For aspiring dog owners who want a specialty designer dog, the Malshipoo is an excellent choice. Unlike most designer dogs, the Malshipoo is a cross between three instead of two purebred dogs.
The Malshipoo is a mix of the Maltese, Shih Tzu, and the Poodle. A Miniature or Toy Poodle is typically used in breeding Malshipoos. This is to keep the size of the resulting hybrid small.
Due to the different breeds crossed, the outcome is unpredictable since the puppy can inherit traits of any of its parents. However, you can expect a unique dog that makes an incredible companion and family dog.
This article will discuss the history, appearance, temperament, health issues, proper training, diet, and cost of the Malshipoo. Let’s start!
|Height:||6 – 10 inches|
|Weight:||6 – 12 pounds|
|Lifespan:||12 – 15 years|
|Coat Colors:||Apricot, black, brown, cream, gray, white, and beige|
|Temperament:||Intelligent, loyal, playful, affectionate|
|Suitable for:||Families with children|
What Is a Malshipoo?
The Malshipoo is a combination of the Maltese, Shih Tzu, and Poodle. The offspring resulting from this combination is a small dog that can vary in looks, depending on the parent breed it takes after. Malshipoo dogs are known to be intelligent, affectionate, loyal, and independent.
Generally speaking, a Malshipoo is a product of a mixed dog combined with another purebred dog. A Malshipoo can be a mixture of a Maltipoo and a Shih Tzu, a Shihpoo and a Maltese, or a Malshi and a Poodle.
The Poodle is one of the most intelligent dogs. Meanwhile, the Shih Tzu is a laid-back pooch, and the Maltese is a playful one. Since there are three breeds involved, owners must be prepared for an unpredictable outcome.
They are commonly hypoallergenic and non-shedding, which makes them an excellent pet for allergic people. The Malshipoo adapts well to indoor living and is the perfect size for owners living in small spaces.
Furthermore, Malshipoo puppies are very playful and active. They are also very alert and friendly, making them wonderful family pets.
What Is the Difference Between a Malshipoo and a Maltipoo?
A Maltipoo is a mix between a Mini or Toy Poodle and a Maltese. It is a small-sized designer dog that is bred to be a companion dog.
On the other hand, a Malshipoo is not your typical mixed dog because it is a cross between three rather than two breeds. It is a mix of a Shih Tzu, a Maltese, and a Poodle.
Since the Malshipoo has three origins, its personality can come from whichever parent it takes after. However, the Malshipoo has a strong similarity to a Maltipoo since it is a direct offspring of this mix.
Both the Malshipoo and Maltipoo are hypoallergenic and non-shedding dogs. Due to their playful and friendly nature, these breeds are excellent family dogs and are good with children.
Moreover, it is expected for the Malshipoo to act similarly to the Maltipoo. The only distinct difference between these two is the number of breeds used or involved in the combination. They may also differ slightly in looks and temperament.
Another difference between the two is breed recognition. Clubs such as the Designer Breed Registry (DBR) and the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) recognize the Maltipoo. However, Malshipoos are yet to be accepted by these organizations.
Malshipoo Origin and History
The Malshipoo is a very popular designer dog that originated in the United States. Not much is known about the origin of this mixed breed, but the history of its parents will help identify how this hybrid came to be.
The Maltese is one of the most ancient toy breeds. It was referred to as the legendary “comforter dog.” Europeans believed that this breed could cure illnesses, and they would place it on the pillow of sick people.
English breeders are responsible for producing the modern version of the Maltese. The breed entered the United States in the late 1800s, but it was not until the 1950s that it was registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC).
The Malshipoo’s Shih Tzu parent originated from Tibet in the early 600 AD. These “lion dogs” were associated with Buddhist ideologies and symbolized royalty, strength, and bravery.
The Shih Tzu was brought to the United States after World War II. The AKC recognized it as an official toy dog breed in 1969. It was around this time when over 3,000 dogs of this breed were registered.
Meanwhile, the Malshipoo’s Poodle parent was originally from Germany and was originally bred by hunters as water retrievers. Hence, the name Poodle came from the German word “pudel,” which means “to splash in the water.”
The Poodle was recognized by AKC in 1887 and was one of the first dog breeds to be officially registered.
