Maltipoo vs Shih Poo – The Similarities and Differences

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo — two loyal and affectionate small hypoallergenic dogs sharing the same breed for one parent. Initially, it may be difficult to tell them apart. However, the other half of the parentage isn’t the same, which is where the canine contrasts come in.

To help work out which breed is the best pooch for you, we’ve put together this comparison — looking closely at the similarities and differences between the ShihPoo and the Maltipoo.

Shih Poo vs Maltipoo Quick Comparison Chart



Mixed Breed

Shih Tzu and Miniature Poodle

Maltese and Miniature Poodle




Fun loving







Family Dog




8-13 inches

10-18 inches


8-18 pounds

5-20 pounds


Both breeds vary in price, averaging between $400 and $2000.

Both breeds vary in price, averaging between $400 and $2000.





10-15 years

12-15 years

Coat Colors

Brindle, brown, white, black, gray, and a combination of colors

Apricot, Gold, Gray, White, and almost any color


Highly intelligent - easy to train but can be stubborn.

Intelligent and easy to train.

maltipoo or shih poo.

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo— The Breeds


The Maltipoo is a small hybrid design dog, bred from a Miniature Poodle and a Maltese. These dogs are little bundles of energy, with a loving personality, and enjoy cuddles on your lap, as well as running and playing outside. 

Maltipoos are considered to be hypoallergenic dogs as both the Miniature Poodle and Maltese have low-shedding coats. They may have a wavy coat — this will depend on the dominant gene that comes through. Maltipoos are very mild shedders and make great pets for people with dog allergies.

Is the Maltipoo for Me?

Maltipoos are sociable dogs and love to spend time with people of all ages and also enjoy the company of other animals. If you have socialized your Maltipoo from a young age, you shouldn’t experience any problems with them being in the company of friends, family, and even strangers.

These little dogs also make great apartment pooches due to their relatively small size and exercise needs. But they can also suffer from separation anxiety, so can’t be left for long periods of time.

Maltipoo Pros 

  • Hypoallergenic coat. 
  • Sociable and laid-back personality. 
  • Affectionate lap dogs. 
  • Highly intelligent and easy to train. 

Maltipoo Cons 

  • Suffers from separation anxiety. 
  • Can be quite vocal and bark often.
  • May not be suitable for families with young children.
do shih poos shed.

Shih Poo

The Shih Poo is another small breed with a cute face and a hypoallergenic coat. Shih Poos are bred from a Miniature Poodle and Shih Tzu. Both of these breeds are low shedders and won’t trigger dog allergy symptoms. 

The Shih Poo’s personality and appearance are very much dependent on the size and temperament of the parents. This means there are no guarantees that two Shih Poos will look anything alike.

Is the Shih Poo for Me?

Shih Poos are also loving and fun family dogs. This breed looks like a real-life teddy bear and is a popular choice for people wanting an adorable doodle dog. Their loving and affectionate nature means they get on with people of all ages. Whether you have a toddler in the house or you’re in your golden years, a Shih Poo will make a gentle and loyal companion. 

Just like the Maltipoo, if you work long days and are out of the house for prolonged periods, the ShihPoo isn’t the dog for you. This breed suffers from separation anxiety and will likely become depressed and destructive during your absence. 

Shih Poo Pros

  • Small size — perfect for apartment living. 
  • Low-shedding. 
  • Only need 30 minutes of exercise a day.
  • Playful and loving personality. 

Shih Poo Cons

  • Suffers from separation anxiety. 
  • Stubborn streak. 
  • High-maintenance grooming needs.

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo Size

Both these breeds are relatively small in stature, but there are some differences between them. Ultimately their size will depend on the size of their Poodle parent.


Maltipoos are very small dogs. Both the Miniature Poodle and Maltese are tiny, so it’s not surprising that a Maltipoo is unlikely to grow larger than 10-18 inches tall. These dogs also don’t weigh very much either, it’s doubtful that a fully grown Maltipoo will weigh more than 5-20 pounds. 

Shih Poo

A Shih Poo is also classed as a small dog breed. However, a Shih Poo is slightly lighter than a Maltipoo, weighing up to 18 pounds. When looking at the height of a full grown Maltipoo vs Shih poo, there’s not much in it, but the Shih Poo may not grow as tall, they average between 8-13 inches.

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo Temperament

These two breeds may look very similar, but do they share the same personality? 


