Maltese Shih Tzu Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Maltese Shih Tzu so you can get to know the breed more.

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Maltese Shih Tzu dog profile picture
OriginUnited States flagUnited States
Other Names
What other names does the Maltese Shih Tzu have?
Mal-ShiMalti ZuMalt-Tzu
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?
Cross Breed

Maltese Shih Tzu Price and Availability

Price
How much does the Maltese Shih Tzu puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? Is this puppy expensive? How much should I pay for it?
$500-$800
If you choose to purchase the Maltese Shih Tzu, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Maltese Shih Tzu for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Maltese Shih Tzu gets to a happy place.
Availability
How easy is it to get a Maltese Shih Tzu?
Average: The Maltese Shih Tzu is a commonly available dog breed. There is less risk of overbreeding compared to the very popular dogs.

Of course, they may be more popular in some countries, and inbreeding may occur, so be careful.

Maltese Shih Tzu Size

Size
What size is this breed? How big is this dog?
Small
Weight
How much does the Maltese Shih Tzu weigh? Maltese Shih Tzu weight:
6-12 pounds (2.5-5.5 kg)
Average Weight
What is the average weight of the Maltese Shih Tzu? Maltese Shih Tzu average weight:
9 pounds (4 kg)
Height
How tall is the Maltese Shih Tzu? Maltese Shih Tzu height:
10-12 inches (25-30 cm)
Average Height
What is the average height of this fido? Maltese Shih Tzu average height:
11 inches (27.5 cm)

Maltese Shih Tzu Grooming, Hair and Care

Coat / Hair Types
What type of coat does the Maltese Shih Tzu have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
CurlySilkySoftWavyLong
Colors
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Maltese Shih Tzu's coat?
WhiteWhite & TanBlackBrownBlack & WhiteBrown & Black
Grooming
How to groom the Maltese Shih Tzu and how often?
Advanced: The Maltese Shih Tzu requires a lot of grooming. Cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer can be helpful sometimes.

Regular brushed dog's coat is less likely to shed. Ears and eyes should be cleaned often to avoid infections.

Don't skip the seasonal flea treatment too. Occasional dog nail trimming and dog baths are important.

Check the local pet store for dog grooming supplies and find the best dog shampoo to keep its coat healthy and to give your Maltese Shih Tzu a pleasant experience of a dog bath.

If you don't have the time, skill, or money to take care of your Maltese Shih Tzu, search for the best dog groomer or clipping service in your area and book an appointment.

Maybe you're lucky to have a dog boarding service that includes grooming or walk-in dog bath places nearby.
Shedding Level
How much do Maltese Shih Tzu dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Mal-Shi?
Maltese Shih Tzus shed none to minimal. Having a puppy from this breed you don't have to be afraid of your couch or car being covered by dog hair. Maltese Shih Tzu dogs could be the best choice if you don't tolerate dog hair.
Bath Time / Bathing Frequency
How often does the Maltese Shih Tzu need a bath? How often should bathe this dog? Can I bathe my Maltese Shih Tzu every day?
3-4 weeks
More often than average. These dog coats tend to be longer, softer, and oilier than short-haired breeds. While a good bath every now and then is a great way to keep your buddy from becoming overly smelly, be mindful about overbathing. Bathing will wash away your dog’s natural oils, while a simple brushing every few days should keep them clean.

Maltese Shih Tzu Personality / Temperament

Temperament
What kind of personality does the Maltese Shih Tzu have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
ActiveIntelligentOutgoingAdaptableCuriousPlayful
Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Maltese Shih Tzu? Are they intelligent?
Average: It takes patience to teach this breed any tricks or commands, but the effort is worth it. They understand and remember new commands after an average of 25-40 repetitions.
Trainability
Are Maltese Shih Tzu dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Maltese Shih Tzus are easy to train. They find out the association between commands and actions quite quickly.
Playfulness
How playful is this breed?
Average: Maltese Shih Tzus, like any other dog breed, like playing. Sometimes they bark in excitement for playing, but they are not the most playful dog breed.
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Maltese Shih Tzu sensitivity:
Maltese Shih Tzus have an average emotional level and are not the most sensitive dog breed. Sometimes it's okay to change the daily routine, have guests and listen to loud music. Some dogs handle moderate punishment very well, while others crumble apart at a dirty look. This breed is not affected emotionally by moderate punishment.
Affection Level
How affectionate are they? Are they affectionate?
Average to High: Maltese Shih Tzus are highly affectionate dogs. They like being involved in the family's life. This breed isn't considered an aloof dog.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Mal-Shi need? Maltese Shih Tzu social needs:
Maltese Shih Tzus need for social interaction is average. This breed likes being around people or other animals, but they don't mind being left alone for a few hours either.
Barking
Do Maltese Shih Tzu dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my Mal-Shi bark?
Average to High: The Maltese Shih Tzu is a vocal breed. Not the best choice if you prefer a quiet breed. They often bark loudly and howl sometimes. They can change their barks depending on their emotional level and what they're trying to say. Different barks could mean the same and the same barks could have a different meanings. Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention-seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.
Watchdog Ability
Is Maltese Shih Tzu good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Maltese Shih Tzus are average watchdogs. If they sense something different, they will alert you, but the observation isn't considered their main job.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial
Do Maltese Shih Tzu dogs have an aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Maltese Shih Tzus are average defenders. Some dogs are very protective of their territory, while others easily let a stranger to trespass. This breed is not sure to defend its territory in every situation.
Biting Potential
Do Maltese Shih Tzu bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Mal-Shi? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Maltese Shih Tzu? Why do dog bites happen?