Malshipoo puppies can inherit their physical appearance from any of their three distinct parents, and there is no limit to the possible outcomes. That said, the Malshipoo will generally turn out small.
The Malshipoo’s coat color can either be apricot, black, brown, cream, gray, white, or beige. It may also be a combination of brown & white, cream & white, and beige & white. It just depends on the genes of the dominant parent.
Its Shih Tzu and Maltese parents have straight fur, while the Poodle has tight curls. Because of this, Malshipoos can inherit any of these coat types. However, one thing that is common in all Malshipoos is their dark circular eyes.
To know more about the physical appearance of a Malshipoo, you can check this video:
Malshipoo Size and Weight
A Malshipoo can grow to about 6 to 10 inches tall and weigh between 6 and 12 pounds, depending on which parent it takes after, the Maltese, the Shih Tzu, or the Poodle. This hybrid reaches its full adult size by 12 to 15 months.
Malshipoos are generally small, especially when a Toy or Miniature Poodle is involved in the breeding. Since this breed is new, it is difficult to predict its exact measurement, but expect its size and weight to vary quite significantly.
For owners unfamiliar with monitoring their Malshipoo’s growth and development, it is best to consult your veterinarian to check if your dog is at its appropriate size and weight for its age.
Malshipoo Temperament and Personality
Malshipoo puppies are very active and playful. This mix is always eager to please its owners, other people, and pets. They are also a great companion for children.
Additionally, Malshipoos are very affectionate, loyal, sweet, and easily get attached to their families. Malshipoo adults can also be independent, so it will not be much of a problem if the owner works full-time.
However, remember that they are also highly affectionate, so it is important to spend a set amount of time with them daily to keep them happy and motivated.
Malshipoo Lifespan and Health Issues
Malshipoos have a life expectancy of around 12 to 15 years. Some even live longer if they are cared for properly and responsibly.
Though Malshipoos are generally healthy dogs, they are predisposed to certain illnesses passed on to them by their parents.
The following are the most common health issues of the Malshipoo:
- Patellar Luxation: Small dogs, like the Malshipoo, have a genetic predisposition for patellar luxation. This is a condition when the dog’s kneecap pops out or dislocates from its usual location. Your pet may experience pain in the leg, so anti-inflammatories, joint supplements, or therapeutic mobility diets may help ease the discomfort.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): Malshipoos can suffer from progressive retinal atrophy wherein their vision worsens and possibly leads to complete loss of eyesight. Early signs of PRA are night blindness, dilated pupils bigger than normal, and reflective eyes when lit.
- Hip Dysplasia: Malshipoos are prone to hip dysplasia, which is an abnormality in the conformation of the hip joint of the dog. This is characterized by weakness or pain in the hind legs. To prevent this condition, regular exercise and nutritional supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin help keep the joints healthy.
- Epilepsy or Seizures: Seizures are common symptoms that result from neurological disorders in dogs. This causes uncontrolled movements, behavior, and lack of awareness in dogs. Potential triggers such as stressful events, loud noises, or flashing lights should be avoided.
These health issues may affect the Malshipoo’s lifespan, so always ensure that regular veterinarian check-ups are done. These vet visits can detect any serious health conditions early.
Getting your Malshipoo pet insurance can also come in handy during emergencies. It will save you from the very high cost of unexpected medical procedures and treatments.
How to Take Care of Your Malshipoo
Taking care of a mixed breed does not differ from taking care of purebred dogs. Sufficient time, dedication, and resources are necessary to keep your pet healthy, active, and happy.
This section will discuss tips on taking care of your Malshipoo regarding food and diet, cleaning and grooming, and training and exercise.
Food and Diet
Malshipoos have a big appetite like any other dog. They are very active, energetic, and playful; hence, they need sufficient carbohydrates and high-quality dog food to satisfy their nutrient needs.
For Malshipoo puppies, it is best to give them smaller portions of food throughout the day. If unsure of what food to provide your puppy, you may consult your local veterinarian.
Feeding your puppy chicken, beef, lamb, fish, or plant-based protein is also beneficial to maintaining healthy muscles, tissue, hair, and skin.
As your Malshipoo enters adulthood, start mixing adult food into their diet until they eventually start eating it completely.
Supplement their diets as well with glucosamine and chondroitin to help prevent joint issues, as Malshipoos are susceptible to hip dysplasia.
