Fun Maltese Shih Tzu Facts For Kids

Martha Martins
Oct 20, 2022 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Discover Maltese Shih Tzu facts about this cute toy dog

The Maltese Shih Tzu dog breed is a designer dog that is cute, non-shedding, and makes a perfect companion for families. Maltese Shih Tzu mix dogs are designer dogs that are a mix of the Maltese and Shih Tzu breeds.

Original Shih Tzu dogs came from Tibet and were known as Lhasa Apo. This breed entered China mainly as a gift to Chinese Emperors. There it was bred and crossbred with other Chinese dogs.

The Maltese Shih Tzu is a small dog that quickly settles into any family and owning and living with a Maltese Shih Tzu dog is truly an amazing experience. Here we will share few interesting facts about the Maltese Shih Tzu.

To learn more about other breeds, check out our guides to the Golden Dox and the Australian Retriever too!

Maltese Shih Tzu Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Maltese Shih Tzu?

Maltese Shih Tzu is a mixed dog breed that is crossbred between a Maltese breed and a Shih Tzu breed. This amazing toy dog is intelligent, cute, and easy to train.

What class of animal does a Maltese Shih Tzu belong to?

Maltese Shih Tzu belongs to the Mammalia class.

How many Maltese Shih Tzus are there in the world?

The exact number of Maltese Shih Tzus is not known. However, these low shedding dogs have quickly found a place worldwide. Adopted in Australia and Great Britain, the Mal Shih breed has migrated to different parts of the world and is popularly known as a lap dog.

Where does a Maltese Shih Tzu live?

Maltese Shih Tzu dogs are toy breeds that are loved by families for their cute looks and fun-loving nature. This breed is at ease in apartment homes or large homes.

Maltese Shih Tzu Pups are always eager to please and are easily trainable. If you are new to having dogs as pets, this is a great low-maintenance breed that you can include in your list of choices.

What is a Maltese Shih Tzu's habitat?

The Maltese Shih Tzu is a domestic animal that finds its habitat in its wonderful pet parents' homes. They are playful and can be quickly adopted into homes with multiple pets. However, it is advised to keep an eye on their behavior when around smaller animals and to closely monitor the first time new pets meet each other.

Who do Maltese Shih Tzus live with?

The Maltese Shih Tzu is a friendly animal. It lives well alongside both kids and older people.

Being a social dog, a Malshi loves to be around people who visit the owner's home and loves to visit other homes as well. One of the best things about this breed is the way that it quickly adapts to the energy of the home it lives in.

In highly energetic homes, it can be very energetic too, and in quieter homes, it is calm and acts like a lapdog. It makes one of the best choices for first-time pet owners.

How long does a Maltese Shih Tzu live?

A Maltese Shih Tzu's average lifespan is between 12 and 14 years. However, some Maltese Shih Tzus' life spans are reported to be between 10 and 16 years.

In order to live a long and healthy life, every Maltese Shih Tzu dog needs regular exercise. Between 10 and 15 minutes of brisk walking every day will keep this Maltese mix active. Occasional mental stimulation games will also help to keep them entertained without over-exercising them.

How do they reproduce?

Like all other dog breeds, a Maltese Shih Tzu goes through estrous cycles. You may notice a few behavioral changes and some physical changes in a female Maltese Shih Tzu when she is on a heat cycle.

A female Maltese mix will also be more receptive to male advances when on a heat cycle. Once a female Maltese Shih Tzu is born, vets tend to advise spaying the female Maltese Shih Tzu to prevent it from going through numerous estrous cycles throughout its life.

What is their conservation status?

Though listed by many of the kennel clubs as a toy dog, a Maltese Shih Tzu's conservation status remains unlisted. However, any breed, if not conserved well, may face extinction so it is always important to conserve the pure parent breeds: Maltese and Shih Tzu.

Maltese Shih Tzu Fun Facts

What do Maltese Shih Tzus look like?

Maltese Shih Tzus usually look like one of their parent breeds. Generally, a Maltese Shih Tzu breed is a small dog with a short muzzle and bulging black-brown eyes. This mixed breed is prone to tear staining. The stains are usually less visible on the fur coat, as they are not pure white.

Learn about the Maltese Shih Tzu temperament here.

How cute are they?

A Maltese Shih Tzu puppy is an adorable and cute designer dog that is roughly 10 in (25 cm) tall and weighs just 6-12 lb (2.7-5.4 kg). Their cute little eyes and short body make us want to cuddle it all day long!

How do they communicate?

When training pups to live along with us, it is essential that we give them clues that they understand. Pets usually understand hand signals, gestures, rewards, positive reinforcement, and short verbal cues like "stay", "stand", "come", and "down".

There are several ways in which your Maltese Shih Tzu communicates with you. Understanding their non-verbal cues can help you to create a great relationship with this great companion dog.

Most Maltese Shih Tzu dogs communicate to humans through specific body postures and gestures. Showing its belly by lying down shows a happy pup.

It indicates that the dog trusts you and would love you to cuddle it. Give it a nice belly rub, and your pup will relax in this position!

A curly tail indicates its happiness in response to an event and shows that your dog is looking for more fun from you. However, if your dog raises its tail up, straight, it is a sign that the dog is looking to control a situation and needs to be calmed down.

Showing its teeth means it is getting ready to bite. The dog might become possessive of an object that was snatched from it and then shows its teeth to communicate this to you.

A Maltese Shih Tzu can display aggressive behavior under such circumstances. Lastly, if your dog is licking its face it may be stressed or nervous and owners should check if there is something that their pup is uncomfortable with.

How big is a Maltese Shih Tzu?

A Maltese Shih Tzu is 15 times smaller than a Great Dane! These toy dog breeds are short and easy to carry and make great pets for families with kids.

