what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?
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Thread: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

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    NRB
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    what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    Sorry, but all small furry little poofy dogs look the same to me. And so I am trying to educate myself. What would you say the main differences in temperment and body type is between these 3 breeds? I know that the Havanese and Shih-Tzu are in the Toy group and the Lhasa Apso is in the Non-Sporting group. But other than that they seem similar in looks to me.

    I know that the Lhasa Apso was bred to be an alert dog, a guard dog in Tibet. So does that make the breed more edgy? more barky?

    Any owners of these dogs want to speak up? Educate me?

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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    Sorry I have no idea but I just wanted to add I can't tell Bichons from toy poodles. Would be nice if someone could clear this up!

    The only thing I think of is Shih Tzus have very flat faces while the other two don't? Not sure.

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    Senior Member lucidity's Avatar
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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    Havanese always have white coats (those I've met, anyway). They look like Maltese and Bichons (they're grouped together in this group called "bichon" group which includes Maltese, Bichons, Havanese, Coton du Tulears, etc.)

    Shih Tzus usually don't come in white (I've never seen one), and their fur looks different from Havanese and Poodle fur (it's straighter than poodle fur).

    Toy poodles are usually smaller than Bichons too. They're closer in size to Maltese. Their fur = curlier, and they don't have flat faces. Bichons typically have flat faces, like Shih Tzus..

    I usually tell them apart by coat type.. but it's quite hard to tell apart Havanese, Bichons, Maltese, Cotons, etc.. because they look so alike. The biggest diff. I usually notice is in size.
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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    All I know is I loooove the havanese I met. Friendly, cute little happy dogs.

    Don't know much about the other two and I can't tell a lot of the fluffy little dogs apart at all.
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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    Quote Originally Posted by lucidity View Post
    Havanese always have white coats (those I've met, anyway). They look like Maltese and Bichons (they're grouped together in this group called "bichon" group which includes Maltese, Bichons, Havanese, Coton du Tulears, etc.)
    Psst:



    Thats a havanese.

    My favorite of the bichon types is the lowchen.

    Last edited by Laurelin; 04-02-2010 at 09:00 PM.
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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    Quote Originally Posted by lucidity View Post
    Havanese always have white coats (those I've met, anyway). They look like Maltese and Bichons (they're grouped together in this group called "bichon" group which includes Maltese, Bichons, Havanese, Coton du Tulears, etc.)

    Shih Tzus usually don't come in white (I've never seen one), and their fur looks different from Havanese and Poodle fur (it's straighter than poodle fur).

    Toy poodles are usually smaller than Bichons too. They're closer in size to Maltese. Their fur = curlier, and they don't have flat faces. Bichons typically have flat faces, like Shih Tzus..

    I usually tell them apart by coat type.. but it's quite hard to tell apart Havanese, Bichons, Maltese, Cotons, etc.. because they look so alike. The biggest diff. I usually notice is in size.
    I've never met a flat faced Bichon Frise

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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    Flatter in comparison to Poodles.

    Read this description on wikipedia on Bichons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bichon

    They vary in appearance, but all have tails curled over their back, a coat that is hair rather than fur that doesn't readily shed, short snouts, drop ears, and large, dark eyes.
    Last edited by lucidity; 04-02-2010 at 09:52 PM.
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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    Quote Originally Posted by lucidity View Post
    Flatter in comparison to Poodles.

    Read this description on wikipedia on Bichons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bichon

    They vary in appearance, but all have tails curled over their back, a coat that is hair rather than fur that doesn't readily shed, short snouts, drop ears, and large, dark eyes.
    Oh ok I thought you ment like a Shihtzu or a pug, ya their shorter than poodles

    Shih Tzu


    Bichon Frise


    Toy Poodle
    Last edited by Keechak; 04-02-2010 at 10:03 PM.

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    Senior Member lucidity's Avatar
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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    Lol.. yeah. Shoulda made it clearer.. I think Maltese actually have really flat faces, though. More so than Havanese of Bichon Frises.
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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    Havanese come in all different colors, not just white. Bichons and Maltese are always white although some can have a little tan on their ears.

