|Barked: Sat Feb 2, '08 10:44pm PST |
|According to Heide Parker's study on the genetic structure of purebred dogs . . . not much!
The Lhasa, Shih Tzu and Peke were all incredibly close in genetic structure, closer than any other breeds to each other. If the Tibetan Spaniel and Japanese Chin would have been studied, I have no doubt that they would cluster in the same group.
Until the beginning of the 20th Century, in Nepal, Tibet, where these dogs originated, the Lhasa, Tibetan Spaniel (Tibet's close cousin of the Peke) and Shih tzu were all bred as the same breed, with smaller, larger, shedding and non-shedding dogs all coming from the same litters. This is noted in the writings of British breeders later on who refused to go back to Nepal to import "genuine" samples of the breed, as these breeders were well aware of the risk of then getting a pup that could throw a lot of variation.
But then, since the breed clubs separated these breeds, the Shih Tzu has larger rounder eyes, and a very, very short muzzle (like the Peke). The Lhasa has a medium - but square - muzzle with smaller eyes (like the Tibetan Spaniel). Shih Tzus tend to be smaller as well, shorter legges I believe. In temperament, the Lhasa tends to be more guarded with strangers than a Shih Tzu.
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