Maltese shih tzu lhasa apso

Maltese shih tzu lhasa apso DEFAULT

My daughter had a female dog named Sugar (a maltese/lhasa apso mix) and a male dog named Harley (a shih tzu). They fell in love and had 3 different litters of puppies - they were so adorable and precious I wound up taking one from each litter - so I have Lillie, Millie, and Buddy. Lillie and Millie were both born in 2008 (so they are 13) and Buddy was born in 2009, so he is 12.

I have 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren, all of whom are grown. So I live alone in NC with my 3 fur babies. I love them dearly and they have all been together since they were each born, so they all love each other dearly as well. They are very close - they eat together, play together, go outside together, and sleep together.

I am retired and on a fixed income. I don't have the $1,200 for the surgery and she's one of my babies, I don't know what I would do without her and I hate to see her in pain.

6 years ago, the cataract in her left eye got really bad and she went blind in that eye. The vet said it happened gradually and that it likely didn't bother her, and it didn't seem to, until recently. The left eye became infected. It's now extremely swollen and painful with a great deal of pressure built up. Her vet, Dr. Dale Brown at Riverbark Vet Hospital said it has to come out.

Lillie is the oldest sibling of the 3 and is the "Leader of the Pack". She is the heart and soul and the group and is my first baby. They are are extremely special to me, but she is extra special because of her demeanor and the fact that she was my first. She is also the one that wants to be closest to me most of the time.


Lhasa Apso vs Maltese

Maltese vs Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso and Maltese are small companion dog breeds that share some similarities as well as significant differences. What are the differences between Lhasa Apso and Maltese? While Maltese are among the smallest breeds, Lhasa Apso is bigger and weighs twice as much as a Maltese dog. Maltese coat can only be white, while Lhasa Apso breed has an array of different colors. Maltese's coat is much softer than Lhasa Apso coat. While Maltese have a friendly and sociable temperament, Lhasa Apso dogs are normally affectionate towards their family and rather aloof with unfamiliar people. In comparison to Maltese, Lhasa Apso dogs are not only small companions, they are also good watchdogs and will notify the owner about any strangers approaching their home by loud barking.

What are the similarities between Maltese and Lhasa Apso dogs? Both breeds make loyal companion dogs that enjoy spending as much time as possible with their human family. Lhasa Apso and Maltese feature a luxurious coat that requires maximum grooming. Potential Maltese or Lhasa Apso owners need to be dedicated to brushing their pet's coat daily. When comparing Lhasa Apso to Maltese energy levels, both breeds can be happy with a few daily walks around the block and some indoor playtime. Maltese and Lhasa Apso make good family pets for retirees who have the time and desire to care for a small but demanding pet. Families with small children or working people who are at work most of the day should not consider either of these companion dogs as these breeds are sensitive to being left alone and may develop behavior problems if neglected or left alone often.

Differences and similarities between Maltese and Lhasa Apso dogs in detail.

Lhasa Apso Maltese Mix

Maltese and Lhasa Apso mix dogs have features of both breeds. The colors of half Lhasa Apso half Maltese dog can vary. Physical traits of Lhasa Apso Maltese cross dogs can resemble either a Lhasa Apso or Maltese, or a bit of both of these small oriental dog breeds.

Image of Lhasa Apso Shih Tzu mix.

Lhasa Apso Maltese mix

Half Maltese half Lhasa Apso dogs are small in size. In height Lhasa Apso Maltese dogs can reach 11 inches and weigh around 16 pounds.

Lhasa Apso vs Maltese: Grooming

Maltese and Lhasa Apso dogs are high maintenance when it comes to daily grooming. The continuously growing coat needs to be brushed daily to keep mats and tangles under control. A neglected Maltese or Lhasa Apso dog's coat will turn into a mess very quickly and the dog will experience discomfort. Only potential owners who don't mind the extensive grooming requirements should consider these two breeds. Some owners choose to keep Maltese's and Lhasa Apso's hair short for easier maintenance. There is little difference in shedding levels when comparing Lhasa Apso to Maltese dog. Both of these breeds are low shedding and hypoallergenic, meaning these dogs produce lower amount of allergens than many other breeds. Other grooming requirements include brushing the dog's teeth daily with a canine toothpaste and keeping the dog's eye area free from unattractive reddish stains that sometimes appear around the eye area. Eye stains need to be gently removed with eye stain remover to keep the area clean. Trim Maltese's or Lhasa Apso's nails once every six weeks or so.

Maltese grooming guide

Lhasa Apso vs Maltese: Lifespan

Lhasa Apso dog has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years while Maltese have a slightly longer life expectancy up to 16 years. Maltese's or Lhasa Apso's life expectancy is determined by genetics, overall health and lifestyle of the pet.

Maltese vs Lhasa Apso: sizes compared

Maltese dogs are among the smallest and in comparison to Lhasa Apso, Maltese are more fragile and smaller in size.

Lhasa Apso male weight: 13 to 15 lb (6 to 7 kg)
Maltese male weight: 6 to 8 lb (3 to 4 kg)

Lhasa Apso male height: 10 to 11 in (25 to 28 cm)
Maltese male height: 8 to 10 in (21 to 25 cm)

Lhasa Apso vs Maltese: Shedding

Both, Lhasa Apso and Maltese dogs shed minimally, despite the luxurious coat. The low shedding level doesn't mean low coat maintenance. Malteses and Lhasa Apsos need to be brushed daily in order to keep the coat healthy and tangle free.

Lhasa Apso vs Maltese: Price

Maltese puppy price is around $1,000 while Lhasa Apso may cost from $400 to $1,600. Prices may differ as many factors such as pedigree, age, health, training and even color of the dog can determine the final price.

