Difference Between Maltese and Shih Tzu

Maltese vs Shih Tzu

Having a small toy dog in the house would be applicable for people with a limited space to live, especially for the city dwellers. Maltese and Shih Tzu are such small dog breeds with a very small spatial requirement, yet their importance as lovable and friendly companions is never faded.


Maltese is a small toy breed originated in the Central Mediterranean region. Their body is compact, and square shaped with a length that is equal to the height. Their bodyweight ranges from 2.3 to 5.4 kilograms. They have a slightly round skull and a small nose. Their ears are long and are covered with very long hair. Maltese dogs have very dark lovable eyes, surrounded by heavily pigmented eyelids. They do not have an undercoat, but the only coat is very long and silky, giving them an adorable look. Usually, they are pure white in colour, but pale ivory tinge is also present. They are lively and playful companion animals and have about 12 – 14 years of a lifespan.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu is a small dog breed originated in china with a unique appearance that encompasses long and silky hairs. They have a small muzzle with large, dark, and deep eyes. Their coat is a double-layered one, and the outer coat is soft and long. They have drooping ears, which are not visible as their long silk hairs cover them. In addition, the heavy presence of long silky hair covers the tail, which is curled over the back. Daily combing and grooming are necessary to maintain their fast growing coat. Shih Tzus do not grow beyond 26.7 centimetres at withers, and their ideal weight is 4.5 to 7.3 kilograms. However, they look slightly longer to their height. Their front legs are straight, and hind legs are muscular. In addition, they have a broad and wide chest, and the head is larger compared to the body size and always looking forwards or upwards. Shih Tzus have a variety of colour coats including shading red, white, and gold colours. However, since they are brachycephalic they may be susceptible for many respiratory diseases.

Maltese vs Shih Tzu

• Maltese were originated in the Central Mediterranean region, but Shih Tzu comes from China.

• Shih Tzu is available in many colourations, but Maltese is available in pure white or white with an ivory tinge.

• Shih Tzu has longer hairs than Maltese.

• It is a double-layered coat in Shih Tzu, whereas Maltese has a single-layered coat.

• Maltese has larger eyes than Shih Tzu.

• Shih Tzu is slightly heavier and larger than Maltese.