By Janice Jones |Last Updated 12-19-2022
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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