Lhasa Apso vs Havanese – What’s the Difference?

If you’re considering getting a gorgeous dog, the Havanese and Lhasa Apso are brilliant choices. Despite them both being cute, it’s often difficult to determine what other factors are either similar or different to figure out which one is best for you. 

This is why we’re here. If you’re debating between the Lhasa Apso vs Havanese and truly can’t decide — this article will guide you with all the information you’ll need.

Lhasa Apso vs Havanese Quick Comparison Chart

Lhasa Apso









Social butterfly




Family Dog


Not if you have young children


10-11 inches

8.5-11.5 inches


12-18 pounds

7-13 pounds








12-14 years

13-15 years

Coat Colors

Red, Yellow, Brown, White, and Black

Black, Fawn, White, Tobacco, and Havanna Brown


Moderate - stubborn trait can make training a challenge

High - intelligent and social, making them easier to train

lhasa apso shed.

Lhasa Apso vs Havanese — The Breeds

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is an ancient breed that originated from Tibet, where their main job was to be watchdogs in monasteries and palaces. However, nowadays, this pooch is seen as a cute companion, yet still caring, loyal, and protective of their ‘pack.’

We all recognize the Lhasa Apso for its long, furry coat that drapes either side of its body. Many Tibetan breeds have this, as well as a distinct feathery tail.

Is the Lhasa Apso for Me? 

The idea of this small breed of dog as a watchdog may come as a surprise to many when considering its small size, but they’re independent and also quite sturdy. Their ability to adapt to most homes is also appealing, and they’re a great addition to any household! 

Lhasa Apso Pros

  • Confident canines.
  • Low-exercise breed.
  • Bright and intelligent.
  • Great lifelong companions.

Lhasa Apso Cons

  • Require a lot of grooming.
  • Strong-willed little tikes.
  • Suspicious of strangers.
lhasa apso or havanese.

The Havanese is the only canine originating from Cuba, stemming from the Bichon family. This breed was developed from the now-extinct Blanquito de la Habana, which means ‘the white dog of Havana.’

Possessing a joyful personality is one of the things that makes this pooch so popular among owners today. What’s more, many consider it the ideal family pet and companion dog as they’re adaptable to most environments. That said, they won’t enjoy being in an isolated environment, alone for hours a day.

Is the Havanese for Me? 

Don’t be deceived by the size of these little dogs, they’re one of the sturdiest toy breeds and also exceptionally bright.

The Havanese are extremely people-oriented and love nothing more than curling up on your lap for a cuddle. They’re also playful and happy pooches.

Havanese Pros

  • Small and sturdy.
  • Good watchdog.
  • Doesn’t really need a lot of exercise.

Havanese Cons

  • Separation anxiety is a real problem.
  • Tend to bark a lot.
  • Difficulty house training.

Lhasa Apso vs Havanese Size

Despite having a rather similar appearance, the Lhasa Apso and Havanese tend to be slightly different in size. 


Havanese dogs tend to mature at around 12 months old and reach their full size in this time. They weigh from 7 to 13 pounds, making them quite small dogs. Their height varies between 8.5 to 11.5 inches up to their shoulders.

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso’s height is fairly similar to Havanese dogs — they measure from 10 to 11 inches. However, they’re a little heavier than Havanese dogs. Lhasa Apso breeds often weigh from 12 to 18 pounds, making them a little more weighted than Havanese.

Lhasa Apso vs Havanese Temperament

So, what are the Lhasa Apso and Havanese temperaments and behaviors? Let’s take a look.

Lhasa Apso

A super playful breed with a happy personality. The Lhasa is a breed that keeps its puppy-like characteristics and behaviors for a lot longer than many other dog breeds, like the Havanese, for example. 

Intelligent and loyal, making sure that your household is safe at all times due to its origin and its protective traits. However, the Lhasa Apso does tend to be more on the stubborn side in comparison to the Havanese, so more consistent training will be required. 

If you’re not up for this level of commitment, then perhaps the Havanese is more for you. It’s also recommended that you start this training rather early to ensure that they don’t fear strangers and that they socialize with other dogs and people. These dogs also seem to do better with older children, and struggle with other dogs or cats. However, training can be done to counteract this. 


Havanese find it much easier than the Lhasa to socialize with other dogs and humans. They’re friendly and can’t help being a social butterfly wherever you go! 

Their fun personality and character make them easily lovable by anyone and also allow them to love people in return! Happiness and joy are often found on the inside, and the Havanese is no exception! 

Behind the small stature of fluff lies a big fluffy personality that’s keen to show affection by jumping up to hug you! This is a breed that doesn’t find it too difficult to keep up on a walk, despite their size. 

While a sociable creature, Havanese enjoy spending one-on-one time with you as their owner — lying next to you or on top of you, or even on your feet to keep you nice and toasty. 

lhasa apso hypoallergenic.

Lhasa Apso vs Havanese Training

Both these little pups are intelligent, but neither are the easiest to train, and it will require some patience.


The vast majority of Havanese are extremely competent and easily trained, but some can be headstrong.

If you’re looking for a pooch to easily teach tricks, the Havanese may not be the best choice. They can be taught, but require a little more effort and patience.

