Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Malshi vs Maltipoo – Which One Is Right for You?

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Malshi vs Maltipoo

The Malshi and Maltipoo are both adorable and very popular small-breed companions. They make amazing family pets and are intelligent and eager to please, making them highly trainable. The Malshi is a sweet hybrid of a Maltese and a Shih Tzu, while the Maltipoo combines the qualities of a Maltese and a Poodle.

Both breeds are relatively new, and because of their lovable, affectionate, playful, and adorable attributes, they are popular and close to perfect companions. If you are caught deciding which one is right for you, this article will help you determine which qualities set them apart and which breed would suit you and your family as a lifelong pet.

Divider 8

Visual Differences

Malshi vs Maltipoo side by side
Image Credit: (L) Ryan Brix, Shutterstock | (R) Master1305, Shutterstock

At a Glance

  • Average height (adult): Up to 10 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 6–12 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12–14 years
  • Exercise: Approximately 30 minutes per day
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Yes
  • Trainability: Eager to please and highly trainable
  • Average height (adult): 8–14 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 5–20 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10–13 years
  • Exercise: 15–30 minutes per day
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Yes
  • Trainability: Intelligent but sensitive

divider 9Malshi Overview

Personality and Temperament

Malshis are naturally affectionate lap dogs, given that their parents are known to be the same. This adorable teddy bear-like breed is playful, sweet, fun-loving, and affectionate. They will easily adapt to any family and immediately show fondness and loyalty to their humans. While loyal to their owner, this outgoing breed loves meeting new humans and exploring new places.

shih tese / malshi
Image credit: Needpx

Training and Exercise

These tiny companions don’t require a lot of exercise but will benefit from a short daily walk and some playtime with their owner. The Malshi is also intelligent, eager to please, and loves some positive praise, so keeping them motivated to learn new tricks won’t be too challenging. However, some may be more stubborn if they inherit the stubborn streak from their Shih Tzu parents, but once you get their attention, they will be eager to progress and impress you.

Like most dogs, Malshis should be socialized as early as possible. Positive reinforcement is also a key element in training, especially with a Malshi that will love one-on-one time with its owner. Training can be a pleasure with this breed, making them great companions for first-time owners.

Health & Diet

Malshis have a lifespan of 12–14 years. Like most dogs, they are prone to a few health issues, which you should check with your vet regularly, at least once a year.  The most common is patellar luxation, which both parents of a Malshi commonly experience. Hip Dysplasia is another common condition Malshis are predisposed to, as well as eye health issues such as progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts.

The purebred parents are usually more likely to experience these genetic conditions than the mixed-breed offspring. They are also prone to respiratory issues and will need some monitoring in hot and humid weather. It’s best to keep them inside with air conditioning and avoid spending the day outdoors.

All dogs need a healthy and well-balanced diet to thrive, and dry food with high-quality ingredients usually meets the requirements for a healthy Malshi. A small breed formula is ideal for a Malshi but always check the ingredients are up to standard. One-quarter to 1 cup of dry food a day, divided into two meals, will suffice, but the serving amount will depend on the brand. It’s important not to overfeed a Malshi since it is prone to obesity.

With the correct diet, exercise, and care, your Malshi will be a happy and healthy dog.

malshi dog with lights
Image Credit: Lady A Photography, Shutterstock


Because the coat of both parents requires daily brushing, so will the coat of a Malshi to prevent matting and tangles. A trip to the groomer every few months will also help keep your Malshi well-groomed. In summer, their coat can be cut every 4 weeks to keep it shorter while the temperature is hot, and in the colder months, cuts can be pushed to every six weeks.

In addition to daily brushing, your Malshi’s teeth will need daily cleaning. It will also require regular ear cleaning and nail clipping.

Suitable for:

Malshis are suitable and adaptable to just about any family, but they make a perfect companion to any first-time owner looking for a small lap dog. Malshis are also great with other pets and children, and they make a great addition to any family. However, because this breed is so small, they are better suited for families with older kids who are more careful and aware of their size. A first-time owner will love how easily trainable this breed is, and a senior or single will love the company of this lovable dog who won’t leave your side.

