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Mal-Shi Breed


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Dog Size

Energy Level

Dog Energy Level


Dog Trainability

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Physical Characteristics:
Height: Up to 10”
Weight: 6-12 lbs.
Energy Level: Moderate
The Mal-Shi is found in the following colors:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Tan
  • White

Health & Longevity

Average Life Span: 12-14 years
The Mal-Shi is a hybrid breed of the Shih Tzu and the Maltese. This breed has some major health concerns that you need to be aware of. As you look for a breeder, choose one that breeds the healthiest puppies to ensure that these diseases and conditions are weeded out. The conditions and diseases you need to pay attention to include kidney problems, eye problems, patellar luxation, bladder problems, liver problems, hip dysplasia, ear infections, and white shaker syndrome.

It is not uncommon to find out that your Mal-Shi has a kidney, bladder, or liver problem. These problems can cause disruptions with the functions of the body and may be fatal over time. While not all of the conditions will be fatal, it is important to monitor your dog’s health and report any problems to your veterinarian.

Eye problems can occur and will range from an eye infection to cataracts or even blindness in your pup. If you want to prevent these conditions, you should monitor your dog’s eye health and report any issues with your veterinarian. He or she will be able to check your dog’s eyes and provide you with medication or special care instructions based on the diagnosis.

Knee dislocation or patellar luxation can happen in your Mal-Shi and will lead to weakness in the leg until the condition is resolved. You will often notice there is a problem because your pup will hold his or her leg in the air.

Hip dysplasia may occur in your Mal-Shi and is caused from a deformation of the hip joint or may be characterized by the hip joint not fitting into the socket correctly. This condition causes pain and will affect the way your puppy sits, stands, and gets up from a lounging position.

Ear infections are common in many breeds and will affect the inside of your dog’s ear along with possibly causing a foul odor, itching, inflammation, and redness. You can prevent ear infections by thoroughly cleaning your pup’s ears every few days and watching for signs that alert you to a problem.

White Shaker Syndrome is a disorder that commonly affects the Maltese and may be found in your Mal-Shi. This disorder causes your pup to shake. You will feel the shaking throughout the entire body which is caused due to inflammation in the brain.

The Mal-Shi’s life expectancy is 12 to 14 years.

Temperament & Train-ability

The Mal-Shi makes a wonderful companion and is considered friendly and outgoing. This breed likes to cuddle, but will also get on the ground and play with you.

You will find that your Mal-Shi is even tempered and does not get frustrated like some other smaller breeds.

Your pup may exhibit a stubborn side now and again, but this is not common and does not occur all of the time. In fact, you will mainly find your Mal-Shi in your lap or being curious around your home.

This breed is considered loyal and makes a great companion for his or her owner. Your pup will not do too well if you are gone for long periods of time and you may find that he or she becomes destructive or suffers from separation anxiety.

Your Mal-Shi will make a good apartment pup and does not need any type of extensive play time outside; a walk once a day should be enough.

This breed is considered to be smart and will respond to commands. He or she is eager to learn and please, but may be a bit difficult to train at times. You need to remain consistent and firm with your training techniques and you need to keep your cool as your Mal-Shi will not respond to harsh tactics or a stern attitude.


Your Mal-Shi does not require a lot of grooming and is considered easy to care for. This breed does not shed a lot and is potentially a good match for those who suffer with allergies.

You need to brush your pup’s coat once per day to help keep tangles and mats away. You can bathe your pup when he or she is really dirty or once every few weeks.

You will need to clean your Mal-Shi’s ears once per week at a minimum if not more frequently. Use a cotton ball and cleansing solution to do so. Also, you need to trim his or her nails to prevent them from overgrowing and splitting. Once a month for a nail trim is often good enough, however you may need to do it more often depending on how fast the nails grow.


You can expect your Mal-Shi to eat between 1/2 cup and 1 cup of dry food per day. It is important that you choose a quality dry food that matches the needs of your pup.

If you are having trouble finding the right food for your Mal-Shi, talk to your breeder or veterinarian for some recommendations. If you are in a small town without a lot of variety, do not be afraid to purchase food from reputable online merchants.

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A Mal-Shi puppy will cost you anywhere between $350 and $1,500. The amount you pay will depend on the demand for this breed along with the breeder you choose and the sex of the puppy.

It is unlikely that you will find this breed in a shelter, but you may locate one in a rescue. You can expect to pay adoption fees that range from $150 to $300 per Mal-Shi.

Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking

Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.

Ranking takes into account a few basic factors including cost, skill level needed, high vs low maintenance and how critical regular training is to success. The Mal-Shi is a small, playful pup that loves to receive attention from his or her owner and craves human contact. This pup can relax with you or play with you and is eager to please you. You will find that training is mildly tough, especially if your Mal-Shi turns out to be stubborn. This breed ranks a 2.


Breeds Similar To Mal-Shi


Shih Tzu Breed

Shih Tzu

Maltese Breed


Bichon Frise Breed

Bichon Frise

Yorkshire Terrier Breed

Yorkshire Terrier