How fast can a Maltese Shih Tzu run?

The Mal-Shi is a lapdog and hardly shows excellent athletic capabilities. Their average running speed ranges between 6-8 miles per hour (9.5-13 km per hour).

How much does a Maltese Shih Tzu weigh?

A Maltese Shih Tzu puppy weighs around 4 lb (1.8 kg). This small dog breed matures quickly to turn into an adult dog in 10 months.

An average Maltese Shih Tzu adult weighs between 9–16 lb (4-7 kg). An overweight Mal shi can become lazy, dull, and inactive, so it is essential to keep a check on its food intake and to give it opportunities for regular exercise.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The Maltese Shih Tzu belongs to the Canis lupus familiaris species. Hence the male and female names of the species are 'stud' and 'bitch', respectively.

What would you call a baby Maltese Shih Tzu?

Crossbred between the Maltese and Shih Tzu breeds, these adorable puppies are fondly known as Malshipoos or Malshipoo puppies.

What do they eat?

Maltese Shih Tzus are typically described as omnivores, they are fed with vegetables, fish, chicken, and dog food. They ideally require half a cup of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. Grain-free or gluten-free food can help reduce skin problems and digestion problems in these dogs.

Are they slobbery?

If you hate slobber stains on your home carpets or your clothes, a Mal Shi could be one of the best dog breeds you can look for as they are not slobbery dogs.

Would they make a good pet?

This dog breed is a great pet for anyone to adopt. They are friendly, easy to train, non-shedding (which keeps them as low maintenance dogs) and they are very faithful.

Most importantly, they adapt quickly to the home and its atmosphere. Kids love to play around with it, and it is very child-friendly. Your friends will have a lovely time with this breed as they are friendly to strangers as well!

Did you know...

Maltese Shih Tzu dogs make excellent pets for first-time pet parents because the Maltese Shih Tzu's temperament is great, and the breed is known for its good behavior.

Sometimes, the Maltese Shih Tzu can become aggressive due to boredom, lack of exercise, and possessiveness of its toys, food, territory, or bedding. Scolding or shouting at the dog might increase its aggression. Only proper training with positive reinforcement can be used to adjust this behavior.

This breed may inherit some genetic disorders from its parent breeds. They are brachycephalic, and therefore, long periods of exercise should be avoided. Mal Shis are also not good swimmers, so they cannot be left alone near water bodies.

Having your own Maltese Shih Tzu

Now that you know so many Maltese Shih Tzu puppies facts, are you interested in owning one for yourself? Here are a few more details about this breed that can help you make an informed decision about owning this breed.

The Maltese is a dog breed that originated in Malta's tiny island nation in the Mediterranean sea. Maltese dogs are famously recognized as 'toy dogs' or 'designer dogs'.

These small dogs are covered with a white coat and have a gentle body that makes them an adorable pup to adopt. The Shih Tzu, on the other hand, is also a domesticated toy breed that originated in Tibet, in Asia.

They are known for their notorious playful personality and considered to be highly intelligent. These breeds are not always so obedient due to their independent nature.

A Maltese and a Shih Tzu crossbreed first came into existence as a new breed Maltese Shih Tzu mix. Fondly known as the Malshi, Mal-Shi, toy dog, or lap dog, they come with both parent breeds' mixed features.

A Shih Tzu Maltese mix price can vary between $400 to $800. The price varies based on the breeder and the genetic mix.

Prospective owners should make sure that the breeder the buy from is registered and reputable. While Malshi breeds do inherit hypoallergenic features from the parent breed, Maltese, they may also carry few genetic health issues from the parents.

Common health issues include hip dysplasia, Von Willebrand's disease, elbow dysplasia, and hypothyroidism. Choosing to adopt a Malshi pup from a good breeder can help you get all the required health clearances from appropriate agencies.

Other health problems that you should be aware of in this mixed breed are patellar luxation, a common knee dislocation that occurs mostly in small dogs (this can be painful for small dogs and can be crippling), and shaker syndrome, a condition that causes shaking uncontrollably and the inability to walk.

Bringing home a pup at a young age is exciting, but training a small Mal-Shi pup needs patience. Though their small size makes us feel that they can be trained easily, unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Using crate training will help your puppy as it grows into an adult as crate training helps the pup know where to go when it needs a nap and helps you prevent your fur baby from falling into accidents or harmful situations.

Socializing an adult Maltese Shih Tzus is a little challenging and takes patience and time. You can start social training an adult Mal-shi by introducing it to one person, then another, and then another.

Rewarding it for its behavior and using lots of praise will help these dogs to quickly learn to socialize.

Mal-Shis are social animals who love to be around people so it is not recommended to bring a Mal-Shi into a home where the pet will be left alone for long periods. This can lead to the dog suffering from separation anxiety.

Caring for your Maltese Shih Tzu

A Maltese Shih Tzu needs to be groomed well to prevent any diseases or infections. Its long fur coat makes it cuddly and attractive, but it could lead to skin trouble if not maintained well.

It requires lots of care and needs regular brushing to keep it away from mats and tangles.

Owners should check for sores, and rashes on the skin, ensure the eyes are clear with no redness and no inflammation in the nose and mouth. A regular examination of your fur baby helps you recognize any health problems it may have.

Owners of these pets tend to opt for Maltese Shih Tzu haircuts during the summer months as it means the pet will be less irritated in the heat.

A Maltese Shih Tzu full-grown dog needs frequent grooming. Trimming nails, brushing its teeth regularly, and giving a bath, will keep your small furry companion happy and healthy.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the Peekapoo or Corgipoo.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Maltese Shih Tzu coloring pages.

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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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