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Is the Maltese Shih Tzu Right for You?

Is the Maltese Shih Tzu Right for You? - Premier Pups
Published Friday, May 20, 2022 by Madeline I

The fluffiest, cuddliest, and possibly cutest dog on earth, also known as the Maltese Shih Tzu, is a true bundle of joy.  This dog exudes happiness with every step, and although very small, has the biggest heart. He is friendly, playful, and very loving. But is he right for you?  

Dogs are wonderful companions to humans. But, picking out the right one for you can be challenging. In this article, we will outline a few different personality traits of the Maltese Shih Tzu mix and what it takes to care for one, and help you decide whether this little designer dog is the right fit for you. 

About The Malshi Designer Breed 

Happy Malshi Dog

The Malshi is a beautiful designer dog that hasn’t been around for long. Although it is currently one of the most popular designer breeds in the United States, it has only been around for a little over 20 years. This little pooch is a mix between a Maltese and a Shih Tzu. And like its parents, it has nothing but amazing qualities to impress with. These pups were bred to display all that is great about the two breeds that make up this hybrid.  

Malshis are hypoallergenic, tiny, fluffy, and very healthy. They benefit from hybrid vigor, which often translates to superior health, and they have the cuddliest personalities to charm with. They are also referred to as Teddy Bear dogs, and like their name suggests, they are like little plush toys that all you want to do is hug.  

Learn more about the Teddy Bear dog breed. 

Personality of the Maltese Shih Tzu 

black and white Malshi dog breed

This designer dog has the sweetest, most caring personality. He loves big and is renowned for his loyalty. Like the Maltese and the Shih Tzu, Malshis are happy dogs that crave attention from their owners. They like to shadow their humans and are very fond of being included in everything that goes on around the house. They like meeting new people, greeting guests with tail wags, going on fun adventures, and most of all, cuddling.  
Pampering is in their genes, like it is in their parents’ genes. Both the Maltese and the Shih Tzu have enjoyed luxurious lives on the laps of kings during their olden days. And this trait that is well embedded in their DNA, is passed on to the Malshi puppies.  

Malshi dogs also have great love for other dogs and pets, especially if they live under the same roof. They thrive in a multi-pet household and adore socializing with their fellow fur babies. 

See our available Malshi puppies. 

Malshis for Children 

White Malshi Puppy Characteristics

Dogs with a gentle temperament are the best choice for families with children. As safety is one of the most important considerations when acquiring a new pet, it's important to remember that even if you find an animal that will get along well with your children, you'll still have to find a pet that has a gentle temperament.  

Malshis are friendly and sociable dogs that love to be with people, especially with kids. They adapt well to new environments and make great companion pets for families. These designer dogs love to play and don’t have risky behavior that can be dangerous for children. They don’t growl, and they aren’t possessive of their toys or food.  

It is important to note though, that Malshis are very small dogs that can easily be injured during rough play. They are typically recommended to families that have older kids who know how to handle very small dogs. Although they are hardy and resilient little dogs, Malshis should be treated gently. If you have small children, it is recommended to supervise them during playtime with their Teddy Bear dogs. 

Malshis for Seniors 

Adorable Malshi Dog Breed

A dog can provide many benefits to seniors, including companionship and an improved mood. The most important thing to remember when considering a dog as a pet for seniors is their daily care.  

This is where the Malshi comes in. These adorable dogs offer companionship, love, and even a sense of security as they provide unconditional love. They are also a breeze to care for as they have low grooming and exercise needs. 

A senior will greatly enjoy the company of their Malshi as well as get all the physical benefits that come with having a pet like exercise, socialization, and protection from loneliness. Studies have shown that pets can reduce depression in seniors and are especially beneficial for people who live on their own.  

People who have pets often feel more fulfilled, less depressed, less stressed, and more in tune with their emotions. Having a Maltese Shih Tzu as a companion pet can also be a great way for seniors to remain active and engaged in the world around them. A number of studies have concluded that cute dogs can reduce depression in adults by improving mood levels and offering companionship, while increasing levels of calmness, activation and engagement. 