Lhasa Apso vs Maltese: Temperament

Lhasa Apso and Maltese dogs have very different temperaments although both breeds are superb companion dogs. Lhasa Apso dogs, for example, are more reserved when meeting new unfamiliar people, while a Maltese dog is typically friendly with the family members and with strangers as well. Lhasa Apso are more stubborn and can be challenging to train. Maltese dogs have a playful and lively temperament. Both of these companion dog breeds require lots of love and attention from the owners and make wonderful family dogs as long as their needs are met.

Maltese vs Lhasa Apso: Country of breed origin

Maltese breed comes from the Island of Malta.
Lhasa Apso dogs come from Tibet and originally had the purpose of being a watchdog.

Good with kids: Lhasa Apso vs Maltese

Maltese dogs aren't ideal for families with small children. The small size and rather fragile frame makes Maltese vulnerable around small kids. Lhasa Apso is a larger and not as fragile as the Maltese, which makes this breed more appropriate for families with kids. Keep in mind that Lhasa Apso dogs can be snappy and don't tolerate teasing. Children should always be supervised when spending time with a dog. Teach your kids to respect a small pet and explain how to properly handle a dog. Kids need to understand that a dog is not a toy, and deserves to be treated with respect. For example, kids should not approach the dog while the dog is eating or sleeping. Also, kids should not lift the dog up to avoid any unfortunate accidents.

Lhasa Apso versus Maltese

Lhasa Apso versus Maltese: Companion dogs

Maltese and Lhasa Apso are great companion pets that will bring joy and unconditional love to their owners. These small breeds make ideal companion pets for families with older children or to seniors who enjoy grooming and spending lots of time with their animal companion every day. Maltese or Lhasa Apso are not appropriate for working families or busy families with young children who may not have much time to spend on a demanding small dog.

As long as their needs are understood, Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu can be happy living in either a country home or in a city apartment. The most important ingredient in making these small dogs happy is to spend as much time as possible with them. Owners who don't actively enjoy grooming should probably consider other dog breeds as grooming is a major commitment with either of these companion breeds.

Good with other dogs: Maltese vs Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso can be aggressive towards unfamiliar dogs, especially males. Lhasa Apso need to be socialized from a young age to be comfortable around other dogs. Maltese are usually friendly towards other dogs, but their small size makes Maltese vulnerable around larger breeds that can accidentally hurt a small Maltese during energetic playtime. Maltese can also be mistaken for a prey by larger breeds and owners need to be very careful when letting their small Maltese play with larger breeds to help prevent any potential accidents.

Lhasa Apso vs Maltese: Intelligence

Maltese and Lhasa Apso are clever small breeds. Stimulate your pet's intellectual abilities by providing the dog with interactive toys and treat dispensers. Dogs of any breed enjoy mental stimulation that makes their life more fun. Spend time playing with your pet and get creative - there are many ways to stimulate your dog's mind and help your pet get even smarter.

Lhasa Apso compared to Maltese: Trainability

Although both, Lhasa Apso and Maltese breeds respond to positive training, Lhasa Apso may be more challenging to train due to independent character of this breed. Malese dogs are eager to please their owners and respond well to gentle training. Lhasa Apso owners need to be extra patient during training. Finding the motivation that appeals to your pet is the first step to successful training. Some dogs prefer food motivation while others like praise or playtime. Training the pet during play is another good way to accomplish good obedience training results.

Potty training is notoriously difficult with Lhasa Apso dogs that tend to be more stubborn than Maltese. Start potty training your pet the moment your bring a Maltese or Lhasa Apso home. Set up a dog potty area before you bring the dog home. Never punish Maltese or Lhasa Apso for accidents during potty training as that only slows down the housebreaking training.

Lhasa Apso versus Maltese: Barking

Maltese and Lhasa Apso are small but loud dog breeds. Maltese and Lhasa Apso are prone to barking. Maltese tend to bark when left alone frequently while Lhasa Apso dogs bark to notify the owners about any strangers approaching their territory. Lhasa Apso dogs are good watchdogs that meet any unfamiliar people with a loud bark.

Lhasa Apso vs Maltese: Exercise needs

Lhasa Apso and Maltese dogs do not require hours of exercise every day. These fairly active small dogs enjoy several daily walks and some indoor playtime to stay in good physical and mental shape. Moderate exercise needs makes these breeds good apartment pets.

Health issues: Maltese and Lhasa Apso compared

Lhasa Apso and Maltese have a long hair that may cause eye infections or eye irritations in these small dogs. Keep the dog's hair away from the eyes to help prevent eye related problems. Maltese are prone t lack of glucose in blood (hypoglycemia) and dental problems.

Lhasa Apso versus Maltese: Dog behavior issues

Maltese and Lhasa Apso are companion breeds that need to spend most of the time with their owners. A lonely Maltese or Lhasa Apso that stays home alone frequently is bound to develop behavior and at times psychological issues. Maltese are prone to separation anxiety and may start barking when owners leave home. Always walk a Maltese or Lhasa Apso before leaving the dog for some time alone. A nice walk will tire your pet and the dog may choose to relax while you're away. Leave some toys for your pet to keep the Maltese or Lhasa Apso busy when you are not home. Dog toys should not have any small parts that the dog can accidentally swallow. A chewable toy is welcome by many small dogs and young puppies that are going through teething stage.

Crate training a Lhasa Apso or Maltese is another way to keep safe and out of trouble while the owner is not around to supervise the pet. Never leave a dog crated for longer than a couple of hours at a time and always walk the dog before crating.

