By Avatar photoShiloh Nevada Last updated: 18th October 2022



Avatar photo Shiloh Nevada
Last updated: 18th October 2022

The Mal-shi is a breed of cute fluffy dogs that have been crossed between the purebred Maltese and the purebred Shi Tzu dogs. These dogs have rounded, black eyes, hanging ears, a dark, triangular nose. They are small dogs that were bred for developing a low-shedding pet breed, and now have become popular as a wonderful designer dog with a docile, calm disposition. A dense layer of silky coat covers their whole body that ends up in a curled tail. Because of their size and good nature, they make wonderful companion and family dogs, and can adapt themselves well in small places like apartments.

Mal-shi Dog Pictures

Quick Description

Also known asMalti Tzu, Malt-Tzu, Malshi, Shih-tese, Shihtese, Shima, Maltese Shih Tzu Mix
CoatDense, Fine, Long, Silky, Soft, Thick, Wavy
ColorsYellow, brown, black, gray, white, solid, multi-colored
TypeCompanion dog, Designer dog
Group (of Breed)Crossbreed
Lifespan/Expectancy12 to 14 years
Weight6-15 lbs (when full grown)
Height (size)Small; 8-14 inches (both male and female)
Personality TraitsIndependent, alert, social, affectionate, intelligent, playful
Good with ChildrenYes
Good with PetsYes
Country of OriginUSA, Canada, Australia
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationACHC, DRA, DDKC, DBR, IDCR

Video: Cute Mal-shi Puppy playing


The Mal-shi was developed for the first time in the 1990s, and proved to be one of the most popular crossbreeds in Australia. However, because there has been little interest in developing the malshi as an independent breed, most of these dogs till date are crosses from the two independent parent breeds, rather than being developed from other Mal-shi parents. However, with the passage of time, this little dog is gaining much fame and has got recognition from quite a few dog registries except AKC.

Temperament and Behavior

The Mal-shis are usually loving, gentle, and loyal. They make one playful, courageous breed is fond of merriment and having fun. They are clever, and they do love children, and with those with whom they are accustomed. Although they are more comfortable being and playing with older children, or even its master or the older members of its household.

These dogs, especially the first generation ones, typically, are highly intelligent and focused in all that they do. They are generally good with other with non-canine pets and dogs. However, they are not always happy seeing strangers around them. In fact, they are suspicious and wary of them, and wouldn’t take long to alert the family once they come across any visitor or anything suspicious, or fishy, or out of the ordinary.

Although, at times, they would display independent behavior, they are otherwise very eager to please their loved ones, and are intelligent enough to pick up training quite effortlessly. Though they are quite alert, perceptive and agile, they are not much vocal and since they are practically fearful of strangers, they don’t make a very good watchdog.



They are small dogs and play all day indoors, and hence, vigorous exercise schedules are not recommended. But they love, and need, outdoor walks as well at least to stay mentally stimulated. Take them out for a short walk or a jog session every day. Secured leashed walks to dog parks also sounds good though, but if you would allow your malshi to play without a leash in your yard, make sure your yard is properly fenced. A daily family play session with your dog is also a good idea.


The Mal-shi is a long-haired dog and requires considerable attention. Brush your dog at least 3 to 4 times a week so that you can prevent its coat clean, and free from tangling and matting. You would bathe your dog, use a mild shampoo to clean it. Also, you should remember that they are floppy-eared dogs. Remember cleaning the ears regularly to prevent infection. A sound dental hygiene is also recommended for preventing early tooth loss.

Health Problems

Generally a sturdy, healthy breed, some malshis may be vulnerable to health issues like eye and respiratory problems, slipped stifle, skin problems, and spinal disc disease. Also, keep a good knowledge of its parents’ health history from your breeder. Do not skip taking your dog to the vet for checkups annually.


In comparison to training a Shih Tzu, it is much easier to train the intelligent malshi. In fact, this dog makes a star pupil. Considering their virtues of being earnest, perceptive and eagerness to learn, these dogs make a wonderful choice for first-time dog owners, or those who are somewhat impatient in giving them formal housetraining.

Your dog might prove to be a bit stubborn at times, however, positive and consistent training is recommended to help them correct this problem. Never be rude or lose your patience, but rather show them when you are impressed with their success. Let them know that it’s you who is the leader of its pack.

