What is a Maltipoo Shih Tzu?

What is a Maltipoo Shih Tzu?

Here’s what you need to know about the Shih Tzu and Maltipoo mix. Mixed dog breeds are sometimes difficult to identify from their names alone! The situation is especially stressful when it involves three purebreds instead of two. Malshipoos are crossbreed dogs consisting of Maltese, Shih Tzu, and Poodle purebreds.

Shih Tzu and Maltipoo Mix Information, Facts, and Images
Shih Tzu and Maltipoo Mix Information, Facts, and Images

By combining two such breeds, breeders can produce a purebred puppy, which is then bred again to produce a purebred puppy. There are three breeds in one Malshipoo, so it’s a cute, small package combining three breeds. Poodles, Maltese, and Shih Tzu, are all included in this mix. Miniature or Toy Poodles are usually used to produce these hybrids, as they tend to be smaller.

Maltipoo Shih Tzu Mix Full Grown
Maltipoo Shih Tzu Mix Full Grown

Since puppies can inherit traits from either parent, the outcome of mixed breeds is unpredictable. The Malshipoo is a designer dog mixes three breeds rather than just two purebreds. This combination, however, usually produces a family pet that is intelligent and affectionate. Any dog breed of the three parents may be present in a Malshipoo adult.

As a result, it might possess intelligence and activity similar to a miniature poodle. As would be expected from a Maltese, it can show affection and friendliness. It is also possible to be brave and loyal, as many Shih Tzus are. You don’t know what your puppies will be like until they arrive, as a breeder tries to select the best characteristics in each breed.

All three parents were originally bred as lap dogs due to their size, which is commonly used. In other words, loyalty and attachment to immediate family are two characteristics you can almost always count on in a Malshipoo. Sometimes, this loyalty can lead to aggressive behavior toward people unrelated to the family. To reduce this risk, you should socialize your puppy as much as possible.

Purebred Maltese dog separation anxiety is also common among Malshipoo puppies due to their strong attachment. Educating your puppy from a young age on being happy alone is essential. However, this breed might not be ideal for families who spend much time away from home. It needs a lot of company to remain healthy and happy.

Nutrition Needs

Malshipoos are known to be voracious eaters, like most dogs. Dogs with medium energy levels need moderate protein levels. When dogs are overfed, they become obese and are more likely to contract other diseases and illnesses. It is best to feed your high-quality dog kibble for small breeds with a good base protein like chicken, lamb, beef, fish, or plant-based proteins.

You should only feed puppy food to your Malshipoo if they are a puppy. A puppy’s nutritional requirements differ from those of an adult dog. Do not abruptly switch to adult food at 12 months; mix puppy food with adult food in gradual increments, finally making it pure adult food. Hair loss and itching can be symptoms of a sudden change in diet.


The concept of hypoallergenic dogs is untrue. Malshipoo is the closest competitor.  Due to its low shedding, it is less likely to cause allergic reactions brought on by dander. However, quite a bit of grooming is required for these little dogs. To remove trapped hairs or dander, you must get close to them. Having allergies can be triggered by this.

Thus, potential owners should be aware of this. A puppy’s coat will also determine if a grooming process is needed. A balanced diet is also necessary for puppies, in addition to grooming. Young dogs and puppies need to be socialized and trained in obedience early in life. These dogs can still do much damage if untrained or aggressive, regardless of their size.

Unlike Poodles, Shih Tzus have long coats that require frequent brushing and trimming, unlike Poodles that shed very little. There are two main types of Malshipoo coats: short and curly and long and wavy. Keeping dead hair and dander away and removing tangles should be as easy as brushing every day or two and trimming every few months if your hair is short and curly.

Keeping tangles at bay requires frequent brushing and trimming if the coat is long and curly.  They will also need a bath every week or two to keep infections at bay and remove debris from their eyes and ears. If your Malshipoo runs miles on rough terrain, they will naturally sand down their nails, so they need to be cut or filed down.

Training Needs For a Shih Tzu and Maltipoo Mix

It is recommended to start malshipoo training at a young age. Because small breeds possess such small bladders, potty training can be difficult. It is possible to train the Malshipoo thanks to its strong family bonds and the intelligence of the Poodle parent. Positive reward training is a great option to build a relationship and achieve sustainable results.

The owners will not have to exercise this dog as much as they would if it was a large dog, such as a Labrador. Whenever you have a Malshipoo in the house, it will be delighted to sit next to you on the couch with one of its three parents as a lap dog. There will, however, be a need for daily exercise for them.

There are many ways to do this, such as playing sports, training, and taking a few short walks. Exercise is important, but stimulating the mind and keeping them company is equally important because their minds will be very active. Having a dog doesn’t mean you can spend all day lying around. You’ll bore them and make them behave badly if you do that!