Lhasa Apso vs Maltese: Popularity

The Maltese takes 33rd place in popularity while Lhasa Apso takes 71st place of 194 in popularity ranking in the United States. Maltese breed is more popular and well known in the United States.

Difference between Lhasa Apso and Maltese: Loyalty to the owner

Lhasa Apso and Maltese are very loyal and affectionate with their owners. These small dogs have a lot of love to give to their human families.

Lhasa Apso vs Maltese videos

Maltese dog video

Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu differences video

Lhasa Apso vs Maltese apartment dogs

Lhasa Apso and Maltese can be good apartment dogs when properly trained. Both of these breeds are prone to barking, which can cause inconvenience to the neighbors. To help your pet become a better neighbor, train the Maltese or Lhasa Apso the "Quiet!" command. Lhasa Apso and Maltese can be potty trained to use an indoor dog potty. Even a potty trained apartment dog needs to get several walks during the day to stay active and healthy.

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Lhasa Apso Vs Shih Tzu – Can You Spot The Difference?

lhasa apso vs shih tzu

It sure isn’t an easy choice between the Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu dog breeds!

Both of these dogs are super cute and wonderfully smart, which makes your decision even harder!

We have prepared this focused article outlining the major Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu differences and similarities.

We hope it helps you identify which dog is the better fit for your lifestyle!

Read on now to discover vital facts and information to help you choose between the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu!

Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu – which pet to choose!

So now let’s take a look at the Lhasa Apso dog and the Shih Tzu dog each in turn.

We’ll compare their size, coat, temperament, training, smarts and health!

What is the difference between Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu dogs?

Just to look at these two dog breeds side by side, you might be forgiven if you have trouble telling the two apart!

They both sport long, luxurious, show-stopping coats, are both super-cute and petite and both have winning personalities and truly ancient histories.

For example, the Lhasa Apso can trace its origins back to the ancient mountainous region of Tibet.

This tiny pup was used to guard monasteries and temples from invaders.

The Shih Tzu, a name which means “Lion Dog,” was bred to sit in the laps of Chinese emperors.

Go back far enough and you will discover the Shih Tzu also has Tibetan ancestry.

Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu size

Both the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu are petite pups!

The Lhasa Apso will weigh in at 12 to 18 pounds and stand 10 to 11 inches tall when fully grown.

The Shih Tzu will weigh between 9 and 16 pounds as an adult dog and stand 9.5 to 10 inches tall.

Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu shedding and grooming

Since both the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu are breeds known for their showy, long, silky coats.

This is one area where these two breeds are quite similar!

This also means your grooming chores will be similar regardless of which dog you choose.

Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apsos are often touted as “hypoallergenic” dogs, but this isn’t precisely accurate.

Rather, while both dogs will shed continuously, you probably will not see much actual shed hair.

It will get caught up in the dog’s long coat.

Both the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu will need regular grooming.

Grooming prevents the coat from tangling and matting even if you opt for the popular short “puppy cut.”

You may also want to take your pup to a professional groomer for help with grooming chores.

lhasa apso vs shih tzu

Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu temperament

The Lhasa Apso’s origins as a sentinel and guard dog can make this dog breed intensely loyal to family.

Yet be aloof with people they don’t know.

The Shih Tzu is quite affectionate and playful.

This is a dog that knows how to work “cuteness” to the max to get what they want!

Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu training

The Lhasa Apso’s smarts can make training this dog a bit of a challenge.

They can be stubborn and tend to dig in their heels once they’ve decided training should be over for the day.

However, this dog can learn any skill or trick you want to teach – provided they decide they want to!

The Shih Tzu’s long lineage as a lap charmer will work in your favor during training as long as you use positive motivation.

These dogs can have short attention spans and may want to nip or play when they should be learning.

Your challenge will be to stay firm in the face of such cute displays to make sure your pup grows up with healthy, acceptable behaviors.

Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu intelligence

Both the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu are very smart dogs!

Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu exercise needs

This is one area where these two dog breeds can be very different!

The Lhasa Apso is actually quite a high energy, athletic dog that loves to run and jump and play.

Once past puppyhood, the Shih Tzu’s favorite exertion is to move from one warm lap to the next.

Health Problems: Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu

Both the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu breeds can be prone to certain heritable (genetically transmitted) health issues.

It is smart to learn all you can about potential health issues for any puppy or adult dog you are interested in bringing into your family!

If you work with a breeder, ask to see written proof that parent dogs have been tested and cleared of any known genetic health issues before being bred.


For rescue pups, it can be wise to have your own veterinarian examine and test the dog for genetic health concerns before you make that commitment.

Lhasa Apso health problems and testing

Major health issues that can arise in the Lhasa Apso dog include:

  • patellar luxation,
  • hernias,
  • eye issues,
  • bladder stones and
  • kidney problems.

Lhasa Apso dogs are brachycephalic, which means they have a shortened muzzle and flat face.

This can cause breathing, respiratory and dental issues.

They can also be born with a rare blood disease called haemophilia b.

These issues can be more or less severe from dog to dog, making breeder pre-screening a vital component of choosing a puppy.

Lhasa Apso puppies have an estimated average lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

Shih Tzu health problems and testing

Shih Tzu dogs have the same flat face and muzzle that can cause:

  • brachycephalic airway syndrome,
  • breathing, eye and dental issues of varying severity.

Shih Tzu puppies have an estimated average lifespan of 10 to 18 years.

Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu which is the best pet for me?

We hope you have found this focused article about the Lhasa Apso Shih Tzu differences to be a helpful guide as you choose your next canine bestie! Let us know which you chose in the comments below.


