Breed Spotlight: The Maltese Shih Tzu Mix and Its Unique Characteristics

Breed Spotlight: The Maltese Shih Tzu Mix and Its Unique Characteristics

Hello and welcome to our breed spotlight series, where we showcase various dog breeds and their distinctive traits. We’re delighted to present to you the Malshi, also known as the Maltese Shih Tzu hybrid.

The Shih Tzu and Maltese, two adored toy breeds, were combined to create this charming species. A petite, sociable, and loving dog, the Malshi is a great companion for the elderly, singles, and families alike.

The Malshi’s origin, history, physical traits, temperament, and training requirements will all be covered in this manual. Also, we’ll discuss some typical health issues to watch out for and provide advice on how to take care of your Malshi to ensure a long and happy life.

Join us as we examine the distinctive qualities of the Maltese Shih Tzu hybrid, whether you’re thinking about adding a Malshi to your home or you’re just interested in this endearing breed.

About Maltese Shih Tzu Mix

Little and cute, the Maltese Shih Tzu mix (or Malshi) combines the best qualities of its Maltese and Shih Tzu parents. These devoted pets come in a rainbow of colors and require frequent maintenance to maintain their silky, fluffy coat. Malshis are ideal pets for people of all ages and lifestyles thanks to their outgoing and energetic personalities.

In addition to being smart and trainable, they can also be stubborn at times. Malshis are typically healthy dogs, but they might develop difficulties like eye and dental problems that need to be watched for and addressed quickly. The Maltese Shih Tzu fusion breed as a whole gives much happiness and companionship to its owners.

Purpose of Maltese Shih Tzu Mix

Breeders of Maltese Shih Tzu hybrids and other hybrid breeds aim to blend the greatest qualities of both parent breeds to produce a new hybrid that has the best of both worlds. Breeders of the Malshi want to produce a small, devoted, and playful companion dog with a hypoallergenic coat that sheds infrequently and is adaptable to many living settings.

Malshis make wonderful family pets and companions for elders or people who live in smaller homes or apartments because of their caring and loyal character. Although the Malshi was primarily developed as a companion breed, it also does well in agility and obedience trials.

History of Maltese Shih Tzu Mix

The Malshi, commonly referred to as a Maltese Shih Tzu mix, is a designer breed that first appeared in the United States in the 1990s. Although the Malshi’s exact ancestry is unknown, it is thought that it was developed through selective breeding to produce a small, devoted companion dog that would carry over the best qualities of its Maltese and Shih Tzu parent breeds. The Shih Tzu was developed in China and was a favorite of the Chinese royal court, whereas the Maltese are a historic breed with roots in the Roman Empire.

Breeders aimed to produce a devoted and outgoing dog that would make a wonderful family pet and companion by fusing these two well-liked breeds. The Malshi has gained popularity over the past few years, and it will only continue to do so as more people become aware of its endearing attitude and lovely appearance.

The Appearance of Maltese Shih Tzu Mix

The Maltese Shih Tzu hybrid, often known as the Malshi, is little and compact in appearance. It weighs between 6 and 12 pounds and is between 10 and 12 inches tall. The coat of this breed is soft and silky, frequently wavy or curly, and it can be white, cream, black, brown, or any combination of these colors. Malshis are characterized by their round faces, expressive eyes that can be either brown or black, black nose, and floppy ears that hang down near to their cheeks.

Their physique is strong and well-balanced, with a somewhat longer height than width, and they have a plumed tail that curls over their back. Overall, the Malshi have a cute and endearing appearance that suits their amiable and tender nature.

What Should a Maltese Shih Tzu Mix Be Given in Terms of Nutrition?

The Malshi, also known as a Maltese Shih Tzu hybrid, should be fed a balanced, wholesome diet that takes into account all of their unique requirements as a small breed dog. In a perfect world, their diet would include high-quality protein, good fats, and easily-digested carbohydrates. You must provide them with a diet that is suitable for their age, weight, and degree of exercise.

Instead of feeding the Malshi one substantial meal a day, it is recommended to feed them several times throughout the day in smaller portions to maintain a healthy weight. Also, it’s critical to keep an eye on their caloric intake because excessive feeding might result in obesity, which can have several negative health effects.

Also, it’s critical to always supply clean, fresh water to the Malshi and to keep them away from delicacies like chocolate, grapes, and onions that are harmful to dogs. The precise food requirements of the Malshi can be ascertained and their nutrition demands assuaged by consulting with a veterinarian or a canine nutritionist.

