Maltese vs Shih Tzu – Differences Between Two Small Dog Breeds

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Choosing between a Maltese and a Shih Tzu can be a tough decision for any dog lover. While both breeds offer irresistible qualities, understanding their differences is crucial in making the right choice. Let’s delve into the comparison between these two adorable dogs.

Appearance Difference:

While both breeds are small, Shih Tzus tend to be slightly bigger and heavier than Maltese. However, Maltese dogs typically stay slimmer and require less space, making them ideal for apartment living.

Temperament Difference:

Maltese dogs are known for their easy-going and sweet-tempered nature, requiring affection and social engagement. On the other hand, Shih Tzus have moderate emotional capabilities and enjoy socializing but are not overly energetic.

Shedding Difference:

Maltese dogs may shed a bit, while Shih Tzus are known for minimal shedding. Regular grooming is essential for both breeds to maintain their luxurious coats.

Stranger Friendly:

Maltese dogs are highly sociable and accepting of strangers, making them ideal for family activities. Shih Tzus, while not as child-friendly, are generally accepting of newcomers.

Grooming Requirements:

Both breeds have long coats that require daily brushing and regular grooming appointments. Maltese dogs typically have white coats, while Shih Tzus come in various colors.

Exercise Requirements:

Both Maltese and Shih Tzus need daily exercise, with Maltese being slightly more energetic. Ensuring they get enough physical activity is essential for their health and well-being.

Price Difference:

Shih Tzus are generally more affordable than Maltese dogs due to differences in supply and demand. However, adopting from a shelter is a budget-friendly option for both breeds.

Training Difference:

Both breeds are intelligent and trainable but may require patience, especially Shih Tzus, who can be a bit stubborn. Consistent training from an early age is essential for success.

Health Problems:

Both breeds are prone to certain health issues, including eye problems, hypoglycemia, and tracheal collapse. Responsible breeding and regular vet check-ups can help mitigate these risks.

In conclusion, both Maltese and Shih Tzus are wonderful companion dogs, each with its own unique traits and characteristics. Understanding their differences can help you make an informed decision based on your lifestyle, preferences, and needs. Whether you choose a Maltese or a Shih Tzu, you’re sure to find a loyal and loving companion for years to come.


Hey there! I've been with Shihtzuadvice.com for almost a year now, and as a pet lover with five rescued dogs and five rescued cats, I can confidently say that Shih Tzus are the ultimate companions – full of charm, loyalty, and endless love!

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