  • White, J.A., 2009, Your Shih Tzu & Your Veterinarian, The American Shih Tzu Club
  • Drastura, J., 2018, Lhasa Health,The American Lhasa Apso Club
  • Godfrey, D., BVetMed FRCVS, et al, 2011, Shih Tzu: Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome, United Federation for Animal Welfare
  • Buckland, E., BSc, PhD, et al, 2016, Lhasa Apso: Haemophilia-B, United Federation for Animal Welfare
  • Joris, V., 2018, History of Shih Tzu, North Star Shih Tzu Rescue
  • Marley, C., 2018, History of the Lhasa Apso, Kai-Lha-Sha Lhasa Apsos Kennel.

Maltese VS Shih Tzu- Which Breed is Best For You

Lhasa Apso vs Shih Tzu vs Maltese Comparison - Dog breed selector: Lhasa or Chinese Lion Dog or Maltese Dog? Find the right dog for you

Temperament Alert
Steady Active
Outgoing Active
Tempered Intelligent Rank

Low to average: This canine intelligence is not the brightest one.

Low: The Shih Tzu if one of the dog breeds that have the lowest degree of obedience intelligence.

Low to average: This canine intelligence is not the brightest one.


Lhasa Apsos are quite easy to train.

Shih Tzus are quite easy to train.

Malteses are quite easy to train.


Lhasa Apsos, like any other dog breed, like playing.

Shih Tzus are not the most playful dog breed.

Malteses, like any other dog breed, like playing.

Sensitivity Level

Lhasa Apsos don't like an irregular daily routine, noisy household and frequent guest visits.

Shih Tzus have an average emotional level and are not the most sensitive dog breed.

They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds.

Affection Level

Lhasa Apsos are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.

Shih Tzus are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.

Malteses are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.

Social Needs

Lhasa Apsos need for social interaction is average.

Shih Tzus need a lot of social interaction.

Malteses need a lot of social interaction.


High: The Lhasa Apso is a very vocal breed.

High: The Shih Tzu is a very vocal breed.

High: The Maltese is a very vocal breed.

Watchdog Ability

Lhasa Apsos are average watchdogs.

Shih Tzus are average watchdogs.

Malteses are average watchdogs.


Lhasa Apsos are average defenders.

Shih Tzus strongly protect their territory.

Malteses strongly protect their territory.

Biting Potential Low

The Lhasa Apso has a low chance of biting somebody.


The Shih Tzu has a low chance of biting somebody.


The Maltese has a low chance of biting somebody.


Lhasa Apsos have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.

Shih Tzus have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.

Malteses have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.

Impulse to Wander or Roam

Lhasa Apsos tend to escape less than other breeds.

Shih Tzus tend to escape less than other breeds.

Malteses are not the biggest explorers.

Prey Drive

Lhasa Apsos have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.

Shih Tzus have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.

Malteses have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.

Apartment Friendly

Lhasa Apsos are very apartment-friendly dogs.

Shih Tzus are very apartment-friendly dogs.

Malteses are very apartment-friendly dogs.


Lhasa Apsos adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.

Shih Tzus adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.

Malteses adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.

Tolerates Being Left Alone

Just like every puppy, they are prone to panic, cry, bark, whine when they left alone by their owner.

Shih Tzus tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.

Malteses tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.

Fighting Dog Not really

In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Not really

In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Not really

In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.


Apso tzu lhasa maltese shih

Maltese Shih Tzu Mix – Is This The Perfect Pint Sized Pet?

maltese shih tzu
Welcome to our article on the Maltese Shih Tzu!

Thanks to its toy-like appearance, miniature size and perky personality, many feel this pocket rocket cross breed would be the perfect little companion – especially if they are short on time and/or space.

But what are Maltese Shih Tzus really like? And what kind of a home environment do they need in order to thrive?

Let’s get to know this popular pup a little better and find out who would make a good fit for his family.

Where Does the Maltese Shih Tzu Come From?

The Maltese x Shih Tzu, or Malshi, is a designer dog that has only been around since the 1990s.

In contrast, the parent breeds of the Malshi both have very long histories.

Shih Tzu History

The Shih Tzu can be traced back about 1000 years to Tibet, where these little dogs were companions to humans, and worked along with larger guard dogs to warn of approaching strangers.

It is thought they made their way into China as gifts and tributes to the emperors.

Eventually, these little fellows were bred and crossed with Chinese breeds to create the Shih Tzu we know today.

The original dogs that came from Tibet are now known as the Lhasa Apso.

In the late 1920’s, a pair of Shih Tzus were brought to England. From there, the dogs were introduced to Europe. From this point on, their popularity around the world started to grow.

Maltese History

The Maltese is widely recognized as one of the oldest dog breeds. This breed is mentioned by poets and artists from pre-Christian times.

Exactly where the dog originated is a matter of debate, as is the question of when and how they started being referred to by the name they bear now.

However, it most likely has a lot to do with the fact that these dogs are widely thought to have originated from the island of Malta. Additionally, they were beloved pets of one of the Roman governors of Malta.

It seems that Emperor Claudius was responsible for bringing the Maltese to Britain. Since then, the breed has been a favorite of royals and nobles for many centuries.

maltese shih tzu

Designer Dogs – The Maltese Shih Tzu

As a designer dog, the Malshi is inadvertently embroiled in a debate that has been raging in the dog breeding world since designer dogs started becoming popular.

Advocates of purebred dogs maintain that their lineage can be traced back for generations. Therefore, the size, temperament, and health of a purebred can be reliably predicted.

In turn, this ensures the characteristics and abilities inherent in purebreds can be improved and preserved for generations to come.

Advocates of mixed breeds claim that the inbreeding of purebreds often results in serious health problems.

