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Maltese Shih Tzu Mix: ALL You Need to Know

Today, we’re talking about the lovable Maltese Shih Tzu mix. This small, adorable bundle of joy, also known as a Mal-Shi, Malt-Tzu, or Shitese, is a cross between two of the most charming toy breeds, the Maltese and the Shih Tzu.

Their compact size, endearing personality, and eye-catching coat make them a popular choice for many families, seniors, and individuals living in apartments.

Now, let’s jump straight into some key details about this adorable hybrid!

maltese shih tzu mix

A Quick Introduction to The Maltese Shih Tzu Mix

This mix is of course a small, bubbly, and outgoing, so owners can expect the perfect blend between the two parent breeds.

As these two breeds are similar in size, temperament and behavior you can often accurately predict what this mix will be like. This isn’t always the case with mix breeds so this can really help!

  • Size: Generally small, usually 6-12 inches tall at the shoulder
  • Weight: Typically between 6-14 pounds
  • Coat: Can be long and silky or short and curly
  • Lifespan: On average, 12-14 years
  • Temperament: Friendly, affectionate, and playful

History and Origins

Let’s run through a brief history overview of each breed. As you’ll see, both breeds have A LOT of history! No doubt this is one of the most interesting mixes we’ve come across.

✅ Maltese

The Maltese, a breed known for its glamorous white coat and spirited demeanor, is believed to have ancient lineage dating back 2,800 years. Originating from the island of Malta, these dogs were considered prized companions for nobles, aristocrats, and royalty.

✅ Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu, also known as the ‘Lion Dog,’ has roots in China and Tibet, where they lived in royal palaces thousands of years ago. These dogs were cherished for their friendly nature and distinct, lion-like appearance.

The Maltese Shih Tzu mix is a more recent crossbreed, likely developed over the past few decades with the intention of creating a low-shedding companion dog.

How cute is Cooper! Amazing – Instagram

Price: What to Expect a Maltese Shih Tzu to Cost

Getting a Maltese Shih Tzu mix puppy typically cost between $500 to $1500.

As usual, the price will depend on a range of factors that we’ll run through below. Still, as far as mixes go, the price for a Mal-Tzu isn’t overly high compared to other Shih Tzu mixes.

➡️ Here are some things that might influence the price:

  • Breeder Reputation: Reputable breeders who health test their breeding dogs often charge more.
  • Location: Prices can vary based on geographical location.
  • Pedigree: Pups from purebred, champion-line parents might cost more.
  • Puppy’s Appearance: Unique colors or desirable traits may increase the price.

➡️ Owners should also factor in additional expenses such as:

  • Veterinary care
  • Premium dog food
  • Training classes and socialization (optional)
  • Grooming supplies and professional grooming services
  • Dog supplies (crate, bed, toys, leash, collar, etc.)

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Chica! So cuteeee! – Instagram

Temperament and Behavior

The Maltese Shih Tzu mix is known for its delightful temperament, and it’s one of the main reasons why this breed is so adored. These fur-babies are bursting with charm and personality. Here’s a deeper look at their behavior.

➡️ Friendly and Sociable: The Maltese Shih Tzu mix is a sociable breed that loves to be around people. They’re known for their friendly demeanor, greeting both family members and guests with enthusiasm. This sociability extends to children and other pets, making them an ideal choice for families.

➡️ Affectionate and Loving: These dogs form deep bonds with their family. They crave companionship and thrive when they’re part of daily activities. This affectionate nature means they’re always ready for a cuddle session or a lap nap.

➡️ Playful and Energetic: Maltese Shih Tzus may be small, but they’re lively and playful. They love their playtime and enjoy engaging in fun games, whether it’s fetch or a playful tug-of-war. This breed’s playful nature makes them a joy to have around.

➡️ Adaptable: One of the great things about the Maltese Shih Tzu mix is their adaptability. They’re just as happy living in an apartment as they are in a house with a yard, as long as they get their daily dose of exercise and plenty of love.

➡️ Intelligent and Alert: This breed is known for its intelligence. They’re quick learners and can pick up commands and tricks with consistency and positive reinforcement. Their alertness also makes them excellent watchdogs. They’ll promptly let you know when someone’s at the door!

➡️ Sensitive: Like many companion breeds, Maltese Shih Tzus are sensitive and don’t respond well to harsh treatment or being left alone for extended periods. They thrive on love and kindness, and their feelings can be hurt if they’re scolded harshly.

In short, the Maltese Shih Tzu mix is a well-rounded dog that is as affectionate as they are lively, and as intelligent as they are sensitive. With their friendly and loving nature, they make wonderful companions for families, individuals, and seniors alike.

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Meet Whiskey, gorgeous! – Instagram

Exercise and Activity Level

While not excessively energetic, these pups still need daily exercise to keep them fit and prevent boredom. Around 30-45 minutes of walking, hiking and the occasional run should be sufficient.

