|Barked: Wed Dec 26, '07 4:28pm PST |
|"Personalities are supposed to be one of the major differences. Tzus are said to be more friendly and playful, while lhasas are more protective and barky Tzus are also smaller. "
My sister had a Lhasa, and I had a Shih Tzu mix and have known quite a few purebreds. I would agree with Addy in that Shih Tzus are less wary of strangers and more friendly. Lhasas tend to be protective and are by standard a larger breed. Lhasas also have a good bit of length to their muzzle, and a less pronounced eye, while the Shih Tzu has a very, very short muzzle and a round, large eye. Both breeds are incredibly devoted to their family members. I would say the Lhasa is a hardier breed than the Shih Tzu, as it is without the breathing problems.
The Shih Tzu was developed by breeding Lhasas and Pekingese type dogs together in Tibet (some say Tibetan Spaniel ancestors). I read once an old reprinted article. It remarked that visitors to Tibet in the 1800s noted pups born from the same litters had non-shedding coats, shedding coats, and a lot of variance in size. The monks considered all the small lap dogs the same, (they were all called lion dogs and temple dogs) and did not regulate the interbreeding. It was those who brought the dogs to China and others to England that divided the small Tibetan dogs into different breeds by their physical features.
In the more formal kennel club beginnings of the breed, in England, tracing pedigree, you can still find registered Pekingese females were used in the foundation of the Shih Tzu breed. This was when the Pekingese were a breed with a much shorter spaniel type coat, and a slightly longer muzzle than they have now. Here are some paintings from that time.
Pekingese - Maud Earl 1913
John Munns Pekingese 1913
Gabriel Blair Pekingese 1918
The newly separated Lhasa and Shih Tzu breeds were also intermixed when they first came to the USA, so I do believe you will find that there are a lot of dogs in each breed with very similar temperaments.
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