    Saw some puppies in a Pet Store once. They were white with black patches and when I asked the sales person, she said they were from a white Maltese and a black Poodle and that was why they were black and white.

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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    Shih tzus are finer boned that the Lhasa Apso and have slightly flatter faces and are much smaller and shorter bodied. Lhasa's often have a relatively pronounced underbite. Temperament wise the Shi Tzus are true lap/companion dogs where Lhasa's have a definite independent "guardian" type personality.

    Bichon are much different body and head wise from min poodles, the coat is what throws people off. Bichon are sturdier build and are always white and have a feathered tail rather than the usual poodle dock tail.

    Havanese have silkier hair than the bichon, are slighter boned and come in MANY different colours. Their faces are not short like the brachycephalic dogs, they have a pronounced muzzle but not as long or sharp as a poodle. They are often mistaken for shi poo mixes.
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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    ahh, thanks Cracker.

    My mother has a Bichon. They do not have short snouts. I'm familiar with the relationship between the Bichon family.

    I can tell a Bichon from a Toy poodle from a Maltese. But I can't tell a Lhasa Apso from a Shih-Tzu. I rarely see Havanese. I did run into their yearly national convention by chance, was at a hotel where I had a meeting, so I didn't get a chance to browse the convention hall. But I did see dogs coming and going....

    I covet a Havanese. My husband abhors them. They are not all white, but come in all sorts of colors. I love the sables. And there is even a division amongst the breeders between Silk Coated neezers and the rest. Lol. I've been researching the breed. They are supposed to be great with children. Bu I was hoping for some personal references. Not "I've seen one at a distance" but more like "I owned one", or "I grew up with a bunch".

    I'd love to add a second dog one day. I have a standard schnauzer, and a 3yo daughter. The SS is a saint with my daughter, but I'm not sure I can handle another terrier in the house. One is enough work! So I've been eyeing up the small and fluffy dogs. I love the the minimal shedders. And obviously I need to find a dog that can live in a house with a young child. I figure to add the dog next year, when my daughter is 4.

    A Bichon might be too delicate to be placed with a family with young children. But then again, my mom's dog is 12 lbs and so on the smaller side and that's my perspective. Maybe a larger male would be sturdy enough. Please don't get the impression that I allow my daughter to mis-handle or abuse a dog. I do not. But accidents happen. My daughter has tripped and fallen on the SS once, and the dog was like, Meh no problem kiddo. A smaller dog, a more sensitive dog would not allow that sort of transgression.

    So back to the terriers and work. I realize that all dogs take time, and etc. But I am looking for a second dog that isn't as time consuming as a terrier. Don't misunderstand me, I love going to dog obedience classes. I'd love training. And I am committed to training the second dog. I just don't have time for 2 drivey, focused dogs. I'd like the second dog to be more companion dog oriented. To be able to get it's CGC and Therapy Dog certificates. A mellow fellow. So YES I am going to put work into the second dog. But I want the second dog to have a less drivey mental state than the first....

    if that makes any sense....

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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    Shih Tzu have much flatter muzzles than Lhasa Apsos. In the beginning I couldn't tell them apart, but now it's like night and day. Except that poorly bred Shih Tzu tend to have longer muzzles and look similar to Lhasas.

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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
    Bichon are much different body and head wise from min poodles, the coat is what throws people off.
    Bichon's are rectangles and Poodles are more square. ie the Bichon, and Havanses have a longer back than a poodle.

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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    Quote Originally Posted by lucidity View Post
    Lol.. yeah. Shoulda made it clearer.. I think Maltese actually have really flat faces, though. More so than Havanese of Bichon Frises.
    Yes, a maltese's muzzle is smaller than all of the breeds mentioned except the shih tzu. I've actually seen malts with smaller muzzles than most shihs I've seen. A maltese should NOT have a longer muzzle, unless it was poorly bred. It is an undesirable trait. In different countries, the muzzle size varies, in Europe they usually have longer muzzles but the standard is totally different than the US one. In Korea, they usually have shorter muzzles than the US. Many people I know get's malt pups shipped to them all the way from reputable breeders in Korea because we like the "babydoll face"-shorter muzzles.

