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Shih Tzu vs Maltese – Which one is a better dog breed for you?

"Find similarities and differences between Shih Tzu vs Maltese" Compare Shih Tzu and Maltese. Which is better: Shih Tzu or Maltese?
Name Shih Tzu Maltese
OriginsChina Italy
Group Companion Dogs Companion Dogs
Popularity Rank2033
Reviews60
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Other Names Chinese Lion Dog, Chrysanthemum Dog Maltese Dog, Maltese lion dog
Breed Type Purebred Purebred
AKC Group Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969 as a Toy breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888 as a Toy breed.
FCI Group Recognized by FCI in the Companion and Toy Dogs group, in the Tibetan breeds section. Recognized by FCI in the Companion and Toy Dogs group, in the Bichons and related breeds section.
Breed Recognition American Canine Registry American Kennel Club America's Pet Registry Canadian Kennel Club Dog Registry of America Inc. Federation Cynologique Internationale Kennel Club of Great Britain North American Purebred Registry, Inc. American Canine Association, Inc. Australian National Kennel Council Continental Kennel Club National Kennel Club New Zealand Kennel Club United Kennel Club Canadian Canine Registry American Canine Registry American Kennel Club America's Pet Registry Canadian Kennel Club Dog Registry of America Inc. Federation Cynologique Internationale Kennel Club of Great Britain North American Purebred Registry, Inc. American Canine Association, Inc. Australian National Kennel Council Continental Kennel Club National Kennel Club New Zealand Kennel Club United Kennel Club
Price $800-$1200 $600-$800

General Appearance - Shih Tzu vs Maltese

Size Small Small
Weight 9–16 pounds (4-7 kg) 6.5-9 pounds (3-4 kg)
Avg. Weight 9–16 pounds (5.5 kg) 6.7 pounds (3.5 kg)
Height 8-11 inches (20-28 cm) Male: 8-10 inches (21-25 cm), Female: 8-9 inches (20-23 cm)
Avg. Height 9.5 inches (24 cm) Male: 9 inches (23 cm), Female: 8.5 inches (21.5 cm)

Hair & Care - Shih Tzu vs Maltese

Coat Dense Feathered
Colors Brindle Liver Silver Blue Gold Red Black White
Grooming
Professional: This breed needs a lot of work to keep in good condition.
Average: The Maltese requires average grooming effort.
Shedding Level
Shih Tzus shed none to minimal.
Malteses shed none to minimal.

Characteristics - Shih Tzu vs Maltese

Temperament Active Friendly Happy Lively Playful Courageous Gentle Intelligent Outgoing Active Easygoing Intelligent Responsive Docile Gentle Playful Sweet Tempered
Intelligent Rank
Low: The Shih Tzu if one of the dog breeds that have the lowest degree of obedience intelligence.
Low to average: This canine intelligence is not the brightest one.
Trainability
Shih Tzus are quite easy to train.
Malteses are quite easy to train.
Playfulness
Shih Tzus are not the most playful dog breed.
Malteses, like any other dog breed, like playing.
Sensitivity Level
Shih Tzus have an average emotional level and are not the most sensitive dog breed.
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds.
Affection Level
Shih Tzus are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Malteses are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Social Needs
Shih Tzus need a lot of social interaction.
Malteses need a lot of social interaction.
Barking
High: The Shih Tzu is a very vocal breed.
High: The Maltese is a very vocal breed.
Watchdog Ability
Shih Tzus are average watchdogs.
Malteses are average watchdogs.
Territorial
Shih Tzus strongly protect their territory.
Malteses strongly protect their territory.
Biting Potential Low
The Shih Tzu has a low chance of biting somebody.
Low
The Maltese has a low chance of biting somebody.
Mouthiness
Shih Tzus have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Malteses have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
Shih Tzus tend to escape less than other breeds.
Malteses are not the biggest explorers.
Prey Drive
Shih Tzus have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
Malteses have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
Apartment Friendly
Shih Tzus are very apartment-friendly dogs.
Malteses are very apartment-friendly dogs.
Adaptability
Shih Tzus adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Malteses adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Shih Tzus tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Malteses tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Fighting Dog Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Good With - Shih Tzu vs Maltese

Stranger Friendly
Shih Tzus are average friendly towards strangers.
Malteses are very stranger friendly dogs.
Child Friendly
Shih Tzus are not the most kid-friendly dogs.
Malteses are kid-friendly dogs.
Cat Friendly
Shih Tzus are very cat-friendly dogs.
Malteses are very cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
Shih Tzus are very dog-friendly dogs.
Malteses are very dog-friendly dogs.
Office Friendly No
Shih Tzu is not the best dog breed for office environment.
No
Maltese is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Shih Tzus are not the best breed for elderly people.
Malteses are usually recommended for elderly people.
Pet Friendly
Shih Tzus are one of the friendliest dog breeds.
Malteses are one of the friendliest dog breeds.
Good For First Time Owners Yes
Shih Tzus are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
No
Malteses are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Service Dog Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog.
Therapy Dog Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR) Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Boat Dog Not really
Shih Tzu breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Not really
Maltese breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.

Health Factors - Shih Tzu vs Maltese

Health Issues
The Shih Tzu is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
The Maltese is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Health Problems Allergies Bladder Stones Distichiasis Dry Eye Ear Infections Ectopic Cilia Hip Dysplasia Juvenile Renal Dysplasia Keratitis Patellar Luxation Portosystemic Liver Shunt Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) Proptosis Retained Baby Teeth Reverse Sneezing Snuffles Umbilical Hernias Collapsed Trachea Hypoglycemia Patellar Luxation Portosystemic Liver Shunt Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) Reverse Sneezing White Dog Shaker Syndrome
Life Expectancy 10-16 years 15-18 years
Hypoallergenic Yes Yes
Energy Level
Shih Tzus have a lower energy level than other dogs.
Malteses have an average energy level, so if you live a semi-active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Exercise Need
Shih Tzus exercise need is minimal.
Malteses exercise need is very minimal.
Sleeping Need
Shih Tzus like sleeping so they do sleep a lot.
Malteses sleep 12-14 hours a day as an average dog and they're not considered as a lazy breed.
Avg. daily food consumption Recommended daily amount: 1/2 to 1 cup of high-quality dry food a day. Recommended daily amount: 1/4 to 1/2 cup of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential
Average to High.
Average.
Weather & Climate Tolerates warm and cold weather. Prefers warm weather
Stinkiness Low
The Shih Tzu has a low chance of bad smell.
Medium
The Maltese has an average chance of bad smell.
Drooling tendency
The Shih Tzu is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The Maltese is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.

Reproducibility - Shih Tzu vs Maltese

Gestation Length 60-64 days 60-64 days
How often can the have a litter? Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Litter Size 2-5 puppies 3-5 puppies

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