Diet Plan

MealPortion SizeFrequency
High-quality dry dog food1/4 – 1/2 cup2-3 times per day
Lean protein (e.g. boiled chicken, turkey, or fish)1-2 tablespoons2 times per week
Vegetables (e.g. green beans, carrots, sweet potato)1-2 tablespoons2 times per week
Healthy treats (e.g. carrots, apple slices, blueberries)As neededOccasional

Please take note that this is only a sample diet plan and that the actual serving sizes and frequency may change based on the age, weight, and degree of activity of the dog. For advice on the ideal food for your Malshi, speak with a veterinarian or a canine nutritionist.

10 Best Interesting Details About Maltese Shih Tzu Mix

10 Best Interesting Details About Maltese Shih Tzu Mix
  • The Malshi or Malti Tzu is another name for the Maltese Shih Tzu hybrid. This breed is relatively new, having been created in the 1990s in the United States by mating a Maltese with a Shih Tzu. The objective was to breed a little, loving, and hypoallergenic companion dog.
  • The Malshi is a little breed that ranges in size from 6 to 12 pounds and 8 to 12 inches at the shoulder. They are renowned for having huge personalities and loving dispositions despite their small size.
  • Unlike other breeds, Malshis produce less dander and shed fewer hairs since they are hypoallergenic. They are therefore a fantastic option for anyone who has allergies or sensitivities to pet hair.
  • Malshis need to have their long, silky, and low-shedding coats groomed frequently. To avoid matting and tangles, their coat should be brushed at least once weekly. They should also get their nails cut by a professional groomer every 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Malshis are amiable canines who enjoy spending time with both people and other animals. Because of their gregarious nature, they enjoy going on walks, playing games, and spending time with their owners.
  • Malshis are highly clever, trainable dogs that benefit from methods of positive reinforcement. They pick things up quickly and take pleasure in compliments for good behavior.
  • Malshis are renowned for their versatility and capacity to change their way of life and living arrangements. They are excellent apartment dogs, but they also like bigger houses with yards.
  • Malshis are active and spirited dogs, although they don’t need much exercise. Usually, a daily stroll and some inside activity are enough to keep them content and healthy.
  • White, black, brown, and grey are just a few of the coat hues that Malshis can have. Its coat may be all one color or a combination of hues. They look cute and cuddly because of their round heads, short muzzles, and large eyes.
  • Malshis are typically healthy dogs, however, they are prone to a few conditions, such as allergies, dental disorders, eye infections, and patellar luxation. To keep them healthy and content, it’s crucial to take them to routine veterinary checkups, follow a suitable diet, and exercise regularly.

How to Train Your Maltese Shih Tzu Mix

Here are some tips on how to train your Malshi:

  • Start early: Begin early Start your Malshi’s training as soon as you can, ideally when they are still puppies. This will assist kids in forming positive routines and stop the emergence of negative behaviors.
  • Socialize your dog: Socialize your dog to prevent fearfulness or aggression. Malshis are social dogs and must be exposed to various people, pets, and situations. Offer new experiences to them gradually, and encourage good conduct by giving them treats.
  • Use positive reinforcement: Malshis respond well to training methods that reward desirable behavior with goodies, compliments, and fun. This motivates people to act again in the future.
  • Be dependable: The key to training a Malshi is consistency. Ensure that everyone in the home follows the same training methods by consistently employing the same commands and cues.
  • Keep training sessions short: Because Malshis have limited attention spans, training sessions are brief and exciting. Usually, 5 to 10 minutes per session are sufficient.
  • Employ force-free training methods: Refrain from utilizing physical or harsh training methods that could injure your dog or your relationship with them.
  • Teach fundamental commands: Begin by teaching fundamental commands like sit, stay, come, and down. Following the mastery of these commands by your dog, you can progress to more difficult training.
  • Be patient: Malshi training can be time- and patience-consuming, so be ready to devote the required time and energy to your dog’s training.

Always keep in mind that training your Malshi should be enjoyable for both you and your dog. You may train your Malshi to be a well-behaved and obedient companion by using positive reinforcement strategies and being consistent.

Is Maltese Shih Tzu Mix the right dog for you?

Several criteria determine if a Maltese Shih Tzu mix is the appropriate dog for you. Although malshis are flexible dogs, they still need regular exercise and socialization. A Malshi may not be the right pet for you if you lead a sedentary lifestyle or work long hours away from your house.

