Maltipoo vs. Shih Tzu: An Engaging Face-Off Guide

When comparing affectionate dogs and purebred dogs, especially little dogs and poodle mixes like the friendly maltipoo and the Maltese shih tzu pup; it’s essential to consider various factors. Both breeds of affectionate dogs, particularly purebred dogs and poodle mixes, have unique characteristics that make them distinct yet equally endearing as friendly dogs.

Maltipoos, a crossbreed between Maltese and poodles, are one of the friendly dog breeds known for their playful nature and adaptability. These little dogs, often called pups, are particularly loved for their friendly demeanor. On the other hand, Maltipoo dogs, a type of poodle mix, exhibit traits from both its parent breeds, resulting in an affectionate, friendly maltipoo companion with a lively, friendly dog personality.

This article aims to objectively compare two popular poodle mixes, maltipoo dogs and Maltese, with a poodle parent. This post will explore the similarities and differences between maltipoo dogs regarding physical characteristics, temperament, health issues, and care requirements. A comparison will be made with their parent breeds to understand the breed type more deeply. The goal is to equip potential pet owners with useful information about both dog breeds.

Breed Origins: History and Characteristics

Maltipoo Roots

The Maltipoo, one of the popular dog breeds, is a hybrid breed. This cross between the Maltese and the Poodle dogs is known for its distinctive coat, which is above average in terms of maintenance. These adorable Maltipoo breed dogs, a friendly and lazy breed, have been bred for their companionship traits over generations from their Maltese lineage. The Maltipoo breed, a mix of Maltese and Poodle, dates back many years to the Mediterranean region. The Poodle part of this dog breed, known for its intelligence, agility, and unique coat, hails from Germany. Maltipoo dogs combine these traits in one adorable package.

  • Maltipoo dogs, a popular maltipoo breed among dog breeds, are known for their long, silky coats, playful nature, and average size.
  • Poodle: Renowned for their intelligence and agility. In comparison, dog breeds like the Maltese Shih Tzu have longer snouts, passed on to the Maltipoos, an average trait among dogs.

Shih Tzu Origins

On the other hand, Shih Tzus and Maltese are ancient breeds with origins linked to royal courts, while Maltipoo dogs are a newer comparison. These breeds have an average link to China’s royal courts around 1000 years ago. Bred as companion dogs for Chinese royalty, the Maltese breed, known for their affectionate nature and distinctive appearance with short snouts, are treasured. This breed is also average in size, similar to the Maltipoo.

Despite these different origins, both the Maltese and Maltipoo breeds share an emphasis on companionship traits due to their history as lapdogs of royalty. This comparison provides an average understanding of their shared traits.

Breed Characteristics

Unlike dog breeds, Maltipoos often inherit Poodles’ curly hair, longer snouts, and Malteses’ friendly demeanor, an average trait among dogs. They’re usually small in size but packed with energy.

Maltese and Maltipoo dogs, like certain dog breeds such as Shih Tzus, exhibit unique characteristics. These include a short snout, large expressive eyes, and a luxurious double coat that requires regular grooming on average. Despite being small in size like the dog breeds Maltese Shih Tzu and Maltipoos, these dogs carry themselves with an average regal bearing befitting their royal lineage.

Both breeds are known for:

  1. Their adaptability to apartment living.
  2. Being excellent companion dogs.
  3. They require regular grooming due to their long coats.

Origins Influence on Traits

The origins of these breeds significantly influence their traits. For instance:

  • The Maltese Maltipoo’s poodle parentage contributes to its hypoallergenic coat – a boon for people with allergies. This is average among dog breeds, especially dogs with similar coats.
  • Shih Tzus, similar to other dog breeds like the Maltese or Maltipoo dogs, due to their royal lineage, tend to be more independent and sometimes exhibit a stubborn streak on average.

Understanding Temperament: Personality Differences

Delving directly into dog breeds, one cannot ignore the distinct personality differences between a Maltese Maltipoo and a Shih Tzu. These dogs showcase an average contrast in their temperaments. The Maltese Maltipoo, a popular dog breed known for its playfulness, often exhibits an exuberant personality full of life. This breed of dog typically maintains an average level of activity. Maltese and Maltipoo dogs, two popular dog breeds, are typically animated, energetic, and love to be in the thick of things on an average day.

Conversely, you have dog breeds like the Shih Tzu, with its calm demeanor; the Maltese, known for its elegance; or Maltipoo dogs, an average-sized hybrid. These Maltese breed dogs, known as Maltipoo, display an average tendency towards tranquility and peace. The personality traits of Maltipoo dogs, a popular breed among the average Maltese dog breeds, lean more towards being laid-back and relaxed rather than overly active or hyper.

