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13 Things to Know about the Maltese Shih Tzu Poodle Mix

When it comes to designer dog breeds, the Maltese Shih Tzu poodle is pretty unknown. This is probably because it is pretty new in the world of designer dogs but has already become an attractive dog. They are still somewhat rare, so these pups can be hard to find.

This cute teddy bear-like pup has worked its way into many hearts. If you are considering getting one of these small dogs, there are 13 things to know about the Shih Tzu Maltese Poodle mix to help you make a decision.

Psst…If you are looking for a bigger friend for your pup that also won’t shed a lot, here are 33 big dogs that don’t shed to see if you can find a partner in crime for your Malshipoo.

maltese shih tzu poodle in the garden

13 Things to Know about the Shih Tzu Maltese Poodle Mix

Here are a few things you should know about the Malshipoo before you bring one home.

1. Origins of the Malshipoo

The Maltese Shih Tzu Poodle hybrid, otherwise known as a Malshipoo, is a combination of three of the most loved dog breeds.

This hybrid breed, which originated in the United States of America, is relatively new to the scene but has quickly become a very popular designer dog. The purpose of this pup is solely to be a loyal companion, but because they are so new, they won’t be found on any registries just yet.

This is a multi-generational breed meaning there are a few ways that this particular hybrid can be bred. The Maltese Poodle Shih Tzu mix results from the parents being a combination of a Mal-shi cross and a toy poodle or a Shih-Poo and a Maltese. It is also possible to have a puppy from a Malshipoo and any other parent breeds. Complicated, isn’t it?

2. What Does the Maltese Poodle Shih Tzu Mix Look Like?

These dogs are a small breed that can be quite different from each other in appearance depending on the combination of breeds that their parents are. Some pups may inherit a coat like standard poodles, some the Maltese and others the Shih Tzu coat. Most puppies, though, tend to fall somewhere in the middle of the Maltese Shih Tzu spectrum.

With three different breeds in the mix, there is almost no limit to the colors of the coat of your Shih Poo Maltese mix. There is a wide range of shades thanks to the Poodle and Shih Tzu genes.

In general, you can expect your pup to grow up to be around 10 inches on average and weigh around 10 pounds. The only certainty with their appearance is that a full-grown Maltese Shih Tzu Poodle will fall into the toy breed category of dogs.

Curious about Shih Tzu mixes? Take a look at the Shih Tzu Yorkie mix and the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix.

3. The Malti Shih Poo Loves to be Around Their Families

The Malshipoo (or Malti Shih Poo) is an extremely friendly breed to just about anyone and anything. They will become best friends with anyone that they may meet, which makes them amazing family pets.

They will get along great with everyone in the house, even small children, but just make sure that your children are careful around them. It is more for the dog’s protection than your kids, as these little pups can be hurt easily due to their size.

There is little to no prey drive in your pup. The Maltese Shih Tzu Toy Poodle is actually very friendly in general, so they will be just fine with any other pets you may have. Just socialize them with your other animals as early as possible to ensure they don’t get nervous or scared. Although Malshipoos are friendly, they may not work well with large dogs, purely because their small stature means they are fragile and may be sat on.

4. The Maltese Shih Tzu x Toy Poodle Is Hypoallergenic

These little doggos are commonly considered to be hypoallergenic because all three of their parents are hypoallergenic dogs. This is great for allergy sufferers since anyone with allergies won’t be affected by any dander that would trigger a reaction. They also tend to have a non-shedding coat which adds to less pesky fur covering your furniture.

Although, some could possibly be moderate shedders as well, depending on which of the parent’s coats the pup inherited. Overall, most Malshipoos will have little to no impact on any allergies. It is a good idea, though, to visit the puppy beforehand to see how your allergies react to the puppy. However, you stand the risk of falling in love and taking one home anyway.

maltese shih tzu poodle puppy

5. Maltese Shih Tzu Poodles Aren’t Too Picky With Their Diet

This tiny hybrid doesn’t have any particularly specific dietary requirements, and they don’t eat too much food. But, because they are so small, they are prone to obesity, so make sure to not overfeed your little friend. In general, high-quality dog food that is specific to small breeds is a good idea.

If possible, a food that has supplements of glucosamine and chondroitin is ideal to aid joint support, as these doggos are susceptible to hip dysplasia. Some of the best dog vitamins will greatly help ensure your doggo’s longevity and healthy life.

6. The Shih Tzu Poodle Maltese Mix Is Incredibly Easy to Train

All three of its parents are incredibly intelligent breeds, particularly the Poodle. A first-generation Malshipoo will be a highly focused and intelligent dog with a high energy level. However, unlike the Shih Tzu, this pup is a star when it comes to training. This little dog is quite perceptive, and they are eager to learn and comply with your commands.

This eagerness to learn and comply makes them amazing dogs for first-time dog owners or any potential owners who don’t have the training skills or patience required. As with most breeds, socializing your pup early is recommended with children and other pets. If you plan on traveling with your pup, you should also start early just to ensure they’re comfortable.

Training should start at a young age, with positive reinforcement training being the perfect way to build a bond with them.

Read more about traveling with a dog and the smartest small dog breeds.

7. They Don’t Need Much Exercise

Because of their small size, the Maltese Shih Tzu and Poodle mix doesn’t need much exercise, so when you can pry them away from sleeping on your lap, a 20-minute walk is enough daily exercise for them. They do have a playful attitude, though, and when that hits, it is best to indulge them and play around with their favorite chew toy for a little.

