Maltese Shih Tzu Poodle: All Information About This New Breed

In the world of designer dogs, people have made it their goal to combine two great breeds and create one that inherits the best of both parents. But the Maltese Shih Tzu Poodle takes us to a whole other level.

The Malshipoo is a hybrid breed, made by combining a Maltese, a Shih Tzu, and a Poodle. Usually, a Toy Poodle is chosen to preserve the small size of the dog. It is bred to be a non-shedding breed, that is intelligent and affectionate with its family. But there is more to this breed than you know.

The Malshipoo – History And Origin

This is a relatively new mixed breed so there isn’t much history to tell. It originated in the United States and was made by breeding three different breeds. The combinations that are used are:

  • Combining a Malshi and a Toy Poodle
  • Combining a Shih-Poo and a Maltese
  • Combining a Malshipoo with any of the three parent breeds.

Even if the breed is new, its parents’ history is long.

The Maltese exists since ancient times as it was a dog loved by the ancient Greeks and Romans. It first originated in Malta in 500BC, from where it got its name. The breed was officially recognized by the AKC in 1888, and since then has been a popular dog around the world.

The Shih Tzu is another ancient dog breed originating in Tibet, China. These dogs date back to 800 BC and were kept as royal dogs for the Chinese emperors. Their name translates to “little lion” and came from their appearance. The breed was officially recognized by the AKC in 1969 and remains a very popular dog.

The Poodle is a breed that originated in Germany. There is information that it appeared around the 15th century, but it became much more known in the 19th century. It was originally bred as a gun dog and water dog. It was accepted by the AKC in 1887 and remains one of the most popular dogs around the world.

Appearance – The Little Teddy Bear Dog

Malshipoo puppies will all look different from each other because they are a mixed breed. Some puppies will take more after the Poodle, some after the Maltese, and some after the Shih Tzu. This means that you will always end up with a unique-looking pup.


There is one thing that is certain about this breed, and that is that it is a small dog. On average, you can expect it to grow up to around 10 inches in height, and weigh around 10 pounds in weight. That means that this breed can be considered a toy breed.

Coat And Color

The coat will be different for every individual puppy. The Maltese and the Shih Tzu have straight fur that tends to grow long. The Poodle has a curly long coat.

The Malshi Poodle can have a shorter or longer coat. It can be wavy or tightly curled. Mostly their coats don’t shed so they can be considered somewhat hypoallergenic.

When it comes to colors, they have coats that can come in a variety of colors, making every puppy look different. Whatever the pup ends up looking like, it will always have the resemblance to a teddy bear.

Temperament – The Perfect Lap Dog

This breed will have a temperament that resembles its parents’ traits. One thing is true for all Malshipoos, they are very friendly and loving lap dogs. They make great companion dogs because they are affectionate, playful, and friendly. The bad thing about this is that if they are left alone, they will develop separation anxiety

They are accepting of everyone they meet and will make great friends will the whole family and friends. You can let them play with your kids as they will love the energy and playfulness. you should keep an eye on them so they don’t get hurt. They are dogs with low prey drive, so they will be friendly with all your other pets.

Due to it being so friendly, the Maltese Poodle Shih Tzu mix is not the best watchdog. They can be quite vocal though and can start yapping, barking, and whining loudly for many reasons. So even though they are great for apartment living because of their size, your neighbors might not like the noise.

At last, these dogs are also very intelligent and will be easier to train. They can also be quite independent and stubborn so you should also be persistent with your training. Because Poodles bite often, their mixed offspring might also do that.

Health Problems

Malshipoos are relatively healthy dogs. They can live for up to 12-15 years. But there are a few common health issues they are predisposed to.

Common Health Problems

  • Patellar Luxation A musculoskeletal disorder where the patella, or kneecap, is displaced or luxated. The symptoms you will notice are your dog skipping or running on three legs. If not treated on time, it can lead to arthritis of the knee.
  • Hypothyroidism – A disease of the thyroid gland where it creates less thyroxin hormone than it needs to. You may notice your dog get lethargic and start losing weight. Its coat will get dry and start thinning, and it won’t tolerate the cold as well as before.
  • White Dog Shaker Syndrome – This is a disease-specific to small dogs like the Shih Poo Maltese. It presents with rhythmic, repetitive, and involuntary muscle movements that imitate shaking. They can be local or generalized and get worse with excitement and exercise.
  • Hypoglycemia – This disease is described by having low blood sugar. Reasons like extreme exercise, malnutrition, and xylitol toxicity can all cause it. Some noticeable symptoms are weakness, muscle twitching, altered behavior, seizures, and others.
  • Epilepsy – A neurological disease that is known for seizures that can manifest differently in every dog. You may notice symptoms like your dog getting stiff and falling over, uncontrollable chewing and drooling, defecating, urinating, and trembling. The seizures last a few seconds to minutes.