Lhasa Apso

These little bundles are super smart, but not the easiest breed to train. Lhasas have an independent nature and will question what they are getting out of any training session.

This canine is a sensitive dog, so any physical punishment will definitely leave you with an unresponsive dog in your hands.

Lhasa Apso vs Havanese Price

Now, let’s talk about money.

The Lhasa Apso tends to vary in price. If you’re looking to get one from a reputable and reliable breeder, expect to pay anything from $500 up to $1200. However, Havanese dogs tend to be more on the expensive side, ranging from $1000 to $1500. 

It’s important to consider that these prices listed above are to be seen as a rough guide. Price will vary based on many factors such as location, etc.

havanese temperament.

Lhasa Apso vs Havanese Shedding

There will always be people who are allergic to dog hair or just don’t want to put up with cleaning the floor every five minutes, and that’s fair enough! So, is one breed more hypoallergenic than the other? 

Lhasa Apso

Luckily, the Lhasa Apso is hypoallergenic and a virtually non-shedding breed. They don’t have a double coat like the Havanese, so shed a little less.

They have a long silky coat that looks amazing, but this also means that they’re going to need more frequent trips to the groomers. 


Havanese are also a low-shedding breed, thus falling into the hypoallergenic canine category. But you should take note — they do shed a little more than the Lhasa Apso. Whenever they lose their hair, it generally catches in their outer coat rather than falling onto the floor. 

However, the Havanese require a lot of grooming quite regularly, similar to Lhasa Apso, to ensure minimum shedding and to keep that double coat nice and healthy. 

If you’re considering a dog with minimal hair loss, these two breeds are ideal. The Lhasa Apso sheds slightly less than the Havanese. So, if you’re torn between the two, this could be the decider.

Lhasa Apso vs Havanese Grooming Requirements

Both these breeds come with relatively high-maintenance coats. But how much care is needed to keep those long-flowing locks in pristine condition?


The Lhasa’s coat will require daily brushing to keep it mat and tangle-free. However, many owners opt for a professional groomer to get the job done properly.

The Havanese will also require daily brushing and again regular dates with a professional groomer.

If you prefer not to deal with the daily grooming of either breed, many owners opt for what is known as the ‘puppy cut.’ This is where the groomer will shear their coat very short, like a puppy, making their coats easy to take care of on a daily basis.


When it comes to bathing, the Lhasa Apso will require a dip in the tub at least every two weeks. This will help to keep their coat in tip-top condition.

The Havanese will only require a bath occasionally, as and when needed, depending on how much dirty trouble your little pooch gets themselves into.

Nails and Teeth

Both of these small breeds can be prone to dental issues, so brush their teeth a couple of times a week. Alternatively, you could use dental chews.

Lhasa Apso vs Havanese Exercise

Are these dogs high energy, requiring lots of walking, or are they little couch potatoes? Let’s find out.

Lhasa Apso

As mentioned, the Lhasa Apso was a watchdog in its country of origin, and its exercise needs reflect this to an extent. This breed needs roughly an hour of exercise every day and if you have more time on your hands, walk more! 

However, due to their stubborn nature, you may find it difficult to take them out, and training can prove to be a challenge sometimes. We would suggest for part of this exercise be a daily short walk lasting around 20 minutes. This will give them a chance to exercise their mind as well as their body, which is essential.


The Havanese on the other hand, require moderate exercise. A daily short, brisk walk or fun games with you at a park or your back garden are all possible avenues of activity. Running and playing inside can also be enough for them, and it’s vital to remember not to over-exercise a Havanese, no matter what their age. 

Surprisingly, they’re quite a lazy breed, as they were originally bred as lapdogs or companion dogs, so they’re happy to snuggle up with you. It’s also important to remember that they’re a social butterfly, so encourage time with other dogs and people to keep this personality trait alive.


Despite the Lhasa Apso and Havanese being two very similar breeds, they still have their differences. 

If you’re after a loyal and caring watchdog, with a determined spirit, the Lhasa Apso is certainly for you. And, for those after a social butterfly that is a little more sturdy, consider the Havanese as your new pet. 

However, one significant similarity is that, whether you choose Lhasa Apso vs Havanese, both breeds are ideal for allergy sufferers.

havanese price.

Lhasa Apso vs Havanese FAQs

Are Havanese Good House Dogs?

The fact that Havanese are social butterflies makes them a good house dog, and they adapt well to different types of households. 

Are Havanese High Maintenance?

Yes. Havanese can be very high maintenance. They will require daily grooming due to their long coat, which can grow to 8 inches in length. 

Do Havanese Dogs Bark Often?

Havanese are high on the barking scale, scoring 4 out of 5. However, we’d like to call it chatter. If someone walks through the door, they will provide them with a ‘welcome,’ but will settle down after that. 

Do Lhasa Apso Bite?

You may have heard that young Lhasas tend to bite their owners. This is mostly a misconception, most puppies nibble, gnaw and nip when they’re teething. 

Are Lhasa Apsos a Decent Pet?

By being considered to be easy to keep as a pet, they provide a loud bark and a stubborn nature as well as being loyal and aloof. These are long-living dogs — often living into their late teens. Their need to be groomed often does perhaps put a toll on keeping them as a pet, but some find brushing their dog relatively therapeutic.