Hi, my name’s Irena and I live on the island of Crete with my four wonderful mixed breed dogs, all rescued as puppies.
However, I’m not here to talk about them today but about two new designer breeds. What’s a designer breed I hear you ask?
Well it’s a cross between two different breeds of dog. They got the name designer dogs because of the interest celebrities have shown in them.
In this article I will be comparing two small crossbreeds, the Shih Poo and the Maltipoo.
Short Introduction: Shih Poo vs Maltipoo
The Shih Poo is a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Toy or Miniature Poodle.
The Maltipoo is a cross between a Maltese and a Toy or Miniature Poodle.
Poodle crosses have become very popular lately and others include the Cockapoo and the Labradoodle.
As well as being called designer dogs they can be referred to as hybrid dogs.
Perhaps you might even see a celebrity walking round holding one of these pups.
Overview of a Shih Poo
Shih Poos originated in the United States and they were bred to be lap dogs and also to have hypoallergenic qualities. Whether they are hypoallergenic or not however is a matter for debate.
They don’t need a lot of exercise, and a short walk in the morning and evening will suffice.
In addition they do enjoy some playtime like chasing a ball around the yard.
They have happy personalities and can cheer you up if you are feeling down.
Overview of a Maltipoo
Maltipoos are gentle and affectionate pups, just like their parents.
They too were bred to be hypoallergenic, but each dog is different in the amount of allergens it produces.
They too like playtime, but like the Shih Poo don’t need too much exercise.
They are small dogs, but they make brilliant watchdogs as they are very alert and will rouse you with their barking if they hear something unfamiliar.
Shih Poo vs Maltipoo: Which is Bigger?
There isn’t much difference in size between the Shih Poo and the Maltipoo.
The Shih Poo is between 8 and 13 inches in height, while the Maltipoo is between 8 and 14 inches.
The Shih Poo weighs in at 8 to 18 pounds, while the Maltipoo weighs between 5 and 20 pounds.
There is quite a difference in the weight range because of their mixed parentage.
Shih Poo vs Maltipoo Temperament: How do They Behave?
Shih Poos are playful pups and love to chase after balls. They are never happier than when they can play with a squeaky toy or a stuffed animal.
As long as they get a short walk each day they are happy playing indoors. Because they are crossbreeds their temperaments can be different from dog to dog.
Some may be friendly with strangers for example, while others may be shy. Still they all love to cuddle up with their owners and even share their bed.
One other thing they all do have in common is that they like to bark. It’s not easy to stop them from doing this, but it is an essential part of their training. After all, you don’t want to annoy the neighbors.
Maltipoos are also playful pups. They need daily exercise otherwise they could become destructive, like chewing the furniture.
A short walk and playtime in the yard will make all the difference. These dogs get on with everybody so you won’t have to worry too much if you have strangers in your home.
Like Shih Poos they enjoy sitting on your lap and sharing your bed.
Shih Poo vs Maltipoo: What’s Their Life Expectancy?
Both the Shih Poo and the Maltipoo are small dogs and small dogs are prone to living longer than large dogs.
The Maltipoo lives for around 10 to 13 years.
The Shih Poo however, can live a little longer, on average between 10 and 15 years, although of course there are exceptions and they could live longer.
Shih Poo vs Maltipoo: Are They Prone to Health Conditions
Shih Poos are generally healthy dogs, but there are some diseases that they are more prone to. The most common problems they have are issues with their teeth and they should have them brushed daily.
I know, it’s not easy to brush a dog’s teeth, but if you start when they are puppies they should get used to it.
Shih Poos can sometimes have problems with their eyes and their skin can become irritable.
In addition, they can suffer from renal dysplasia, a kidney problem, hypothyroidism or lung disorders. Some can be born with a cleft palate. As always it is best to check what their parentage is.
Maltipoos can suffer from a few common illnesses such as epilepsy and white shaker syndrome. In white shaker syndrome, they suffer from tremors throughout the whole body.
It is common in the Maltese dog and can start from around two years of age. They can also get progressive renal atrophy which can lead to blindness.
This all might sound like a lot, but of course many dogs live long healthy lives without getting any of these illnesses.
Shih Poo vs Maltipoo: What do They Look Like?
Both the Shih Poo and the Maltipoo are very cute looking dogs and even me, who has always been a lover of big dogs, would like to have one.
