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Maltese Shih Tzu Guide – Copy and Share For Free!

by Scott Lipe
Maltese Shih Tzu

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Maltese Shih Tzu, also known as the Malshi. If you’re considering bringing home a Maltese Shih Tzu or if you already own one, this guide is the perfect resource for you. We’ll provide you with all the information you need to know about this adorable breed, including its temperament, grooming needs, size, lifespan, and more.

The Maltese Shih Tzu is a small toy breed dog that is a mix between the Maltese and the Shih Tzu. It is a designer dog intentionally bred from two purebred parents. Known for its cute and fluffy appearance, standing less than 12 inches tall, the Malshi captures hearts with its charming personality and adaptability to different living environments.

In this guide, we’ll explore the origins of the Maltese Shih Tzu breed, examine its physical characteristics, delve into its personality and behavioral traits, share tips on training and grooming, discuss common health issues, and provide insights on their eating habits. Whether you’re a new or experienced Maltese Shih Tzu owner, you’ll find valuable information and tips to ensure the well-being and happiness of your furry companion.

So, let’s dive into the world of Maltese Shih Tzus and discover everything you need to know about this wonderful breed!

Origins of the Maltese Shih Tzu

The Maltese Shih Tzu, a charming hybrid of the Maltese and Shih Tzu breeds, originated in the United States in the 1990s. Breeders set out to create a small toy breed dog that combined the low-shedding quality of the Maltese with the friendly nature of the Shih Tzu. The breed choice for the parent dogs did not matter, as long as the resulting puppies possessed these desirable characteristics. As a result, the Maltese Shih Tzu became a popular designer dog known for its small size and adaptability to various living environments.

Comparison of Maltese Shih Tzu Origin

Maltese Shih Tzu Maltese Shih Tzu
Hybrid Purebred Purebred
Small toy breed dog Small toy breed dog Small toy breed dog
Designer dog
Originated in the United States in the 1990s

As the table illustrates, the Maltese Shih Tzu stands apart as a hybrid breed with a combination of desirable traits from both the Maltese and the Shih Tzu. Its origin story in the United States in the 1990s marks the beginning of its unique journey as a sought-after companion dog.

What Does a Maltese Shih Tzu Look Like?

In terms of appearance, Maltese Shih Tzus, also known as Malshis, can exhibit a range of colorations and characteristics within a litter. While each puppy may have its own unique attributes, there are some general characteristics that define the breed.

When fully grown, Malshis stand at approximately 10 inches tall and weigh around 9 pounds, making them the perfect size for cuddling. Their small stature adds to their adorable charm and makes them a highly sought-after breed.

One of the defining features of a Maltese Shih Tzu is their beautifully long and soft coat. The fur can be either straight or wavy, adding to their fluffy appearance. Most Malshis have coats that are predominantly white or white with tan markings. However, it is not uncommon to see black or brown markings as well. These varying colorations make each Malshi unique and give them a personality of their own.

In addition to their lovely coats, Maltese Shih Tzus are known for their big and round hazel or brown eyes. Their expressive eyes capture the hearts of all who meet them and make them even more irresistible.

Overall, the Malshi’s appearance can be described as fluffy, with a beautiful coat in various colorations, complemented by their captivating eyes. Their small size adds to their appeal, making them the perfect companion for any dog lover.

Maltese Shih Tzu

Characteristic Description
Size Around 10 inches tall
Weighs around 9 pounds when fully grown
Coat Long, soft, and silky
Straight or wavy
Primarily white or white with tan markings
Can have black or brown markings
Eyes Hazel or brown in color
Big and round, adding to their charm

Personality and Behavioral Traits of the Maltese Shih Tzu

The Maltese Shih Tzu, or Malshi, possesses a charming personality that combines the best traits of its Maltese and Shih Tzu parents. These adorable pups are playful, affectionate, and intelligent, making them wonderful companions for all. They have a high-energy nature and thrive on attention, which can lead to negative behaviors like excessive barking and destructiveness if left alone for extended periods. Therefore, it is essential to provide them with plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

Proper socialization is crucial for the Maltese Shih Tzu to prevent feistiness or aggression towards strangers. However, they are known for their friendly and outgoing nature, getting along well with children, other dogs, and even strangers. They are delightful companions, always ready to shower their loved ones with affection and charm.