Given that Malshis are known to shed and produce dander, it is also crucial to take into account any allergies you or your family members may have. Moreover, Malshis require routine maintenance to keep their coat in good condition and avoid matting. A Maltese Shih Tzu mix, however, can be the ideal addition to your family if you’re seeking a sociable, loving, and trainable pet.

Suitable For:

  • Families with children: Families with young children will appreciate the friendly and gentle nature of Maltese Shih Tzu hybrids, which make them excellent playmates. They are also playful and adore interacting with their human relatives.
  • Apartment dwellers: Malshis can live in smaller homes, such as apartments or condos, due to their adaptability. Dogs certainly need regular activity, but they can get it by going on quick walks and playing inside.
  • Those looking for a lap dog: Due to their little stature and friendly temperament, Malshis are frequently referred to as “lap dogs.” They enjoy being close to and cuddling with their human family members.

Not Suitable For:

  • Those who suffer from severe allergies: Malshis are known to shed and create dander, which in some cases can cause allergies. A Malshi might not be the ideal option if you have severe allergies or someone in your home has them.
  • Those who work long hours: Those who put in a lot of overtime should know that Malshis are social canines and need to socialize with their human family members frequently. A Malshi might not be the greatest choice for your lifestyle if you spend a lot of time away from home working.
  • For those looking for a guard dog: Malshis are amiable and kind, but they are not frequently used as guards or protective dogs. Instead of barking or growling, they are more likely to greet strangers with a wagging tail.

Grooming and Care

Here are some tips for grooming and care:

  • Brushing: Malshis need to be brushed every day to prevent matting and tangling because of their long, silky coats. To remove any mats or knots, use a slicker brush or comb gently.
  • Bathing: Malshis should be bathed every 6 to 8 weeks to maintain a clean, healthy coat. They don’t need to be bathed frequently. To avoid getting water in their ears, use a gentle dog wash and conditioner.
  • Nail trimming: Nail clipping is important to keep your Malshi’s nails from getting too long and uncomfortable. Do this every 4-6 weeks. To avoid cutting quickly, use a sharp pair of dog nail clippers (the blood vessel inside the nail).
  • Teeth brushing: Malshis should brush their teeth frequently to avoid tartar development and gum disease as they are prone to dental problems. Use a dog toothpaste and a toothbrush with gentle bristles.
  • Cleaning the ears: Malshis’ long, floppy ears can collect dirt and moisture, which can cause ear infections. Use cotton balls and a light ear cleanser to clean their ears once each week.
  • Exercise: Malshis must exercise regularly to maintain their health and stave off boredom. To provide them with mental and physical stimulation, take them for a stroll or engage in indoor activities.

You can make sure that your Maltese Shih Tzu mix is healthy and content for years to come by according to these grooming and care guidelines.

Exercise Requirements

Although being little dogs, Maltese Shih Tzu hybrids need daily exercise to keep healthy and content. For Maltese Shih Tzu mixes, the following exercise guidelines are recommended:

  • Daily walks: Malshis must walk for at least 30 minutes each day to fulfill their exercise needs. Walking is a fantastic way to meet new people and challenge your mind.
  • Playtime indoors: Malshis are flexible dogs that can live in smaller places, such as apartments or condos. Indoor games like fetch, tug-of-war, or hide-and-seek are good ways for them to get some activity.
  • Interactive toys: Malshis appreciate using puzzle feeders and other interactive toys that stimulate their minds and bodies.
  • Dog parks: Taking your Malshi to a dog park is a fantastic method to promote socialization and exercise for them. However, take care to watch them constantly and make sure that no larger canines overpower them.
  • Agility training: Malshis are smart dogs who take pleasure in learning new things. Strengthening your relationship with your dog while also stimulating your body and mind are all benefits of agility training.

Keep in mind that a dog’s activity needs can change depending on its age, health, and temperament. A veterinarian should always be consulted to determine the optimal workout regimen for your Maltese Shih Tzu mix.

