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Shih Tzu vs Lhasa Apso vs Maltese – Which one is a better dog breed for you?

"Find similarities and differences between Shih Tzu vs Lhasa Apso vs Maltese" Compare Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso. Which is better: Shih Tzu or Lhasa Apso or Maltese?
Name Shih Tzu Lhasa Apso Maltese
OriginsChina Tibet Italy
Group Companion Dogs Companion Dogs Companion Dogs
Popularity Rank207733
Reviews100
Rate

Other Names Chinese Lion Dog, Chrysanthemum Dog Lhasa, Lion Dog Maltese Dog, Maltese lion dog
Breed Type Purebred Purebred Purebred
AKC Group Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969 as a Toy breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1935 as a Non-Sporting breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888 as a Toy breed.
FCI Group Recognized by FCI in the Companion and Toy Dogs group, in the Tibetan breeds section. Recognized by FCI in the Companion and Toy Dogs group, in the Tibetan breeds section. Recognized by FCI in the Companion and Toy Dogs group, in the Bichons and related 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 New Zealand Kennel Club United Kennel Club Canadian Canine Registry 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 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
Price $800-$1200 $500-$700 $600-$800

General Appearance - Shih Tzu vs Lhasa Apso vs Maltese

Size Small Small Small
Weight 9–16 pounds (4-7 kg) 13-15 pounds (5.9-6.8 kg) 6.5-9 pounds (3-4 kg)
Avg. Weight 9–16 pounds (5.5 kg) 14 pounds (5.9-6.8 kg) 6.7 pounds (3.5 kg)
Height 8-11 inches (20-28 cm) 10-11 inches (25-28 cm) Male: 8-10 inches (21-25 cm), Female: 8-9 inches (20-23 cm)
Avg. Height 9.5 inches (24 cm) 10.5 inches (26.5 cm) Male: 9 inches (23 cm), Female: 8.5 inches (21.5 cm)

Hair & Care - Shih Tzu vs Lhasa Apso vs Maltese

Coat Dense Dense Feathered
Colors Brindle Liver Silver Blue Gold Red Black Red Yellow Brown White Black White
Grooming
Professional: This breed needs a lot of work to keep in good condition.
Professional: This breed needs a lot of work to keep in good condition.
Average: The Maltese requires average grooming effort.
Shedding Level
Shih Tzus shed none to minimal.
Lhasa Apsos shed above average.
Malteses shed none to minimal.

Characteristics - Shih Tzu vs Lhasa Apso vs Maltese

Temperament Active Friendly Happy Lively Playful Courageous Gentle Intelligent Outgoing Alert Devoted Intelligent Obedient Spirited Assertive Friendly Lively Playful Steady Active Easygoing Intelligent Responsive Docile Gentle Playful Sweet Tempered
Intelligent Rank
Low: The Shih Tzu if one of the dog breeds that have the lowest degree of obedience intelligence.
Low to average: This canine intelligence is not the brightest one.
Low to average: This canine intelligence is not the brightest one.
Trainability
Shih Tzus are quite easy to train.
Lhasa Apsos are quite easy to train.
Malteses are quite easy to train.
Playfulness
Shih Tzus are not the most playful dog breed.
Lhasa Apsos, like any other dog breed, like playing.
Malteses, like any other dog breed, like playing.
Sensitivity Level
Shih Tzus have an average emotional level and are not the most sensitive dog breed.
Lhasa Apsos don't like an irregular daily routine, noisy household and frequent guest visits.
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds.
Affection Level
Shih Tzus are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Lhasa Apsos are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Malteses are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Social Needs
Shih Tzus need a lot of social interaction.
Lhasa Apsos need for social interaction is average.
Malteses need a lot of social interaction.
Barking
High: The Shih Tzu is a very vocal breed.
High: The Lhasa Apso is a very vocal breed.
High: The Maltese is a very vocal breed.
Watchdog Ability
Shih Tzus are average watchdogs.
Lhasa Apsos are average watchdogs.
Malteses are average watchdogs.
Territorial
Shih Tzus strongly protect their territory.
Lhasa Apsos are average defenders.
Malteses strongly protect their territory.
Biting Potential Low
The Shih Tzu has a low chance of biting somebody.
Low
The Lhasa Apso has a low chance of biting somebody.
Low
The Maltese has a low chance of biting somebody.
Mouthiness
Shih Tzus have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Lhasa Apsos have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Malteses have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
Shih Tzus tend to escape less than other breeds.
Lhasa Apsos tend to escape less than other breeds.
Malteses are not the biggest explorers.
Prey Drive
Shih Tzus have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
Lhasa Apsos have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
Malteses have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
Apartment Friendly
Shih Tzus are very apartment-friendly dogs.
Lhasa Apsos are very apartment-friendly dogs.
Malteses are very apartment-friendly dogs.
Adaptability
Shih Tzus adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Lhasa Apsos adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Malteses adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Shih Tzus tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Just like every puppy, they are prone to panic, cry, bark, whine when they left alone by their owner.
Malteses 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.
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Good With - Shih Tzu vs Lhasa Apso vs Maltese

