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Havanese vs Shih Tzu – Which one is a better dog breed for you?

"Find similarities and differences between Havanese vs Shih Tzu" Compare Havanese and Shih Tzu. Which is better: Havanese or Shih Tzu?
Name Havanese Shih Tzu
OriginsCuba China
Group Companion Dogs Companion Dogs
Popularity Rank2320
Reviews511
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Other Names Bichon Havanese, Bichon Habanero, Havanese Cuban Bichon, Bichon Havanais, Bichon Havanês, Havaneser, Havanezer Chinese Lion Dog, Chrysanthemum Dog
Breed Type Purebred Purebred
AKC Group Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1996 as a Toy breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969 as a Toy breed.
FCI Group Recognized by FCI in the Companion and Toy Dogs group, in the Bichons and related breeds section. Recognized by FCI in the Companion and Toy Dogs group, in the Tibetan breeds section.
Breed Recognition American Canine Registry
American Kennel Club
America's Pet Registry
Canadian Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America Inc.
Federation Cynologique Internationale
Kennel Club of Great Britain
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
American Canine Association, Inc.
Australian National Kennel Council
Continental Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
Havanese Club of America
American Canine Registry
American Kennel Club
America's Pet Registry
Canadian Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America Inc.
Federation Cynologique Internationale
Kennel Club of Great Britain
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
American Canine Association, Inc.
Australian National Kennel Council
Continental Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
New Zealand Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
Canadian Canine Registry
Price $900-$1200 $800-$1200

General Appearance - Havanese vs Shih Tzu

Size Small Small
Weight 7-13 pounds (3-6 kg) 9–16 pounds (4-7 kg)
Avg. Weight 10 pounds (4.5 kg) 9–16 pounds (5.5 kg)
Height 8-11 inches (21-29 cm) 8-11 inches (20-28 cm)
Avg. Height 10 inches (25 cm) 9.5 inches (24 cm)

Hair & Care - Havanese vs Shih Tzu

Coat Soft
Wavy
Woolly
Flat
Long
Dense
Colors Black
Reddish-Brown
Fawn
White
Havana Brown
Tobacco
Brindle
Liver
Silver
Blue
Gold
Red
Black
Grooming
Average: The Havanese requires average grooming effort.
Professional: This breed needs a lot of work to keep in good condition.
Shedding Level
Havaneses shed none to minimal.
Shih Tzus shed none to minimal.

Characteristics - Havanese vs Shih Tzu

Temperament Affectionate
Gentle
Playful
Companionable
Intelligent
Responsive
Sturdy
Lively
Amiable
Charming
Active
Friendly
Happy
Lively
Playful
Courageous
Gentle
Intelligent
Outgoing
Intelligent Rank
Average: Havanese's has average obedience intelligence.
Low: The Shih Tzu if one of the dog breeds that have the lowest degree of obedience intelligence.
Trainability
Havaneses are very easy to train.
Shih Tzus are quite easy to train.
Playfulness
The Havanese is a highly playful breed.
Shih Tzus are not the most playful dog breed.
Sensitivity Level
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds.
Shih Tzus have an average emotional level and are not the most sensitive dog breed.
Affection Level
Havaneses are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Shih Tzus are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Social Needs
Havaneses need a lot of social interaction.
Shih Tzus need a lot of social interaction.
Barking
Low to Average: The Havanese rarely barks.
High: The Shih Tzu is a very vocal breed.
Watchdog Ability
Havaneses are good watchdogs.
Shih Tzus are average watchdogs.
Territorial
Havaneses strongly protect their territory.
Shih Tzus strongly protect their territory.
Biting Potential Low
The Havanese has a low chance of biting somebody.
Low
The Shih Tzu has a low chance of biting somebody.
Mouthiness
Havaneses have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Shih Tzus have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
Havaneses tend to escape less than other breeds.
Shih Tzus tend to escape less than other breeds.
Prey Drive
Havaneses have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
Shih Tzus have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
Apartment Friendly
Havaneses are very apartment-friendly dogs.
Shih Tzus are very apartment-friendly dogs.
Adaptability
Havaneses adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Shih Tzus adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Havaneses tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Shih Tzus tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Fighting Dog Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Good With - Havanese vs Shih Tzu

Stranger Friendly
Havaneses are stranger friendly dogs.
Shih Tzus are average friendly towards strangers.
Child Friendly
Havaneses are very kid-friendly dogs.
Shih Tzus are not the most kid-friendly dogs.
Cat Friendly
Havaneses are very cat-friendly dogs.
Shih Tzus are very cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
Havaneses are very dog-friendly dogs.
Shih Tzus are very dog-friendly dogs.
Office Friendly No
Havanese is not the best dog breed for office environment.
No
Shih Tzu is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Havaneses are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Shih Tzus are not the best breed for elderly people.
Pet Friendly
Havaneses are one of the friendliest dog breeds.
Shih Tzus are one of the friendliest dog breeds.
Good For First Time Owners No
Havaneses are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Yes
Shih Tzus are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Service Dog Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog.
Therapy Dog Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR) Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Boat Dog Not really
Havanese breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Not really
Shih Tzu breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.

Health Factors - Havanese vs Shih Tzu

Health Issues
The Havanese is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
The Shih Tzu is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Health Problems Cataracts
Chondrodysplasia
Deafness
Elbow Dysplasia
Heart Murmurs
Hip Dysplasia
Legg-perthes Disease
Mitral Valve Disease
Patellar Luxation
Portosystemic Liver Shunt
Allergies
Bladder Stones
Distichiasis
Dry Eye
Ear Infections
Ectopic Cilia
Hip Dysplasia
Juvenile Renal Dysplasia
Keratitis
Patellar Luxation
Portosystemic Liver Shunt
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Proptosis
Retained Baby Teeth
Reverse Sneezing
Snuffles
Umbilical Hernias
Life Expectancy 14-16 years 10-16 years
Hypoallergenic Yes Yes
Energy Level
Havaneses have an average energy level, so if you live a semi-active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Shih Tzus have a lower energy level than other dogs.
Exercise Need
Havaneses exercise need is very minimal.
Shih Tzus exercise need is minimal.
Sleeping Need
Havaneses sleep 12-14 hours a day as an average dog and they're not considered as a lazy breed.
Shih Tzus like sleeping so they do sleep a lot.
Avg. daily food consumption 1/2 to 1 cup dry food a day. Recommended daily amount: 1/2 to 1 cup of high-quality dry food a day.
Weight Gain Potential
Average to High.
Average to High.
Weather & Climate Tolerates warm and cold weather. Tolerates warm and cold weather.
Stinkiness Low
The Havanese has a low chance of bad smell.
Low
The Shih Tzu has a low chance of bad smell.
Drooling tendency
The Havanese is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The Shih Tzu is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.

Reproducibility - Havanese vs Shih Tzu

Gestation Length 60-64 days 60-64 days
How often can the have a litter? Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Litter Size 1-9 puppies, average 4 2-5 puppies

Rate This Comparsion - Havanese vs Shih Tzu

Reviews

  • Caitlyn

    Nov 26, 2019, 6:31:46 PM:

    Im a bit confused. You said havanese are very easy to train. Then you said they are not good with first time owners. They are amazing with first time owners. With shih tzus they do good with kids actually.

  • Erica

    Jan 11, 2021, 3:38:52 AM:

    I noticed the same thing as Caitlyn. The review said their easy to train, then said not recommended for first time owners because they're stubborn. Not sure I understand the reasoning behind that.