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Maltipoo vs Malshi Comparison

Maltipoo vs Malshi: A Complete Guide | Lone Star Pups
Published Monday, February 19, 2024 by PremierPups

When it comes to choosing a furry companion, the decision can often be as complex as it is exciting, especially when you’re considering popular designer breeds like the Maltipoo and Malshi. Both of these adorable breeds have captured the hearts of dog lovers worldwide with their endearing personalities and cute looks. However, as it is with any breed, there are distinct differences and similarities that potential pet owners should be aware of. And they can make all the difference in the world when it comes to making a decision. 

In this guide, we aim to explore the intricacies of the Maltipoo and Malshi breeds. From their origins to their unique characteristics to their popularity and histories, we will explore what exactly sets these breeds apart and what they have in common. Whether you are a first-time dog owner or a seasoned canine enthusiast, this guide will equip you with the essential knowledge to understand these breeds better. This comparison will not only highlight their physical attributes and temperaments but also provide insights into which breed might be more suited to different households and lifestyles. 

Maltipoo vs Malshi Overview 

Maltipoo Overview 

adorable maltipoo dog

The Maltipoo, a cross between a Maltese and a Toy or Miniature Poodle, is a designer doodle breed (poodle mix) known for its intelligence and affectionate nature. Originating in the late 20th century, Maltipoos were bred to combine the best of two worlds: the hypoallergenic coat of the Poodle with the gentle temperament of the Maltese.  

Typically, Maltipoos weigh between 5 to 10 pounds and stand around 9 to 12 inches tall. Their lifespan ranges from 10 to 14 years. The coat of a Maltipoo is often soft and fluffy, varying from slightly wavy to curly, and comes in a variety of colors, including white, cream, and silver. This breed is especially popular among those seeking a small, friendly, and low-shedding companion. The Maltipoo dog is also commonly known as Multipoo, Maltepoo, and Maltese Poodle mix.  

Malshi Overview 

cute malshi dog

The Malshi, a hybrid between a Maltese and a Shih Tzu, is another highly loved designer dog breed. Developed primarily for companionship, Malshis are known for their outgoing and affectionate disposition. They originated around the same time as Maltipoos and quickly gained popularity for their suitability as family pets. 

Malshis are small in size, usually weighing between 6 to 14 pounds and standing about 9 to 12 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a lifespan of approximately 12 to 14 years. The coat of a Malshi is typically long, silky, and straight, requiring regular grooming. Common coat colors include white, black, and brown, often in combinations. Malshi dogs are also known as Teddy Bear dogs. 

Maltipoo vs Malshi Overview Comparison 

In comparing the Maltipoo and Malshi, both breeds share the Maltese as a common parent, which contributes to their affectionate and gentle nature. The primary difference lies in their other parent breed, with the Maltipoo being part Poodle and the Malshi part Shih Tzu. This distinction influences their coat type, with Maltipoos having a curlier, hypoallergenic coat, and Malshis sporting a longer, silkier one.  

Both breeds are similar in size and life expectancy, making them suitable for various living conditions, from apartments to houses with yards.  

Maltipoo vs Malshi Appearance 

Maltipoo Appearance 

toy maltipoo dog

Maltipoos are admired for their very charming and endearing looks. Their coat, influenced by their Poodle ancestry, can range from slightly wavy to curly, and is known for being soft and fluffy. These dogs are considered hypoallergenic, making them a good choice for allergy sufferers.  

Maltipoos come in a variety of colors, including white, cream, silver, and sometimes more vibrant shades like apricot or black. They are small in stature, typically weighing between 5 to 10 pounds, and their height can vary from 9 to 12 inches at the shoulder. Their expressive eyes and button noses contribute to their overall adorable appearance, which often resembles a plush toy. 

Malshi Appearance 

small malshi dog

The Malshi, with its Shih Tzu and Maltese heritage, also boasts a captivating appearance. Their coat is usually long, silky, and straight, requiring regular grooming to maintain its luster and prevent matting. 
Unlike the Maltipoo, the Malshi's coat is not curly but can be equally plush and soft. Malshis are often found in a mix of colors, including white, black, and brown, often in delightful combinations.  

