Maltese vs shih tzu

Maltese vs Shih Tzu: Which Fluffy Companion Wins the Hearts?

Today, in Top Pet Products,  we are talking about Maltese and Shih Tzu.

These furry companions will steal your heart with their charm, but which one is the perfect fit for you? 

In this article, we will dive deep into the world of Maltese Vs Shih Tzu, comparing their history, physical appearance, temperament, lifespan and size, exercise needs, adaptability and more.

So, you can decide which adorable dog is right for you.

So keep reading !!

Maltese Vs Shih Tzu : History

The Maltese breed can be traced back thousands of years to ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

These elegant dogs were adored by nobility and royalty, often depicted in paintings and sculptures from that time period.

Their small size, silky white coat, and sweet temperament made them a favorite companion for wealthy individuals.

On the other hand, the Shih Tzu breed has its origins in China during the Ming Dynasty.

These dogs were highly valued by Chinese emperors and were kept within the walls of their palaces.

It is believed that they were bred by crossing Tibetan breeds with Pekingese dogs to create a small yet sturdy dog with a luxurious coat. The name ‘Shih Tzu’ translates to ‘lion dog,’ reflecting their regal appearance.

Both breeds underwent significant development over the centuries to achieve their current standards. 

The Maltese was selectively bred for its petite size, pure white coat, and charming personality. 

They became popular among European aristocracy during the Renaissance period and eventually made their way across continents through trade routes.

Similarly, the Shih Tzu underwent careful breeding to enhance its physical traits while maintaining its distinct character. 

This breed was recognized by international kennel clubs in the 20th century and gained popularity around the world due to its unique appearance and affectionate nature.

When exploring the history of Maltese and Shih Tzu breeds, one cannot help but marvel at their ancient lineage and historical significance. 

From their beginnings as beloved companions of nobility to becoming cherished pets in households worldwide today, these breeds have come a long way while retaining their charm and allure throughout generations.

Also, Read- 21 Small Dog breeds in India

Maltese Vs Shih Tzu : Appearance

When comparing the appearance of these two breeds, you’ll notice that both have distinct features that set them apart from each other.

Starting with grooming requirements, the Maltese and Shih Tzu both require regular grooming to maintain their beautiful coats. 

However, the Maltese has a long, silky white coat that requires more frequent brushing and occasional professional grooming to prevent matting.

On the other hand, the Shih Tzu has a thicker double coat that can be left longer or trimmed shorter for easier maintenance.

Moving on to coat colors and patterns, the Maltese is known for its pure white coat, while the Shih Tzu comes in a variety of colors and patterns including gold, brindle, black, and white.

Their facial features also differ as the Maltese has a small button nose and expressive round dark eyes that give it an innocent look. In contrast, the Shih Tzu has a flatter face with large round eyes that are wide-set.

In terms of body structure, both breeds are small in size but have slight differences. The Maltese has a compact body with straight legs and a level top-line. Its chest is deep and well-sprung while its tail is carried over its back.

On the other hand, the Shih Tzu has a slightly longer body with sturdy legs and a level top-line as well. Its chest is broad and deep while its tail curls up over its back.

Lastly, when comparing their tail types, the Maltese typically has a plume-like tail that is carried high on its back whereas the Shih Tzu’s tail curves over its back in an elegant manner resembling a pom-pom.

When examining their physical appearance side by side, it becomes clear that although they share some similarities such as their small size and need for regular grooming, 

there are distinct differences between these two breeds in terms of coat colors/patterns, facial features, body structure, and tail types.

These unique characteristics contribute to the individual charm and appeal of each breed.

Maltese Vs Shih Tzu : Temperament

Maltese vs shih tzu temperament

When it comes to temperament comparison, the Maltese is known for being affectionate, playful, and lively. They’re often described as gentle and friendly towards people of all ages, making them great family pets.

However, they can be prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time, so they thrive in homes where there’s someone around most of the day.

On the other hand, the Shih Tzu is known for being outgoing, friendly, and confident. They’re generally good-natured dogs who enjoy being around people and are usually good with children. Their social nature makes them a popular choice for families.

When looking at behavior traits and personality differences between these two breeds, it’s important to note that both the Maltese and Shih Tzu can be stubborn at times. 

However, while the Maltese may be easier to train due to their high intelligence and eagerness to please their owners, Shih Tzus tend to have a more independent streak which can make training more challenging.

Socialization needs also differ between these breeds. The Maltese tends to be more adaptable and accepting of new situations and people without much effort needed in terms of socialization. 

On the other hand, Shih Tzus require consistent socialization from an early age as they can be wary or aloof with strangers if not properly introduced.

When comparing the temperaments of the Maltese and Shih Tzu breeds, it’s clear that there are some notable differences. 

While both breeds can make wonderful companions with their affectionate nature and friendly personalities towards people, potential owners should consider factors such as separation anxiety tendencies in Malteses or training challenges due to independence in Shih Tzus before making a decision. 