Owners should treat mental stimulation (mental exercise) differently, which is also crucial for this mixes overall exercise regime. Training, puzzle toys, scent games and socialization with other dogs are the best forms of mental exercise.

One thing owners should not underestimate with this mix is that they are energetic. They may be small, but make no mistake. These little pups have never-ending batteries!

Grooming and Coat Care

Taking care of a Maltese Shih Tzu mix’s coat can be quite the task!

Owners should be prepared to prioritize their Malt-Tzus grooming and get ready for daily grooming efforts.

➡️ Let’s run through the most important things below:

  • Brushing: Daily brushing is recommended to prevent tangles and matting, especially if they have a longer coat.
  • Bathing: Bathe them every three to four weeks, or as needed. Always use a dog-friendly shampoo to maintain their skin health.
  • Trimming: If the coat is kept long, regular professional grooming (every 4-6 weeks) may be necessary.
  • Nail Care: Trim their nails every few weeks. If you hear them clicking on the floor, it’s time for a trim!
  • Dental Care: Regular tooth brushing (at least twice a week) helps prevent dental issues.
  • Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly to prevent infection. Watch for any signs of redness, irritation, or bad smell, as these could indicate a problem.
The Beautiful Daisy! – Instagram

Health Considerations

While generally healthy, Maltese Shih Tzu mixes can be prone to certain health issues inherited from their parent breeds.

Regular check-ups with your vet and a balanced diet will contribute to your dog’s overall health and longevity.

➡️ Some of the things owners should be aware of include:

  • Dental problems
  • Eye conditions
  • Allergies
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Breathing difficulties

Although health issues can’t be completely avoided, we can minimize the chances of them happening with a health routine that suits your Malt-Tzu.

Owners should also be careful to select a reputable breeder that has done the proper health checks before breeding the two parent breeds.

Training and Socialization

The Maltese Shih Tzu mix is known to be an intelligent breed, making them relatively easy to train.

Positive reinforcement methods, like treats and praises, work best for this breed. Start training and socialization early to ensure an obedient and friendly dog. This can be done by introducing them to different people, pets, and environments as soon as safely possible.

When it comes to training, consistency is key. And don’t forget to keep it fun! Training should be a positive experience for both you and your dog.

Is a Maltese Shih Tzu Right for You?

To wrap up, the Maltese Shih Tzu mix is a small dog with a big heart. Their loving nature and lively spirit make them excellent companions. If you can provide a loving home, regular exercise, and don’t mind the grooming commitment, a Maltese Shih Tzu mix could be a perfect addition to your family.

Always remember to adopt responsibly and choose a reputable breeder or consider adopting from a rescue organization. Dogs, no matter the breed or mix, bring a world of joy and companionship, and every dog deserves a safe, loving home where they are well-cared for and cherished.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s run through some common questions that owners often have about this mix.

➡️ How much should I feed my Maltese Shih Tzu Mix?

The amount of food your Maltese Shih Tzu Mix requires will depend on their age, size, activity level, and individual metabolism. It’s crucial to consult your veterinarian for a personalized recommendation. Generally, an adult Maltese Shih Tzu Mix might need around 1/2 to 1 cup of high-quality dry dog food, divided into two meals per day. But remember to adjust the quantity based on your dog’s specific needs and weight goals.

➡️ Are Maltese Shih Tzu Mixes hypoallergenic?

No dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic, but the Maltese Shih Tzu Mix is considered a good choice for people with allergies. They have a low-shedding coat that is less likely to cause allergic reactions compared to other breeds. However, individual reactions can vary, so it’s recommended to spend time around a Maltese Shih Tzu Mix before committing to one if you have allergies.

➡️ Can Maltese Shih Tzu Mixes adapt to apartment living?

Yes, Maltese Shih Tzu Mixes are well-suited for apartment living. They are adaptable and don’t require a lot of space, but they still need regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Make sure you can provide sufficient indoor and outdoor playtime, even in a smaller living space.

➡️ How can I find a reputable Maltese Shih Tzu Mix breeder?

Finding a reputable Maltese Shih Tzu Mix breeder involves thorough research, often starting with breed-specific clubs and online forums. Ask for recommendations from local veterinarians, groomers, or dog trainers. A responsible breeder prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs, is open to answering any questions, provides health testing records, and allows you to visit the puppies and their parents.

➡️ Are Maltese Shih Tzu Mixes suitable for first-time dog owners?

Due to their friendly temperament, adaptability, and moderate exercise needs, Maltese Shih Tzu Mixes can be an excellent choice for first-time dog owners. However, new dog owners should be prepared for their grooming needs and committed to providing regular exercise, training, and socialization to ensure their Maltese Shih Tzu Mix becomes a well-rounded and happy adult dog.

Thanks for reading! Back to more Shih Tzu articles!


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.