It is important to begin training from the time when you adopt your puppies, and bring home from the breeders or rescues. Early socializing is important. Train them to mingle with your pets and children, your relatives and friends, and how to behave well with them. Other training like housebreaking, crate and obedience training are also important right from their puppyhood. However, at times, housetraining can be an issue with some malshis, and if so, it is advisable to introduce crate training first.


Serve your malshi good quality food that is actually enriched with all the nutrients needed by dpgs of its size and energy. Though, quantity depends on the brand, but as an average amount, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of kibble daily is good for your pet. But you should divide this measurement into two equal meals.

35 responses to “Mal-shi”

  1. Pam says:

    Our Finley is a Malshi. He just turned 4 this past December 8th. DOB 12-08-2016
    This guy has been my best friend my savior. His personality and disposition over exceeds his self plus he is a comedian. He has us laughing all the time. Very smart and doesn’t have a mean bone in his body… Love him to the moon n back ????????❤️✌????

  2. kathy l brunhoefer says:

    do you have any puppies on sale right now and cost please

  3. Lana says:

    Looking for responsible breeder in Il or Wisconsin to adapt Mal-Shi. Please share the information.
    Most grateful

  4. thomas Biladeau says:

    I’m looking for a Shi Tzu like these mix tan puppy.

  5. Cheryl Hedlund says:

    I have a 2 yr old malshi. She thinks she owns everything everywhere. She has a major territorial issue. If our other dog, 5 yr old chiweenie. He can’t play with anything. She literally attacks him. If he goes into another room and tries to get into the living room, she won’t let him. She also goes crazy with other people too. I have to train her somehow not to behave like that. People will think she’s adorable and go to pet her, she turns into the devil. She gets really mean. Any thoughts, ideas, comments?

  6. Dawn says:

    I have a little female malshi (the love of my life) she is 5 years old and have been working with her for her entire life on NOT barking and recall when people go by our windows or back yard fence to no avail. She goes bonkers! I have tried, keeping her on leash and saying “quiet” and then pulling her towards me, putting her in the house, then if she by chance comes to me…giving her treats. Nothing is working! I’m at a loss…any suggestions? I need help!!!

    • Sergey Uhanov (Certified Veterinarian) admin says:

      Hi Dawn,
      Excessive barking in your Mal-shi could be due to the following reasons:
      • Incontinence: It commonly occurs in spayed female dogs, although both the sexes could be affected. Take it outside so that she can relieve herself. You can use belly-bands or doggie diapers to manage the problem. Consult a vet about the possible treatment options available.
      • Pain: Your dog might be in discomfort or pain, which could cause her to bark excessively. A chronic condition like arthritis could also cause her to be in pain. Discuss it with your vet.
      • Frustration: Excessive dog barking is also caused by frustration which might be due to difficulty in chewing foods or treats, or inability to play actively and socialize with other dogs. For this type of barking issue, you need to help her overcome the limitations by using distractions and substitutions for the things she cannot manage.

  7. Janet Kos says:

    Looking for breeder in nc or sc-NO PUPPYMILLS- no shipping. please provide breeder and prices

  8. Brandi says:

    I make all of my little guys food. He’ll be 12 years old this year, and he’s been off of kibble for about 3 years, now. I feed him a combination of banana, chicken, green beans, peas, sweet potato, eggs, rice, avocado… He’s super healthy, no tear stains, and his teeth are even staying clean. I had to have four of his teeth removed, and a cleaning done right before I started cooking his meals three years ago. His teeth are still bright white, no tarter on the incisors, either. I don’t trust all of the additives in kibble. He had severe allergies to most, even the most expensive ones… Homemade – no issues. I highly recommend it.

  9. Laurie Smith says:

    The best advice that I ever got for our Malti-Shi was to use a non-metal bowl for serving water! Don’t use Angel Eyes.. I did that then ended up having to go to the Vet with health issues!

  10. tera says:

    I rescued my mix breed shih tzu/Maltese and this dog and I are close. I have one problem whenever he sees another dog, large or small he becomes pscho and I have tried everything I can think of to stop this behavior. Any suggestions?