Maltipoos are full of energy and love to play. Thanks to the intelligent Poodle and Maltese parents.

However, while Maltipoos are generally very well-behaved, these dogs are not the best when left home alone for too long. They may bark a lot as well as chew the furniture, or display other bad behaviors when you leave them alone. 

Maltipoos are affectionate and loyal. They’re an easily adaptable breed that can live with other animals if introduced early. They’re also amazing with young and old alike.

Shih Poo 

The Shih Poo personality is one of an intelligent dog with a loving nature. Like the Maltipoo, Shih Poos are affectionate and loyal and enjoy burning off their energy by playing. However, this breed is also perfect for people looking for a lap dog — Shih Poos love to cuddle! 

They may be a little more highly strung than a Maltipoo and may not be as adaptable to changes in routine or daily life. What’s more, the Shih Poo, like the Maltipoo, suffers from separation anxiety and will not cope well when left home alone for too long.

maltipoo dog.

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo Training

Both of these dogs require similar training methods and techniques. The Shih Poo and Maltipoo will both need to be trained and socialized from an early age. This avoids problems later on when mixing with other people and animals. 

Thanks to their Poodle genes, both the Maltipoo and Shih Poo have the brains to be trained swiftly. However, problems can arise when that independent nature comes to play, especially when training the Shih Poo.

Many doggy owners find using positive reinforcement and reward the best way to train both the Maltipoo and Shih Poo. Consistency is the way forward — and it won’t take too long for either of these breeds to learn basic commands and good behavior.

It can take around four to 6 months to fully house-train your Shih Poo or Maltipoo. Maltipoos are very clever, and most dog owners are not met with much resistance when it comes to training.

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo Price

When buying a new puppy, most people have a specific budget in mind. We’ve learned so far that the breeds are very similar, but is this also reflected in the price?

  • A Maltipoo puppy can cost between $400 and $2000. 
  • You can expect to pay around $800-$1200 for the Shih Poo breed. 

The price of any dog breed can vary dramatically from breeder to breeder — influenced by reputation — and if you’re adopting from a shelter, the price is different again. Location may also play its part.

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo Shedding

For people with dog allergies, knowing all about how much a certain breed sheds is very important. The good news is, both Maltipoos and Shih Poos are considered to be hypoallergenic dogs. 


Maltipoos have a hypoallergenic coat. Plus, there is zero risk of ending up with a high-shedding puppy because both the Maltese and Poodle breeds have hypoallergenic coats too. 

The Maltipoo will have curly fur, like its Poodle parent, but it can feel more wiry and coarse, rather than soft and fluffy. Maltipoos lightly shed all year and don’t blow their coat for the change of seasons. And, there is no risk of finding big clumps of fur around your home, as you would with the Husky or Malamute, for example. 

Shih Poo

Do Shih Poos Shed? Shih Poos are bred from the hypoallergenic Poodle and Shih Tzu and are very similar when it comes to shedding. Shih Poos have a more fluffy coat than the Maltipoo and it can vary in length, but it’s usually either curly or wavy. 

However, if your Shih Poo has more Shih Tzu genes, it could end up with a double coat. Although this won’t affect shedding levels.

Like the Maltipoo, Shih Poo shed small amounts of hair throughout the year, but many owners don’t notice the hair loss at all. A Shih Poo is a great choice for people with dog allergies, their shedding is so negligible that you would have to be very unlucky to suffer from allergy symptoms with one of these dogs as a pet.

shih poo hypoallergenic.

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo Grooming Requirements

So how much grooming is required to keep these little dogs happy and healthy? Let’s find out.


These dogs may not shed much, but their coat requires a lot of work to stay in good condition. The coarse curls and wiry waves mean that the Maltipoo’s coat can easily become matted and full of knots, especially if it’s left to grow long. To combat knots, it’s advisable to brush your Maltipoo daily, or every 3 days if their fur is cut short. 

Shih Poos have very similar grooming requirements and will need to be brushed daily to keep their coat in top condition.


Your Maltipoo will need the fur around their face cut approximately once a month. When the fur is left to grow too long, your pup may not be able to see — it can cover their line of vision. The Maltipoo won’t need their full coat cut back every month, instead, owners should aim to take their dog to the puppy salon once every 3 months or so. 

