There is just something about finding the perfect dog to mesh with your personality and family that feels satisfying. Maybe it’s more about finding a new best friend with minimal effort, but the right dog can change your whole life. That’s why it’s essential to be educated on the type of dogs you are interested in. If there are two remarkably similar, you should be researching the differences to find the dog that fits best.
In Tibetan culture, the Lhasa Apso was a small dog given as a gift. What a wonderful and precious gift to receive. The Havanese dog breed is literally the only canine native to beautiful Cuba. Both dogs have long, flowing locks and loving eyes framing a classic snout.
At first glance, these two different dog breeds can appear very similar, but they differ more than just culturally. These dogs are entirely separate breeds with their own personalities and standards. The three key differences between these two are their size, appearance, and temperament. Let’s take a closer look.
|Size||12-18 lbs||7-13 lbs|
|Appearance||They have straight hair that comes in a wide variety of colors.||They have wavy hair that comes in darker shades.|
|Temperament||Not so easily trusting, especially to strangers.||Friendly to everyone and easily trusting.|
So even though these canines seem to match at first glance, this is not truly the case. Let’s dig a bit deeper into these three key differences between the Lhasa Apso and Havanese dogs.
The Havanese is the only dog native to Cuba, and they were bred in a precise manner to remain petite. They are the natural lap dog that first began appearing in the early 1900s in Cuba. They fit the Cuban sensibilities and continued to be bred through the years, resulting in the dog we know today. Growing to around 13lbs at most, the Havanese is smaller than the Lhasa Apso. They are easy to pick up if need be or steer away from any trouble they could get into.
The Lhasa Apso maxes out around 18 lbs, but that is still a hefty difference between the two animals. These dogs were initially only owned by Tibetan monks or other holy men and served as loyal guards and protectors. They are brilliant and easily trained. Lhasa Apso’s have been around for more than 2,000 years and can boast a long pedigreed history. These dogs are still a great choice as a family pet because their looks and personality have been well-established.
Another stark difference between these two breeds is their coloring and hair texture. If you let a Lhasa Apso grow its locks out with silkier, straighter-textured hair, they are far more likely to tangle. Choosing to let your dog have long hair is fine as long as you groom it regularly and learn the best practices to take care of it. Boasting wavier, thick hair, the Havanese may have more hair matting than tangles. They need to be brushed daily and bathed regularly with trims.
In terms of coloring, both dogs come in a wide variety of colors, but they usually follow this pattern. Havanese tend to have darker shades of brown or beige in their fur, while the Lhasa Apso keeps it lighter. Of course, both have been known to be on all ends of the spectrum, so this difference isn’t always as good of an indicator of what breed you are dealing with.
The Havanese are more open and trusting than the wary Lhasa Apso. The Havanese was bred in particular to be fun-loving petite lapdogs. Their friendly, amicable nature is a huge selling point as the perfect companion to those in Cuba.
It wouldn’t do for the Lhasa Apso to be too immediately friendly. They were bred as guardians for Tibetan monks or the wealthy, and they were considered rich and generous gifts because of their beauty and usefulness.
Before Lhasa Apso’s became a more accessible breed, they were nearly exclusive to the monks and Dalai Llama. Sometimes it is incredible to look back on the world and compare it to reality, and to imagine such a sacred animal growing commonplace over time is mind-numbing.
Don’t let this lessen your opinion of the Havanese. To be sure, this dog has its own gregarious nature that makes it ready to bring you joy and snuggles and loyalty which knows no bounds. Just because it wasn’t bred to be supremely loyal doesn’t mean it isn’t.
If you choose to invite a Havanese to join your family, know that it is a dog who will become attached to everyone in your household, and it will see itself as an integral part of the family. That’s a great option when you have a large family, and you want to be sure a dog gets along with everyone.
Between the Two?
The Havanese is a friendly family dog who will want to go everywhere with you. The Lhasa Apso enjoys people, but it is a protector at heart and picks who they will guard. No matter the choice, you’ll have a best friend for life.
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