6-8 lbs
United States
Shih Tzu
Malti-zu, Malt-Tzu
The Mal-Shi is a hybrid dog. His parent breeds are the Maltese and the Shih-Tzu. He is a very popular dog who is generally very happy and affectionate. He is easy to train. While he is playful and energetic, he is also just as happy to be a lapdog. He is never shy and has a tendency to make friends with anyone he encounters. He is a great family dog, and experts say he is also a great therapy dog. He will be happy in an apartment or a family home with or without a fenced-in yard. He is a small dog; at maturity he generally weighs no more than twelve pounds. He is also hypoallergenic, so he is a great companion for those with allergies.
Companion, Therapy dog
Date of Origin
Maltese, Shih-Tzu

Mal-Shi Health

Average Size
Male Mal-Shi size stats
Height: 10-10 inches Weight: 10-12 lbs
Female Mal-Shi size stats
Height: 10-10 inches Weight: 6-8 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Respiratory Problems
Minor Concerns
  • None Known
Occasional Diagnoses
  • None – generally a healthy small dog
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Respiratory Tests
  • Full Body Physical Examination especially of the joints

Mal-Shi Breed History

The Mal-Shi was developed about 1990. His breeders wanted to create a small, hypoallergenic dog. He was first developed in Australia, but he is also quite popular in North America. His small size and his sweet, friendly nature make him a highly sought-out designer breed. In addition, owners should know about the origins of his parent breeds. The Maltese is an ancient toy breed who can trace his origins back at least 2,000 years. Small dogs much like the Maltese have been the subject of poets and artists in Greece, Rome, and Egypt. Aristotle even mentioned the Maltese in his many writings. The Egyptians believed the Maltese had healing powers. While ownership of the Maltese took place throughout the Mediterranean, people in Asia and Malta also had dogs similar to the Maltese. No one knows his exact origins, but many feel he was descended from Spitz-like or Spaniel-type dogs on the Isle of Malta. Eventually, the Maltese made its way to England. Several members of the royal family, including Queen Elizabeth I, owned a Maltese. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, breeders attempting to make the Maltese the size of a squirrel almost destroyed the breed altogether. The Maltese was imported to the United States by Englishmen. The Shih-Tzu is also an ancient dog. He is one of the fourteen oldest dog breeds. Some believe that the Shih-Tzu was present in China as long ago as 8,000 B.C. He was a treasured companion of people of that time. Marco Polo reported that Emperor Kubla Khan kept what he called a "lion" dog, which many believe was a name for the Shih-Tzu. He was also popular in the Imperial court of Empress T'zu Hsi. She loved animals of all kinds, but she made a special decree that anyone found harming the palace dog would be put to death. She also developed a breeding program. It is said that the Dalai Lama gifted her with the dogs that would begin her Shih-Tzu kennels. Rumor has it that the Shih-Tzus had their own palace and were trained to sit up and wave at guests. Many royal families tried to continue the Empress' breeding programs after her death, but failed to produce the dogs that she had. High-quality dogs were were often smuggled out of the royal court and either sold or gifted to other noblemen. Poor-quality dogs were sold in the marketplace. Eventually the Shih-Tzu was imported to England, and from there, the breed was brought to America.

Mal-Shi Breed Appearance

The Mal-Shi is considered to be a toy-sized dog. He rarely gets over twelve pounds at maturity, and only stands about 10 inches high. Inheriting the luxurious locks of his parent breeds, the Mal-Shi will also have long, flowing, straight hair. It will be silky, and some Mal-Shis may have a slight wave, a nod to the Maltese parent breed (especially when cut short, the Maltese will have wavy hair). Generally, the Mal-Shi will be all white in color, or he may be white with tan markings on his body and ears. Of course, the Mal-Shi may be a variety of colors from black, brown, black and white, brown and white, and black and brown. This will depend on the dominant parent breed and its coloring.
Eye Color Possibilities
hazel Mal-Shi eyes
amber Mal-Shi eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Mal-Shi nose
Coat Color Possibilities
brown Mal-Shi coat
black Mal-Shi coat
white Mal-Shi coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Mal-Shi straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Mal-Shi Breed Maintenance