Mental Needs

Maltese Shih Tzu mixes need cerebral stimulation in addition to physical activity to remain healthy and content. These are some mental requirements for Maltese Shih Tzu hybrids:

  • Training: Malshis are smart canines who take pleasure in learning new things. The link between you and your dog can be strengthened while also promoting cerebral stimulation. Malshis respond well to positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise.
  • Interactive toys: When you’re not home, your Malshi can keep themselves entertained while receiving mental stimulation from interactive toys like puzzle feeders.
  • Socialization: Malshis are sociable canines who enjoy spending time with both people and other dogs. To avoid issues with hostility and anxiety, socialization is crucial. Introduce your Malshi to various situations, people, and other dogs from an early age to socialize them.
  • Enrichment activities: Engaging in enrichment activities, such as agility training or nose work, can keep your Malshi from becoming bored.
  • Mental difficulties: Malshis are observant canines who like to explore their surroundings. By hiding treats about the home or playing hide-and-seek with your dog, you can present mental hurdles.

Your Maltese Shih Tzu mix can avoid behavioral problems and maintain good health if you take care of his mental demands.

Common Health Issues

Common Health Issues

Maltese Shih Tzu hybrids are susceptible to specific health problems, just like any other dog breed. The following are some of the most typical health conditions affecting Maltese Shih Tzu hybrids:

  • Dental issues: Gum disease, tooth decay, and tartar development are among the dental issues that Malshis are more likely to have. Brush your Malshi’s teeth frequently, give them dental chews or toys, and make routine appointments with your veterinarian for dental cleanings to prevent dental problems.
  • Eye issues: Malshis are susceptible to eye conditions such as cataracts, corneal ulcers, and dry eyes. To identify any abnormalities early, it’s crucial to keep your Malshi’s eyes clean and arrange routine exams with your veterinarian.
  • Skin allergies: Malshis are susceptible to skin allergies that can result in rashes, skin infections, and itching. Keep your Malshi’s coat clean and well-groomed, and use hypoallergenic shampoos and grooming supplies to prevent skin allergies.
  • Respiratory issues: Due to their short snouts, malshis are more likely to experience respiratory issues such as reverse sneezing, snoring, and breathing difficulty. Maintain a healthy weight for your Malshi, and keep them away from severe heat.
  • Patellar luxation: The condition in which the kneecap falls out of place can be present in Malshis. Pain and limping may result from this. Surgery might be advised by your veterinarian to address this problem.

You can help to make sure that your Maltese Shih Tzu mix stays healthy and happy by being aware of these typical health problems and working with your veterinarian to avoid and cure them.

Causes and Symptoms

Health IssueCauseSymptoms
Dental problemsPoor dental hygiene, geneticsBad breath, yellow or brown teeth, inflamed gums
Eye problemsGenetics, injury, infectionCloudy eyes, excessive tearing, redness, squinting
Skin allergiesAllergies to food, flea bites, grooming products, pollenItching, redness, rashes, hair loss, skin infections
Respiratory problemsShort snout, obesity, extreme temperaturesReverse sneezing, snoring, wheezing, coughing, labored breathing
Patellar luxationGenetics, injury, obesityLimping, pain, difficulty walking or jumping

The reasons and symptoms listed above are not all-inclusive, so it is advisable to see your veterinarian if you detect any strange behavior or symptoms in your Maltese Shih Tzu mix.

Personality and Temperament

The Maltese Shih Tzu crossbreed is renowned for its lively and sociable nature. Here are some of their temperament’s salient characteristics:

  • Affectionate: Malshis are extremely affectionate canines who enjoy being close to their owners. They frequently take pleasure in being held and petted, and they may even follow their owners around the house.
  • Playful: Malshis enjoy playing with toys and games and have a playful and vivacious side. In particular, when they are young, they are recognized for their love of play and high levels of activity.
  • Social: Malshis are often very sociable dogs who delight in interacting with both people and other animals. They make excellent companion dogs and are frequently amiable with strangers.
  • Intelligent: Malshis are easily trained using positive reinforcement techniques due to their intelligence. They pick things up quickly and take compliments and treats nicely.
  • Stubborn: Malshis, like many little dog breeds, occasionally exhibit stubbornness and may attempt to exert their will. To prevent any behavioral problems, training must be patient and constant.

Overall, families or individuals looking for a petite, loving, and social dog that can adapt to various living situations may consider getting a Maltese Shih Tzu mix.

Is the Maltese Shih Tzu Mix Affectionate?

The Maltese Shih Tzu mix is indeed renowned for its friendly personality. These dogs enjoy being around people, cling to their owners, and frequently seek cuddles and snuggles. They have a reputation for being devoted and frequently follow their owners around the house.