Indeed, some scientific studies indicate that dogs with a genetically diverse background are healthier than purebreds.

It is true that certain breeds suffer from breathing difficulties due to flattened faces, back and joint problems due to short legs and elongated backs, and difficulty giving birth due to their size.

Either way, a truly responsible breeder will encourage traits that make the dog healthier and happier, even if that means the dog strays from the expected standards of the breed.

Fun Facts About the Maltese Shih Tzu

While many famous faces own both Maltese and Shih Tzus, one Maltese in particular enjoyed special star treatment.

Trouble, the beloved Maltese that belonged to Leona Helmsley, inherited $12 million when the wealthy hotel heir left a substantial chunk of her wealth to the dog. Indeed, Trouble inherited more than most of her human family members.

While a judge did cut Trouble’s inheritance back to $2 million, the dog was pampered right up until its death in 2010, with a dedicated caretaker who spent around $100,000 a year on the dog’s care.

Perhaps its their status as teddy bear dogs that earned the Malshi such popularity!

Maltese Shih Tzu Appearance

As with any mix breed, a Malshi will inherit a combination of traits from both parents.

This means that we can get a fair idea of how they may look by familiarizing ourselves with the parents.

Maltese Appearance

The Maltese stands between seven to nine inches, and weighs under seven pounds.

They have silky, pure white hair which can be trimmed or left to grow long and flowing, depending on how much upkeep the owner is prepared for.

The Maltese is compact and balanced, and its big dark eyes and black dot for a nose make up a sweet, well-balanced face.

Shih Tzu Appearance

The Shih Tzu is also small, standing from nine to ten and a half inches and weighing from nine to sixteen pounds. They are compact and solid, and carry themselves with an air of arrogance.

They have a double coat, which grows long and luxurious when looked after properly.

Their coat comes in a few color variations and markings, ranging from black, to liver, to red, to silver and quite a few shades in between.

The Shih Tzu has a short muzzle, so there is a risk they could suffer breathing difficulties.

Safe to say, a Malshi will be small, and will have a long, luxurious coat. There is a chance they will have some of the colors and markings of the Shih Tzu.

The longer nose of the Maltese may negate some of the breathing issues that a pure Shih Tzu will experience.

Maltese Shih Tzu Temperament

Both the Maltese and the Shih Tzu are bred to be companion dogs. As such, a mix is likely to produce a dog that bears the qualities of companion dogs. They will probably be friendly, loyal and outgoing.

Neither of these dogs have the tendency to be aggressive. They are both known to be most interested in spending time with their human companion.

Both breeds are playful, so you will have to keep them occupied with appropriate toys and games. Otherwise you could find some (very small) holes in your backyard, or some puddles in the living room.

As they are so cute and playful, you may also need to keep an eye on children or other dogs during playtime. Being small, they stand the risk of getting injured if play gets rough.

Training Your Maltese Shih Tzu

While both these dogs are eager to please their human family, the Shih Tzu is known to be a bit willful.

So, while their size could lead you to believe training will be a breeze, you may need patience and persistence to train a Malshi.

As with any breed, it is important to train your dog using positive reinforcement. If you are not familiar with this term, you can read more about it here.

It is equally important that you socialize your dog as soon as possible. Socialization means exposing your dog to new people, dogs, environments, and situations, ideally from an early age.

When done is a safe and positive environment, your pup learns that new or unfamiliar situations are nothing to be afraid of and learns to enjoy them.

If you would like some more tips on how to socialize your puppy, you can read more about it here.

Issues With Brachycephaly

Because the Shih Tzu is brachycephalic, care will need to be taken with exercise and temperature control if your Malshi has inherited this trait.

Brachycephalic dogs cannot tolerate much exercise and take longer to recover after physical exertion.

They also aren’t strong swimmers and should never be left unattended near water.

They will also overheat quickly as their restricted airways mean they are not able to effectively cool their bodies down.

These factors will need to be taken into consideration when considering the best way to train and exercise a Maltese Shih Tzu.

Maltese Shih Tzu Health

Aside from the problems associated with brachycephaly in the Shih Tzu as discussed above, they are a healthy and long-lived breed. You can expect a Shih Tzu to live from ten to eighteen years of age.

The Maltese also experiences generally good health and does not have breathing issues as it is not brachycephalic.

You can expect a Maltese to live from 12 to 15 years.

Splitting the difference, you can expect that a Malshi will have a long life.

Be prepared to spend a little bit of time or money grooming a Malshi, as their coat will grow long if left untrimmed.

There is always the chance of foreign objects getting stuck in the fur if it is left untrimmed, which can lead to discomfort or infections.

Be careful not to let your Malshi grow too fat. Being companion dogs, they can become accustomed to being couch potatoes.

Also, if your dog is brachycephalic, it is even more important that they do not become overweight, as this exacerbates the issue.

Do Maltese Shih Tzus Make Good Family Dogs?

Temperament-wise, these dogs make great family pets, especially if you don’t have much room.

Bear in mind that you will have to be watchful if you have children or other dogs. If they play rough, a dog of such small size could get injured.

If your Malshi has a flat face, this will also limit how much physical exertion they can safely handle.

While their coat is not completely low-maintenance, a regular trim may be the easiest option.

Rescuing A Maltese Shih Tzu

If you like these little dogs, you might consider rescuing one.

There are plenty of places you can go to rescue a dog. Your local animal shelter or veterinary clinic is often a good place to start.

Some breed clubs may also take mix breeds into their rescue programs.

Be prepared that while rescue dogs are eternally grateful for their forever homes, sometimes they will need a little extra TLC to overcome bad experiences they have had in the past.

