Maltese Shih Tzu Mix: The Ultimate Apartment Dog?

The Maltese Shih Tzu is a quirky, fun loving little pup that will light up your world.

You may know this dog by the names of: Malshi, Malti Zu and the Shih Tzu Maltese Mix. This mixed breed does not shed very much, so is the perfect companion for people that have allergies.

They are a small pup, so ideal for apartment or city living.

When combining these two gorgeous parent pups, you will get a small kindhearted companion. Your dog will be very playful and energetic, but tiring them out is easy because of their tiny size.

Keep reading if you want to find out what this pooch has in store for you…

maltese shih tzu

What is a Maltese Shih Tzu? (Overview)

A Malshi is a hybrid breed with a Maltese and a Shih Tzu parent. Both these parents breeds have a small stature and make very good lap dogs.

The American Kennel Club does not recognize this dog breed because it is a mix. However, it does classify both its parent breeds in the Toy Group.

In the 1990s this cross breed was bred for the first time to create a lap dog that did not shed much. Because of the low shedding, this dog is very low maintenance and does not require too much grooming.

They have a medium length coat and they tend to come in many different colors. Aggressive is not a word that is normally used to describe them, but energetic and loving would be more accurate.

  • Overview: A fun pup that is always on the go, but is just as eager to sit and watch movies on your lap all day.
  • Purpose: The perfect dog for people with allergies because it was bred to not shed.
  • Weight: 6-12 pounds.
  • Size: 6-10 inches.
  • Temperament: Fun, loving and energetic are all words that are commonly used to describe this dog.

Shih Tzu Maltese Mix Pros and Cons


  • Perfect for apartment living.
  • Get on well with kids.
  • Adaptable to wide variety of environments.
  • Hypoallergenic (so great for people with allergies).
  • Active and fun loving.


  • Can be noisy and yappy at times.
  • Known to be stubborn and have small dog syndrome.
  • Prone to separation anxiety.
  • Cannot be exercised for too long.

Maltese Shih Tzu Appearance

A shih tzu mix

As this dog is a mixed breed, there is no promises on what your pup is going to look like.

What we can say though is that you will have your very own unique pup.

Height and Weight

This breed tends to weigh no more than 7 pounds, but they have been known to grow up to 12 pounds.

You can expect them to stand about 6-10 inches off of the ground.

Colors and Coat

This dog will have a medium length coat that does not shed, making them a hypoallergenic dog.

Coats comes in a variety of colors ranging from black to brown, or even red or silver. They can also be all white or white and brown/tan.

Normally they have a brown mask around their eyes that makes them look almost like a superhero!

5 Fun Facts About Shih Tzu Maltese Mixes

  1. The Maltese Shih Tzu Mix is one of the most popular dog breeds in Australia.
  2. You can expect this Mix to live for twelve to fourteen years.
  3. They love to be trained and to learn new tricks.
  4. Small Dog Syndrome can be a serious issue with these pooches.
  5. Malshis makes a great therapy dog because of their personality and characteristics.

Maltese Shih Tzu Personality and Temperament

shih tzu maltese mix

The nature of a hybrid lies within the pedigree of the parent breeds. In this case, the natural behavior of this mix is energetic, yet lazy. This pup wants to be played with on its own terms, and they will let you know when that is.

However they will almost always be ready to curl up in your lap or snuggle with you on the couch.

The Malshi has a very bold personality, despite his very tiny stature. He will walk up to anyone he meets and become instant friends.

Their energy level is moderate with an outgoing personality. She loves to meet new people and is very good with strangers and children. Socializing is never really a problem for this laidback pup because they just want to be a great companion for everyone that they meet.

Both the Maltese and the Shih Tzu tend to be pretty noisy designer dogs. So you can expect their Mix to bark or yip as an alert (so they could potentially make good watch dogs).

The Maltese Shih Tzu will grow very attached to you and your family and will never want to leave your side. This is an adorable quality, but caution needs to be taken when moving about. This breed is very small and can get hurt very easily.

Is A Malshi A Good Family Dog?

This pooch makes a great family dog with their loving personality. This pup is good around kids but needs parental supervision with smaller children due to thier size.

Caring for a Maltese Shih Tzu

malshi Pup

Exercise Requirements

This breed needs to be exercised daily, however toy dog breeds do not require a ton of exercise.

They are so small that their body does not need, nor can it handle, the same amount of activity as a German Shephard or a Pitbull.

You will want to keep your dog on a leash because if they see a squirrel, or even another dog, they will take off.

  • Number of Walks Per Day: 1.
  • Total Exercise Needed Per Day: 30 minutes.

Grooming and Shedding

Shedding is not a problem for this dog because they are hypoallergenic.

Daily brushing is only needed as pleasure for your pup. They should be taken to the groomers about once a month.

With this being said they do love attention and would be best suited to a family that can groom him whenever he likes.

Cleaing a shih tzu mix

Feeding and Diet

You should feed your dog no less than twice a day and no more than three times a day. They should eat about 45 calories per pound of body weight per day.

Calories Per Day:Cups of Kibble Per Day:

Known Health Problems

  • Patellar Luxation
  • Shaker Syndrome
  • Respiratory Problems

If you’re like most dog parents (or parents to be), you care for your pet immensely. Having pet insurance could save you from potential headaches of going to the vets with reimbursement for every vet bill from now on! Save massively on your pet’s medical costs whether it’s an illness, injury, or wellness expense that needs taking care of.

How Long Does A Maltese Shih Tzu Live?

A typical Shih Tzu Maltese Mix has a life expectancy of twelve to fourteen years.

How Much Does A Maltese Shih Tzu Cost?

The price of a Shih Tzu Maltese Puppy is between $500 and $700, an adult will cost a little less.

How to Train a Maltese Shih Tzu

shih tzu maltese

When training your Maltese Shih Tzu Mix consistency is key.

Housebreaking comes pretty easily for them, as does crate training.

If the training is done correctly, they will see their crate as a place that is their own and will eventually go in there on their own. Like every dog they will be food motivated, so make sure treats are never lacking.

If the dog has more Shih Tzu than Maltese, they may present a bigger challenge when first trying to train them. This reason is because Shih Tzus tend to be stubborn.

When training establish rules from the get-go and be assertive when teaching them. Doing this will help show your pup who is dominant. You can use lots of praise, make sure your voice goes to a higher pitch when complementing your pooch.

You will also want to train your pup to limit the noise. They won’t be very vocal, but in the beginning some of their noise may be unwanted.

Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Characteristics
Size:6-10 inches.
Lifespan:12-14 years.
Coat:Medium length, curly or straight.
Do They Shed:No, hypoallergenic.
Intelligence:High levels of intelligence, can be stubborn.
Socialization:Very easy to socialize.
Destructive Behavior:No.
People Skills:Very friendly with everyone they meet.
Good with Children:Yes.
Activity Levels:Energetic, but in moderation.


This breed will thrive whether it’s in an open environment in the country or an apartment in the city.

Constant attention is the dream for this little guy as they will always be right by your feet. The term best used to describe this breed is an energetic lap dog.

This pup is very laid back and down to earth and only barks when alerted.

Daily exercise is a must and helps with mental stimulation, and will also tire out you and your pup for a better night’s sleep.

Are you going to be this little dog’s newest companion? Let us known in the comments section below…

About Thomas Woods 183 Articles
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for this info. I have an adopted malachi,7 years old now, have had him less than a year. Was frightened of everything at first but in the last month has started to be a lapdog and play. Growls alot at another adoptee that arrived on the same day, but is mostly jealous I think. Your article is very encouraging, i hope to see my little guy be more like the average each day!

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