    • Miki says:

      Take your dog someplace where he/she will see other dogs. (maybe at the outside entrance of a Petco or Petsmart) When first starting, you’ll want to keep these training sessions very, very short, even a few seconds is fine the first time or two and gradually build up from there. Bring HIGH value treats, like small leftover chicken pieces from last nights dinner. Your dog will probably ignore low value treats as the other dog is more rewarding. Also, if you’re working too close, the dog will not take the treats due to stress. To start, you want to work at a distance from his trigger (the other dog). You’ll know when you’re far enough away because your dog will not be lunging on the leash or barking hysterically. This distance depends on your dog. If your dog goes crazy, back up and increase the distance. When at the right distance, as soon as you see a dog, say in your “happy” voice, “Who’s that?” and give your dog a treat. Repeat, repeat, until the dog is out of sight. You might want to do this for one dog the first time, maybe a dog or two the next time. But EVERY time you think you MIGHT be seeing other dogs (on a daily walk), keep your distance (go to the other side of the street if need be), have treats at the ready, and in your happy voice, “Who’s that?” and treat, treat, treat until the dog is out of sight. Your dog will soon learn that when he sees another dog, good things happen. He’ll start looking forward to seeing another dog and will look at the dog and then look to you for a treat. At this point, you can try working SLIGHTLY (a step or two) closer than you were before and repeat with treats, etc. It takes time to overcome old habits. Work slowly and don’t rush it and you’ll have greater success.

  11. Donna Strickland says:

    I just bought a 10 week old Mal-Shi and i don’t know if this is normal but we have caught her eating her poo.we have had her about a month now and seems to be doing better..{at least while we are watching her)She also has a VERY MEAN attitude showing her teeth and wanting to eat us up if she don’t get her way..I have never had a dog act like this. Wondering if her brain got messed up when they were cross breeding We paid $700.00 for this cute little bad attitude poop eater.

    • Jen says:

      My Mal-Shi was like this the first few months when i brought him home! Very dominant attitude, high energy and would eat his poop too. Don’t be discouraged, try to clean up any surprises before she can eat them and be patient with her. Do not let her scare you and make sure to crate her and give her time outs when she misbehaves. It took my dog a year to warm up to me but now we are best friends!

    • Sue says:

      My Shih Tzu was still eating his poop every time he got a chance until he died last year at 15. The breeder of our Mal-Shi says all little dogs do it. Our pocket Yorkie doesn’t, and never has (He’s 7). So gross!

      • Wendy T says:

        Mine did that, but keeping on a leash and letting her poop and pulling her away saying leave it will teach her to leave it alone, but if you just let her out in the yard, she will keep doing it. Mine is now almost 4 and walks away from poop, no leash necessary…

    • Ashaley says:

      Your pup is not getting the proper nutrients. Not shaming, but what do you feed her? My shih-tzu used to eat poo as well.

  12. Sandra Mosley says:

    so if I buy a female malshi to breed with my male malshi pups will not be able to register as designer dog

  13. Debbie says:

    How do I keep my 3 mo Malshi eyes from staining…I’ve got her on some angel powder in her food once a day and have angel eye wipes nothing seems to work.

    • Sergey Uhanov (Certified Veterinarian) admin says:

      Hi Debbie,
      You need to follow a proper face grooming regimen to get rid of tear stains on your dog. Here are some tips:
      • Cleanse her eyes using a vet-approved canine eye-wash.
      • Use a cotton ball moistened with the eye-wash to rub around her eye area.
      • Wash the hair on her muzzle with dry shampoo and a damp washcloth. Once you have finished washing, comb and blow-dry her coat.
      • Trim the fur around her eyes to avoid irritation, which may induce tears.

      • Bernadette says:

        I had a pure white bichon with constant tear staining. I also used angel eyes which helped but someone told me to give her only filtered water not tap water and sure enough that alone was the solution. Hope it works for you.

      • Crystal says:

        I have a malti tzu and a Bochon. I changed their diet and I haven’t had this problem anymore.

    • Janine says:

      I avoid the staining by a little game we play call “Getting the Goops”. When my babies were young I would always get the sleep out of their eyes and say “smells the goops?” And then I would let them smell it. Sometimes they like to lick it off my finger. I do it as I notice the sleep accumulating. Language is kind of gross but animals naturally like to groom themselves and this is a way to avoid the staining.

      • Dylan says:

        This is amazing! We have an ‘agreement’ with our 6 month old Malshi. He will let clean his eyes if he can lick the goops off the comb! The language is understanding! Kind of gross but so full of character! Intelligent little thing!!

  14. Marty baber says:

    Please remove this distasteful adds

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