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Maltese Shih Tzu


The Maltese Shih Tzu is a friendly and outgoing dog that loves to be around people. A cross between a Maltese and Shih Tzu, this designer breed loves to play, go for walks, and be included in day-to-day activities.

Happy and adaptable, he makes a wonderful house pet. Because of his naturally loving personality, he is good with first-time pup owners, children, and even the elderly.

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The Ultimate Guide to Maltese Shih Tzus

Also known as Mal-Shi or Malt-Tzu, this hybrid is a sweet dog that easily makes friends. He enjoys meeting new people and will walk up to anyone he sees. He is good with strangers because socialising is his favourite thing to do.

He may look like either one of his parents but is unlikely to get the Shih Tzu’s protruding eyes and tiny nose. He can sport a combination of colors and may have markings on the body and ears.

Maltese Shih Tzus Origins

Maltese Shih Tzus originated from the Mediterranean Maltese and the Asian Shih Tzu. The very first of their kind was bred in the 1900s in the United States to create a dog that did not shed a lot.

Because they are a hybrid, they are not recognised by any kennel club.


Key Characteristics of Maltese Shih Tzus

Are Maltese Shih Tzus family-friendly? The well-rounded temperament of the Maltese Shih Tzu makes him a wonderful family pet. He is loyal and good with people of all ages. He also thrives in homes with many pets, regardless of species.
Daily exercise needs? 10 to 15 minutes of exercise per day
Common health issues & considerations While generally healthy, Maltese Shih Tzus are prone to certain health conditions including the following:

  • Eye anomalies
  • Brachycephalic airway syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Intervertebral disc disease
Lifespan 12 to 14 years
Nature / Temperament Fun, loving, energetic, and active
Size Weight
Six to 12 poundsHeight
Six to 10 inches tall
Suitable Environment  Maltese Shih Tzus are adaptable pups so they can thrive in any environment. They can be reserved in a quiet home and also be active in a high-energy one. They are suitable for both country and city living.

While they do well living in apartments, they do much better in homes with a yard to run around in. Maltese Shih Tzu puppies love the outdoors and spending lots of time playing outside.

Because of their Shih Tzu genes, these pups are likely to suffer from respiratory problems. It is best to not let your pup stay outside too long when it’s hot or humid. He is safer in an air-conditioned home.

Grooming Brush your pup three to four times a week as his coat is prone to tangling. Bathe him regularly to keep his coat soft and silky. Clip his nails every six to nine weeks.

Other Considerations:

  • While they don’t always bark, they will alert back when they feel an intruder is nearby. They can make good watchdogs.
  • They may make great apartment residents, but they are happiest outdoors.
  • Always keep the area around their eyes clean as they tend to stain.

Average cost of a Maltese Shih Tzu

Maltese Shih Tzus typicaly range between $1500 and $4500AUD.

How can I take care of my Maltese Shih Tzu?


These dogs don’t need much food because of their small size. They need only ¼ to ½ cup of high-quality dry food per day, divided into two meals. Their ideal diet consists of protein, healthy fats, and vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals.

Maltese Shih Tzu puppies should be fed 55 calories per pound of body weight, while adults should be fed 45 calories per pound.


While low shedders, Maltese Shih Tzus require daily brushing to free their coats of mats. Their coat should be trimmed every six to eight weeks.

Tear stains are a common problem in these dogs. To keep your pup’s face clean, wipe it with a damp cloth twice or thrice a day.

Recommended Grooming Tips

Brush your pup’s teeth daily to prevent bad breath and gum disease.
Trim his nails once or twice a month or when you them clicking on the floor.
Check your dog’s ears weekly for redness or bad odour. Clean only the outer ear and avoid inserting anything into the ear canal.


Maltese Shih Tzu puppies need at least 15 minutes of exercise daily. They love being outdoors, so take them for a walk or play fetch with them.


Maltese Shih Tzu puppies are smart so they can easily be trained. Training may take just a week or two. For older dogs, training may take up to six weeks.

These pups can be sensitive so use praises or a reward-based method. Avoid punishment and yelling.

Looking to register as a Maltese Shih Tzu breeder? Download the RPBA guide on responsible breeding practices.

This is basic information, and it should not be used to make adoption or purchasing decisions. Be sure to consult an expert if you’d like to learn about the breed’s care and requirements.

This is general information and should not be relied on for adopting or purchasing advice.

Most Asked Maltese Shih Tzu Questions

What do Maltese Shih Tzus look like?

These dogs are a mixed breed, so each one is unique. Normally, they have markings around their eyes as well as on the body and ears.

Their coat comes in a variety of colours including white, brown, red, silver, and black. Generally, their coat is long and silky.

Do Maltese Shih Tzus shed a lot?

No, they don’t. But while they are low shedders, they still need daily grooming to keep their coats free of mats.

What’s the price of a Maltese Shih Tzu for sale?

The average price of a Maltese Shih Tzu for sale typically costs between AUD $500 and $4,000 depending on the breeder.

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