In terms of size, Malshis are on the smaller side, generally weighing between 6 to 14 pounds, with a height of around 10 inches. Their facial features, which include round, expressive eyes and a short snout, give them an irresistibly cute and friendly appearance. The Teddy Bear Malshi has a true teddy bear-like appearance that dog lovers adore. 

Maltipoo vs Malshi Appearance Comparison 

Comparing the Maltipoo and Malshi in terms of appearance, the most significant difference is in their coat texture. The Maltipoo has a curlier, hypoallergenic coat, while the Malshi's coat is straighter and silkier. Both breeds require regular grooming, but the Malshi may need more frequent brushing due to its longer fur.  

Size-wise, they are quite similar, both falling into the small dog category, making them ideal for apartment living or homes with limited space.  

In terms of colors, both breeds offer a variety of shades, providing potential owners with a range of attractive options.  

Maltipoo vs Malshi Temperament 

Maltipoo Temperament 

attentive maltipoo

Maltipoos are celebrated for their sweet, fun, and affectionate temperament. They inherit the intelligence and trainability of the Poodle along with the gentle, loving nature of the Maltese. This combination makes them excellent family pets, as they are generally friendly with children and other animals.  

Maltipoos are known for being adaptable, doing well in various living environments, from quiet country homes to bustling city apartments. They have moderate energy levels, enjoying both playtime and relaxing with their owners in a cuddle. However, their social nature means they can be prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. Engaging them in activities and providing mental stimulation are key to keeping them happy and well-behaved. 

Malshi Temperament 

cuddly malshi dog

The Malshi, combining the traits of the Maltese and Shih Tzu, is known for its outgoing and cuddly personality. They are typically very sociable and enjoy being part of family activities.  

Malshis tend to have a calm and gentle demeanor, making them great companions for all age groups, including children and seniors. They are intelligent and can be trained, although they may exhibit a slight independent streak inherited from the Shih Tzu side. This breed thrives on human interaction and, like Maltipoos, can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. Regular playtime and affection are important to keep these teddy bear dogs content and emotionally healthy. 

Maltipoo vs Malshi Temperament Comparison 

When comparing the temperaments of Maltipoos and Malshis, both breeds are affectionate, friendly, and make excellent companions. The Maltipoo may be slightly more active and playful, requiring more engagement and mental stimulation. The Malshi, on the other hand, tends to be a bit more laid-back and may be better suited for a calmer environment.  

Both breeds are intelligent and capable of being trained, but they thrive best in environments where they receive ample attention and are not left alone for long periods. Their sociable nature makes them great family pets, but potential owners should consider the time and emotional commitment required to meet the needs of these loving breeds. 


As we reach the end of our comprehensive comparison between the Maltipoo and Malshi breeds, it's clear that both offer a wealth of endearing qualities that can beautifully complement a range of households and lifestyles. While they share some similarities, their distinct differences are key factors in determining which breed might be the best fit for potential owners. 

The Maltipoo, with its playful energy, intelligence, and affectionate nature, is well-suited for families or individuals who enjoy a more active lifestyle and can provide regular mental stimulation and interaction. Their adaptability makes them ideal for various living environments, but their need for companionship means they're best suited to homes where they won't be left alone for long periods. The hypoallergenic coat of the Maltipoo also makes them a great choice for those with allergies. 

The Malshi, on the other hand, with its calm and gentle demeanor, is a perfect match for those seeking a more laid-back companion. They are excellent for families with children or elderly members, offering a balance of affection and tranquility. Although they require regular grooming due to their longer coats, their overall maintenance is manageable. Like Maltipoos, Malshis also need companionship and thrive in environments where they receive plenty of love and attention. 

In choosing between a Maltipoo and a Malshi, consider not only your living situation and lifestyle but also the amount of time and energy you can devote to grooming, training, and nurturing your pet. Both breeds will bring immense joy and companionship to the right home, filling it with love, laughter, and unforgettable moments. Whether you choose the lively Maltipoo or the serene Malshi, you are sure to have a faithful and loving companion by your side.