HomeNewsDec 19, Shih Tzu and Maltese Designer Dog: How Much Do You...

    Dec 19, Shih Tzu and Maltese Designer Dog: How Much Do You Know About This Dog

    By Janice Jones   |Last Updated 12-19-2022

    When you mix the Shih Tzu and Maltese, you get a designer dog named a Mal-Shi. 

    The Mal Shi also called Malte-Tzu, Shihtese, Mal-Shi, Malshi, is a mix
    between a Shih Tzu and a Maltese Dog and are normal considered to be a designer
    dog or hybrid. 

    When a purebred Maltese
    Dog is mated with a purebred Shih Tzu, you are likely to get a sturdy, happy,
    agile, friendly companion.  

    Not all
    breeders start with two purebred dogs so there are times when puppies that are
    called Mal Shi are actually the result of hybrid parents. 

    For example, a Mal Shi could be one-quarter
    Shih Tzu and ¾ Maltese if the mother is a Mal Shi and the father is pure bred

    Development of a Mal-Shi Puppy

    When deciding on a puppy, it is
    very important that you know who the parents are. If possible when visiting the breeder, ask to see the parents.

    Mal Shi is not a purebred dog so you cannot register it with the AKC, although
    there are other registration sites such as the American Canine Hybrid Club that
    allows you to register your hybrid dog. 

    Characteristics of the Mal-Shi

    Good With Children:  Yes

    Somewhat Hypoallergenic:  Yes

    Good With other Pets:  Yes

    Easy to Train:  Yes

    Colors:  Any color of Shih Tzu such as Black, Gold, Chocolate, Silver, White Red, or combination of Colors

    Coat Type:  Long

    Grooming:  High Maintenance

    Affectionate:  Very

    Good for First Time Dog Owners:  Yes

    Appearance of the Shih Tzu and Maltese Mix

    Most Mal Shi will take on the characteristics of both parents, but there
    is no guarantee how the gene pool will be mixed so each new litter is

    The size of Mal Shi dogs are
    determined by the parents.  The normal
    size of a Maltese is about 4 to 7 pounds and the Shih Tzu standard suggests
    that they should weigh between 9 and 15 pounds. 

    There are many dogs that do not conform to the standard, so you
    must check the parents if you want to know how big your puppy will get.  A rough estimate would be between 6 and 15
    pounds.  Most Mal Shi puppies will be
    lighter in weight than the average Shih Tzu. 

    Mal-Shi is One-half shih Tzu and one-half MalteseBrindle Colored Mal-Shi PUppy

    Sometimes the genes of one of the parents are so strong that they overpower the other making the offspring appear more like one breed rather than a mixture of both.

    Phydeaux here resembles his Shih Tzu father more so than his Maltese mother.  Both parents are purebred, AKC registered dogs, yet, at 8 weeks, it is hard to tell that he is 1/2 Maltese!

    Most Mal Shi
    dogs tend to take on color combinations of the parents, although most Mal Shi
    puppies will inherit most of the coloring from the Shih Tzu parent. 

    A Maltese is always white and a Shih Tzu can
    come in many different colors including white, black, gold, brown (liver), red,
    silver, or brindle. 

    coat of the Shih Tzu and Maltese mix is typically long, straight, and dense. They may or may not
    have a double coat that is typical of the Shih Tzu.  Even though most Mal-Shi puppies will
    resemble Shih Tzu dogs, their noses will be longer.

    They will carry their tail
    up and over their body just as both Shih Tzu and Maltese dogs do.   

    breeds are non-shedding so this characteristic will be passed down to the
    Mal-Shi puppy.  Even though you will
    never find puppy hairs on your furniture, these breeds to lose hair and
    brushing is very important to keep the coat knot-free.

    The Temperament of the Shih Tzu and Maltese Mix

    Maltese and Shih Tzu MixBlack Mal Shi Puppy

    Most Mal-Shi puppies are affectionate,
    alert, loving, and devoted to their owner.

    These personality characteristics
    are typical of both breeds. Maltese are generally known to be gentle and
    affectionate, playful and fearless at times. 

    They are very watchful and will alert their owners to any new sounds or
    movement in the environment.  

    They are
    also cleaver and fast learners. Shih Tzu are sweet and playful and have
    outgoing, affectionate personalities. Some are very agile and most have a
    little stubborn streak. 

    Shih Tzu dogs
    have been bred for centuries to be a companion and house pet.
    When you combine the temperaments and personalities of both parents you are
    likely to get a playful, loving, spunky, and clever puppy. 

    Their antics are often amusing and
    endearing to their owners.  Due to their
    size, they tend to do best in a home with older, caring children. They
    generally do well with dogs and other types of pets.

    You will find that Mal-Shi
    dogs make excellent watch dogs as they are wary of strangers and are quick to
    alert their family to visitors and out of the ordinary sounds. 

    Maltese dogs tend to bark more than Shih Tzu
    dogs, so the combination of both might mean you either have a barker or

    They can inherit the stubborn
    streak that is common in Shih Tzu dogs and may not respond well to
    housebreaking, a characteristic of Maltese Dogs. 

    They do respond well to socialization and
    positive guidance.  Training is best
    started early and patience and consistence is the key.

    Care of the Shih Tzu and Maltese Mix

    Mal Shi Puppy and his big bowl of food.

    The Mal-Shi requires daily brushing and
    to prevent matting and tangling. You also what to use the proper dog brush and for this breed, a pin brush works well.

    Bathing should be done when necessary
    using a mild shampoo, ideally at least every three weeks. Many owners prefer to
    bathe their dog weekly, especially if the dog is primarily white. 

    The ears should be cleaned regularly to
    prevent infection and hair plucked from the outer ear canal.

    Dental hygiene is
    important to prevent early tooth loss.

    Nails need to be clipped short and hair
    will need to be trimmed if not kept in a long style. 

    Their faces, especially around their eyes
    need to be wiped clean every day.  They
    may be prone to such health problems as skin problems, allergies, eye and
    respiratory problems, and many dogs with white faces are prone to tear stains.

    The Mal-Shi do very well in apartment
    living provided they are adequately exercised and mentally stimulated.

    They are
    able to meet most of their exercise needs indoors but enjoy leashed walks,
    family play sessions, and off-lead play time in a securely fenced yard.

    Hybrid Dog Registries for your Shih Tzu and Maltese Mix

    If you want to register your new Shih Tzu and Maltese Puppy, visit one of the Registries for more information. Please know that Small Dog Place does not endorse any of the organizations listed below.

    National Hybrid

    International Designer Canine Registry

    Mal-Shi Puppies appear to be kissing.

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