They may also require some extra medical attention if they are suffering with a condition.

Finding A Maltese Shih Tzu Puppy

When looking for a mixed breed pup, please don’t support puppy farms. Sadly, those cute puppies you see in the pet shop window often come from puppy mills.


The dogs in these establishments are housed in unacceptable conditions and often suffer untreated injuries and health problems.

Physically, emotionally, and mentally, these dogs are terribly deprived.

If you would like to know how to avoid getting a puppy from a puppy mill, check out this article, which has plenty of resources to help you find a puppy that has been raised in conditions that are happy and healthy.

Raising A Maltese Shih Tzu Puppy

For great tips on how to raise a puppy, check out our guides.

This article on puppy care has a great list of resources for just about any question you may have when you bring your pup home.

If you are interested in how best to train your puppy, have a look at this article.

Pros and Cons of Getting A Maltese Shih Tzu


  • Possible issues associated with brachycephaly if this trait is inherited
  • Grooming is required to keep the coat in good shape
  • Care needs to be taken when playing with children or bigger dogs


  • Great for those with limited space
  • Loyal and companionable, both breeds are keen to please
  • While care should be taken not to let them become overweight, they don’t require huge amounts of exercise.

Similar Maltese Shih Tzu Breeds

Care needs to be taken when recommending this mix, as there is a chance a Malshi could suffer the effects of brachycephaly.

If this is a concern for you, here are a list of breeds you might like to consider as alternatives.

Maltese Shih Tzu Rescues

If you are interested in rescuing a Malshi, these organizations might be a good place to start.

If you know of any other great rescue organizations close to your area, let us know in the comments section below.

Is A Maltese Shih Tzu Right For Me?

A Malshi can make a great companion dog for those with limited space, or those who like smaller companion dogs.

Just beware that if you have young children, you will have to make sure they are gentle with such a small pup.

Also be aware that there is a chance that a Malshi may experience problems associated with flat faced breeds if they take after their Shih Tzu parent.

Do you have a Maltese Shih Tzu mix? Let us know about them in the comments!

References and Resources

  • American Kennel Club
  • Owen, R. “Malshis” The Rosen Publishing Group, 2014
  • Shih Tzu Club UK
  • The Maltese Club UK
  • Universities Federation for Animal Welfare
  • Donaldson James, S., “Leona Helmsley’s Little Rich Dog Trouble Dies In Luxury” ABC News, 2011 (accessed March 2019)
  • Beuchat, C., “The Myth of Hybrid Vigor in Dogs… Is a Myth” The Institute of Canine Biology, accessed March 2019
  • Roedler, F.S., Pohl, S., Oechtering, G.U., “How does severe brachycephaly affect dog’s lives? Results of a structured preoperative owner questionnaire” The Veterinary Journal, 2013

Renato Leiva - Tosa Bebê (Shih Tzu - Lhasa Apso - Yorkshire - Maltês)


  • Height: 8-12 inches
  • Weight: 10-15 lb
  • Lifespan: 13-15 years
  • Group: not applicable
  • Best Suited For: Singles, seniors, and families with children and other pets, living in a house or apartment, with or without a yard
  • Temperament: Friendly, smart, loving, protective, playful, energetic
  • Comparable Breeds: Lhasa Apso, Maltese

New Search

Lhatese Basics

Also known as the Lhasatese and Lamalese, the Lhatese is super cute and super sweet. They can be a little difficult to train, but they do make great family pets and companions.

To learn the many traits that make the Lhatese so unique, and to determine if this breed is right for you, check out the helpful information below. Then head out and meet one for yourself to see if you, like so many others, will fall in love with these lovely little dogs.

The Lhatese is a cross between a purebred Lhasa Apso and Maltese.


The Lhatese is a designer dog breed from the United States.


The Lhatese is intelligent and will enjoy spending time with you.The Lhatese is a cross between a purebred Lhasa Apso and Maltese.

Food / Diet

To give your little companion the best nutrition possible, choose one of the many high quality dog food brands that are available. And if you wish to feed your pet a homemade diet or a raw diet, be sure to talk to your vet first so you can be sure you’re giving your dog the correct balance of nutrients.

After choosing a dry dog food, you can feed your Lhatese anywhere from ¼ cup to 1 cup of food every day, divided into at least two servings throughout the day. Your dog might need more or less food, depending upon his size, age, and activity level. If you aren’t sure of how much you should be feeding, simply ask your veterinarian.

When adding a high quality canned food for dogs to your pet’s diet, reduce the amount of dry food accordingly. This will prevent unwanted weight gain that could lead to health problems in the long run.

The Lhatese is intelligent and will enjoy spending time with you.


If your Lhatese acquired more of the Maltese personality, he will be moderately easy to work with when it comes to training. If your Lhatese acquired more of the Lhasa Apso personality, he could be a difficult canine to train because he can be stubborn. Therefore, this breed is better suited to experienced dog owners who have trained pooches in the past.

Overall, though, these dogs are intelligent and enjoy spending time with you, so as long as you keep your training approach sensitive, gentle, and positive, you will be able to get great results.

As is the case when training any breed, you should establish yourself as the pack leader. Be firm and consistent, as well as patient, and use plenty of rewards, treats, and praise to reinforce and encourage good behavior. Also, the sooner you start training your Lhatese, the better, especially because house training can be difficult with these dogs.


A small-sized breed, the Lhatese weighs between 10 and 15 pounds.

Temperament / Behavior

Anyone in search of a loving and playful companion will find the Lhatese irresistible.Anyone in search of a loving and playful companion will find the Lhatese irresistible. These dogs are friendly and gentle, so they will get along with everyone they meet, especially when they are properly socialized. And they make wonderful family pets, too, as they will get along well with children and other animals, including other canines.

