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Malshi vs Maltipoo: Which One Is Right for Me? (With Pictures)

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 30, 2024 by Dogster Team

Malshi vs Maltipoo

Malshi vs Maltipoo: Which One Is Right for Me? (With Pictures)

The Malshi and the Maltipoo are two adorable hybrid breeds. Both the Malshi and Maltipoo have one parent breed in common, the famous Maltese dog. A Malshi is a mix of a Maltese and a Shih-Tzu while a Maltipoo is bred from a Maltese and a toy poodle. Although both are small in size, they have big personalities. Both hybrid breeds are intelligent, energetic, playful, and loyal. Whether you add a Malshi or a Maltipoo to your family, your furry friend will not produce as much dander as other dogs, which is another great reason many people are drawn to these breeds.

If you are having trouble choosing between one of these two designer dogs, follow along as we go over the main differences and similarities to help you see which hybrid breed is best for you!

divider-pawVisual Differences

Malshi vs Maltipoo
Image Credit: Left-Malshi (Lady A Photography, Shutterstock); Right-Maltipoo(Bokehboo Studios, Shutterstock)

At a Glance

  • Average height (adult): 9–11 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 6–12 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12–14 years
  • Colors: Black, brown, white, black and brown, brown and white
  • Exercise: 30–60 minutes of high-intensity exercise
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Family-friendly: Yes, preferably older children
  • Other pet-friendly: Often
  • Trainability: Intelligent, loyal, eager to please
  • Average height (adult): 6–14 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 5–12 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12–15 years
  • Colors: Black, apricot, tan, cream, white
  • Exercise: 15­–30 minutes a day of play
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Family-friendly: Yes, preferably older children
  • Other pet-friendly: Often
  • Trainability: Intelligent but sensitive

divider-dog pawMalshi Breed Overview

Malshis are a relatively new hybrid breed dating only back to the 1990s. Breeders were looking for a suitable companion and lap dog for allergy sufferers. What they got from the Malshi was exactly that and more, leading us to their personality and character, which is also ideal for new dog owners.

Malshi side view
Image Credit: Pedro Helder Pinheiro, Shutterstock

Personality / Character

Maltese and Shih-Tzu mixes have a very loyal and affectionate temperament. They create strong bonds with their human and family. This can be wonderful for a Malshi that goes everywhere with their favorite person or has family surrounding them all the time, but because of their strong bond, it is important to socialize them early on to not depend fully on this dynamic. They will remain loyal to their family but socializing them at a young age will help when someone outside of the Malshi’s direct inner circle might need to pet-sit or when they encounter someone who may be a great friend to you but a stranger to your Malshi.


Malshis are so cute and happy that it may be tempting to baby them as puppies. However, this would be a mistake on the owner’s part and can result in your Malshi developing bad habits and growing into a spoiled and stubborn dog with destructive behavior that they know they can get away with. It is best to prevent this with training and to show them who is in charge, you!

Malshis are eager to please and respond best to positive reinforcement. They are quick learners, and training can be a funner bonding time to teach your dog some fun and cute tricks.

Despite their ability to train easily for tricks, potty training can be an issue for Malshies as well as other small dog breeds. Crate training your dog at an early age and using puppy pads as an extra precaution may be useful, as well as extra patience from their owner for this training area that is a little more difficult for them.


Another area that requires some extra attention compared to other breeds is grooming. Some grooming timeframes to keep in mind for your Malshi include:

  • Trimming every 4 to 6 weeks
  • Bathed every 2 to 4 weeks
  • Brushed daily to avoid knots and tangles in their long hair
  • Cleaning their inner eyes as needed from tear stains since this breed is prone to drainage
  • Brushing their teeth regularly since this breed can suffer from dental issues later in life
Malshi cute pose
Image Credit: PHATCHARADA DUENDAO, Shutterstock

Suitable for:

Malshis make great companions to many different lifestyles. Due to their size, they are great for small apartments and condos. They are great family dogs and do well with older children. Malshis also do well with seniors and anyone who has a single lifestyle too. They are great choices for therapy and emotional support dogs because of their size and loyal temperament toward their one person. They grow a particular fondness toward their human, even if they are friendly with others. Malshis would not be a great fit for those who travel without them often. Because of their sense of attachment and loyal nature, they would do best in a home where someone is with them most of the time. They are also great for those affected by allergies to dogs since they do not produce as much dander as other dogs.

divider-dog pawMaltipoo Breed Overview

Maltipoos, like Malshis, were bred in the very recent 1990s. They were bred to be low-maintenance companion dogs that would not shed and did not require much space. Maltipoos are do not require a large home or yard to live a comfortable life. Just like any hybrid mix, each dog is unique and can take more after one parent than the other. Looking at both of a Maltipoo’s parents, you can expect certain personality and character traits to come through from both the Maltese and the Poodle side.

a white Maltipoo dog getting its fur trimmed
Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk_Shutterstock

Personality / Character

Maltipoos are extremely friendly dogs that enjoy being around people. They are active and affectionate. Like the Malshi, they do not like being left alone often. However, they are usually laidback dogs. They get along well with other dogs and can be quite playful as long as the other dog has a similar temperament. Maltipoos have an easier time training than other breeds due to the intelligence they often inherit from their poodle parent.


Maltipoos have an easier time training than other breeds due to the intelligence they often inherit from their poodle parent. They are eager to please like the Malshi and are a great option for beginners and new dog owners. They are also sensitive and will not do well with harsh training methods. Maltipoos will train best under positivity and patience. If your Maltipoo senses disappointment, they may try to avoid training and learning can take much longer.


Because Maltipoos come from two dog breeds with very different coats, maintenance will depend on which parent they take after. If they acquire long straight hair like the Maltese, their coat will require more brushing to prevent tangling, similar to the Malshi. If your Maltipoo acquires a curly coat, it still requires maintenance to prevent matting but may need professional grooming about once a year to keep your Maltipoo looking its best. Maltipoos require the same regular teeth brushing that a Malshi needs to slow down the development of dental disease.

red maltipoo on a beige background
Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock

Suitable for:

Maltipoos do not require a big home to live a comfortable and happy life. They are dogs that would do well in a small apartment. Maltipoos do well in families with older children and seniors and are a great breed for those with dog allergies. Just like Malshis, they do not do well being left alone often. They need plenty of attention from their owner but also can do well with other pups to keep them company if their owner is away.

divider-pawWhich Breed Is Right for You?

Malshis and Maltipoos are both incredible breeds that are loving, loyal, and hypoallergenic. Both do well with families with older children, are great companions for seniors, and do not require large living quarters or have extreme exercise needs. Between the two, Malshis would be a great option for someone who wants a companion who is happy to be by their side as often as possible and someone who might have a single lifestyle. They need more attention when it comes to grooming and training in comparison to Maltipoos, but if you are ready to have unmatched loyalty and adoration towards you specifically, a Maltipoo might be a perfect match. A Maltipoo may be a perfect match for a family with multiple people and dogs.

Although both breeds are wonderful for their similarities and differences that make them a great fit for the needs of different households, Malshis and Maltipoos have specific needs. If your lifestyle matches, one of these two Maltese hybrids could be a wonderful addition to your home and life!

Featured Image Credit: Left-Malshi (PHATCHARADA DUENDAO, Shutterstock); Right-Maltipoo(12photography, Shutterstock)

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