Malshis also tend to be sociable canines who want to be around people and other animals. They make wonderful companion dogs because they are frequently amiable to strangers. The Maltese Shih Tzu mix is unquestionably worth taking into consideration if you’re looking for a dog that will give you lots of love and affection.

Are they Aggressive?

No, the Maltese Shih Tzu hybrid is not a breed with a reputation for aggression. These dogs are frequently eager to meet new people and animals and tend to be gregarious and extroverted. They often enjoy being around people, other dogs, and even cats because they are very social dogs. Nonetheless, they can develop aggressive behavior just like any other dog if they are not properly socialized or if they feel threatened or afraid.

You should give your Maltese Shih Tzu mix plenty of opportunities for positive socialization and educate them using positive reinforcement techniques because a dog’s behavior frequently reflects both their training and environment. Your Malshi should be a joyful, well-adjusted dog who is a pleasure to be around with the right care and training.

Is Maltese Shih Tzu Mix Intelligent?

The Maltese Shih Tzu mix is regarded as a breed with intelligence. With positive reinforcement techniques like treats, praise, and play, these dogs can be trained quickly and effortlessly. They are capable of learning a variety of tricks and orders, and they appreciate cerebral stimulation. Malshis are renowned for their capacity to identify answers to issues they face and for their ability to solve them.

However, they can also be stubborn at times, just like many little dog breeds, thus teaching them might call for persistence and patience. Overall, the Maltese Shih Tzu mix breed is a perceptive and teachable one that can flourish with appropriate socialization and training.

About Barking

If properly socialized and taught, the Maltese Shih Tzu mix is not prone to excessive barking. Like many small dog breeds, Malshis have a voice, and they may bark to show their feelings or warn their owners of impending danger. When they are happy, worried, bored, or in response to sounds and activities around them, they could bark. Yet, you can teach your Malshi when to bark and when it’s inappropriate to do so through constant training and socialization.

To avoid boredom and anxiety, which can lead to excessive barking, it’s crucial to provide your dog with lots of mental and physical stimulation. Additionally, encouraging your Malshi to bark less and obey your directions more successfully can be accomplished by employing positive reinforcement strategies like food and praise.

Best 20 Names of Maltese Shih Tzu Mix

Here are the Best 20 Names of Maltese Shih Tzu Mix:

  • Milo
  • Bella
  • Teddy
  • Daisy
  • Charlie
  • Luna
  • Max
  • Lola
  • Oliver
  • Lily
  • Rocky
  • Roxy
  • Cooper
  • Sadie
  • Winston
  • Chloe
  • Jack
  • Ruby
  • Gus
  • Rosie


Several factors, including the age, location, and pedigree of the dog, might affect the cost of a Maltese Shih Tzu hybrid. A Malshi puppy from a good breeder might cost you anywhere from $500 to $2,000. It’s worth noting, though, that breeders may ask you a hefty premium for what they label “teacup” or “designer” Malshi because these Malshi tend to be smaller in stature and may include more unusual coloration or patterning.

If you’re thinking about adopting a Malshi from a shelter or rescue group, you should know that the cost might vary from $50 to $500, depending on the facility, the dog’s age, and any special needs it may have. Make sure to do your homework and only buy or adopt your Maltese Shih Tzu mix from a reputable breeder or rescue organization.

Table of Quick Breed Summary

Breed NameMaltese Shih Tzu Mix
Other NamesMalshi, Malti Tzu
Weight6-12 pounds (2.7-5.4 kg)
Height10-12 inches (25-30 cm)
Coat TypeSoft, silky, and often wavy or curly
Coat ColorWhite, cream, black, brown, or a combination thereof
Lifespan12-14 years
TemperamentAffectionate, friendly, playful, and adaptable
TrainabilityIntelligent and trainable, but may have a stubborn streak
Exercise NeedsModerate
Grooming NeedsHigh
Health IssuesMay be prone to dental problems, eye issues, and allergies
Best Suited ForFamilies, seniors, and individuals who live in apartments or small homes


The Malshi, commonly referred to as a Maltese Shih Tzu mix, is a little hybrid breed that combines the greatest qualities of both of its parent breeds. The Malshi is a well-liked companion for families, elders, and those living in small homes or flats thanks to its soft, silky coat that comes in a range of colors and its kind and affectionate demeanor.

The Malshi is bright and teachable, but they may also have a stubborn side, so training them takes persistence and patience. The Malshi is a loving and devoted breed that adds joy to any home despite having high grooming requirements and moderate exercise requirements.

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