Shih-tzu contrast? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-22-2007, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Shih-tzu contrast?

I wondered if anyone here has had a shih-tzu and could contrast that experience to the Havanese experience. I am really torn. I am in love with my friend's shih-tzu who hikes with my labs and me and is a joy, but I love all I have read about the Hav especially on this forum. I have even investigated Havanese breeders and the OFA site, but I have yet to get to know a Havanese.
So, if anyone here has had both breeds I would love a detailed comparison.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-22-2007, 09:30 PM
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My mother has several Shih Tzus and she loves them, but she also enjoys visiting my Havanese. She thinks the hair is easier to maintain on Shih Tzus (she does not show them, but does take great care of their coats). She thinks the Havs are smarter and learn faster. She feels that her Shih Tzus are more independent and can play more independently, but that Havanese are more playful and needy. Havs are also more clownlike because they interact with people more as they play. She thinks it is a lot easier to leave a Shih Tzu home alone if you are working. She thinks the Havs are a bit more spazzy even if they are smarter.

All in all, it's Shih Tzus for her, Havanese for me.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-22-2007, 10:13 PM
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Well, our breeder bred both Shih Tzus and Havanese. I asked her what breed she preferred and she said Havanese, but that's just her opinion. I've never had a Shih Tzu but from the ones I've seen, they're nice dogs. Our breeder also said that Havanese are better with kids in general, so if you have children, a Havanese may be the way to go.

Good luck with your decision!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2007, 07:12 AM
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My in laws have a shih tzu too. I would totally agree with what Kimberly said. Freddy is independent. He just does his own thing a lot of the times. He is also quite stubborn and any time any of the dogs goes outside to potty, he demands a cookie.... he has everyone trained. He will follow you around and bark at you and this can easily last 30 mins. Everyone gives in and just gives him the darn cookie. They had a newfoundland (until last year) and him and that dog got along well.

I don't know about the hair as he is shaved down though.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2007, 07:50 AM
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Personally I like the Havanese faces better than the Shih Tzu. I looked into the Shih Tzu, but the Hav personallity and being good with kids brought me back to the Havanese.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2007, 08:39 AM
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Like Debbie, I was also considering a ShihTzu and researched them, though not nearly as much as I researched the Havanese. For one thing, I don't really care for the squished face and buggy eyes of the ShihTzu. lol

I guess it came down to how each one would fit in our family and lifestyle and what looks I preferred. The Havanese has so many qualities that I can't even visualize having any other breed now. Yes, I'm biased.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2007, 09:57 AM
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I've never owned a shih-tzu,but I have a good friend who had 2.One passed away this past fall at 4 years old from a shot a vet gave him.He was the more calmer of the 2,but both were/are pretty "barky".Neither are good with small children...her youngest child is 15.She could kind of groom the older one who passed away,but this younger one she actually has to give it pills from the vet to be able to groom him.He has a full coat and mats pretty easily she says.The texture of the hair is alot different then my Quincy's.Quincy is super super soft,and her dog is more "slick-like".

I looked into alot of small breed dogs,and the shih-tzu was one we did think about --alittle.I also do not care for the smooshed in face and the way they make noise to breathe.There were really 2 big reasons we decided against the shih-tzu.......the children factor and the dominance issue with our other dog.The standard even refers to "older children".Because of my son(told on another thread)we always came back to the havanese.For us it is the best choice....but for you,it may not be......I think the hardest thing for us was spending that amount of money for a havanese...

If you decide on a shih-tzu be careful of your breeder there too,as with the hav.Here the shih-tzu is very overbred and they can vary from 4 pounds to over 15,along with numerous health problems.

Good luck with your research and decision........

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2007, 12:41 PM
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I too, like Julie, researched small dogs & looked into the Shih-tzu. After reading more i became captivated by the Havanese(i never heard of). I found a dog show with Havs in it so i could see them & play with them. THat did it for me-they won me over. I too, didnt like the shih-tzu faces.
See if you can find a Hav dog show, or maybe locate a breeder whose close to visit. Its definately worth it!!

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Last edited by LuvMyHavanese; 05-23-2007 at 12:49 PM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2007, 05:05 PM
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We shied away from the shih tzu because of the long list of potential health problems. If you can, visit a breeder or a dog show and meet some havanese and see what you think. That's what we did, and it convinced us that havanese was the dog for us. You may come to a different conclusion, but it might help you decide if you can get to know some havanese in person.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-24-2007, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your responses everybody. Amanda, that Freddy sounds like a little tyrant!
I guess I have to weigh all the factors. I have a feeling I would prefer a Havanese. I think Shih-tzu quality really varies a lot with the breeder, but their temperaments really should be easygoing and sociable with all, not snappy and yappy. The fact that they need less attention and can tolerate working families well, as Kimberly pointed out, is a definite plus for me. But I guess I will continue my quest to meet one up close and personal!
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