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I've looked A LOT online about these 4 breeds now I'm not sure of the exact differences but I have a pure bread havanese and she is a light brown sable colour she's beautiful and looks like a little teddy bear most Havs are either black and white or cream coloured or just black, or chocolate it's very hard to come by a sable or brindle Hav and you pay big bucks for one. These dogs are masters in agility and do very well as show dogs. I know she is a toy bread and so are shih tzus. I also know the Havs comes from Cuba, Shih Tzus are originated in China and Maltese in Malta. I noticed the body shapes are slightly different but it's very hard to tell under all that fur. I know Havanese is a little longer in the body and not as tall as a shih tzus or maltese or even a lhasa apso. Havs are also rated the best around children and they are the least Barky out of the 4 breeds. This is just a tad bit of info I found when I was looking into the breed before buying my own. "The Havanese shines his affectionate personality on everyone, including strangers, children, other dogs, and even cats. But his family will get the lion's share of his love; given the choice, he'll stick like glue to his owner's side. The potential downside to all this devotion is that, when left alone, the Havanese can become anxious. This is definitely a housedog, and a Havanese who's left in the backyard — or anywhere away from his family — is not a happy dog" They are also referred to as a velcro dog because they stick very close to their master and tends to follow you from room to room. Maltese are the lightest in weight weighing up to about 7lbs, but still stand taller than the havs. The maltese is the breed that you will almost always see as white or at least the base colour will be white. The Havs are the second lightest in weight and can weigh up to 13lbs, Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apso both weigh up to 16-17 lbs making them the heavest and tallest breads. The Lhasa apso and Shih tzus also have more of a scrunched up nose and face with eyes closer together than the Maltese and Havanese breeds. Maltese ,because of their small size and delicate structure, Maltese generally aren't recommended for households with toddlers or small children. The Lhasa Apso and the Maltese are not good for families with children (smaller children) they do best with adults and they can have very fierce personalities but will always stay loyal to their families. On the other hand Havanese and Shih Tzus don't have temperments like the other 2, they really have nothing fierce about them and they are also extremely loyal and will stick by your side. Shih Tzus as we all know can be very yippy and will bark just to hear their own voice which can be annoying I know for a fact Havs don't do that they will only bark if something is bothering them or of course in playtime. I also read that Shih Tzus,Maltese,and Hlasa Apso are difficult to house break while Havs catch on pretty quick which is a huge reason i went with the Havanese Breed. These dogs are also decently easier to train then the other 3 breeds I have talked about. Shih Tzus have a flatter face and makes them more susceptible to heat stroke, because the air going into the lungs isn't cooled as efficiently as it is among longer-nosed breeds. He should be kept indoors in air-conditioning rooms during hot weather. Havanese have more of a defined face and nose shape like a teddy bear does and they actually do very well in hot hot weather seeing as they are from Cuba and the long hair actually protects their skin and keeps them cool and when it's cold it acts as a blanket when the sun is not out and protect the skin from getting frost bite and helping the dog stay warm in the winter if you have snow and cold temps like we do here in Canada. Shih Tzus are the only breed out the 4 I have talked about the Weeze and Snore which makes the other breeds a little more appealing especially when sleeping. I hope this information helps! http://www.dogforums.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
 
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