Malshi (Maltese & Shih Tzu Mix): Breed Guide, Info, Pictures, Care & More! – Dogster (2024)

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  • Characteristics
  • Temperament
  • Intelligence
  • Exercise
  • Health
  • Training
  • Grooming
  • Fun Facts

The Malshi goes by many titles, including Malti-zu and Malt-Tzu. This crossbreed combines the Maltese and Shih Tzu—two popular small dog breeds with exuberant personalities. Maltese tend to be a little peppier, while Shih Tzus are a bit more laidback.

Breed Overview


9 – 11 inches


6 – 12 pounds


12 – 14 years


Black, brown, white, brown and white, black and brown

Suitable for:

Allergy-sufferers, people of all ages, apartment living

Because both parent breeds already look quite similar, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect already if you are familiar with either. This is one of the most adorable small breed hybrids, and anyone who knows one can agree. So, when you put the two together, what do you get? Let’s find out.



High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.



Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.



Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.



Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.



Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

Malshi (Maltese & Shih Tzu Mix): Breed Guide, Info, Pictures, Care & More! – Dogster (1)Malshi Puppies

Malshi (Maltese & Shih Tzu Mix): Breed Guide, Info, Pictures, Care & More! – Dogster (2)

The Malshi is somewhat common in the dog world. Make sure to find a reputable breeder to find your Malshi puppy. Even though it might be tempting to go toward the lower end of the price spectrum, crossbreeds are always at risk of coming from backyard breeding and puppy mill situations. Dogs that come from this type of breeding typically have an increased risk of health issues and poor temperament.

Because this is such a popular mix, there’s a very good chance you could find a Malshi at a local rescue or shelter. Dogs from adoption situations will typically have all of their vaccines up to date and be spayed or neutered.

When you welcome a Malshi into your home, you can expect to have an affectionate pup that will be very loyal and enjoy playtime sessions. Keep in mind that they can suffer from separation anxiety, so make sure not to leave them alone for too long.

Malshi (Maltese & Shih Tzu Mix): Breed Guide, Info, Pictures, Care & More! – Dogster (3)

Temperament & Intelligence of the Malshi

The Malshi has a wonderful temperament and a fun-loving personality. These dogs are typically very high-energy and ready to play at a moment’s notice. Even though they are full of spunk, they are classically Velcro dogs, meaning they’ll stick by your side on the couch and even on a trip to the bathroom, too.

They tend to get highly attached to their families, and even possibly one person in particular. These little dogs are brilliant, although they can have a bit of a hard time learning how to use the potty outside.

However, even though they might be a little slow going at first, they will get the hang of things with repetition. They can also learn the cutest tricks like how to sit pretty or play dead. These little dogs will fill your days with laughter and joy.

Like any little dog, the Malshi can be a little mouthy—taking on the sassy side of their Maltese parent. Shih Tzus, on the other hand, tends to be a little calmer and quieter. Often, as puppies, you can tell which traits they will have later in life.

So, if you want a relaxed pooch, keep your eye on the puppy sitting quietly while his brothers and sisters yap at all the excitement.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Malshi makes a wonderful addition to almost any lifestyle. Because of their small size and ambitious nature, these dogs make perfect playmates for children who are old enough to understand respect and boundaries.

They also make equally great pets for seniors and people with single lifestyles looking for a full-time companion. This is the type of dog who would love to come with you on a family adventure or just a car ride down to the post office.

These dogs love nothing more than to spend every waking moment with their people. Because of their attached nature, they can suffer from separation anxiety, so they might not work best and households where they’ll be alone most of the day.

Also, these dogs are strictly inside animals and shouldn’t be shoved in a kennel or kept outside regularly. They will not be happy with this lifestyle, developing nervous tendencies or unwanted destructive behaviors.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

The Malshi might be a bossy little tart, but they typically acclimate very well to other pets. They might suffer a tad from small dog syndrome, where they think they are bigger than what they are. But if they are raised among other canines and other furry faces, they make friends in no time.

This breed does not have a very high prey drive, making them compatible with cats and other small pets. However, it would be best if you always exercised caution, never leaving your dog alone with any caged animals.

Malshi (Maltese & Shih Tzu Mix): Breed Guide, Info, Pictures, Care & More! – Dogster (4)

Malshi (Maltese & Shih Tzu Mix): Breed Guide, Info, Pictures, Care & More! – Dogster (5)Things to Know When Owning a Malshi

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Your Malshi might be a little finicky when it comes to food. If you’ve owned a small dog breed before, you might be familiar with their pickiness. They also are specifically prone to dental issues and other health concerns, so make sure their meals are brimming with nutrient-friendly ingredients.

