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  • Malshis in Great Britain
  • Malshi
Exercise Level:
Barking Level:
Good with Children:
Good with other pets:
Height: 25 - 51cm M | 25 - 51cm F
Weight: 2 - 7kg M | 2 - 7kg F
Life Expectancy: 12 - 15 Years

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The Malshi, short for Maltese Shi Tzu, is a hybrid dog well suited to a variety of lifestyles. It is an adorable small dog weighing 6 to 12 pounds and standing 25 to 51 centimetres at the withers. It is an easy to train dog, minimal shedder and delightful companion and cuddle buddy. The Malshi is sociable and sweet natured and often kept as a therapy dog.

Want to keep a Malshi as a companion pet? Read on to learn more about this sweet therapy lapdog.

book icon History

The Malshi is not a purebred but a cross between a Maltese and a Shih Tzu, hence the name. This hybrid dog was developed in 1990s to create a low-shedding companion dog for people suffering from allergies caused by excessive shedding of dog fur. It did not take long for this designer breed to become popular due to its adorable looks and charming nature. Malshis are popular companion and therapy dogs in Australia, North America, in the UK and other countries.

Up until today, the Malshi is yet to be recognised by any major kennel clubs including The Kennel Club. However, local breed clubs exist in different countries with the purpose of breeding Malshis responsibly.

comb icon Appearance and Grooming

The Malshi is an adorable little dog breed that inherited the charming looks and personality of its parent breeds, the Maltese and the Shi Tzu. Because Malshis are crossbreeds, puppies from the same litter may show different traits, even looks. Most Malshis, however, resemble more of its Maltese parentage since they lack the short snout and protruding eyes common to a Shi Tzu.

Malshis have well-proportioned heads, dark round eyes, dark noses, and short muzzles. Set wide apart, their ears go up and fall slightly forward when they are excited. For a small dog, the Malshi has a nice wide chest, short, strong legs, level backs and well-rounded loins. Malshis are well-muscled all over, boasting of an athletic appearance.

The Malshi wears a long and silky coat with a soft texture. When it comes to coat colours, the Malshi sports different colours of its Shi Tzu parent such as white, black, brown or any combination of these three colours. Daily brushing is required to keep its coat matt-free and always clean. Although its coat is non-shedding (even hypoallergenic), clipping is recommended to maintain its adorable coat appearance.

One problem of a Malshi is having tearstains underneath their eyes, which must be treated with a commercial tearstain remover to keep it clean. Other basic care is required such as regular brushing of teeth, nail trimming and cleaning of ears. Doing overall physical check-ups during grooming will help you determine any health conditions such as gum disease, ear infection or painful nail overgrowth.

bulb icon Temperament and Intelligence

The Malshi is an affectionate companion, loving and devoted to its family dog. Since it is a mixed breed, the Malshi can inherit the personality of either the Maltese or Shi Tzu or both. Expect Malshis to be playful, alert and fearless. They are amazing watchdogs, quick to let owners know if something is not right.

Malshis are also fast learners but may often possess a stubborn streak that may be difficult to housetrain. Early and consistent training, coupled with positive reinforcements will help them respond to commands well. The affectionate and devoted nature of the Malshi also means it does not like to be left alone. They are prone to suffer fom separation anxiety, so if you plan to buy a Malshi puppy, make sure one member of the family stays at home.

The Malshi loves to be involved in any family activity including playtime. Since it is a small dog, it is better suited for families with older children who know how to behave around dogs its size. With this said, interaction with children and any dogs must be supervised to make sure both are out of harm's way.

Since Malshis are friendly dogs, they do well with other dogs. They can also co-exist with other household pets especially ones they grow up with. However, it is still advised to keep an eye on the Malshi around the neighbouring cats since they may not think twice about chasing them.

food icon Nutrition and Feeding

A typical serving for an adult Malshi is 1/4 to 1/2 cup of quality dry dog food per day, split into two to three meals. Other than size, a dog's diet (type and amount) is determined by different factors such as age, health, metabolism and activity level. To be on the safe side, make sure to consult with a veterinarian or a canine nutritionist.

Typical daily calorie needs of adult Malshi weighing 10 pounds:

  • Senior and less active: up to 350 calories daily
  • Typical adults: up to 395 calories daily
  • Physically active/working dogs: up to 440 calories daily

Since the Malshi is a small hybrid dog, purchase commercial dog food formulated for its size. Diet with high animal protein is recommended to support bone and muscle growth. As well, make sure to keep the Malshi in good condition by measuring its food to avoid becoming overweight. As mentioned, divide servings in two to three equal feedings.

stethoscope icon Health and Exercise

Although the Malshi is a generally healthy dog, it can inherit the health issues common to its parent breeds. These health issues include Patellar Luxation, White Shaker Syndrome and respiratory problems. Consult a veterinarian to learn about preventive measures and to make sure Malshis can live up to 12 to 14 years of its lifespan.

Malshis are moderately active dogs that love nothing more than a good romp in the yard. While they are content to stay indoors, a 10-15 minute regular daily exercise is also required to keep them from getting bored and make them happy and well-adjusted dogs.

pound icon Cost of Ownership

If you are keen on caring for a Malshi, be ready to pay £300 to £900 for a well-bred Malshi pedigree puppy. To ensure it stays healthy at whatever age, you will need to feed your dog high quality dog food and treats, which can set you back £20-£30 a month. You would also need to spend on dog accessories such as leads, collars, bowls, crates, beds, and toys. The combined initial cost for these things is estimated at £200.

Moreover, you need to consider paying for pet insurance to offset veterinary bills in case your dog suddenly falls ill or gets into an accident. Depending on where you live and your dog’s health and age, a time-limited cover can cost £24 a month while a lifetime one can cost up to £45 a month. Generally, insurance companies do not cover routine veterinary consultations, initial vaccinations, boosters, and neutering or

spaying, so you may also have to spend an additional £1000 annually for these services.
On average, the minimum cost to care for a Malshi is £50-£80 per month depending on your pet insurance premium. This estimate does not include the rates for other services such as walking and grooming.

Malshi Breed Highlights

  • The Malshi is a cross between the Maltese and the Shi Tzu.
  • It is an affectionate, friendly and charming companion dog.
  • It is a good watchdog, alert and quick to sound the bark alarm.
  • It is a moderately active dog that requires 10 to 15 minutes of daily exercise.
  • Grooming-wise, its coat is not hard to maintain since it is low-shedding.
  • It is smart and quick to learn but often has a stubborn streak.

Are you sure the Malshi is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.

Dog Breed Selector Quiz

Would you take home a cute little dog like the Malshi? If you're not convinced, find other dog breeds to fit your lifestyle and personality with our Pet Finder.

The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.

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