All About the Breed MalShi

Have you recently fallen for the Mal-Shi or do you simply love designer breeds? Learn all about the breed here, including: breed history, personality traits, train-ability, benefits and disadvantages of the breed, and common health concerns.

Also known as the Mal-Shis, Shih-Tese, Shihtese, and the Malti Tzu, the Mal-Shi is an affectionate and spunky breed.

But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you?

This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the Mal-Shi can be traced back to late 20th century United States. Australian and European enthusiasts claim to have developed the breed several years earlier, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.

Throughout its history, the Mal-Shi has been most commonly kept as a pet and show dog, proving its superior abilities to entertain while providing friendship.

Today, while the Mal-Shi has attained an underground popularity as a designer breed, show, and companion dog, the breed remains rather rare world wide.

Personality Traits

Best known for its spunky and playful nature, the Mal-Shi is full of character. These small dogs thrive on strong and dependable relationships with humans, love attention and playing the role of lap dog. This breed is very intelligent and generally easy to train. As a pet, the Mal-Shi is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate.

The Mal-Shi adapts well to full-time indoor and apartment living, yet enjoys spending time outdoors, playing games such as fetch and frisbee, and taking long and leisurely walks.


Due to its need for human attention and willingness to learn, the Mal-Shi generally responds well to basic training and commands. This intelligent breed has the ability to learn to perform most any task its trainer is willing to take the time to teach.

Establishing immediate dominance, trust, and respect is key to successfully training the Mal-Shi. These dogs require a confident, patient, and caring handler with a stern yet gentle approach to repetitive exercises and tasks.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning a Mal-Shi. This active breed is always on the go, and often quite amusing and entertaining to watch while at play. These dogs are highly intelligent, easy to train, and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks. When properly socialized from a young age, the Mal-Shi gets along well with small children and other pets.

This breed adapts well to full-time indoor and apartment living, and only requires moderate amounts of daily exercise. The Mal-Shi is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent family pet and companion alike.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Mal-Shi. Like many companion breeds, the Mal-Shi is known to suffer from separation anxiety. Individuals wishing to purchase this breed who travel frequently, have full-time work, or are away from the home on a daily basis are advised to begin researching another breed.

During an attack of separation anxiety, the Mal-Shi will act out of nervous destruction and may destroy property, chew, dig, bark, whine, and ignore basic training such as housebreaking.

For reasons unknown, the Mal-Shi loves to dig, and is quite good at doing so. It is not unusual for this breed to dig a hole under a fence within the matter of only a few minutes. These dogs must be supervised or properly secured at all times when outdoors.

The Mal-Shi has a thick and gorgeous coat which requires almost constant attention such as brushing, grooming, and bathing in order to prevent staining and tangling, and maintain its attractive appearance.

As previously mentioned, the Mal-Shi remains rather rare world wide and can prove quite difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, extremely high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the Mal-Shi is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: patellar luxation - dislocation of the knee, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, likeliness to develop cancer, skin allergies and sensitivity, cryptorchidism - failure of one or both of the testicles to fully descend, and various dental issues.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Mal-Shi?

Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.