It is best to take them on a walk and encourage exercise, though, as a lazy or bored Malshipoo has the potential to be destructive. Believe it or not, if they are not indulged or stimulated with exercise or affection, they can get to the point of dog depression.

maltese shih tzu poodle brown

8. Personality is Everything with Malshipoos

Malshipoos are an immensely intelligent breed that is loyal and playful with their family. This intelligence means that they will need moderate mental stimulation to ensure they don’t get bored and misbehave. Even though they are pretty independent, they love to please and be around their owner with their friendly and playful nature.

They are complex in that although they are independent, they love to both give and receive affection and are incredibly loving. So, if you like affectionate dogs that will be by your side or curled up on your lap and keeps you company, then the Maltese Shih Tzu cross Poodle is the dog for you.

9. The Malshipoo has Some Health Concerns

As with all dog breeds, there are a few health issues to keep an eye out for regarding your Malshipoo. Some minor conditions include; patellar luxation, hypothyroidism and hypoglycemia. More severe health problems that can make themselves known include; bloat, hip dysplasia and epilepsy.

Generally, minor health conditions are easily treatable and manageable, with the more serious ones requiring more intensive treatments. This hybrid is pretty robust, with most of the other vulnerabilities of the parents’ breeds being counter-acted by the mixing of their genetics.

The average life expectancy of this maltese shih tzu mix is 12 to 14 years.

10. The Maltese Shih Tzu Poodle Mix Is an Adaptable Hybrid Breed

These lap dogs are suited to apartment living or even a condo home. They are adaptable to most situations as long as their owner is with them. They are, however, not suited to large homes or farms because of their small size. If introduced to it from a young age, these little dogs will happily travel with you almost anywhere.

Although adaptable, they are still house pets and will need your protection when you take them away from the safety of your apartment.

maltese shih tzu poodle brown and white

11. The Shih Poo Maltese Mix Is Easy to Groom

As we mentioned previously, your pup could have a range of different types of coats depending on which parent breed they take after. The best way to take proper care of their coats in check is to have them shaved at least three times a year, and you will need to use a quality brush a few times a week to keep their coats tangle and debris free.

Make sure to clean their tear stains on a regular basis, as they are prone to these because of their Shih Tzu and Maltese parents.

If you want to support their full coat or what is known as a ‘show coat’, expect daily brushings with the traditional center part and top knot. These are the most common grooming considerations, just like one of their parent breeds, the Shih Tzu.

Apart from those, the standard basics of keeping their nails trimmed and getting their ears cleaned are what is needed from time to time. Don’t forget to brush their teeth regularly as well to prevent tartar buildup.

You might enjoy reading my article about the pug shih tzu mix dog breed.

12. Male vs Female Malshipoos

There is very little to no difference physically between the male and female Shih Tzu Poodle Maltese mix puppies. However, when it comes to their temperament, there are a few notable differences.

Female pups do tend to be more intelligent with a more independent nature. Female Malshipoos are also more protective in general and are less affectionate when compared to males.

The male pups are far more playful and will actively seek more attention from their owners and give it more freely. You will be surprised to find that they are not stubborn and are very dependent on their owners, unlike the females. They make excellent companion dogs. 

13. They Can Be Quite Vocal

Although they make great apartment dogs, the Maltese Poodle Shih Tzu mix does tend to be quite vocal, something your neighbors won’t be too happy about. From barking to yapping and even whining, they do it all and rather loudly. Malshipoos and other dogs whine a lot to voice both their pleasure and displeasure, so keeping track of what they like and hate will be tough.

maltese shih tzu poodle white

Proper training, though, should mitigate this problem from when they are puppies, but it is a natural tendency of this breed. Although they are quite vocal, they do not make great watchdogs at all.

Read more about reasons why puppies whine and why puppies lick their paws.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Got any burning questions about the Maltese Shih Tzu Poodle? Here are a few answers to some frequently asked questions.

What Is a Shih Tzu Maltese Poodle Mix Called?

Malshipoo, Schmoodle, Malshi, Mal-shi or even Malti Shih Poo. This designer breed comes with an assortment of adorable names.

How Big Do Maltese Shih Tzu Poodles Get?

This toy breed will probably not grow over 10 inches tall. Full-grown Malshipoos should also weigh around 10 pounds at a healthy weight.

What Is the Maltese Shih Tzu Poodle Price?

Expect to pay between USD$800-1000 for your Mal-Shi. Remember that these pups are still new to the scene and are fairly rare. Although they are pricey, always adopt from a reputable breeder to ensure your Malshipoo pup is healthy.

Final Thoughts on the Maltese Poodle Shih Tzu Mix

If you are looking for that and a pup that will be a great companion for the years to come, the Malshipoo is the dog for you. This is a lovable little breed that will give you years of affection and companionship and become a beloved family member.

Although small in size, the Maltese Shih Tzu Poodle mix has massive hearts. They are also very intelligent, don’t require much exercise and are super easy to groom. Overall, the designer breed is a great choice for families and small homes. Malshipoos are lovable bundles of joy with larger-than-life personalities.

Read next: All about the Shih Tzu mini

maltese shih tzu poodle wearing kerchief

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