Both Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso are long coated mini breeds of dogs and it is very easy to get confused between them. It is understandable as these dogs look almost similar and with one look at both of them, it is quite difficult to tell the difference.
The long coats and fluffy face is a similarity for both of them. In fact many physical similarities are there and these can be tracked by their genetic lineage. The Shih Tzu is in reality a descendant of the Lhasa Apso. It is essentially a Lhasa Apso with characteristics of the Pekingese. So do you want to know what makes these two different? Read on to know all about them.
The one this thing that will set the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu apart is the size. Usually the Lhasa Apso are bulkier than the Shih Tzu. Based on the standards of breeding the Shih Tzus grow up to only 8-11 inches and are usually smaller of the two. On the other hand the Lhasa Apso usually measures about 8-11 inches from the ground to the shoulders. It weighs 12-18 pounds- pretty heavier than the Shih Tzu. They are much lighter- they weigh around 9-16 pounds.
The second point of difference is the coat. However do not go by the shade of the coat as both these canine breeds have wide range of colour of coat. Here is the trick. Just look at the back of the dog. If the hair is straight with black tips on the ears and muzzle, and there is a visible side parting of the coat then it is a Lhasa Apso. If the coat is curlier and it does not have a division line then it definitely is a Shih Tzu. The maintenance of a Shih Tzu is more expensive as they are double coated and they have much thicker hair and larger volume of curly coat.
Thirdly go ahead and check out the face of the dogs. If it is a Lhasa Apso- it will have a longer muzzle and hairier ears. On the other hand the Shih Tzu have rather flat and flower looking face and their muzzle hairs are usually projected upwards.
Last but not the least- the behavior differentiates the Shih Tzu and the Lhasa Apso apart. The Lhasa Apso is more independent breed and the Shih Tzu is more friendly. The Shih Tzu are more comfortable to rest, sit down and play with people. On the other hand the Lhasa Apso make a very good watch dog. They are usually not good with strangers.
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