Cleaning and Grooming
Malshipoos are known to be hypoallergenic and non-shedding. However, regular grooming and cleaning are necessary to keep their coat and skin healthy and appealing.
Its coat can be long and wavy or short and curly, depending on the physical traits it gets from the more dominant parent. It is advisable to brush it frequently and trim it every few months to remove dead hair and tangles.
Malshipoos should also be given a bath one to two times a month to prevent unwanted odor.
Training and Exercise
Malshipoos are highly intelligent dogs. This hybrid is very easy to train as they are always eager to learn and please their owners.
Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective motivators for Malshipoo puppies. To do this, reward your Malshipoo and praise them every time they do well in training.
Malshipoos are very active dogs, so they need regular exercise to keep their bones and muscles healthy. Always take them on walks, or play with them at home.
It is also advisable to provide adequate mental stimulation to your Malshipoo during training or playing to support its cognitive health.
How Much Does a Malshipoo Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses
A Malshipoo can cost around $400 to $1,500. The price of a Malshipoo may vary depending on factors such as location, breeder’s reputation, age, and gender.
As designer dogs, Malshipoos may be more challenging to produce, given that you need three breeds to produce this hybrid. They are considered rare, which explains the higher price tag.
It may be as difficult to locate Malshipoos from rescue organizations as from breeders, so expect the adoption price to range from $200 to $800 should you manage to find one.
Further, part of the expenses to consider would be the initial costs of bringing the puppy home, making it comfortable, and keeping it healthy.
Here is a summary of the expenses owners can expect from owning a Malshipoo:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$30 – $80|
|Bowls||$10 – $30|
|Toys||$20 – $30|
|Beds||$30 – $200|
|Collars and Leashes||$15 – $50|
|Crates and Carriers||$30 – $200|
|Grooming Essentials||$50 – $150|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $500|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$50 – $300|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$40 – $300|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Microchipping||$40 – $60|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Other Essentials||$20 – $50|
|Total Initial Cost||$495 – $2,470|
Owners must be prepared to finance between $495 and $2,470 to be able to provide the best living situation for their dogs.
Places to Find Malshipoo Puppies for Sale and Adoption
Since the Malshipoo is a relatively new hybrid, it can be challenging to find reputable breeders that are dedicated to producing this mix.
Not to worry, this section will help ease this burden for you and provide you with some places you can look into for a quality Malshipoo.
Here are some of the breeders and sites where you can find Malshipoo puppies available for sale:
- Robin’s Pups – Robin’s Pups is a breeder located in Hudson, Florida. They exclusively breed Maltipoos, Malshihpoos, Shihpoos, and Cockapoos. All puppies undergo vet exams, vaccinations, and other medications before they are rehomed.
- TLC Puppy Love – TLC Puppy Love is a family-owned kennel in Jacksonville, Florida. This breeder specializes in small, hypoallergenic purebreds and hybrids, including the Malshipoo. All their puppies come with up-to-date vaccinations, health certificates, and basic training before they are released to their new homes.
- Chews A Puppy – Chews A Puppy is a database of breeders across the United States. Each breeder on this site comes with a biography so you can do your research better. Fortunately, they have the Malshipoo as part of their listings. All puppies from Chews A Puppy come with a health warranty, registration, vet examination, and first round of vaccines.
There are currently no rescue centers dedicated to Malshipoo as it is new and still growing in popularity. However, you may find this hybrid dog in rescue organizations dedicated to its parent breeds.
Here are some rescues and shelters where you can possibly find Malshipoo puppies or adult Malshipoos for adoption:
- American Maltese Association Rescue (AMAR) – AMAR is a non-profit organization dedicated to rehabilitating abandoned Maltese dogs. They fully operate through their network of foster home volunteers. They have a 9-step process that you need to follow to get completely approved to adopt a puppy.
- Ohio Fuzzy Pawz Shih Tzu Rescue (OFP) – Based in Ohio, OFP is a rescue organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of the Shih Tzu and its mixes. OFP implements a stringent adoption process to ensure that their rescued dogs end up in responsible homes.
- NorCal Poodle Rescue – Established in 1985, this all-volunteer organization has dedicated itself to the rescue and rehoming of Poodles and their mixes. Prior to adoption, the rescued dog is ensured to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and groomed.
