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Malshi: Cross of Maltese and Shih-Tzu Dog Breeds

Dr. Penny Pincher has a Ph.D. in engineering and loves animals. He has raised peacocks, chickens, sheep, dogs, cats, rabbits, and pigs.

How could you NOT like a Malshi dog?

How could you NOT like a Malshi dog?

Malshi: A Living Teddy Bear

In the old days, dogs were bred to serve practical purposes such as hunting or protecting property. A new crossbreed of dog, the Malshi, seems to be about as practical as a living teddy bear.

A cross between the Maltese and Shih-Tzu breeds, the Malshi reaches an adult size of about 10 inches tall and 10 pounds in weight. It’s hard to imagine how small this dog is until you pick it up. It looks and acts like a full-sized dog that has been shrunk down to a ridiculously small size.

Key Attributes of Malshi Breed Dogs


Malshi are an amazingly small breed! A Malshi is like a dog that has been shrunk to the size of a small teddy bear, with an adult weight of about 10 pounds. The small size makes it very easy to take this breed with you in the car. This dog would easily fit in a small pet carrier to carry on an airplane.


A Malshi's long coat will require brushing on a regular basis. Good news: These dogs are so small that brushing doesn't take long.

Cold Hardiness

Our Malshi doesn't mind cold weather—she has gone out in blizzard conditions during housebreaking. She loves to play in the snow. I suspect the cold hardiness comes mainly from the Chinese Shih-Tzu breed.

A Malshi is a cross between the Maltese and Shih-Tzu breeds

A Malshi is a cross between the Maltese and Shih-Tzu breeds

Mashi Temperament and Personality


Our Malshi shows no fear of other animals, even much larger dogs. Our Malshi will "play" with cats with claws that are more than twice her weight. Unlike our other pets, she has no fear of the vacuum cleaner. However, she is scared of a couple things in our house: ceiling fans and cameras.

Do They Get Along With Other Pets?

Yes, but she is somewhat annoying to other animals. She has a lot of energy and jumps up and tries to play with any animal that is nearby. No serious fighting, though.

They Require a Lot of Attention

Our Malshi likes to be around people and demands nearly constant attention while she is awake. It's easy to scoop her up and set her on the couch next to you which she likes, but if you walk away she can't get down on her own and will start yapping to get you to help her down.

Is a Malshi Right for You?

Does this describe your preferences for a dog?

  • Really, really small
  • High energy, active, and alert
  • Playful and entertaining
  • Wants a lot of attention from you
  • Acts like a full-sized dog in an extra small body

If so, a Malshi may be the right breed for you.

Update: Read about my first year owning a Malshi. This article describes the personality quirks of Malshi dogs.

Questions & Answers

Question: How do you know if a Malshi has worms?

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Answer: If your Malshi is underweight (for example, you can see it's ribs easily), it might have worms. You can take your dog and a stool sample to the vet to find out for sure. The vet can give a wormer that will get rid of worms.

© 2013 Dr Penny Pincher


Barb Webb on July 30, 2018:

I have had my Malshi for 2 weeks and she has turned my

Life around. We just love her. Can someone tell me how far I can or should walk her. She is 4 months old

daisyjano on September 18, 2017:

Your little Shih tzu Maltese dog looks so much like the puppy we got yesterday! So adorable! Thanks so much for sharing and for the article on Mal-Shi dogs! I added pics on here if you wanna see ours. What's your dogs name?

Elizabeth Hanks from Queen Creek on February 26, 2013:

What an absolute cutie patootie! Now, I definitely wouldn't mind having one of these little buddies around to keep me on my toes! Especially if it wouldn't mind keeping my feet warm when I'm at my desk...

Great hub, thanks for sharing the new breed ideas, along with pictures of your adorable puppy!

Dr Penny Pincher (author) from Iowa, USA on February 26, 2013:

Thanks for the comments DrMark1961 and About Animals. We only have one Malshi. We also have a couple Labradoodles and a terrier mix. Lots of fun at our house!

About Animals on February 26, 2013:

Aww, the Malshi dogs are adorable! My dog is a Shih Tzu / Bichon mix and she looks very similar (you can see her in my profile picture). Do you have more than one? What are their names?

Dr Mark from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 26, 2013:

What a cute little dog! They are "old days" dogs, since the Shih-tzu is one of the oldest breeds, and Maltese have been around for thousands of years. This super combo is new, and something everyone should have to keep the lap warm.

Voted up and interesting, sharing on HP.

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