Like the Maltipoo, your Shih Poo will need their fur trimmed by a professional groomer to keep them clean and comfortable. Different owners choose different styles for their Shih Poos, but as a general rule of thumb, you should aim to cut the fur around your Shih Poo’s face every 4 weeks. For a full haircut, visit the groomers once every 6 to 8 weeks. 

Nails and Teeth

Maltipoos do not spend hours outside walking each day, so their little nails won’t naturally wear down. To stop them from becoming too long, you should aim to take your Maltipoo to the groomers every 4 to 6 weeks. 

Both Shih Poos and Maltipoos will need their teeth brushed regularly. Yes, that’s right — you need to brush your dog’s teeth! You should set aside time for this approximately twice a week. 


Unless your Maltipoo has rolled in something nasty on a walk or has got particularly dirty, they will only need to be bathed every 4 to 6 weeks, Maltipoos with long coats may need bathing more regularly as the underside of their coat can build up with dirt, when on tail-wagger travels. 

You should aim to bathe your Shih Poo around every 2 weeks or whenever you feel they are starting to smell or look a bit dirty.

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo Exercise

Both the Maltipoo and Shih Poo are small dogs with little legs. The Shih Poo looks like a real-life teddy bear, surely it doesn’t need much exercise? Compared to large dog breeds, Maltipoos and Shih Poos require very little.


A fully grown Maltipoo has a lot of energy to burn, but will only need around 30 minutes of exercise per day. This is a sufficient amount of time for your Maltipoo to get all the exercise they need and to enjoy playing outside in the company of other dogs in the park. 

Shih Poo

Shih Poos also only need a small amount of exercise. These small yet lively dogs can meet their exercise needs in around 20 to 30 minutes. 

Both Maltipoos and Shih Poos possess a playful nature. They can burn off any pent-up energy by playing with toys at home or engaging in fun training activities with their owners.

maltipoo temperament.


If you want a small hypoallergenic dog and have been debating between a Maltipoo or Shih Poo, these two breeds are more similar than you may have realized. 

Both have an adorable appearance and are hypoallergenic, this also means that they won’t trigger your dog allergy symptoms. 

Shih Poos tend to weigh slightly less than Maltipoos, and they have a fluffier coat and longer ears. Both these breeds have high-maintenance grooming needs but only need to be walked for around 30 minutes a day. 

Maltipoos are more laid back than Shih Poos. Both breeds are affectionate and playful, but Shih Poos tend to have a more headstrong and highly strung temperament. So, when comparing the Maltipoo vs Shih Poo, it may just come down to which one you find more adorable!

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo FAQs

Can a Shih Poo Be Left Alone?

Shih Poos suffer from separation anxiety and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods. Separation anxiety can be very distressing for your dog and can cause them to bark excessively when left home alone. They may also chew the furniture or scratch at door frames and windows. 

How Long Do Shih Poos Live?

The Shih Poo life expectancy is 10-15 years. 

What Is the Lifespan of a Maltipoo?

Maltipoos have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

What Is the Downside of a Maltipoo?

Maltipoos make loving and loyal pets, but they do have some drawbacks: 

  • High-maintenance breed — will need regular trips to the groomers to keep their coat tidy and fur in good condition. 
  • Low activity levels — won’t make the best companion for keen hikers, a 30-minute walk is all the exercise their little legs need each day.
  • Suffers from separation anxiety — can be a problem for people who spend a lot of time out of the home. 

Are Maltipoos Good Pets?

Yes, Maltipoos are good pets. This breed enjoys the company of people of all ages and their intelligence means they can be trained fairly easily. Maltipoos are affectionate and loyal but also love to play and have fun. These dogs are also hypoallergenic, so a good choice for people with dog allergies. 

Do Shih Poos Have a Double Coat?

The coat on a Shih Poo will vary depending on which parent’s genes are more prominent. 

  • If the Shih Poo is more Poodle, they will likely have a single coat made up of curls. 
  • A double coat is also possible — if they have inherited more from the Shih Tzu parent. The bottom layer is made of soft fur, and the top layer is curly or wavy. 

Whichever coat a Shih Poo has, they will be minimal shedders and not cause problems for people allergic to dogs. 

What Is The Difference Between Maltipoo And Shih Poo?

The obvious difference is that a Maltipoo is a cross between the Maltese and Poodle, while the Shih Poo is a cross between the Shih Tzu and Poodle. But there are also differences in the following:

  • Size.
  • Temperament.
  • Lifespan.