Taking Care Of A Malshipoo

If you decide to get this dog for yourself, there are a few things you should do to properly take care of it.


The Shih Poo Maltese mix is small so it won’t need a lot of food in its diet. On average, you should feed around ¾ of a cup every day to keep it satisfied. This should be split into a few smaller meals so it isn’t overwhelming. Because they are so small, these pups will get obese if they eat too much.

Always make sure to feed a high-quality diet. Make sure to feed a dog food that is low in carbohydrates and high in proteins. It should include enough vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fatty acids. You can also give supplements of glucosamine and chondroitin to improve joint support and prevent hip dysplasia.


Depending on the type of the coat, this dog will have different grooming needs. On average, you should be brushing this dog daily to prevent the forming of painful knots and mats. Besides brushing, it will also need some trimming, especially on the hair covering its eyes.

The Malti Shih Poo should be bathed once every 2-3 weeks on average. This is different for every individual dog. You should pay special attention to cleaning its tear stains because they can leave a mark.

Besides this, the dog needs regular check-ups and cleaning of its ears, as well as daily brushing of its teeth. You should also cut your dog’s nails regularly to prevent injuries.

Exercise And Training

Because these dogs are so small, they don’t need a lot of exercise during the day. On average, they need around 30 minutes of exercise daily to meet their exercise needs. Splitting this into two short walks in the morning and evening is the perfect plan. Besides walking, you can also play some games to keep active. 

Besides physical stimulation, mental stimulation is also important so the dog doesn’t get bored. These dogs are quite intelligent and that will make your training easier. Training and socialization should start at a young age. You should always use tactics like positive reinforcement and obedience training for the best results.

Getting A Malshipoo

If you’ve grown a liking to this pup, there are a few ways to get one. You can choose between buying it from a breeder or adopting it from a shelter. Avoid puppy mills at all costs.

Buying A Malshipoo

Getting a Malshipoo adult may cost you cheaper than getting a puppy. The cost for the puppies will vary from around $400 – $1500. This price depends on the place, the demand, and the parents of the puppy. The size of the dog also matters. Teacup Yorkies cost much more than Standard ones for example.

You need to be careful when choosing the pup for yourself. Research the breeders you are interested in. They should be able to show you evidence of health testing, and you can also see the parents of the puppy to make sure they are healthy.

There aren’t breeders who specifically breed this mix, but you can try breeders like Happy Tails Shih Tzu’s & Shih-Poo’s, or Windy Way Hill Puppies.

Adopting A Malshipoo

The cheaper version to get this dog is to get it as an adult. You can do this by visiting a rescue center and seeing if there are any dogs that need adopting. It is a humane thing to do and it will cost you much cheaper.

Because some people only like pure breeds, you will have a bigger chance to find a mixed breed in dog shelters. You will have the best chance by looking at shelters that have the parent breeds of this mix. Here are a few we recommend:

Maltese shih tzu poodle relaxing

The Maltese Shih Tzu Poodle Mix – Final Thoughts

The Malshipoo is a hybrid breed made by breeding the Maltese, Shih Tzu, and Poodle. It is a relatively new breed that appeared in the US and not many people know about it yet.

Their appearance is a combination of all three parent breeds, and all the puppies look different from each other. It is generally a small toy dog, with a shorter or longer coat, that is curled or wavy. The coat can come in a variety of colors.

These are friendly and affectionate lap dogs. They are great with kids and other pets in the home. They are intelligent and training them can be easy, but they can also be pretty stubborn. Even though they are adaptable, they are known to be very vocal.

Their life expectancy is around 12-15 years and they need proper nutrition, exercise, training, and grooming to stay healthy.


What is the difference between a male and a female Malshipoo?

The females are usually more intelligent than the males, but they are also more independent. They are more protective but less affectionate than the males. They are also less playful and attention-seeking than the male.

Is the Malshi Podle easy to housebreak?

Because this dog is so small, it has a really small bladder. This means that accidents can happen and your pup will need training to prevent this. Get your dog some artificial grass for potty to help.

Is the Maltese Shih Tzu Poodle good for first-time owners?

This is a great dog for first-time owners. It is affectionate and friendly, and it won’t have problems meeting the whole family. It is also intelligent, and training it can be easier than other dogs.

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