Lhasa Apso vs. Shih Tzu – Dog vs Dog: Which is Better?

vs ;  two similar but different breeds which are often confused with each other. To the untrained, it’s easy to confuse them.

As both dog breeds are known to have originated from Tibet, they share a few similarities, such as the long coat and the relatively small size.

But, let’s discover the differences between these two cute and lovable , as part of a new series of videos contrasting similar, sometimes confused, dog breeds.

Let’s get started, but before we start, make sure to hit that subscribe button and click the bell icon to become part of our notification squad.

Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu Size

Lhasa Apso vs. Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu

The most obvious physical difference between these two similar breeds is that the Lhasa Apso is slightly bigger than the Shih Tzu.

A Lhasa Apso weighs between 11 and 18 pounds, while a Shih Tzu weighs between 8 and 16 pounds.

Although somewhat bigger, a Lhasa normally has a smaller bone structure, therefore, it may look slimmer than a Shih Tzu, which has a more solid body structure.


Lhasa Apso vs. Shih Tzu
Lhasa Apso

Both have a non-shedding coat and can be considered hypoallergenic, but there are some differences in the coats of these two breeds.

The coat of the Lhasa Apso is heavy, dense, thick, and hard. The Shih Tzu’s coat is described as a more regal, luxurious double coat, with flowing tresses.

Both breeds have high grooming requirements, but the Shih Tzu is slightly easier to groom between the two.


The Lhasa Apso has a narrower face, a longer muzzle, and smaller almond-shaped eyes. While the Shih Tzu has a flatter face and muzzle with bigger and rounder eyes.

The Shih Tzu also has an underbite, while the Lhasa Apso generally does not.

Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu Temperament

Lhasa Apso vs. Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu

Both the Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso can be described as loving and affectionate with average intelligence. Neither has herding, hunting or fighting instincts and can integrate well into families with other pets and children.

Thousands of years ago, the Lhasa Apso was bred to be a watchdog and will be a bit more alert than the Shih Tzu, which was bred primarily to be a companion dog. Hence, the Shih Tzu tends to be a more friendly, happy-go-lucky dog, who is trusting to everyone, including strangers.

The Lhasa Apso is more independent. A Lhasa is a happy dog, but assertive, a bit aggressive, and more stubborn and wary of strangers. It can display extreme devotion and over protectiveness for its master.

Both the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu are good for new owners, but the Lhasa Apso is a slightly better choice. Unless you have children. The Shih Tzu is very child-friendly. But the Lhasa Apso may not tolerate them so well.

The Lhasa Apso has an above-average tendency to bark, while the Shih Tzu is an average barker.


Lhasa Apso vs. Shih Tzu
Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu have different lifespan expectancies. While the Lhasa Apso can live 13-14 years on average, the Shih Tzu is expected to have a lifespan of 11-12 years. The difference is that Shih Tzus are much more likely to be affected by common health issues such as Hip Dysplasia, Collapsing Trachea, and Hypothyroidism. A Shih Tzu owner should expect frequent trips to the vet, while vet trips are rarer for the Lhasa, despite the Lhasa being more prone to obesity.

So, who wins? Well, that’s up for you to decide. Which breed do you think wins? Let us know in the comments.

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