Additionally, the socialization needs of each breed should be taken into account to ensure a well-rounded and balanced pet.

Maltese Vs Shih Tzu : Lifespan and Size

When it comes to lifespan, the Maltese tends to have a slightly longer life expectancy compared to the Shih Tzu. 

On average, a Maltese can live anywhere from 12 to 15 years, while a Shih Tzu typically lives between 10 to 16 years.

Although both breeds are generally healthy, it’s important to note that individual factors such as genetics, diet, and overall care can influence their lifespan.

In terms of size, the Maltese is generally smaller than the Shih Tzu. A fully grown Maltese typically weighs between 4 to 7 or pounds or 2 to 3 kg and stands at around 8 to 10 inches tall at the shoulder. 

On the other hand, a Shih Tzu is slightly larger, weighing between 9 to 16 pounds or 4 to 7kg and standing at about 9 to 10.5 inches in height.

Maltese Vs Shih Tzu : Exercise Needs

maltese vs shih tzu exercise

To keep your furry companion happy and healthy, it’s essential to understand their exercise needs. Both the Maltese and Shih Tzu may be small in size, but they still require regular physical activity to maintain their overall well-being.

While Maltese dogs are known for being more laid-back and less active compared to the Shih Tzu, it is important not to underestimate their exercise requirements. 

Maltese dogs have moderate activity levels and typically need around 30 minutes of exercise each day. 

This can be achieved through short walks or play sessions in a secure area. They also enjoy interactive toys that provide mental stimulation while keeping them physically engaged. 

It’s important not to overexert them due to their delicate nature, especially during hot weather or extreme temperatures.

On the other hand, Shih Tzus have slightly higher energy levels and require about 45 minutes to an hour of exercise daily. 

They enjoy brisk walks, interactive games like fetch or hide-and-seek, and even agility training. Regular playtime in a fenced yard or dog park is also beneficial for them as it allows them to socialize with other dogs.

Maltese Vs Shih Tzu : Trainability

When comparing the trainability of these two breeds, it’s important to consider their intelligence and willingness to learn. 

Both Maltese and Shih Tzu are intelligent dogs that can be trained with patience and consistency.

However, when it comes to potty training, the Maltese tends to have a slight advantage. 

They’re known for being quick learners in this area and can be successfully housebroken at an early age. On the other hand, Shih Tzus may require more time and effort to master potty training due to their stubborn nature.

In terms of obedience training, both breeds respond well to positive reinforcement techniques such as reward-based training. 

Using treats or praise as rewards for good behavior can motivate them to listen and follow commands. It’s important to note that harsh or forceful training methods should be avoided as they can lead to fear or aggression in both Maltese and Shih Tzu.

Crate training is another aspect of trainability that can be beneficial for both breeds. By providing a safe and comfortable space for them, crate training helps with potty training, prevents destructive behaviors when you’re away from home, and aids in establishing a routine.

Leash training is also essential for both Maltese and Shih Tzu since they’re small breeds that need proper guidance during walks. 

Starting leash training from an early age will help them become accustomed to walking on a leash without pulling or tugging excessively.

Overall, while there may be some differences in trainability between Maltese and Shih Tzu, both breeds can be successfully trained using positive reinforcement techniques like reward-based training. 

With dedication, consistency, and patience, you can shape their behaviors effectively and ensure they become well-behaved companions.

Maltese Vs Shih Tzu : Adaptability

Maltese vs shih tzu

While comparing the adaptability of Maltese and Shih Tzu, it’s important to consider their ability to adjust to different environments and lifestyles. 

Both breeds are known for their adaptability in different climates, making them suitable for various living conditions.

Whether you live in a hot or cold climate, both the Maltese and Shih Tzu can handle it well with proper care. 

However, it is worth noting that the Maltese has a longer coat that requires more grooming compared to the Shih Tzu. 

The Maltese needs regular brushing and professional grooming every few weeks to keep its luxurious coat free from mats and tangles. 

On the other hand, the Shih Tzu’s coat also requires regular maintenance but may be slightly less demanding than that of a Maltese.

When it comes to socialization needs, both breeds benefit from early socialization to ensure they become well-rounded companions. 

They can get along well with children if properly introduced and supervised. However, due to their small size, extra caution should be taken when young children interact with these dogs to prevent accidental injuries.

In terms of energy levels, both breeds have moderate energy levels but require daily exercise such as short walks or playtime indoors to stay happy and healthy.

Maltese Vs Shih Tzu : Dietary Nutrition

Comparing the dietary nutrition of these two breeds is like comparing apples to oranges, as each has its own unique nutritional needs and preferences.

Maltese dogs require a balanced diet that includes high-quality protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates for energy. 

They are prone to dental issues, so feeding them dry kibble can help promote good oral health. It’s important to monitor their weight and adjust their portion sizes accordingly to prevent obesity.