The Mal-Shi will require much of the same care as his parent breeds. He will generally have long, silky, straight hair, but, in some cases, he may have slightly wavy hair. He will need to be brushed daily in order to prevent tangles and matting. Of course, some owners choose to have their Mal-Shi clipped into shorter, more manageable locks. Regardless, he will need to be brushed daily. You will need to clean the area around his eyes as he is prone to tear stains. (This will need to be done daily as well.) The Mal-Shi is hypoallergenic, so count on him not to shed much. Clip his nails every two to three weeks; in fact, if you can hear his nails clicking on the tile floor, it is time to trim the nails. Brush his teeth two or three times a week to prevent tartar build-up; brush his teeth daily to prevent tooth decay. Some Mal-Shi owners choose to have their dogs groomed every six to eight weeks.
Brushes for Mal-Shi
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Mal-Shi requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Mal-Shi Temperament

The Mal-Shi is a sweet, happy dog. He is outgoing and never meets a stranger. He is very affectionate, not only with his family, but also with just about anyone he encounters. He is alert and fearless. He is a great watchdog, and he will not hesitate to bark if he feels that someone or something isn't quite right. He is a quick learner and is fairly easy to train. He may be slightly stubborn, however. Patience and persistence will pay off when working with the Mal-Shi. Highly intelligent, the Mal-Shi learns tricks easily, and he learns quickly that you will laugh at his antics, so he may "perform" for you just to please you. Some experts recommend only older children with the Mal-Shi, but this is only because of his size. He is a wonderful family companion.

Mal-Shi Activity Requirements

The Mal-Shi likes activity. He will be moderately energetic; however, as long as he gets a variety of short exercise breaks throughout his day, he will be as much of a lapdog as he is a ball of energy.  Remember that he is a very intelligent dog, so provide him with a variety of toys to stimulate him mentally. He will enjoy games of fetch, but he may become bored easily. He will enjoy short, brisk walks with you. He may also enjoy a trip to the dog park to play with friends. If you have an enclosed area, you can allow him outside several times a day for exercise. However, many Mal-Shis are brachycephalic, and should never be allowed to get too hot or otherwise overexerted.
Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
5 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Mal-Shi Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1 cups
Daily Cost
$1.00 - $1.00
Monthly Cost
$25.00 - $30.00

Mal-Shi Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Mal-Shi size stats at six months
Height: 6 inches Weight: 5 lbs
Female Mal-Shi size stats at six months
Height: 6 inches Weight: 4 lbs
12 Months
Male Mal-Shi size stats at 12 months
Height: 8 inches Weight: 7 lbs
Female Mal-Shi size stats at 12 months
Height: 8 inches Weight: 6 lbs
18 Months
Male Mal-Shi size stats at 18 months
Height: 9 inches Weight: 7 lbs
Female Mal-Shi size stats at 18 months
Height: 9 inches Weight: 7 lbs

Mal-Shi Owner Experiences

10 Months
1 People
Eating Snacks
Dog Parks
Explore the city
Bath time
I love my little Shanti sooo much! She was given to me as a birthday gift from my best friend. She is from a breeder in Phoenix and cost $1900. She LOVES to take walks and go outside & LOVES to cuddle. She's okay with bath time & so-so with being brushed. I am getting her used to going to the dog park not sure how she will react next time we go bcuz a couple dogs were being kinda rough with her last time we were there. She's not really on an eating schedule, I keep out a dry bowl and give her a large spoonful of wet stuff 2 times a day. She goes potty on a pee pad when I'm not home and always praise her when she goes outside. I want another one just like her!!
5 months ago
3 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Gorgeous, great breed
5 months, 1 week ago
6 Months
2 People
House & Yard
Road trip
Go to Park
Go to Beach
He is a fearless jumper. loves to leap off any height. Lots love to give very sweet.
5 months, 3 weeks ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd