Difference Between Havanese and Shih Tzu

Havanese vs Shih Tzu

These are small toy dog breeds developed as pets in different parts of the world. They both are covered in silky hairs arranged in double-layered coats, but their colouration patterns may be different between the two breeds. The sizes and weights of both Havanese and Shih Tzu seem very similar, but there are other important differences discussed in this article.


Havanese is a hairy dog breed developed in the Western Mediterranean region. They are small bodied and are covered with long hairs. In fact, they have a double layered coated but the outer coat is silkier, wavy and light compared to the inner coat. The long silky outer coat comes in various colours. Originally, they came in white and related colours, but nowadays some other colours are also accepted as standards by many kennel clubs. Their long ears are drooping, and the tail directs upwards with an arch over the back.

The average weight of Havanese ranges from 4.5 to 7.3 kilograms and the height at the withers could vary from 22 to 29 centimetres. However, they appear to be slightly longer for their height. The top of their skull is flat, and the back of it is more round shaped. They have a full muzzle, and it tapers towards the nose. The top line of Havanese is slightly inclined from withers to croup, which is a unique feature. Their dark coloured eyes are almond shaped, and the eyelids are pigmented with black. It is a companion and true pet animal with a strong bond with its owner. Havanese dogs could adapt into any environment as long as their owner is around. This dearly toy dog can live about 13 to 15 years.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu is a small dog breed originated in china with a unique appearance that encompasses long and silky hairs. They have a small muzzle with large, dark, and deep eyes. Their coat is a double-layered one, and the outer coat is soft and long. They have drooping ears, which are not visible as their long silk hairs cover them. In addition, the heavy presence of long silky hair covers the tail; however, it is curled over the back. Daily combing and grooming are necessary to maintain their fast growing coat.

Shih Tzu does not grow beyond 26.7 centimetres at withers, and their ideal weight is 4.5 to 7.3 kilograms. However, they look slightly longer to their height. Their front legs are straight, and hind legs are muscular. In addition, they have a broad and wide chest, and the head is larger compared to the body size and always looking forwards or upwards. Shih Tzu has a variety of colour coats including shading red, white, and gold colours. However, since they are brachycephalic they may be susceptible for many respiratory diseases.

What is the difference between Havanese and Shih Tzu?  

• Shih Tzu was originated in China while Havanese was in Western Mediterranean region.

• Shih Tzu has a long and smooth outer coat while Havanese has a dense and long outer coat.

• Shih Tzu is available in red, white, and golden colours, whereas Havanese dogs come in many more colourations than that.

• Frequent grooming is needed for Shih Tzu, but Havanese needs moderate grooming only.


Read more:

1. Difference Between Havanese and Maltese

2. Difference Between Maltese and Shih Tzu