On the other hand, Shih Tzus have specific dietary requirements due to their sensitive stomachs. 

They often benefit from a diet that is easily digestible and includes lean proteins such as chicken or fish. 

Additionally, they may require smaller meals throughout the day to avoid bloating or indigestion. It’s crucial to provide them with fresh water at all times and avoid feeding them table scraps or foods that are toxic to dogs.

Maltese Vs Shih Tzu : Health issues

maltese vs shih Tzu health issues

Both Maltese and Shih Tzu are generally healthy breeds, but they do have some common health issues that owners should watch out for.

One common health issue in both breeds is dental problems. Due to their small size and crowded teeth, Maltese and Shih Tzu are prone to plaque build-up, gum disease, and tooth decay. 

Regular dental care such as brushing their teeth, providing dental chews, and scheduling professional cleanings can help prevent these issues.

Another important aspect of maintaining your Maltese or Shih Tzu’s health is proper grooming. Both breeds have long hair that requires regular brushing to prevent matting and tangling. 

Additionally, they are prone to eye problems such as tear staining and dry eyes. Daily cleaning around the eyes can help reduce tear stains while using lubricating eye drops recommended by a vet can alleviate dryness.

It’s essential to be mindful of common allergies that these breeds may develop. Maltese and Shih Tzu are known to be sensitive to certain allergens like pollen or dust mites, which can cause skin irritations, itching, and even respiratory problems.

 Regular bathing with hypoallergenic shampoos and keeping their living environment clean can help minimize allergic reactions.

By being proactive in addressing these common health issues such as dental care, grooming requirements including eye care, managing allergies effectively, you can ensure your Maltese or Shih Tzu lives a long, happy life free from unnecessary discomfort or complications related to their overall well-being.

Maltese Vs Shih Tzu : Price in India

In India, you can find Maltese and Shih Tzu puppies at varying prices. These breeds are quite popular and have different price ranges. Generally, Maltese puppies tend to be more expensive compared to Shih Tzu puppies.

If you’re interested in a Maltese puppy, you can expect prices ranging from around ₹30,000 to ₹70,000 or even higher. The actual price depends on factors such as the lineage quality, breeder reputation, and the overall health and appearance of the puppy.

On the other hand, Shih Tzu puppies in India usually have a price range of approximately ₹20,000 to ₹50,000. Just like with Maltese puppies, the price can be influenced by factors like the puppy’s lineage, the reputation of the breeder, and other qualities.


Are Maltese and Shih Tzu hypoallergenic breeds?

Yes, both Maltese and Shih Tzu are considered hypoallergenic breeds. They have minimal shedding tendencies, making them great allergy-friendly pets. However, they do require regular grooming to maintain their coat and keep them allergy-friendly dogs.

Which breed is more suitable for families with young children?

If you’re looking for a family dog, consider the Maltese and Shih Tzu breeds. They both have friendly temperaments, moderate exercise needs, and are trainable. The Maltese is smaller and lighter, while the Shih Tzu has a longer lifespan.

How do Maltese and Shih Tzu differ in terms of grooming requirements?

Maltese and Shih Tzu have different grooming requirements. Maltese have a long, silky coat that requires daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles. Shih Tzu have a dense, double coat that needs regular brushing and professional grooming every 4-6 weeks.

What are the common health issues that Maltese and Shih Tzu are prone to?

Maltese and Shih Tzu are two popular small dog breeds that are prone to certain common health issues. 

Both breeds are susceptible to dental problems, such as gum disease and tooth decay, due to their small mouths and overcrowded teeth. 

Additionally, they are prone to eye conditions such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and dry eye syndrome.

These breeds can also experience respiratory issues, including tracheal collapse and brachycephalic airway syndrome, as they have short snouts and flat faces.

It is important for owners of Maltese and Shih Tzu to be aware of these potential health concerns

Are Maltese and Shih Tzu easy to house train?

House training Maltese and Shih Tzu can be challenging, but with the right house training methods such as crate training techniques and positive reinforcement strategies, it becomes easier. Indoor vs outdoor training depends on personal preference.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, when it comes to choosing between a Maltese and a Shih Tzu, you can’t underestimate the sheer cuteness overload that both of these breeds possess. They’re like little balls of fluff that’ll melt your heart with their adorable faces and playful personalities.

Not only are they great companions, but they also have rich histories and unique physical appearances that make them stand out from other dog breeds.

Both the Maltese and Shih Tzu are highly adaptable dogs that can easily adjust to various living environments. Whether you live in an apartment or a house with a backyard, they’ll make themselves at home wherever they go.

In summary, whether you choose a Maltese or a Shih Tzu, you’re guaranteed to have a loyal and loving companion who’ll bring endless joy to your life. So, go ahead and welcome one of these delightful furry friends into your home – they’ll certainly make it a happier place!

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