Difference Between Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu

The first thing that comes to our mind while thinking about dogs is loyalty. Dogs have been the best friend of man since prehistoric times.

After more than a thousand years, dogs are still the best friend of man. Over 340 dog breeds are known to man worldwide and are passionately cared for by dog breeders.

Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu

The main difference between Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu is in their temperament. While Lhasa Apso has an unpredictable mood, Shih Tzu is a happy puppy, needing a lot of love and attention. They also differ in their exercise needs with Lhasa Apso having a lot more energy than Shih Tzu. Shih Tzu is a lot more relaxed than Lhasa Apso.  

Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu

Lhasa Apso is a dog breed that originated in Tibet. They used to be guard dogs in monasteries and palaces of Tibet. Today, they are loyal companies of their owners.

These easy-to-adopt dogs, are small in size and can even be cared for by beginners. When their needs are met, they prove to be playful and loving dogs.

Shih Tzu is a lovable dog breed small in size and perfect as companions. They are wanderlust dogs who love to follow their masters around all the time and sit on their laps all day long.

Some owners also take these dogs to dog sports and train them for agility, rally, and obedience competitions.

Comparison Table Between Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu

Parameters of ComparisonLhasa ApsoShih Tzu
SizeBigger than Shih TzuSmaller than Lhasa Apso
Skeletal structureSmaller bone structureMore solid bone structure compared to Lhasa Apso
FeetCat-like feet that have a lot of feathers and are round in shapePadded feet with firm, muscular legs
CharacterHappy, stubborn, assertive and vary of strangers.A friendly, happy-go-lucky dog that loves playing and is not vary of strangers.
TailBackward flowing tail resembling a screw with a lot of feathersA plumed, slightly curved tail that is backward flowing

What is Lhasa Apso? 

Lhasa Apso is an independent and sturdy dog breed that can adapt to any home type. Originally a watchdog, they are still loyal protectors of a house, ready to have their master’s backs.

Though they would not come across as fierce, they become quite fierce when he has to protect his own.    

He has irresistible looks, and full-grown males have a height of 10 to 11 inches with female ones being a bit smaller.

Lhasa puppies look very cute in their fluffy coat, luscious locks, and sparkling eyes. They are full of energy, always ready to play with their owners.

They mature slowly and remain puppyish till the age of three. Crate training is recommended as housetraining can be difficult sometimes.

His owners have loved him for his ability to reason and smartness. They tend towards manipulation, thus to train them properly, consistency is a must.

They have a thick and beautiful coat that is required to be brushed daily and combed. They also require regular grooming, frequent bathing, and early training.

Lhasa Apso bonds with adults better than youngsters or children. They are not exactly kid-friendly dogs as they become impatient around children. They have a lifespan ranging from 10 to 18 years.      

What is Shih Tzu?

The word ‘Shih Tzu’ refers to a little lion, though this dog breed is nothing like a lion. Shih Tzu is a small dog with abundant locks and a face that is sure to make one fall in love with this dog.

They originally come from a royal background being kept by royal Chinese families.

They have a lovable personality with their elegantly tied topknot and their flowing hair that beautifully sweeps the ground. They are lively, friendly, and devoted companions.

The best part about their personality is that they don’t guard, herd, or hunt and love meeting strangers and friends.

They have a rather mysterious history. They are believed to be born out of a crossbreeding of Lhasa Apso with Pekingnese.

They have lived among royalty for generations as evident from their presence in various paintings and carvings. They were first taken to America in the 20th century.

Being small pups, they are a member of the Toy Group and are highly adaptable. They are both children friendly and apartment-friendly.

Shih Tzu has an interesting nickname ‘Chrysanthemum Dog’ because their facial hair grows out in all directions. They resemble a flower with their nose acting as the center.

These lovable dogs are low on energy and require only a few walks. Their lifespan ranges from 10 to 18 years.

Main Differences Between Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu

  1. Lhasa Apso is bigger than Shih Tzu. Lhasa apso weighs 12 to 18 pounds with a height of 10-11 inches. On the other hand, Shih Tzu weighs 9 to 16 pounds and has a height of 9-10.5 inches.
  2. Lhasa Apso has a smaller bone structure compared to Shih Tzu that has a solid body structure.
  3. Lhasa Apso has a narrower skull, longer nose, and smaller almond-shaped eyes. On the other hand, Shih Tzu has large, round eyes with a broader skull.
  4. Lhasa Apso is more stubborn, a bit aggressive, and wary of strangers whereas Shih Tzu is not aggressive and loves playing with strangers.
  5. The price of Shih Tzu is more than that of Lhasa Apso.
Difference Between Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu


Though Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu may look similar at first glance, they are quite different from each other in terms of character, size, weight, and others.

If one wants a dog to love them and follow them around at all times, Shih Tzu is the dog for them. They are also great with children.

On the other hand, if one wants a loyal dog and does not have children around, Lhasa Apso is the one for them.


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