The Malshi tends to tire quickly and only requires around 15-30 minutes of exercise each day. This makes them an ideal choice for individuals with busy schedules or those living in apartments. Their adaptability allows them to thrive in various living environments, as long as they receive the love and attention they need.

The Maltese Shih Tzu’s intelligence and eagerness to please make training relatively easy and enjoyable. However, consistent training is necessary to set boundaries and prevent unwanted behaviors. Positive reinforcement techniques work best with this breed, rewarding good behavior and using treats or praise as motivation.

“The Maltese Shih Tzu’s playful and affectionate nature, combined with their intelligence and adaptability, make them a delightful companion for individuals and families alike.”

How to Train Maltese Shih Tzus

Training a Maltese Shih Tzu can be a rewarding experience. These adorable dogs are eager to please and enjoy learning new things. By using positive reinforcement and mentally stimulating exercises, you can effectively train your Malshi to be a well-behaved and obedient companion.

Consistency is key when training a Maltese Shih Tzu. Establishing clear boundaries and consistently enforcing them will help your dog understand what is expected of them. This will prevent behavioral issues like excessive barking and snappiness.

Intelligence is a strong trait in the Maltese Shih Tzu breed. They are quick learners and enjoy using their minds. Incorporating mentally stimulating exercises into their training routine will keep them engaged and prevent boredom. Activities that tap into their prey drive, such as playing fetch with small objects, can be both mentally and physically stimulating for these intelligent dogs.

Training Tips for Maltese Shih Tzus:

  • Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewards and praise, to motivate your Malshi during training sessions.
  • Keep training sessions short and frequent to maintain focus and prevent boredom.
  • Be patient and consistent with your commands and expectations.
  • Socialize your Maltese Shih Tzu from a young age to ensure they are comfortable around different people and animals.
  • Enroll in puppy training classes or consult a professional dog trainer for guidance and support.

“Training a Maltese Shih Tzu requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. By providing them with mentally stimulating exercises and setting clear boundaries, you can shape them into a well-behaved and obedient companion.”

With their intelligence and willingness to please, training a Maltese Shih Tzu can be an enjoyable and enriching experience for both you and your furry friend. Remember to make training sessions fun and engaging, and always reward good behavior. With time and effort, your Malshi will become a well-trained and well-behaved member of your family.

Maltese Shih Tzu training

Note: Image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the exact training techniques mentioned.

Grooming and Maintaining a Maltese Shih Tzu’s Coat

The Maltese Shih Tzu, or Malshi, has a beautiful long coat that is low-shedding and hypoallergenic, making it a great choice for individuals with allergies. However, this lovely coat does require regular grooming to keep it looking its best.

One of the most important grooming tasks for a Maltese Shih Tzu is daily brushing. This helps to prevent tangles and mats from forming in the long hair. Use a slicker brush or a comb with wide-spaced teeth to gently remove any knots or tangles. Be sure to brush the entire coat, paying special attention to the areas around the ears, under the armpits, and around the legs.

Daily brushing also helps to distribute the natural oils in the dog’s coat, keeping it healthy and shiny. It is also a great opportunity for bonding and providing some extra love and attention.

Bathing is another important aspect of grooming a Maltese Shih Tzu. Aim to bathe your dog once every month to keep their coat clean and soft. Use a mild dog shampoo and conditioner, and be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of soap. After bathing, gently pat the dog’s coat dry with a towel.

In addition to brushing and bathing, regular haircuts are necessary to keep the Malshi’s coat looking neat and manageable. Schedule a haircut every two to three months, or as needed, depending on how quickly your dog’s hair grows. There are many unique and stylish haircuts for the Maltese Shih Tzu, so you can choose a look that suits your dog’s personality.

Tear stains are common in Maltese Shih Tzus, due to their prominent eyes and the shape of their face. To remove tear stains, use tear stain removers that are safe for dogs. These products can help lighten the stains and keep the area around the eyes clean.

Keeping your Malshi’s nails trimmed is also an important part of their grooming routine. Regular nail trimming prevents the nails from becoming too long and causing discomfort or potential injuries. If you are unsure how to trim your dog’s nails, consult a professional groomer or your veterinarian for guidance.