Rather than offering strictly dry kibble, many owners mix dry kibble with wet dog food. And if you want to spoil your dog, you could always try out a homemade or raw dog food diet. These meals are all the craze these days, catering to a more natural, controlled diet to expand their lifespan.

If you choose homemade or raw options, you will have to go over the recipe with your veterinarian. It’s essential to make sure you’re meeting all of the necessary nutritional profiles.

Exercise 🐕

Your Malshi will need plenty of exercise in a day. Luckily, two brisk walks a day should do it. In total, your pup should get between 30 and 60 minutes of high-intensity, calorie-burning exercise per day.

This breed does not like to be away from you, so they very much enjoy interactive games you can engage in together. You might find that they love games like tug-of-war, fetch, and mazes or puzzles. They also are willing to work for a good treat.

Training 🎾

Training might be a little bit challenging for a few reasons. This breed might particularly be a little bit stubborn from time to time, wanting to have things go their way. They typically don’t do well with negative training, so keep things light and positive.

They are much more apt to soak in training if they feel like their owner is pleased. So just remember you might have to have a little extra patience right off the tip with this breed, but the lasting results are well worth it.

Because potty training can be so challenging for small breeds, some owners use puppy pads as an extra precaution in the home. These pads can prevent accidents from occurring on carpets and other surfaces.

However, make sure you are still actively trying to train them to go outdoors. These dogs might become lazy and decide they’d rather go to the park than go outside.

Malshi (Maltese & Shih Tzu Mix): Breed Guide, Info, Pictures, Care & More! – Dogster (6)

Grooming ✂️

Grooming is the fun part here. Your little ball of fluffy fur will need to visit a professional groomer roughly once every 4 to 6 weeks for a good trim. You can get creative with the sort of hairdo you pick out for your Malshi.

In addition to getting their hair styled, you always have to keep up with nail trims, ear cleanings, and brushing. It’s also essential to clean the corners of their eyes, as these dogs are prone to drainage.

Since dental issues can plague this breed later in life, always brush their teeth regularly, too—starting from puppyhood.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Because this is a crossbreed, this pup can take on health issues from both the Maltese and Shih Tzu sides. Aside from picking a breeder with healthy specimens, you should also pick a trusted vet that can grow with your pup well into their golden years.

It would be best if you always take your pup to the vet for their annual checkups. They need to stay up to date on vaccinations and general wellness. That way, you can get ahead of any potential or developing issues to ensure your pup lives a long, happy life.

Here are some issues that might pop up over time.

Minor Conditions

  • Patellar luxation
  • Dental issues
  • Eye problems
  • Reverse sneezing

Serious Conditions

Malshi (Maltese & Shih Tzu Mix): Breed Guide, Info, Pictures, Care & More! – Dogster (7)

Male vs. Female

It can be tough to distinguish between male and female Malshi’s unless you check their private parts. These dogs can take on a wide variety of character traits from either side, and ultimately, it also depends on the temperament of the parents.

Telling males from females in terms of size can be difficult, too, since parent breeds are so structurally similar.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Malshi

1. Malshis are “hypoallergenic” dogs.

Both parent breeds are considered hypoallergenic, meaning they shed less than other breeds, although that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re safe from experiencing allergy symptoms.

2. The Malshi is considered a designer dog.

Since the Malshi is a combination breed, what does this mean? It means they are considered a designer dog. Breeders develop designer dogs to possess certain looks and traits by combining popular purebred animals.

3. Malshis can make excellent therapy dogs.

Because of their temperament and size, these dogs make excellent choices for therapy or emotional support animals. They are loving, intuitive, intelligent, loyal, and attached to owners and will grow a particular affection toward their “one” human, even if they get along with everyone.

Malshi (Maltese & Shih Tzu Mix): Breed Guide, Info, Pictures, Care & More! – Dogster (8)Conclusion

Malshis are tempting crossbreed dogs to consider for lots of reasons. They are adorable, allergy-friendly, and perfect for apartment living. These little dogs also get along with every walk of life and integrate well into multi-pet households.

If you’re thinking of looking for a puppy, make sure to find a reputable breeder. You can always search for this hybrid in a local rescue or shelter, too—cutting out many upfront costs and giving a dog a second chance at life.

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Featured Image Credit: PHATCHARADA DUENDAO, Shutterstock

Malshi (Maltese & Shih Tzu Mix): Breed Guide, Info, Pictures, Care & More! – Dogster (2024)
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