RELATED: 6 Reasons why you should get a dog 

Training a Malshi 

Adorable Malshi Dog Training

Malshis have many qualities to impress their owners with, but their love for pleasing tops them all. They are also fond of having all eyes on them and the attention that they crave makes the process of training them much easier. Unlike other breeds that require a lot of patience and time, Malshis will usually obey commands when they are given enough attention and praise. 

But it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, as these pups can also come with a bit of a stubborn streak. Because they might be a little difficult to engage in training, Malshis require some extra motivation, especially in the form of delicious treats. Positive reinforcement can go a long way when training these little bundles of joy. And you don’t have to be a professional trainer or an experienced owner to get the job done.  

One thing that might pose difficulties and should be addressed in training as early as possible is the Malshi’s behavior when left alone. Since this dog does not like being separated from its owners, it is prone to separation anxiety. This can cause the dog to bark excessively and possibly be destructive when left alone for too long. Because of this trait, Malshis are often recommended to owners who spend most of the time at home.  

RELATED: New Puppy Owner Guide 

Malshi Grooming 

Cute Maltese Shih Tzu Puppy

Malshi dogs are low maintenance when it comes to caring for them, so they are a perfect choice for owners who don’t want to spend endless time brushing their dogs. Grooming them takes minimal effort as they only require a bath every other month and a brush every week to keep their coats shiny and tangle-free. They do have regular grooming requirements when it comes to brushing their teeth and giving them a haircut, but other than that, they are a breeze to care for.  


Whether you’re a family of ten, a senior citizen, or a single owner, the Malshi is sure to love you unconditionally. This dog craves friendship and companionship above all else. He is the perfect fit for an owner who can give him all the attention he craves, and he makes a fantastic little pet for children. His low grooming requirements and low exercise needs also make him perfect for non-experienced owners. If you find yourself wanting a fluffy cuddle buddy that loves big and adores spending all his time with you, then the Malshi is the right dog for you.  

Madeline I

About The Author

Madeline, a remarkable wordsmith and canine connoisseur at Premier Pups, possesses an exceptional understanding of dogs, setting her apart in the world of pet journalism. Her meticulous research skills and genuine affinity for her furry subjects culminate in articles that are both informative and captivating. Madeline's distinctive writing style brings the canine experience to life, making complex topics accessible and engaging for readers. As a trusted source of wisdom for dog enthusiasts, Madeline's unique contributions have become an essential component of the Premier Pups community, where her passion and expertise continue to inspire a deeper appreciation for the world of dogs.
Madeline I - Author Photo

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Maltese Shih Tzu? A Maltese Shih Tzu, also known as a Malshi, is a hybrid breed that is a cross between a Maltese and a Shih Tzu. This breed is known for being affectionate, friendly, and playful.

What are the characteristics of a Maltese Shih Tzu? A Maltese Shih Tzu typically weighs between 6-14 pounds and stands about 10 inches tall. They have a soft, silky coat that can be straight or slightly wavy. They are known for their affectionate and playful nature, and they get along well with children and other pets.

What kind of environment is best for a Maltese Shih Tzu? A Maltese Shih Tzu is a small breed that can adapt to various living environments, including apartments or houses with small yards. They are suitable for families with children, but they do require attention and exercise.

What is the grooming requirement for a Maltese Shih Tzu? A Maltese Shih Tzu has a long, silky coat that requires daily brushing to prevent matting and tangling. Regular bathing is also necessary to keep their coat clean and healthy. They may also require periodic professional grooming.

What are the common health issues of a Maltese Shih Tzu? Like all breeds, a Maltese Shih Tzu can develop certain health issues. Some of the common health issues include allergies, dental problems, hip dysplasia, and patellar luxation. Regular visits to the veterinarian can help catch and treat any health issues early.