The Mal-Shi (also often referred to as Malti-Tzu) was created by crossing two breeds: the Maltese and the Shih Tzu. These species are commonly called designer dogs and were bred to be family companions.

Height: 10 inches  Weight: 6-12 pounds  Lifespan: 12-14 years


The Mal-Shi is strong, well-proportioned, compact dog, which is very vital and agile. Mal-Shis are attractive in appearance, and they possess great physical stamina.


The Mal-Shi is very affectionate, loving and faithful dog. He is playful and has a high level of intelligence. This breed gets along well with older children, since they know how to treat a dog. Mal-Shis can live peacefully with other dogs and all any other animal living in the house. The Mal-Shi is very suspicious of strangers and will immediately inform the rest of the family about the visit of unexpected visitors, or any suspicious sound.

Coat / Care:

Usually, the Mal-Shi’s coat is long, straight and adherent to his body. The coat can be either double or single. To prevent tangling of the hair, dogs of this breed need daily brushing and combing. Bathe your pet only in case of urgent need, using a mild shampoo. In order to prevent infections and inflammatory processes, make sure to regularly clean the dog’s ears. Also, good oral hygiene is crucial. The most typical health concerns are patella luxation, respiratory problems, skin problems and eye diseases.


Early socialization and course of general training are mandatory for this breed. Mal-Shis, as well as all small dogs, can be quite stubborn and not very obedient when it comes to cleanliness in the apartment. Harsh or heavy-handed teaching methods are completely useless. Moreover, education should be based on firmness, fairness, patience and consistency.


The Mal-Shi is well suited for keeping in an apartment, provided that you practice long walks and playing games with your pet. Generally, the Mal-Shi gets great pleasure from daily walks with his owner, he enjoys playing games and running around in securely fenced yard.

Photo credit: Cody Porche’/Flickr

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