Stranger Friendly
Shih Tzus are average friendly towards strangers.
Lhasa Apsos are average friendly towards strangers.
Malteses are very stranger friendly dogs.
Child Friendly
Shih Tzus are not the most kid-friendly dogs.
Lhasa Apsos are very kid-friendly dogs.
Malteses are kid-friendly dogs.
Cat Friendly
Shih Tzus are very cat-friendly dogs.
Lhasa Apsos are very cat-friendly dogs.
Malteses are very cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
Shih Tzus are very dog-friendly dogs.
Lhasa Apsos are very dog-friendly dogs.
Malteses are very dog-friendly dogs.
Office Friendly No
Shih Tzu is not the best dog breed for office environment.
No
Lhasa Apso is not the best dog breed for office environment.
No
Maltese is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Shih Tzus are not the best breed for elderly people.
Lhasa Apsos are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Malteses are usually recommended for elderly people.
Pet Friendly
Shih Tzus are one of the friendliest dog breeds.
Lhasa Apsos are one of the friendliest dog breeds.
Malteses are one of the friendliest dog breeds.
Good For First Time Owners Yes
Shih Tzus are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
No
Lhasa Apsos are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
No
Malteses are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Shih Tzu breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Not really
Lhasa Apso breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Not really
Maltese 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.
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.

Health Factors - Shih Tzu vs Lhasa Apso vs Maltese

Health Issues
The Shih Tzu is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Lhasa Apsos tend to have more and frequent health issues than other breeds.
The Maltese is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Health Problems 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 Allergies Cherry Eye Familial Inherited Renal Dysplasia Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca Patellar Luxation Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) Sebaceous Adenitis Collapsed Trachea Hypoglycemia Patellar Luxation Portosystemic Liver Shunt Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) Reverse Sneezing White Dog Shaker Syndrome
Life Expectancy 10-16 years 12-15 years 15-18 years
Hypoallergenic Yes No Yes
Energy Level
Shih Tzus have a lower energy level than other dogs.
Lhasa Apsos have a higher energy level than other dog breeds.
Malteses have an average energy level, so if you live a semi-active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Exercise Need
Shih Tzus exercise need is minimal.
Lhasa Apsos exercise need is minimal.
Malteses exercise need is very minimal.
Sleeping Need
Shih Tzus like sleeping so they do sleep a lot.
Lhasa Apsos are quite energetic dogs and they don't spend to much time with sleeping.
Malteses sleep 12-14 hours a day as an average dog and they're not considered as a lazy breed.
Avg. daily food consumption Recommended daily amount: 1/2 to 1 cup of high-quality dry food a day. 1/4 to 1 cup of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. Recommended daily amount: 1/4 to 1/2 cup of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential
Average to High.
Average.
Average.
Weather & Climate Tolerates warm and cold weather. Tolerates warm and cold weather. Prefers warm weather
Stinkiness Low
The Shih Tzu has a low chance of bad smell.
Medium
The Lhasa Apso has an average chance of bad smell.
Medium
The Maltese has an average chance of bad smell.
Drooling tendency
The Shih Tzu is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The Lhasa Apso is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The Maltese is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.

Reproducibility - Shih Tzu vs Lhasa Apso vs Maltese

Gestation Length 60-64 days 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.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Litter Size 2-5 puppies 4-6 puppies 3-5 puppies

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