They both have adorable round faces and round brown eyes.
Both come in a wide variety of colors. Shih Poos can be, amongst other colors, black, black and tan, brown or cream.
The most common colors of Maltipoos are cream, white and silver.
Shih Poo vs Maltipoo: What Kind of Coat Do They Have?
Shih Poos coats vary. They can be long and silky or short and curly which isn’t that strange if you consider that they have different breeds as parents.
In fact they can even have coats which come somewhere between these two differences.
I know which one I would go for, the short and curly one as they look so adorable. And did you know that different coat styles can even occur within the same litter?
They do shed moderately so remember to keep a broom handy.
Maltipoos on the other hand don’t shed so much. The coat is nearly always short to medium length, but it can sometimes be long as well.
The texture of their coats range from wavy to curly and they are fluffy and soft. This makes it very pleasant to have a Maltipoo sit on your lap. I’m sure I wouldn’t mind at all.
Shih Poo vs Maltipoo Grooming: How Much Do they Require?
Shih Poos should be brushed twice a week, but the longer haired variety may require more regular brushing.As they are prone to skin problems, they should be bathed at least once a month.
Longer haired Shih Poos may need to have their hair trimmed by a professional groomer. Maltipoos need to be brushed daily to stop their fur from matting. Their heads need trimming once a month.
Start when their puppies and then they’ll get used to it. The hair around their eyes needs trimming the most to keep it looking tidy.
They should be bathed each month to keep their coats clean and soft. Brush the teeth of both dogs daily if you can. I’m afraid that I’m not very good at this but I do try!
You can also buy dental sticks which are supposed to help clean your pooches’ teeth.In addition trim their nails twice a month. You might have to go to a groomer for this.
Shih Poo vs Maltipoo – Can They be Trained Easily?
If you’re not good at training dogs like me you might not want to get a Shih Poo.
They are very intelligent dogs, but they can be stubborn. To toilet train them can take up to a year. Crate training may help, but they still might not mind going to the toilet in the crate.
You should use positive reinforcement while training such as praise and treats. They don’t have a long attention span so keep the training sessions short, but frequent.
Maltipoos are also intelligent dogs but unlike Shih Poos they are simple to train.
They take to toilet training more easily than Shih Poos and will learn the basic commands of sit, down, come and stay without too much trouble.
You can even try and teach them more advanced commands. Again however, positive reinforcement works the best.
If you are struggling to train your Shih Poo vs Maltipoo we have created a great article which reviews Brain Training 4 Dogs an amazing programme that can teach your dog amazing tricks!
If you would like to see our review of this click here!
Shih Poo vs Maltipoo: What do they Eat?
Both dogs should be fed a good quality dry dog food.
Dry food is the best as cross breeds can suffer from dental problems and dry food helps top wear away the tartar and plaque on their teeth.
You can mix in a little wet food if you want. Both dogs can overeat and if you leave food out all day they will probably eat the lot, so don’t!
A cup and a half of food twice a day is sufficient.
Shih Poo vs Maltipoo Family Dog: Are They Good with Children
Both Shih Poos and Maltipoos are good with older children who have been taught how to act with dogs.
They both love to play and playing catch with children is ideal for them.
However, they are not suitable for children under 6 because they might pull their hair or engage in rough play.
Both dogs could also get injured as they are so small.
Shih Poo vs Maltipoo: Where are They Best Suited?
Shih Poos and Maltipoos should live indoors as they love their owners and will be miserable outside.
They can live in an apartment as long as they are exercised. They both only need a couple of short walks a day; around 15 minutes.
If you have a yard for them to play in, all the better, but you can play games indoors like tug of war or catch in the hallway.
Shih Poo vs Maltipoo: Are They Expensive to Look After?
Shih Poos and Maltipoos are not too expensive to look after.
As they are small, their food bill is going to be less expensive than if you had a bigger dog.
However, they do need all the usual vaccinations and sterilization.
If you have long haired versions it will be a little more expensive as you may have to take them to the groomer.
Final Thoughts: Shih Poo vs Maltipoo
Both Shih Poos and Maltipoos are really lovely cute little dogs who fit right in with most homes.
They love their owners and spending time with them so if you are out at work for very long hours they’re probably not the dogs for you.
The main difference between them is their trainability. Maltipoos are easy to train while Shih Poos need a firm experienced dog owner.
I personally would be happy to own either one.