  • Maltipoo: Animated, Energetic
  • Shih Tzu: Tranquil, Relaxed

Temperament Impact on Training & Adaptability

The temperament of Maltipoo dogs, a breed mix of Maltese, significantly affects their average training and adaptability. The lively nature of the Maltese Maltipoo, a popular dog breed, can sometimes be a double-edged sword for average dog owners.

However, this same energy also makes dog breeds like the Maltese and Maltipoo dogs exceptionally adaptable to new environments and situations. Contrary to dog breeds like Maltese or Maltipoo dogs, Shih Tzus might exhibit a stubborn streak during training due to their laid-back disposition. However, given their easygoing nature, they adapt well to different living conditions.

  • Maltipoo: Easily Distracted but Adaptable
  • Shih Tzu: Stubborn but Easygoing

Breed-Specific Behavior Patterns

Analyzing breed-specific behavior patterns further highlights these differences. Maltese Maltipoos, a mix of dog breeds, are typically social butterflies who thrive on interaction and playtime with other dogs. Maltese and maltipoo dogs are known for being warm towards strangers, which is not always true with other dog breeds.

In contrast, dog breeds like Shih Tzus and Maltese tend to be more reserved around unfamiliar faces until they get comfortable with them, unlike Maltipoo dogs. However, it’s important to remember that these are just tendencies in dog breeds, and there can be exceptional cases where a Shih Tzu or a Maltese might be more outgoing, or other dogs like a Maltipoo might be shy.

  • Maltipoo: Social, Warm towards strangers
  • Shih Tzu: Friendly, Loves to Play

Care Requirements: Diet, Exercise, Grooming

Dietary Needs

Maltipoos and Shih Tzus have different dietary needs. Like most dogs, Maltipoos, a popular dog breed, typically require a protein-rich diet to support their active lifestyle. Maltese and Maltipoo dogs, like other dog breeds, also need a moderate amount of carbohydrates for energy and fruits and vegetables for essential vitamins and minerals.

  • Protein sources: Chicken, fish, beef
  • Carbohydrates: Brown rice, sweet potatoes
  • Fruits & Vegetables: Apples, carrots, peas

Dog breeds like Shih Tzus and Maltese, particularly Maltipoo dogs, on the other hand, have a slower metabolism. The diet of Maltese and Maltipoo dogs, among other dog breeds, should be low in fat but high in fiber to maintain weight and prevent digestive conditions.

  • Low-fat protein sources: Turkey, white fish
  • High-fiber foods: Barley, oats
  • Fruits & Vegetables: Blueberries, spinach

Exercise Requirements

Regarding exercise requirements, Maltipoos, a mix of Maltese and other dog breeds, are quite energetic. Dog breeds like the Maltese and Maltipoo dogs require daily exercise to keep them healthy and happy. This can range from short walks around the block with dogs, particularly dog breeds like Maltese or Maltipoo, to playing fetch in the park.

  1. Short Walks – 15 minutes twice a day.
  2. Fetch – 10 minutes once or twice a day.
  3. Agility training – Once a week.

Maltese Shih Tzus are less active than Maltipoos, but like other dog breeds, these dogs still require regular activity to maintain health and combat conditions such as obesity.

  1. Short Walks – 10 minutes once a day.
  2. Playtime indoors – 15 minutes daily.
  3. Light agility training – Once every two weeks.

Grooming Routines

Grooming is an important part of care for Maltipoo and Maltese dogs due to their curly coats that shed minimally but mat easily.

Breed Brushing Frequency Bath Frequency
Maltipoo Daily Every 4-6 weeks
Shih Tzu 3-4 times a week Every 3-4 weeks


Maltese, a popular dog breed, need daily brushing to prevent their curly coats from matting, while Shih Tzus, another beloved breed among dogs, requires less frequent brushing. Maltese and Maltipoo breeds have a low drooling tendency, making them suitable as therapy or service dogs.

In terms of professional grooming services for dog breeds, Maltese dogs and Maltipoos should visit a groomer every 6-8 weeks for a trim, while Shih Tzus and other dogs typically require a visit every 4-6 weeks due to their fast-growing hair.

Grooming dogs, particularly dog breeds like Maltese and Maltipoo, is not just about maintaining appearances; it’s also an opportunity to check for abnormalities such as lumps, rashes, or parasites that may indicate health issues. Regular grooming of dog breeds like the Maltese and Maltipoo can help you catch these conditions early and seek veterinary attention promptly.

Maltese and Maltipoo dog breeds are known for their friendly nature and adaptability, making them excellent choices for families or individuals looking for companionship. Whether you choose Maltese, Maltipoo, Shih Tzu, or other dog breeds will depend largely on your lifestyle and personal preference regarding care requirements.

