity and also avoid strenuous games like the high jump.

Shih Tzus are also susceptible to eye disorders probably due to their bulging nature. Therefore, trimming the hair around the eyes and cleaning around the eyes helps to minimize irritation and infections.

The Shih Tzu

These dogs are known for being friendly, outgoing, and very affectionate. A perfect fit for any family setup. However, it is important to supervise their interaction with toddlers to make sure they get along well. They also tend to get along well with other pets, making them a great addition to multi-pet households.

Shih tzus have an innate ability to form deep bonds with their family making them susceptible to separation anxiety when left alone for several hours. Therefore, they are only suitable for people working from home and not those with busy schedules.

Being a low-energy dog, Shih Tzu dont require a lot of exercise to remain fit. A daily 30-45-minute walk and some fun games are enough to keep them happy and healthy.

In a nutshell, Shih Tzus bring a touch of royalty to your home with their elegant appearance and affectionate personality. Their manageable exercise needs and adaptability make them great companions for families and pet lovers alike.

Height9-10 inches
Weight10-16 pounds
Lifespan11-18 years
CoatLuxurious, dense, flowing
TemperamentFriendly, outgoing, affectionate

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso at the park

Lhasa apsos were bred as companions and watchdogs in ancient Tibet and used as sentinels in palaces and isolated Tibetan monasteries. Today, most people get Lhaso Apso for companionship although it is in their nature to protect and alert their owner of any potential danger.

One of their most distinctive features is their dense, heavy, and hard double coat, which comes in shades of black, black & tan, brown and white. Thanks to the thick coat which helps retain warmth in their body during cold weather.

This elegant appearance requires daily grooming (brushing) to prevent matting and keep Lhaso looking their best. Even with the thick coat, Lhasas shed less often making them fit for people with allergies.

Standing at a height of 10-11 inches and weighing between 12-18 pounds, Lhasa Apsos are small in stature but make up for it with their substantial personality.

 While they are highly intelligent, they can also be quite stubborn, a trait that stems from their history as watchdogs. This can make it hard for you to train your pet. However, with patience and consistency from an early age, they are trainable as they adapt easily to change.

Lhasa Apsos are renowned for their unwavering loyalty and affection toward their owner. They tend to form strong bonds with their families and are known to be devoted protectors in any household they belong. However, due to their small size, Lhasas are fragile and therefore fit well in families with older children who can safely play together without hurting them.

Lhasas are healthy breeds, with a relatively long lifespan of up to 12-15 years. However, they are prone to health issues of which some are genetic and others due to lifestyle.

Being a lap dog, Lhasa Apsos are at a high risk of becoming obese which can lead to luxating patella due to the weight exerted on their joints. Your pet may also suffer from skin allergies, periodontal diseases, and eye disorders. However, with proper care eg grooming, high-quality nutrition, regular vet checkups, and exercise can help keep some at bay.

Since Lhasa Apso are not energetic dogs, they don’t require much exercise. With simple walks 2-3 times a day and safe games that don’t strain their joints, you help keep your pet happy and healthy for long.

Height10-11 inches
Weight12-18 pounds
CoatHeavy, hard, dense, straight
TempermentIntelligent, loyal, charming

Key Differences

Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso may be related but each is different in their own unique ways. First, they come from different countries although neighboring. Lhasa Apso comes from the mountains of Tibet where it was bred to be a watchdog. Later, Lhasa was brought to China as a gift to the Chinese royals who crossbred them with Pekingese giving birth to Shih Tzu who were intended to be their companion dogs.

They are both slightly different in height and weight as indicated in the chat below. You will also notice that their coat differ in texture Shih Tzu’s being luxurious while that of Lhasa hard.

Lhasa apso tend to be stubborn maybe because of their nature as guard dogs while shih Tzus are affectionate and accomodating. However, Shih Tzu may suffer separation anxiety if left alone for hours.

These canines live to their teen wood, with Shih Tzu living the longest up to 18 years. This is only achievable if good care is given through high-quality nutrition, exercise, vet checkups, and daily grooming.

Shih Tzu vs Lhasa Apso
Notice the coat difference

I hope this article was helpful to you in choosing the dog that best suits your lifestyle and preference.

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