In an adult Malshipoo, characteristics of any of its three parent breeds may be evident. Therefore, it may have intelligence and activity similar to a Miniature Poodle. Typical Maltese dogs are friendly and affectionate. In addition, many Shih Tzu dogs are bold and loyal. There is no way for breeders to determine what traits your puppies will have until they arrive, so they rely on the best traits from each breed involved.

All three parent breeds were originally bred as lap dogs, owing to their popularity as miniatures or toy poodles are most commonly used. Malshipoos are almost always loyal to their immediate family, so their loyalty is almost guaranteed. The loyalty of some members to their family can, however, turn into aggression towards non-family members in some circumstances.

To minimize this risk, make sure your puppy is socialized well. Separation anxiety, which also occurs in purebred Maltese dogs, may also be associated with this strong attachment in malshipoo puppies. Your puppy should be taught to be happy alone at a young age. However, it is important to remember that this breed is unsuitable for families who will spend a great deal of time outside the home.

Maintaining its health and happiness requires lots of companionships. All three popular companion dogs have genetic traits that make Malshipoos unique. Unlike purebred dogs, Malshipoos take after one or more parent dogs, depending on the combination and the parent dog’s temperament. A Malshipoo, for instance, is usually 50 percent Poodle, 25 percent Shih Tzu, and 25 percent Maltese.

With a curly coat that sheds very little and is hypoallergenic, a breed such as this has a good chance of being intelligent, affectionate, and hardly sheds. There would be a lot of play, moderate activity, and attention they need. Malteses and Shih Tzus require less exercise than Poodles, even though they have athletic and active personalities.

Your Malshipoo will stay happy and tired for hours with just 30 minutes of daily walks and plenty of playtime between walks. Your Malshipoo will also love the water if he takes after his Poodle parent! You can improve your cardiovascular health and muscle tone by swimming. The elderly, children, and other pets should be able to enjoy them in family homes.

Poodles are well known for their trainability, but Shih Tzus and Maltese are generally easier to train. A Malshipoo can be affectionate, loyal, and sweet, but they can also possess particular stubbornness, making positive reinforcement necessary to motivate them. People who are new to owning dogs or are inexperienced with them might be attracted to their easygoing, happy personalities.

Malshipoo’s Possible Health Issues

A Poodle, Shih Tzu, or Maltese bloodline can lead to some genetic problems in Malshipoos. Dopamine excess can lead to White Shaker Syndrome, a rare condition. A dog with this condition can show symptoms between six months and three years. Tremors, incoordination, and disturbed sleep are the symptoms of this condition.

Watch out for excessive drooling, dreariness, head shaking, and disordered movement. When epileptic dogs are given the right medication and care, seizures can be controlled and lead a happy and healthy life. The genetic pool of mixed breed dogs is larger than that of purebred dogs. Consequently, they are less likely to inherit health problems.

Nevertheless, both parents should still be health tested before breeding. Future puppies will be less likely to have health problems if they are bred from healthy dogs. As with all three parent breeds, the Malshipoo may be susceptible to genetic defects. The same applies to breeds of very small dogs.

There will be a lot of delicateness in the structure of their bodies. The bones of these animals can easily break if handled too rough or if they are dropped from a height. A gentle approach is essential when dealing with Malshipoos. This may prevent them from being suitable for households with young children.

Several genetic disorders can affect dogs like these:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Infections in the mouth, such as tooth decay
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Heart problems
  • Skulls with soft spots
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Eye problems
  • Collapsed Trachea

As well as having brachycephaly, the Shih Tzu parent has a flattened face. Health issues associated with this condition include bronchopulmonary dysplasia, ocular dysplasia, dental problems, and heat stroke.

Final Thoughts

There is something cuddly and loyal about Malshipoos that many people love about them. Yet, this breed must find the right home. This makes it more likely to guard and be aggressive since it forms strong attachments with its owners. Despite its small size, this breed requires obedience training and socialization.

Moreover, it will not be suitable for homes with children who may inadvertently harm it or for homes for long periods when it is left alone. Physical activity is essential for Malshipoo dogs every day. The grooming needs of these animals, however, take more time.

Finding the right grooming tools for your Shih Tzu and Maltipoo mix can only be determined after they have grown up. Owners of Malshipoos often prefer the services of a professional groomer. There is a downside to this, however, as it can be pretty costly. Keeping this mix in mind can also help you avoid problems in the future. Many issues related to a breed’s size affect extremely small dogs.

The Malshipoo may also have brachycephaly complications related to its ability to breathe, see, and chew if it has the same squashed face as the Shih Tzu. Hence, if you want a safer breed with a longer muzzle, go for a larger, healthier mix. You may want to consider breeders who health test parents before breeding if you are determined to own a Malshipoo.

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.