Even though these dogs are small, you can expect that a Lhatese will make a good watchdog, as he will keep an eye out for suspicious people near your home, and he will bark to alert you if anything looks amiss.

These calm and affectionate pooches are eager to please, and they are comfortable with spending time indoors waiting patiently for their owners. However, like all dogs, they do best in families that have plenty of time to devote to their care.

Common Health Problems

Like other hybrid canine breeds, the Lhatese might be prone to inheriting some of the health problems that commonly affect its parent breeds. However, there is no guarantee that your pooch will end up developing any of those problems, and there’s no way to predict an individual canine’s long-term health. The best that you can do is be an informed pet parent, purchase your Lhatese from a reputable breeder, and provide your companion with the love and care he needs to thrive.

Some of the health problems that the Lhatese’s parent breeds commonly develop include patellar luxation, skin ailments, kidney problems, eye problems, ulcers, allergies, liver problems, hypoglycemia, reverse sneezing, white dog shaker syndrome, collapsed trachea, digestive problems, and dental problems.

Life Expectancy

The Lhatese has an average lifespan of 13 to 15 years.

Exercise Requirements

Because the Lhatese is an active breed, you will need to give your pet ample opportunity throughout the day to let out his energy in a positive way. Give him a variety of toys to remain mentally stimulated while spending time indoors, and allow him to run around and play outside, especially if you have a safe and enclosed backyard.

You can take your Lhatese on a couple of walks every day, as well as play games like fetch, to give him the exercise that he needs. Trips to the dog park can also be fun for your companion.

Anyone in search of a loving and playful companion will find the Lhatese irresistible.

Recognized Clubs

The Lhatese is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, as it is considered to be a hybrid breed. However, this breed is recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), the Designer Breed Registry (DBR), the Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA), and the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).


The Lhatese has a beautiful coat that is smooth, long, and soft, and it does not shed a lot. However, the coat is prone to becoming matted, so you will need to brush your pet’s coat every day to keep it clean, free of tangles, and healthy. You should also clean the area under the eyes daily to remove tear stains and prevent irritation.

You can also have your pet professionally groomed every 6-8 weeks, especially to trim the fur that grows around the ears and eyes. And you can bathe your pet whenever he gets too dirty.

Because both the Lhasa Apso and Maltese are considered hypoallergenic breeds, you can expect the Lhatese to also be a hypoallergenic and non-shedding breed, making it a good choice for those with allergies.


The Lhatese will be a small dog when fully grown, so puppies will be tiny and delicate. Give your pet a safe and clean environment in which to grow, and supervise any time that he spends with small children, as you don’t want your puppy getting hurt by accident.

Because this breed can be a bit of a challenge when it comes to training, starting early will be helpful. Socializing your puppy from as early on as possible will also help him grow up to be confident, calm, and friendly around a variety of people and animals.

Photo credit: kikimomeeky/Flickr; Trafford Judd/Flickr; Girldogsgonewild/Bigstock


Tagged as: crossbreed dog, designer breed, designer dog, designer dog breed, hybrid dog breed, Lamalese, Latese, lhasa, Lhasa Apso, Lhasatese, lhatese, Maltese


You will also be interested:

Shih Apso (Lhasa Apso & Shih Tzu Mix)

Height:9-12 inches
Weight:12-28 pounds
Lifespan:12-14 years
Colors:White, black, tan, gray
Suitable for:Apartment living, companion animals
Temperament:Relaxed, lovable, affectionate, social

The adorable Shih Apso is a hybrid breed that combines two similar purebred dogs—the Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu. When you mix the two dogs, you have a small, smush-faced dog with a wonderful temperament and good nature.

These dogs have so much to offer potential homes, but their most significant gift is the loyal companionship they give their families. If you’re shopping for your new family member, this adaptable pooch might be an excellent candidate to consider.

Shih Apso Puppies – Before You Buy…

What’s the Price of Shih Apso Puppies?

Shih Apso puppies coming from a reputable breeder cost somewhere in the ballpark of $250 to $1,000. The ultimate cost depends on the breeder, the area you live, and the quality of the puppies. Each person will offer their own rates along with any care costs included.

Puppies will likely come with their first round of shots and a veterinary health check. Most breeders offer puppy contracts and deposits before they place these pups with their forever homes. These procedures cover the bases, ensuring puppies go to suitable homes with serious owners.

With all hybrids, you have to make sure you steer clear of backyard breeding. Some people take two purebreds and breed them without any regard for the wellbeing of the parents or puppies. They merely want to make a profit.

Dogs from puppy mills or backyard breeding operations often have poor health, undesirable temperament, and other negative traits that can show through.

Because Shih Apsos are a mixed breed, finding one of these dogs in a local shelter or rescue is very possible. If you adopt, these dogs will have all appropriate health care, including spay or neuter. You can expect to pay up to $350 for a shelter dog.

3 Little-Known Facts About Shih Apso

1. Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apsos Are Both Brachycephalic Breeds

Brachycephalic breeds have short snouts and condensed skulls, giving them the cute pug-nosed look that you love. With both parents carrying this trait, your pup will have it—guaranteed.

2. Shih Apsos Always Have Long Hair

Both parents sport long, flowing coats that can grow floor length. They need regular trims to keep their coats mat-free.

3. Both Parent Breeds Come From Tibet

It’s a common misconception that Shih Tzus come from mainland China, but both breeds actually originate from Tibet Autonomous Region.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Shih Apso

Shih Apsos can carry every trait between their parents, so their temperament can vary slightly. However, most of the time, these dogs are super active, brilliant, and incredibly social animals with a happy-go-lucky approach to life.

