What Is A Mal-Shi? The Dog for You!

Mira Gibson

Here at PuppyBuddy, we love designer dogs just as much as purebred pups! Our location offers a variety of the most popular purebred dog breeds, as well as popular hybrids, otherwise referred to as “designer dogs.” 

A hybrid, or designer dog, is a mix of two purebred dogs. When more than two purebred breeds, or three at the most, are mixed, then the result edges closer to a mutt.

The subject of this blog post, the Mal-Shi, is a designer dog. A hybrid between a Maltese and a Shih Tzu, the Mal-Shi is a small-size, affectionate dog that we love. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the Mal-Shi designer dog breed. 

Mal-Shi dog breed


One of the smallest of all the small dog breeds, the Mal-Shi weighs in at 6 – 8 lbs. and stands at a whopping 10 inches tall! The Mal-Shi’s parents (Maltese and Shih Tzu) both have long hair, but interestingly, the Mal-Shi’s hair may not grow too long, as sometimes it has a slight curl to it, giving the Mal-Shi a “teddy bear” appearance. 


Known as a happy, affectionate lap dog, Mal-Shis have a cheerful countenance and consider everyone their friends, even strangers they haven’t met yet. A Mal-Shi can snuggle by your side for hours, and yet has energetic and playful character traits. 


As a small dog breed, Mal-Shis don’t need a lot of exercise, but they have a lot of energy. Thanks to their small stature, a Mal-Shi can just as easily blow off some steam by zipping around the home as he can outside, so he might not necessarily wait for his daily walk. That being said, in addition to his morning bathroom walk, a Mal-Shi will need one 15-minute brisk walk or 5-minute high-intensity game of fetch or chase. 


Mal-Shis require substantial grooming thanks to their parents, the Maltese and Shih Tzu. Both of these purebred dogs have long hair that will keep growing if not trimmed. They don’t shed much, and are hypoallergenic, but daily brushing and twice-monthly at-home bathing may be needed. In addition to that, a Mal-Shi will need to see a professional dog groomer about once every two or three months to get any matting out of their fur and keep them trim and tidy.  


The hybrid dog breed, Mal-Shi, actually originated in the early 1990s. It was bred for the purposes of producing a small, highly affectionate and sympathetic dog breed, and one that would be hypoallergenic. Mal-Shis were bred to be therapy dogs (not to be confused with service dogs) and companion dogs. And we couldn’t agree more that the Mal-Shi has lived up to its purpose! 


The Maltese originated in Italy and the Mediterranean Basin. This small size breed is a toy dog with a mantle of long, silky, white hair from head to foot. It is gentle-mannered, affectionate, and sprightly in action. Despite its small size, Maltese puppies possess enough vigor to keep up with their owners and be affectionate companions. Maltese are not fearful dogs, even though they’re quite small. And the Maltese is among the gentlest-mannered of all little dogs, yet it is lively and playful as well as vigorous.

Shih Tzu

Recent DNA tests have verified that the Shih Tzu is the oldest breed known to man from China. Their breeding practices were kept a secret until 1930 when the first pair of Shih Tzu was brought to England. The Shih Tzu is a sturdy, lively, alert toy dog with a long flowing double coat. Befitting its noble Chinese ancestry as a highly valued, prized companion and palace pet, the Shih Tzu has a distinctively proud carriage with head welled up and tail curved over the back. Although there has always been considerable size variation, Shih Tzu puppies are usually compact, solid, and strong. The Shih Tzu is a superb companion and household member. They are outgoing, happy, affectionate, friendly, and trusting towards all people.


As you can see, the Mal-Shi hails from two highly affectionate lap dog breeds. The Mal-Shi will feel comfortable and happy in smaller homes, because this breed doesn’t need much space. And thanks to its minimal exercise requirements, the Mal-Shi can be a great fit for older people and those who are less active outside. The best reason to get a Mal-Shi is if you want a loving and loyal companion to stick by your side around the house and also the block! PuppyBuddy has Mal-Shi puppies for sale in Boca Raton, Florida. We hope to see you soon!