    All of the Bichon(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bichon) type of dogs have very different hair textures, besides just being curly. And also bone structure. You really can't tell unless you feel them.

    Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apsos have double coats(check out their standards for reference) The Bichons types, like the Havanese, have single coats. BUT neither of them shed. Shihs, Havanese and Lhasas should NEVER be all white either, and they average about 10 pounds.
    Last edited by Darla Giselle; 04-03-2010 at 09:25 PM.

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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    NRB, you need a Havanese, they rock!
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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
    NRB, you need a Havanese, they rock!
    Enabler! I totally want a Havanese. They sound wonderful on paper. Good with children, sturdy for a toy sz breed. But I need more solid info. And if I start calling up breeders and going out to meet their dogs I'm afraid that I'll end up bringing a puppy home. Lol.

    and there is this cutie pie Lhasa Apso on petfinder in my area (sort of) Arrgghh but now is not the perfect time to add a second dog. And b/c of my daughter I'd prefer to get a puppy. So I KNOW it won't be afraid of young children since I'll be raising it.....



    His eyes kill me.

    I mean to look at him he looks sort of Havanese like in a puppy cut. But I don't know about the LA temperament. Esp around children if they were bred to be guardian dogs.

    I need a same sz or smaller dog than the SS. I have small car, like to take the dogs along on family vacations and etc. And I'm smitten with the small fluffies.
    Last edited by NRB; 04-03-2010 at 09:56 PM.

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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    Quote Originally Posted by NRB View Post
    Enabler! I totally want a Havanese. They sound wonderful on paper. Good with children, sturdy for a toy sz breed. But I need more solid info. And if I start calling up breeders and going out to meet their dogs I'm afraid that I'll end up bringing a puppy home. Lol.

    and there is this cutie pie Lhasa Apso on petfinder in my area (sort of) Arrgghh but now is not the perfect time to add a second dog. And b/c of my daughter I'd prefer to get a puppy. So I KNOW it won't be afraid of young children since I'll be raising it.....



    His eyes kill me.

    I mean to look at him he looks sort of Havanese like in a puppy cut. But I don't know about the LA temperament. Esp around children if they were bred to be guardian dogs.

    I need a same sz or smaller dog than the SS. I have small car, like to take the dogs along on family vacations and etc. And I'm smitten with the small fluffies.
    Don't those fluffy ones just look like stuffed animals? LOVE it.

    My cousin got a LA at 10 weeks old from a BYB and she is just the sweetest/cutest thing. This cousin has a 3 year old, 6 year old, 14 year old but my senile 90 yr old grandmother, with her feral cat. She has the MOST unruley children ever. My cousin wanted to get a maltese at first, even when she saw how much my Gigi disliked her children. LOL A maltese wouldn't last a week with that family! :P

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    Senior Member Laurelin's Avatar
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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    Quote Originally Posted by NRB View Post
    Enabler! I totally want a Havanese. They sound wonderful on paper. Good with children, sturdy for a toy sz breed. But I need more solid info. And if I start calling up breeders and going out to meet their dogs I'm afraid that I'll end up bringing a puppy home. Lol.
    I know, I am. I'm not usually one for the fluffy breeds but I love havanese. I've just adored the ones I've met. they're definitely worth a look into imo. Maybe you can change DH's mind! lol Has even met a havanese? I can't imagine meeting one and abhoring them. They're so happy all the time!
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    Re: what's the diff between Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Havanese?

    If you're interested in a Havanese, you might be interested in a Havana Silk Dog, too. They're basically a split-off breed of the Havanese based on a desire to remove the skeletal problems that are in many Havanese lines.
    Last edited by Pai; 04-03-2010 at 11:31 PM.

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