Shih Tzus are usually quieter and more reserved, while Lhasa Apsos are much more vocal and involved. The combination produces a well-rounded dog that falls somewhere in the middle of the two personality types.

Shih Apsos can be quite stubborn, and some have more attitude and spunk than others. They are the type to turn away from you when they are in trouble—or doing something anyway despite consequence. With proper training, this won’t be an issue, as they are highly trainable.

These little dogs get entirely attached to their owners, forming solid bonds that never waver. They can even suffer from a bit of separation anxiety if they are left alone a lot. Because they are shadow dogs, always by your side—it’s important to be serious about the purchase.

These dogs have a tough time being rehomed, as it’s hard for them to trust again. It’s vital to make sure this is a one-home deal for them, as they will stay wholly devoted to their owners throughout their lifetimes.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Shih Apsos make terrific additions to most lifestyles. Since they can be a bit fiery, they might view kids as their equals. While this is fine, they might not tolerate small kids as much. It’s important o teach mutual respect for successful relationships. They do best with children around six and older.

Even though these dogs are very energetic, they can still make excellent pairings for older adults. Since they are stuck to you like glue, they will gladly accompany you on rides, walks, and new adventures. Plus, they are small enough to meet most apartment complex weight requirements.

These dogs might tend to bark a lot, which is something you have to consider if you have nearby neighbors. Not all Shih Apsos have this behavior, but it’s definitely possible. One thing is for sure—you will know when a stranger is at the door.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Shih Apsos make awesome mates for other household dogs. However, they might exhibit a bit of a small dog complex—thinking they’re the pack leader. As long as bigger dogs are cool with this, it isn’t an issue. But if a dog reacts badly, these dogs can get hurt easily.

These dogs generally get along with cats and small animals. Although, they should never be around cage animals without close supervision. Even though they are tiny, they can still do damage if they decide to play too rough.

It’s best to socialize your Shih Apso when they are very young. Exposing them to all sorts of dogs, cats, and animals will ensure they are tolerant and accepting.

Things to Know When Owning a Shih Apso:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

When it comes to their daily diet, your Shih Apso needs a protein-rich, high-quality dry kibble. These dogs might be finicky eaters. So, if they snub their nose up to dry kibble, you can also try a wet food or homemade dog food topper to kick things up a few notches.

Both of these breeds are prone to food allergies. It would be best if you tried to offer your Shih Apso a natural-based food that is free of fillers like corn, wheat, or soy. Since grain-free diets have been linked to certain health conditions, only switch if your vet diagnoses a grain allergy.

With the supervision of your veterinarian, you might even try a homemade or raw diet. You have to make sure you meet all required nutritional profiles to ensure optimal health.

Exercise 🐕

Nothing will excite your Shih Apso more than hearing the rattle of the leash. These little dogs love going on walks to see the neighborhood. They also love chasing kids, other dogs, and tons of toys. You won’t have to convince them that it’s time to play.

To keep your Shih Apso living a healthy lifestyle, they need at least 30 minutes of upbeat exercise per day.

Training 🎾

Like all small dogs, this breed can have quite a stubborn streak, making training difficult. However, they are also eager to please and loyal, which means they’re likely to listen with positive reinforcement training tactics.

Though potty training won’t be as difficult as some other small breeds, they might take a minute to get the hang of it. Consistency and routine are key to success.

Grooming ✂️

As you probably guessed just by looking at them, these dogs require extensive grooming. They need tovisit a professional groomer once every 4-6 weeks.

At home, it is best to brush these dogs daily and use a de-shedding tool once a week.

Since these dogs are prone to skin allergies, try to use all-natural shampoos that are soothing for the skin. Avoid artificial dyes and fragrances. These dogs should have a good scrub down once every 4-6 weeks.

They will need routine care like teeth brushing, nail trimming, and ear cleaning, too. You might have to wipe around their eyes as needed since they can develop runny discharge, leading to infection.

Health and Conditions 🏥

When you bring your Shih Apso home, it’s essential to already have a vet picked out. They will need to go in for a routine checkup and their second round of shots shortly after coming home. They will have quite a few vet visits in their first year of life—with annual checkups and boosters after that.

The Shih Apso can take on genetic health conditions from either parent breed, making them more prone to specific ailments. Keeping up with routine vet care will help you stay ahead of any developing issues.

Here are some possibilities of health concerns when you buy this cross-breed.

Serious Conditions

  • Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome
  • Lissencephaly
  • Heart disease

Male vs. Female

When it comes to differences between males and females, there are a few things to note. Shih Apsos have similar body structures, but males are usually larger and more stout than their female counterparts.

Since they can take on so many personality traits, this arena can vary quite a bit. However, females tend to be slightly headstrong and spunky, while males are more laidback and playful. Either gender can have yappy tendencies, but females tend to be more high-strung.

At sexual maturity, males might start marking their territory. They might mark furniture, objects, laundry, and outdoor objects at this time. To reduce the likelihood, you can neuter them around the age of 6 months.

Each dog will have its own personality, so make sure to choose a puppy based on your connection.

Final Thoughts

Shih Apsos are perfect dogs for anyone looking for a companion. The only real downfalls to consider are that they require grooming upkeep, they may bark a lot, and they can be bossy with other dogs or small kids.

Otherwise, this breed is entirely loyal, fun-loving, and cute as a button. If you’re sold on this breed, remember to buy from reputable breeders to avoid backyard breeder or puppy mill situations. Also, you have a pretty good shot at finding one at a shelter or rescue. Happy searching!

Featured Image Credit: Grace Stensland, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.



Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.


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