Havanese vs Shih Tzu – Breed Comparison

Havanese vs Shih Tzu Breed Comparison

Last updated on August 23rd, 2021 at 07:36 pm

What are the Similarities Between Havanese and Shih Tzu?

Yes, Havanese dogs and Shih Tzu dogs look relatively similar. These are both adorable, fun-loving dog breeds that share a lot of similarities. Both breeds of dog have silky coats and loving dispositions. They are some of the best companions for children and the elderly. Their temperament is extremely affectionate, and they make some of the best family dogs because of their extreme devotion to their owners. 

Both dogs need to be brushed on a daily basis because of their hair, as a neglected coat can get matted and tangled and lead to problematic skin issues and discomfort for the animal. Also, if you are a person who loves to groom their dog, both Shih Tzus and Havanese have malleable coats so you can give your dog different hairdos.

Both types of dogs are great family pets. They are great for those who have oodles of time to dedicate to their animal, and it is important for both animals to get loads of attention because they are dependent on companionship. These are not dogs that you can dismiss or leave home alone for the entire day while you are at work. Shih Tzus and Havanese are at their best when they are showered with attention from their owners. 

Anyone looking for a cute fuzzy friend, I highly recommend adopting either a Shih Tzu or a Havanese.

What are the Differences Between Havanese and Shih Tzus?

Now it is time for the comparison. There are a lot of differences between the two breeds, because no matter how similar two dogs are each breed is different. From size to price, shedding to longevity, there are subtle differences between the two dog breeds that we can now discuss. Keep in mind that there are also a lot of similarities where the two dogs are basically identical. 

Havanese vs Shih Tzu Comparison: Size

These two dog breeds are just about the exact same size. The biggest difference is that Havanese dogs can grow to be slightly taller than Shih Tzu dogs. On the other hand, Shih Tzus can get a bit heavier than Havanese. Think about Havanese as tall and slim and Shih tzus as shorter and plumper.

Here is a chart of average height and weight for male dogs:

Havanese Weight: 7-13 lbs. (3-6kg) 

Shih Tzu Weight: 8.8-16lbs. (4-7kg)

Havanese Height: 8.5-11.5” (22-28cm)

Shih Tzu Height: 7.9-11” (20-28cm)

Havanese vs Shih Tzu Comparison: Cost

As much as nobody likes putting a price on a dog, the unfortunate truth is that adopting a dog costs money, and some dog breeds are insanely expensive while others are more affordable. When it comes to Havanese and Shih Tzu dogs, you can expect to pay roughly $500 for a Shih Tzu puppy and about $850 for a Havanese puppy.

The reason for this is that Shih Tzus are much more popular and much more widely available. If you want to adopt a pure Havanese dog, you probably need to find a special breeder. Shih Tzus are often available at your local pet store or shelter. 

Havanese vs Shih Tzu Comparison: Temperament

Both dogs are social, they enjoy the company of people, and they make great companions. However, there is a slight difference in temperament. Havanese dogs are slightly friendlier and therefore more open to socialization.

That said, both animals are super playful and have some of the best temperaments of any small dog breeds.

Havanese vs Shih Tzu Comparison: Relationship with Children

If you have small children, you are probably worried about the situation between a new dog and a young child. Even with small dog breeds, some are more prone to biting or to inciting small accidents. In the case of Havanese and Shih Tzus, they operate about the same when it comes to kids. Neither is more inclined to get into an accident than the other. 

The big thing to worry about here is with your children. Because both dogs are extremely small, young kids need to be taught how to properly handle them. While both kinds of dogs will revel in the attention of an exuberant young child, they should not be picked up and dragged around by their necks, as these tiny dogs can easily be injured if dropped by a young child who gets distracted. Always teach proper dog care to your children.

Havanese vs Shih Tzu Comparison: Easy to Train

Oddly enough, Havanese dogs can be easier to train than Shih Tzu dogs. This is in part because Havanese are one of the easiest small dogs to house train. They are extremely smart and enjoy positive reinforcement and pleasing their owners. 

On the flip side, Shih Tzus can be extremely difficult to house train. To train your Shih Tzu, I recommend a rigid schedule and consistent training. Shih Tzus can be more stubborn than Havanese, and therefore they can be less obedient in the beginning. 

However, both dog breeds can eventually be trained very well. It is all about patience and consistency.

Havanese vs Shih Tzu Comparison: Barking

This is the big one, and it might actually be the only question you really want answered. Which dog barks more, Havanese or Shih Tzu? The answer is probably not going to surprise you. While all small dog breeds have a stigma attached to them about incessant barking, Havanese dogs are actually very quiet. With proper training, your Havanese dog can be taught to bark almost never. 

Shih Tzu dogs are another story entirely. Similar to them being more difficult to train, it is more difficult to get them to stop their barking. This can be problematic if you live in an apartment building or if you are surrounded by active neighbors. As with any dog, a Shih Tzu can still be taught to be quiet, though this may not stop them from initiating a barking session. 

It may surprise you to learn that one of the biggest causes for barking in both breeds is boredom. If your dog, whether Havanese or Shih Tzu, is experiencing an outlandishly boring day, they will vocally tell you about it. 


Do Shih Tzus and/or Havanese Dogs Shed?

The great thing about the Havanese Dog is that they are hypoallergenic and do not shed. This makes them a great companion for people with allergies, or people who just want a cleaner house.

Shih Tzu’s are also typically known to be more allergenic than other dogs, and some people think they don’t shed either. Shih Tzu’s, like Havanese, have hair instead of true fur, and it is the hair that changes the shedding pattern. Havanese dogs have a longer growth cycle when it comes to their hair, and because of that really do not shed at all. Even longer haired Havanese are typically low shedders.

Shih Tzus on the other hand, although very low shedding, do shed a little. They shed more than the Havanese.

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