Remember, grooming your Maltese Shih Tzu is not only about keeping their coat clean and looking good, but it is also an opportunity to bond with your pet and show them love and care. Take the time to provide regular grooming sessions, and your Malshi will not only look fabulous but also feel loved and pampered.

Common Health Issues

The Maltese Shih Tzu, or Malshi, is generally a healthy breed with a lifespan of 12 to 14 years. However, like all dogs, they are prone to certain health issues. It is important for Malshi owners to be aware of these potential problems and take appropriate measures to ensure the well-being of their furry companions.

Bone and Joint Disorders

One common health issue that Maltese Shih Tzus may experience is bone and joint disorders. Patellar Luxation, a condition where the kneecap dislocates from its normal position, can cause lameness and discomfort. Regular vet check-ups and early detection can help manage this condition effectively.

White Shaker Syndrome

White Shaker Syndrome is another health condition that can affect Maltese Shih Tzus. It is characterized by tremors and can sometimes lead to difficulty in walking or coordination. Although the exact cause of this syndrome is unknown, it is treatable with medication and proper care.

Eye Disorders

Malshi dogs may also be prone to eye disorders such as Glaucoma, a condition that leads to increased pressure within the eye and can cause vision loss if not managed properly. Regular eye examinations and early treatment are essential to maintain the ocular health of your Malshi.


Hypothyroidism is a condition that affects the thyroid gland and can result in a range of symptoms, including weight gain, lethargy, and skin problems. Regular blood tests and proper thyroid medication management can help control this condition and ensure your Malshi’s overall well-being.

Respiratory Problems

Maltese Shih Tzus, with their short snouts and compact facial structure, may be prone to respiratory problems. They may experience difficulty breathing and be more susceptible to heatstroke. It is important to provide adequate ventilation, avoid excessive exercise in hot weather, and take precautions to ensure their comfort.

Health Clearances

When getting a Maltese Shih Tzu puppy, it is crucial to ask the breeder for health clearances for the puppy and its parents. Health clearances indicate that the dogs have undergone proper health screenings and are less likely to develop hereditary health issues. This can help minimize the risk of potential health problems in their offspring.

By being aware of these common health issues and taking proactive measures, Maltese Shih Tzu owners can ensure the long and healthy lives of their beloved pets.

Maltese Shih Tzu

Eating Habits

Proper nutrition is crucial for maintaining the health and well-being of your Maltese Shih Tzu, or Malshi. Despite their small size, Malshis have a healthy appetite and require the right amount and type of food to meet their dietary needs.

When determining portion sizes for your Malshi, take into account factors such as their age, weight, and activity level. On average, a Malshi should consume about 1/2 to 1 cup of dry food per day. However, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to get a more accurate recommendation based on your dog’s specific needs.

A well-balanced diet for a Maltese Shih Tzu should include suitable sources of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients are essential for their overall health and help support their energetic lifestyle.

Examples of Suitable Food Choices

Protein Healthy Fats Vitamins and Minerals
Fish Flaxseed Oil Blueberries
White Chicken Meat Coconut Oil Sweet Potato
Lamb Olive Oil Brown Rice
Green Beans
Baby Carrots

These examples provide a range of nutritious options that can be incorporated into your Malshi’s diet. However, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian for personalized feeding recommendations based on your dog’s specific needs and dietary requirements.

Final Thoughts

The Maltese Shih Tzu, also known as the Malshi, is not just adorable but also a fabulous companion for any type of home. This delightful breed is highly adaptable and can thrive in various living environments, including apartments. Their charm, adaptability, and affectionate nature make them a perfect choice for a family dog.

The Malshi is truly loyal and shows immense love and affection towards their owners. They thrive on attention and enjoy being showered with love. With their playful and energetic personality, they will keep you entertained and bring endless joy to your household.

Proper care, training, and socialization are key to nurturing a well-rounded Maltese Shih Tzu. They crave cognitive stimulation and thrive in an environment that challenges their intelligent nature. Whether it’s teaching them new tricks or offering puzzles and interactive toys, providing cognitive stimulation is essential to keeping them happy and engaged.

As a lifelong companion, the Malshi will be a loyal and devoted member of your family. They will be by your side through thick and thin, offering unwavering love and companionship. When you welcome a Maltese Shih Tzu into your life, you are gaining a lifelong friend who will bring endless love and happiness to your home.

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