  • Perfect for first-time owners
  • Affectionate, eager to please, playful
  • Loyal lapdog
  • Low exercise needs
  • Easy to train
  • Moderate grooming
  • Not ideal for very young children
  • Prone to health conditions

Divider 4

Maltipoo Overview

Personality and Temperament

This charming mixed breed inherits all the positive attributes of its parents. They are gentle but playful, intelligent, happy, affectionate, and loving. They love spending time with their humans, whether it’s a game of fetch or lap cuddle on the sofa. Maltipoos are also energetic and outgoing, and although they are not aggressive, they will bark at just about anything new. As long as they are properly socialized at a young age, they will fit in with any family.

two red maltipoo dogs
Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock

Training and Exercise

Maltipoos don’t require a considerable amount of exercise. A short walk around the garden or even an indoor game of fetch will be enough daily exercise for this breed. Maltipoos love to play, so it’s a great idea to incorporate some fun games into their training. Regarding potty training, Maltipoos may require a bit more patience. Positive reinforcement, praise, and treats will help make training this breed easier.

Health & Diet

Maltipoos have a lifespan of 10-13 years and, like most dogs, are predisposed to some health issues. While white shaker syndrome is not a condition all Maltipoos will develop, it is something that any owner should be aware of. Allergies, dental disease, PRA, and luxating patella are also conditions that this tiny breed may be predisposed to. It’s vital for this breed to have regular checkups and health clearances from the breeder.

A high-quality dog food made for small breeds is the best food for a Maltipoo. It is prone to picking up weight, so its food intake should be monitored. A serving of ¼ to 1 cup of high-quality dry kibble a day, divided into two servings, will provide your Maltipoo with its dietary needs.


Maltipoos require daily brushing to prevent their coat from matting and knotting. Their facial hair will need to be trimmed monthly, and they will require a bath at least once a month. Because they prefer to be indoors, their nails will need to be monitored for clipping, and their teeth will need to be cleaned a few times a week.

black maltipoo puppy
Image Credit: mikeledray, Shutterstock

Suitable for:

Maltipoos make great companions for indoor or apartment living. They prefer to be indoors, and a large yard is not necessary. Maltipoos don’t require much exercise and are ideal pets for seniors or people who cannot provide a lot of activity for their pets. However, they are energetic and require at least 15 minutes of exercise daily. They will love a human who enjoys cuddles, especially on their laps, and they will appreciate having their own designated area. This breed is also vocal, so if you live with close neighbors, you will need to train your Maltipoo when not to bark.

Malipoos will make perfect companions for families with other pets and children, seniors or empty nesters, and anyone looking for a highly devoted and affectionate small-breed pet.

  • Perfect lapdog
  • Affectionate, playful, and happy
  • Intelligent and easy to train
  • Perfect for apartment living
  • Minimal exercise needs
  • Loves to bark
  • Moderate grooming needs
  • Prone to health conditions

Divider 5

Which Breed Is Right for You?

The Malshi and Maltipoo make amazing companions for families with kids and pets and are perfect for seniors or first-time owners. They don’t require much exercise and will be happy living in an apartment, curled up on their owner’s lap, or playing a game of indoor fetch. They will require an owner that can be present for most of the day, and their most significant needs are attention and love. These two breeds are different in their appearance but are equally adorable.

Both their coats require some moderate grooming, but the Maltipoo requires a little more attention to its coat than a Malshi. They have long spans and are generally healthy dogs. However, like most dogs, they are prone to genetic health conditions that owners need to be aware of.

Choosing which breed is right for you may come down to the dog’s appearance and perhaps your tolerance for barking since Maltipoos can be a little more vocal. Whichever breed you choose, they will both give you many years of unconditional love and devotion.

Featured Image Credit: (L) Zaghi, Shutterstock | (R) dezy, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database