The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print


Maltese / Shih Tzu Mixed Breed Dogs

Information and Pictures

Front side view - A longhaired soft-looking tan with white and brown Mal-Shi is standing on a carpet and its head is tilted to the left.

Niko the Mal-Shi at about 8 months old

Other Names


    Malti Tzu






The Mal-Shi is not a purebred dog. It is a cross between the Maltese and the Shih Tzu. The best way to determine the temperament of a mixed breed is to look up all breeds in the cross and know you can get any combination of any of the characteristics found in either breed. Not all of these designer hybrid dogs being bred are 50% purebred to 50% purebred. It is very common for breeders to breed multi-generation crosses.

  • ACHC = American Canine Hybrid Club
  • DBR = Designer Breed Registry
  • DDKC = Designer Dogs Kennel Club
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • IDCR = International Designer Canine Registry®
Recognized Names
  • American Canine Hybrid Club = Mal-Shi
  • Designer Breed Registry = Mal Shi
  • Designer Dogs Kennel Club = Malti Tzu
  • International Designer Canine Registry® = Mal-Shi
A soft-looking, longhaired white with black and brown Mal-Shi puppy is sitting on a tan rug looking up and to the left.

"We found Braeden in an online ad; he was needing a home ASAP. It's his THIRD home. The previous owner had him for a month. He was 16 weeks old and he had no name, no collar, low contact with other dogs or people. He had Giardia, ear infections, underweight, and fleas...he was perfect!

"He looked drunk and I took one look at him and said " you look like a Braeden." It's taken a long time for Braeden to attach and trust. He's still learning how to play with other puppies. Now at 7 months he's more willing to sit on my lap for a few more minutes. Loves to play fetch and loves a good stick, meeting new people and new dogs.

"At eight months, Braeden weighs 10.4 lbs., is 17" long and 10" tall at the shoulder. Braeden has characteristics of a Shih Tzu: tri-olor hair, tipped ears, longer body and that cute hair above his nose that points up. From the Maltese, Braeden got straighter thin hair, a longer nose and no under-bite common to many Shih Tzus. His nose seems larger than a Maltese. He can be very fluffy and gets compliments on his hair almost every day. However, owning a Mal-Shi without the "puppy cut" is a commitment to grooming. Braeden is brushed in the morning and before bedtime. Sometimes an extra session is needed to gently work on knots that easily occur on his underside. When brushed every day, he's never gotten matted. You just have to keep up with it. He gets a daily dose of Angels Eyes to keep tear stains, which are very common to both the Shih Tzu and the Maltese.

Close up of the upper half of a small fluffy white with brown Mal-Shi puppy

Braeden the tan and white Mal-Shi as a puppy at 10 weeks old

"His temperament is more like the Shih Tzu. He's a hearty player with other dogs. He loves to run and wrestle energetically with other Shi Tzus. He's not a lap dog. He loves meeting new dogs and especially loves to meet new people. Like most breeds, it's very important that he gets exercise, both physical and mental. He was easy to potty train using potty pads. But he quickly transitioned to going outside. If he has an accident it's between 7-9pm where I haven't watched how much water he drank at dinner and in the evening. He's been quick to learn to sit, stay, lie down, shake, fetch, leave it and drop it."

Close up view from the front - A small fluffy black and white Mal-Shi puppy is sitting on a black leather couch and there is a baby blue, white and pink blanket behind it. The dog looks like a stuffed toy.

Oreo the black and white Mal-Shi puppy at 12 weeks old, weighing 3 pounds

A longhaired black and white Mal-Shi is standing on a tan carpet with a rawhide stick in its mouth. There is a second rawhide chew and a Greenie chew on the floor next to it. Behind it is the feet of a person in brown cowboy boots and blue jeans.

Oreo the black and white Mal-Shi puppy at 19 months old, weighing 7 pounds

Two toy sized dogs, an adult and a puppy sitting in grass with rocks behind them. They are white, black and tan. The puppy is sitting in front of the adult.

Malshi puppies (Maltese x Shih-Tzu mix)—Rocky weighing 2 pounds (seven weeks) and Muffy weighing four pounds (four months).

Close up head shot - A white with brown Mal-shi Puppy sitting in the lap of a person in the passenger seat of a vehicle. The dog looks like a stuffed toy.

"Jaxon is a Maltese / Shih Tzu mix breed dog. He is age 4½ months in this photo. He loves attention and people, chewing on carpets, kissing his favorite cat (Bella), short walks and treats. He is very outgoing and friendly to everyone and his mommy says he has more of a Shih Tzu temperament than a Maltese."

Close up upper body shot - A white with brown and black Mal-Shi puppy is sitting in the lap of a person wearing a purple shirt.

Jimmy the Mal-Shih puppy (Maltese / Shih Tzu) at 15 weeks old—"The newest member of our family who is so cuddly and loving."

A long haired white with brown and black Mal-Shi is sitting on a carpet with a blue and white blanket in front of it. The dog has an underbite and its bottom teeth are showing.

Bruno the Maltese / Shih Tzu cross (Mal-Shi) as an adult

A little, fluffy, white with tan and black Mal-Shi puppy is laying on a light pink and hot pink fuzzy dog bed.

Bella, a Mal-Shi (Maltese / Shih Tzu mix) at 13 weeks, weighing 3 ½ pounds

A white with tan Mal-Shi puppy is laying on its back belly out with its paws in the air on top of a white blanket.

"Sofie is a Mal-Shi (Maltese / Shi Tzu mix). She is approximately 10 months and 8 lbs. in this picture."

See more examples of the Mal-Shi