If you still can’t find any Malshipoo from the mentioned breeders and rescues, check out Facebook groups dedicated to this breed to increase your chances of finding one without hurting your budget.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Malshipoo
Before owning a Malshipoo, research everything about this mix and how it fits your lifestyle, preferences, and finances. Once you bring your Malshipoo home, it is the start of a lifetime responsibility, so your decision is important.
Here are some of the advantages of owning a Malshipoo:
- Highly intelligent: The Malshipoo is a very intelligent breed, which is a trait it inherited from its parents, thus, making it easier to train. It listens well to its owners as it is eager to please them.
- Hypoallergenic and non-shedding: The Malshipoo is a great option for people with allergies, given its hypoallergenic and minimal shedding nature. This is another excellent trait that it got from its parent breeds.
- Excellent companion dog: Malshipoo puppies are high in energy and love affection, so they turn out to be suitable companion dogs. It would be a pleasure for them to accompany their owners wherever they go.
- Good with children and other pets: The loving, friendly, and loyal nature of the Malshipoo make it an ideal dog for families with children and other pets. However, make sure to monitor younger children when playing with Malshipoos to protect the puppy from being hurt due to possible mishandling.
Here are the disadvantages of owning a Malshipoo:
- Limited sources: The Malshipoo mix is still relatively new, so it is challenging to find one. Only a few breeders offer this breed, so it naturally comes with a higher price tag.
- Difficulty to breed: To produce a Malshipoo, you first need to mix two purebreds and cross its offspring with another purebred. Considering the time and effort to produce this dog, only a few breeders patiently go through this process.
- Hard to predict their size: Since this breed is new, it is hard to estimate how much they will grow as they enter adulthood. Since its size and weight are hard to predict, you may encounter problems with the essentials you have to buy for your Malshipoo to fit its size. Even feeding would require more guidance from the veterinarian.
- Susceptible to health issues: Malshipoos are prone to health conditions such as hip dysplasia and seizures, amongst others. Be sure to visit your vet for regular check-ups to catch these issues early before they develop further.
Hopefully, these pros and cons can help you decide if the Malshipoo is the perfect companion dog for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Malshipoos Good Dogs?
Malshipoos are good dogs, especially to their owners, children, and pets around them. They easily show love, affection, sweetness, and loyalty.
However, building a strong attachment to their owners also means they tend to be overprotective, especially if they feel their family is in danger. This makes them aggressive at times but still manageable through proper training.
Do Malshipoos Bark a Lot?
Malshipoos are not excessive barkers. This hybrid is highly intelligent, so it won’t bark for no specific reason.
However, owners may find their Malshipoo puppies barking due to boredom, fear, or when they seek attention. When they start barking, it is best to attend to them immediately to see what they need.
Additionally, training the Malshipoo puppies at an early age can also help control their barking.
Are Malshipoos Smart?
The three distinct parents of the Malshipoo are generally intelligent breeds, so owners can also expect their Malshipoo puppies to be smart.
They are also very eager to learn, impress their owners, and comply with commands, making them easy to train. Moreover, the Malshipoo is a good breed choice for first-time dog owners due to its ease of handling.
Do Malshipoos Shed a Lot?
Malshipoos do not shed a lot. Due to this, Malshipoo owners need not worry about fur around their house.
However, proper and regular grooming is still necessary to keep the shedding of your Malshipoo to a minimum, plus it keeps your dog’s coat healthy and appealing.
Are Malshipoos Hypoallergenic?
Malshipoos are hypoallergenic. They are safe and excellent dogs for people with sensitivities to allergens.
On the other hand, adult Malshipoos will still require grooming to remove any trapped hair in their coat which may trigger allergies.
Further, note that despite this hybrid’s hypoallergenic trait, some people might be more sensitive to certain allergens than others, so take preventive measures if you have these sensitivities when exposed to dogs.
The Malshipoo mix is a hybrid quickly gaining popularity due to its cute appearance and desirable temperament. Hence, its demand is starting to increase, making it harder to locate and more expensive too!
This designer breed takes pride in being the fusion of intelligent, loyal, loving, and obedient dogs. So if you want to experience the best features of the Maltese, Shih Tzu, and Poodle in one dog, the Malshipoo is an ideal option.
If this article has encouraged you to get your very own Malshipoo, please let us hear about it by dropping a comment below!