Low 🔽

The Maltese Shih Tzu has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
Bite Force
Does the Maltese Shih Tzu has a hard bite?

Between 100 and 200 PSI 🔽

Maltese Shih Tzu bite force: Weak. Dogs that have the weakest bite force below 200 PSI. However, it is important to note that despite the fact that their bite force is considered the “weakest” it can still be very dangerous as all dog bites are. They are usually not aggressive and very friendly towards children and other animals.
Mouthiness
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Maltese Shih Tzu do?
Maltese Shih Tzus have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Maltese Shih Tzus need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Maltese Shih Tzu to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Maltese Shih Tzu roam?
Maltese Shih Tzus are not the biggest explorers. They have low wanderlust potential. Low chance of escaping from home with this breed.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Maltese Shih Tzu have high prey drive?
Maltese Shih Tzus have a high impulse to chase and catch something. Cats or any other small animals are in danger. It's a natural instinct, doesn't necessarily mean that Maltese Shih Tzu dogs are aggressive. Better to keep this breed on a leash.
Apartment Friendly
Is Maltese Shih Tzu good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
Very house-friendly dog the Maltese Shih Tzu breed. It's good if you have a small garden where he can go out and do his business, but it's not important at all. You can get enough exercise with one or two walks a day, so keeping them indoors shouldn't be a problem.
Adaptability
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Average: Maltese Shih Tzus adapt to lifestyle changes and different living environments quite okay usually.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Can you leave this breed home alone?
Just like every puppy, they are prone to panic, cry, bark, whine when they left alone by their owner. With proper socialization and quality time with the dog can solve this problem.

Maltese Shih Tzu Good With

Stranger Friendly
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Maltese Shih Tzu temperament with other people:
Maltese Shih Tzus are average friendly towards strangers.
Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Maltese Shih Tzu dogs get along with other pets? Are Maltese Shih Tzu dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Maltese Shih Tzus do best when they’re the only pet at the family.
Child Friendly
Are Maltese Shih Tzu dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Maltese Shih Tzu temperament with children:
Maltese Shih Tzus are average friendly dogs towards children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Maltese Shih Tzu dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats?
Maltese Shih Tzus are not cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
Is Maltese Shih Tzu good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Maltese Shih Tzu dogs get along with other dogs? What is this canine temperament with other dogs?
Maltese Shih Tzus are average friendly towards other dogs.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Maltese Shih Tzu breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners?
Yes
Maltese Shih Tzus are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Office Friendly
Are Maltese Shih Tzus good office dogs? Do Maltese Shih Tzus make good office friendly dogs? Can Maltese Shih Tzus be office dogs?
Yes
Maltese Shih Tzu is one of the best dog breeds for office environment
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Maltese Shih Tzu dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Mal-Shi temperament with senior people? Are Maltese Shih Tzu dogs good for elderly owners?
Maltese Shih Tzus are commonly okay with elderly people.

Maltese Shih Tzu Health

Health Issues
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Maltese Shih Tzu dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
Maltese Shih Tzus tend to have more frequent health issues than other breeds. Regular vet check-ups are needed.
Health Problems
What genetic/health problems does the Maltese Shih Tzu breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Maltese Shih Tzu breed? Most common health risks of Maltese Shih Tzu:
Patellar LuxationWhite Dog Shaker Syndrome
Veterinarian Visits
How often does the Maltese Shih Tzu breed need to go to the vet? How often should you take your dog to the vet? How often should the Maltese Shih Tzu see the vet?
Frequent
The Maltese Shih Tzu should have a complete physical check-up at least once (but preferably twice) per year. If your dog shows any symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Life Expectancy
How long do Maltese Shih Tzu dogs live? What is the average lifespan of this breed? How old can a Maltese Shih Tzu be? What is the age limit of the Maltese Shih Tzu? How many years can the oldest Maltese Shih Tzu live?
12-14 years
The average lifespan of Maltese Shih Tzu: 13 years
Hypoallergenic
Is the Maltese Shih Tzu breed hypoallergenic?
Yes
Maltese Shih Tzus do well with allergy sufferers by causing fewer allergic reaction. However there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs in the world, there are a variety of breeds that are considered to reduce or minimize the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level
How much energy does the Maltese Shih Tzu have? What is the activity level of the Maltese Shih Tzu?
Maltese Shih Tzus have an average energy level, so if you live a semi-active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need
How much activity does this dog need? How much exercise do Maltese Shih Tzu dogs require per day?
Maltese Shih Tzus have an average exercise need. This breed is satisfied with short walks every weekday and a long one on weekends.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does this fido need?
Maltese Shih Tzus sleep 12-14 hours a day as an average dog and they're not considered a lazy breed.
Average daily food consumption
How much food does the Maltese Shih Tzu need? How often should I feed my canine? What dog products should I buy?
1/2 to 1 cup dry food a day.
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Maltese Shih Tzu risk for obesity:
Average: The Maltese Shih Tzu has an average risk for obesity. Daily walks should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding. If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Maltese Shih Tzu's weight regularly.
Weather and Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot or cold weather and climate?
Tolerates warm and cold weather
Dogs that tolerate hot and cold weather are typically those that have a double coat of fur. Dogs with a double coat of fur have a layer of fur that insulates their skin and helps protect them from the cold and the heat.
Stinkiness
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?