Health and Lifespan Considerations

Maltipoo Health Issues

Maltipoos, a crossbreed between Maltese and Poodles, are generally healthy dogs. However, they do have their share of health issues. Frequent health problems include:

  • Patellar Luxation
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Epilepsy
  • White Shaker Syndrome

These conditions in your dog, whether a Maltese or Maltipoo, can be managed with regular vet check-ups and preventive care measures.

Shih Tzu Health Problems

Maltese and Maltipoo, like Shih Tzus, are purebred dogs known for their adorable looks but also have certain health concerns. Some common health issues include:

  • Breathing problems due to their short snout
  • Eye diseases such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Ear infections due to their floppy ears

Again, these conditions in your dog, whether a Maltese or Maltipoo, can be mitigated through regular veterinary care.

Lifespan Estimates

The life expectancy of both breeds varies slightly. On average:

Breed Average Lifespan
Maltipoo 10 – 15 years
Shih Tzu 10 – 16 years

These estimates for a Maltese or Maltipoo’s lifespan depend greatly on the individual dog’s health and lifestyle factors.

Enhancing Longevity

To ensure an active life for your furry friend, whether a dog, a Maltese, or a Maltipoo, consider the following preventive care measures.

  1. Regular exercise: This keeps your dog, whether a Maltese or Maltipoo, not only fit but also mentally stimulated.
  2. Balanced diet: A good diet is key in preventing obesity-related health problems in dogs, particularly breeds like the Maltese and Maltipoo.
  3. Regular vet check-ups for your dog, especially breeds like Maltese and Maltipoo: Early detection of potential health issues can make a huge difference in treatment outcomes.
  4. Dental hygiene for your dog, particularly breeds like Maltese and Maltipoo: Regular teeth cleaning can prevent oral diseases that could affect their overall health.
  5. Mental stimulation: Keep your dog, whether a Maltese or Maltipoo, engaged with toys or puzzles to maintain cognitive function.

Maltese Maltipoos and Shih Tzus are great companions, especially for older adults who may prefer a smaller dog like Maltese. The average height of a Maltese or Maltipoo dog is usually under a foot tall, making them easy to handle.

Compatibility with Lifestyle and Pets

Suitability with Different Lifestyles

Maltese, Maltipoos, and Shih Tzus, all popular companion dogs, offer different perks depending on your lifestyle. Maltipoos combine Maltese and Poodle breeds, resulting in high-energy dogs that thrive in active lifestyles. Maltese and Maltipoo dogs require regular exercise to keep their energy levels in check.

Maltese and Maltipoo dogs, similar to Shih Tzus, are generally more laid-back pets. Maltese and Maltipoo dogs are happy to lounge around the house or office environment for most of the day. However, they still enjoy short walks or play sessions. For people leading sedentary lives or those who cannot commit to daily vigorous exercises for their pet, breeds like the Maltese, Maltipoo, or Shih Tzus might be a better fit.

Compatibility with Other Pets

When it comes to a dog’s behavior, particularly Maltese or Maltipoo, towards other pets at home.

  • Maltese Maltipoos – Known as friendly dogs, these hybrids generally get along well with other animals if properly socialized from a young age.
  • Shih Tzus, Maltese, and Maltipoos – These dogs all have a reputation for being good-natured and can coexist peacefully with other pets.

However, each Maltese or Maltipoo dog’s temperament may vary based on personality traits and past experiences.

Factors like Size and Energy Levels

Both the Maltese and Maltipoo breeds are small-sized dogs, making them suitable for different living environments, whether it’s an apartment or a large house.

  1. Maltipoo – Typically weighs between 5-20 pounds.
  2. Shih Tzu – Generally weighs between 9-16 pounds.

The size difference between a Maltese and a Maltipoo is minimal but could be significant if you’re looking for a toy-sized dog or dealing with space constraints.

In terms of energy levels:

Maltipoo Shih Tzu
Energy Level High Medium

Maltese Maltipoos have higher energy levels, requiring more dog physical activity, while Shih Tzus are relatively more relaxed.

Hypoallergenic Potential

For families with allergies, both breeds have hypoallergenic potential. Maltese Maltipoos inherit the hypoallergenic quality from their Poodle parent, similar to how a Maltese dog’s coat reduces allergy issues. Meanwhile, Shih Tzus’ coat is akin to human hair, minimizing allergy problems.

However, no breed, including the Maltese or Maltipoo, can be guaranteed 100% hypoallergenic as it ultimately depends on individual reactions to specific dogs. Always spend time with a Maltese or Maltipoo before bringing them into your life if allergies concern you.

Family Dynamics

The Maltese and Maltipoo dog breeds make excellent family pets due to their friendly and affectionate nature.