Low 🔽

The Maltese Shih Tzu has a low chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling Tendency
Does the Maltese Shih Tzu drool?
The Maltese Shih Tzu is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency. If you're disgusted by slobber spots on your clothes, the Maltese Shih Tzu could be a perfect choice for you. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool minimum compared to others, just like the Maltese Shih Tzu. If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Maltese Shih Tzu As a Working Dog

Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Maltese Shih Tzu be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?

Not really

This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Maltese Shih Tzu is not the best breed for service purposes.
Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Maltese Shih Tzu be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Maltese Shih Tzu be an emotional support animal?

Not really

This breed generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with anxiety disorders or autism. Maltese Shih Tzu is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Maltese Shih Tzu be a sniffer dog?

Not really

They are not typically employed for this type of work, but there may be exceptional cases. 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. Maltese Shih Tzu is not the best breed for detection purposes.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Maltese Shih Tzu be a search and rescue dog?

Not really

This dog breed is not typically used as a search and rescue dog. The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and locating missing people. The Maltese Shih Tzu is not the best breed for SAR purposes.
Boat and Sailor Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Maltese Shih Tzu be a boat dog?

Not really

Maltese Shih Tzu breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.

Boat dogs were typically bred for their strength, stamina, and water resistance, as they were often required to perform tasks such as pulling in fishing nets, and jumping into the water to retrieve ropes or lines, or helping to move cargo.

Sailor dog is a type of dog that was bred to accompany sailors on their voyages. They were typically used for three purposes: as a working dog, a watchdog, and as a companion. A boat dog is a term used to describe a type of dog that was traditionally bred and used as a working dog on boats.

Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Maltese Shih Tzu be a drafting dog?

Not really

A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination. Maltese Shih Tzu is not the best breed for drafting purposes.
Fighting Dog / Military Dog
Where Maltese Shih Tzu dogs used as fighting / military dogs in history?

Not really

In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Maltese Shih Tzu Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long does this dog's pregnancy last? How long does this dog pregnant? How long does it take to have puppies?

60-64 days

Reproductive cycle of the female Maltese Shih Tzu: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days. During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge. The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days. The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color. The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.
Litter Frequency

Once a year.

More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Maltese Shih Tzu have? What is the average litter size of this fido?
3-5 puppies

Maltese Shih Tzu Recognition

AKC Group
Is Maltese Shih Tzu recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Not recognized by the American Kennel Club.
FCI Group
Is Maltese Shih Tzu recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Not recognized by FCI.
Breed Recognition
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Maltese Shih Tzu breed?
Not recognized by any clubs.

Maltese Shih Tzu Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Trainability: Maltese Shih Tzus are easy to train.
  • Hypoallergenic: Maltese Shih Tzus do well with allergy sufferers by causing fewer allergic reaction.
  • Apartment Friendly: Very house-friendly dog the Maltese Shih Tzu breed.
  • Shedding Level: Maltese Shih Tzus shed none to minimal.
  • Drooling Tendency: The Maltese Shih Tzu is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency.
  • Stinkiness: The Maltese Shih Tzu has a low chance of bad smell.
  • Impulse to Wander or Roam: Maltese Shih Tzus are not the biggest explorers.
  • Office Friendly: Maltese Shih Tzu is one of the best dog breeds for office environment
  • Good For First Time Owners: Maltese Shih Tzus are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Cons
  • Health Issues: Maltese Shih Tzus tend to have more frequent health issues than other breeds.
  • Grooming: Advanced: The Maltese Shih Tzu requires a lot of grooming.
  • Mouthiness: Maltese Shih Tzus have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
  • Cat Friendly: Maltese Shih Tzus are not cat-friendly dogs.

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Maltese Shih Tzu Comments, Reviews and Questions

  • Tia

    Apr 8, 2022, 6:35:42 AM:

    Love my dog Snowy! She is the sweetest and very attached at the hip which makes up for all the barking. Lol.

  • Sara

    Nov 24, 2020, 3:42:14 AM:

    I’ve never had an animal that I’ve been more attached to and have a very strong bond with. He shows me every day that he loves me more than anything in the world!

  • Clare

    Nov 1, 2020, 12:00:27 PM:

    The information given on this site is mainly wrong. Did you pick one dog and make your judgment. I have owned two of this breed. Please look else where if wanting information on breeds.