  • Maltese Maltese Maltipoos – Adaptable dogs that bond well with all family members.
  • Maltese, Maltipoo, and Shih Tzus are known for being particularly good dog breeds with children.

The choice between a Maltipoo, a Maltese dog, and a Shih Tzu will depend on your lifestyle changes, living environment, and family dynamics. Maltese and Maltipoo dog breeds offer unique qualities that make them additions to any home.

Cost Analysis: Price and Availability

Initial Purchase Price

The initial purchase price for a Maltese, Maltipoo, or Shih Tzu dog can vary widely. On average, a Maltipoo puppy, a popular Maltese dog mix, ranges from $700 to $1,000, while a Shih Tzu puppy’s Price can range from $500 to $1,000. The key factors influencing the Price of a Maltese or Maltipoo dog include the breed’s color and whether they’re purebred.

  • Maltipoo:
    • Average Price: $700 – $1,000
    • Key Factors: Color, Purebred status
  • Shih Tzu:
    • Average Price: $500 – $1,000
    • Key Factors: Color, Purebred status

Ongoing Costs

When estimating ongoing costs for either the Maltese or Maltipoo dog breeds, consider food expenses, vet bills including regular physical checks and vaccinations, grooming costs, etc. Here is an average monthly cost breakdown for these dogs.

Expense Maltipoo Shih Tzu
Food $40 $35
Vet $50 $45
Grooming $30 $25

Remember that these are averages; actual costs may vary depending on your location and the individual needs of a Maltipoo, whether it’s a dog like a Maltese or a Maltipoo.


In terms of availability in different regions:

  • Maltipoos are designer dogs with growing popularity. While not recognized by all kennel clubs due to their hybrid nature (Maltese + Poodle), the Maltipoo dog’s cute image makes them highly sought after.
  • On the other hand, Shih Tzus and Maltese dogs are ancient breeds with established recognition in many kennel clubs worldwide, just like the Maltipoo.

Maltese and Maltipoo breeds have rescue options if you’re open to adopting an older dog. Rescuing a dog, specifically breeds like a Maltese or Maltipoo, often cuts down on initial costs significantly but may require more time and patience in your search.

  • Maltipoo Rescues: Though less common, Maltipoo rescues do exist. You’ll likely need to spend more time searching for these dog breeds, especially the Maltese and Maltipoo.
  • Maltese and Maltipoo Rescues: Shih Tzu, Maltese, and Maltipoo rescue groups are quite prevalent, making it easier to find a mature dog of these breeds needing a home.

Making the Final Decision

Choosing between a Maltese Maltipoo and a Shih Tzu dog is not simple. Each breed, be it a Maltese, a Maltipoo, or another type of dog, has its unique characteristics, temperament, care requirements, lifespan considerations, compatibility with lifestyle and other pets, and cost implications. Your choice of dog, be it a Maltese or a Maltipoo, should hinge on your personal preference and lifestyle needs.

If you’re searching for a playful yet gentle companion like a Maltese or Maltipoo dog that requires minimal exercise but regular grooming, the Shih Tzu could be your perfect match. Conversely, if you prefer an energetic and hypoallergenic breed like the Maltese that thrives on activity but may need more attention to health concerns, the Maltipoo, a Maltese mix, might be more suitable.

Remember that both the dog breeds, Maltese and Maltipoo, make great companions when given proper care and love. It’s crucial to consider all aspects before deciding on a dog, whether a Maltese or a Maltipoo. Our team of dog experts is always available to provide further guidance based on our comprehensive understanding of breeds’ traits, particularly those of the Maltese and Maltipoo. We encourage detailed inquiries about your dog, specifically breeds like the Maltese or Maltipoo, to help us offer personalized advice for your situation.


What is the average lifespan of a Maltipoo?

The average lifespan of a Maltese dog or a Maltipoo ranges from 10 to 15 years.

How often does a Shih Tzu need grooming?

Like Shih Tzus, Maltese and Maltipoo dogs also require regular grooming due to their long hair; they should be groomed every 3-4 weeks.

Are Maltipoos good with children?

Yes, Maltipoos, a popular Maltese dog mix, are generally good with children, but supervision is advised during playtime due to their small size.

Does Shih Tzus get along well with other pets?

Like Maltese and Maltipoo breeds, Shih Tzus typically get along well with other pets; however, each dog’s temperament can vary, so introductions should be done carefully.

How much exercise does a Maltipoo need daily?

A Maltipoo, a popular dog breed, requires at least 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise daily.

Is training easy for Shih Tzus?

Maltipoos, like Shih Tzus, are intelligent but can be as stubborn as a dog, making training a bit challenging. Consistency and positive reinforcement are key to successful training.