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Maltese or Shih Tzu?
by Michelle
Maltese or Shih Tzu?My friend recently got her new puppy a Shih Tzu and it's adorable. The Maltese are just as adorable and I read a lot about them. I look at the pictures everyday on the M/O. My problem is, I love them both. I want a puppy and I find it hard to chose between Shih Tzu and Maltese. Please note I only have seen pictures of the Maltese and I have never held one in my arms. I can only get one puppy, please help me make a decision. Thanks!


Hi Michelle,I know how hard it is to pick between to adorable little fur babies. Personally I believe that the Maltese makes a much better companion dog. I have a Maltese and she is really just like a little baby. She comes everywhere with me and gets really depressed if I leave her for any short amount of time. Shitzu's are also very cute but I don't think they are as much a companion dog as the Maltese. You have to ask yourself why you want a dog, and if you want a companion who always loves a cuddle and who will want to be with you 24hrs a day then the Maltese is the way to go. I have never known a dog to be so human like. Good Luck, Lauren & Milly(my fur-baby)
Lauren & Milly

I also considered the Shih Tzu before getting my Maltese. As adults, the Shih Tzu loses its adorable appearance(in my opinion) also they are somewhat larger than Maltese. I believe that the Maltese also has a sweeter disposition. Often, people will come up and refer to an adult Maltese as an adorable puppy. I think my Maltese has gotten even more beautiful as an adult. I would never have anything but a Maltese! Hope this helps.
April B.
Michelle, I have had a Shih Tzu and thoroughly enjoyed her - now I have a Maltese and love her dearly. Generally speaking: a Shih Tzu is larger and heavier boned, but still definitely lap dogs - Maltese have tiny fragile bones. My Shih Tzu was a show quality female who topped out at six pounds, but more commonly they are eight to ten. My Phoebe is a whopping three and a half pounds! Grooming is pretty much the same for both breeds. Both have certain health concerns - (I lost my Shih Tzu to kidney failure), some are the same and some are different. I think that certain people and lifestyles are better suited to one breed than another without a doubt! But it's a very personal choice. I also considered getting another Shih Tzu before I got Phoebe, I had also had a Yorkie for many many years - however Phoebe has proven to be a wonderful example of the personality that Maltese are supposed to have (as did the Shih Tzu and Yorkie) Go to your local library and start reading up on everything you can get your hands on about both breeds. Go to the AKC website and read their standards for both breeds - visit shows in your area. Maltes Only is unequivocally the best source of information that I have found on Maltese! Good luck on your decision.
Leslie R
Michelle, I can only tell you that I myself have only owned a Maltese. I had my first one for 16 years. And I just got my second one in November 97. They are a very loving and devoted dog and require alot of attention and give alot of love back. They are also very easy to train. Just do all of the research you can before you buy either. Good Luck
Libby & Buster
Hi Michelle! This is a choice only you can make. I don't know much about Shih Tzu's but I know a lot about Maltese and if you choose a maltese you won't regret it. Good Luck!
Hi Michelle, I laughed out loud when I read you message. I think your at the wrong site asking this question! Because I'm sure I know what everyone is going to say!! When I checked out the Westminister dog show, I realized the maltese dog is what I wanted some day. They have such a beautiful face, and I wanted a small dog and I loved the way they prance when they walk. They're adorable. That was it. Two years later, I convinced my husband to get a dog, he thought it would tie us down. But I was missing a void since my older two are away at college, I pouted, so finally he said to me, life is too short to be miserable, and the next week I bought my Taffy. I'm a hairdresser and I find grooming her is fun. She's a crazy little devil, opps, I mean Angel! I don't know what we would do without her, we're so attached to her. My kids joke with me and tell me "you love Taffy more than you love us,"I tell them," Taffy doesn't answer back!" But she gets more love (from all of us ) then any one person in our family! Please, let us know what you decide, it has to feel right for you. Good Luck Michelle. Margaret & Taffy
Michelle, p.s. Forgot to mention that (no offense) I think that the maltese is cuter then the shih tzu!! Don't you agree!!
Michelle: I can only speak for myself. I am 56 years old, have had dogs all my life. 6 months ago I hooked up with a Maltese puppy in a pet store. I now own 2, Marsh and Mellow. I have to tell you that I've owned almost every breed there is, and sincerely wish I had discovered this breed in my teens. I think the best advice to you is not to make a choice until you've held and played with a Maltese. It'll change your life, at least it changed mine ... much for the better. :-)
I am totally addicted to the Maltese breed. As several others mentioned, they are truly humanlike. I have three dogs, two which are maltese. I love all three of them but my two maltese are really "fur" babies, whereas Casey, my mixed pup, is like a dog, not a baby.

It would be best to visit some maltese breeders (don't go to pet stores) and hold some. Also, read, read, read the great stuff in this website. It helped me make my decision to be owned by maltese!! Good luck!
Sandy (Shelby & Nikki)

I think it has alot to do with personal preference. My best friend has Shih Tzu's and is getting another, she just loves them. Me I have Maltese. As puppies they are both adorable looking. In my humble opinion the Shih Tzu does loose its cuteness when it grows up and because of its short muzzle or pug muzzle kind of has that breathing type thing going on, and I find it annoying to listen to, especially when Im trying to sleep. The Maltese stay cute and don't have breathing noises. They both have eye tearing but on the Shih Tzu it sometimes doesnt look as bad if the fur around the eyes are dark. But hands down for true love and devotion. I vote for a Maltese.
Kathy S.
Hi Michelle..You should read the Maltese survey results to add to your knowlege. It's on the left side of the home page. As another said, this site will be very favorable for the Maltese breed. I'm a first time dog owner at 50+ and just love my little Comet, he weighs 3# 12 oz at 15 months. My daughter has a Maltese so I observed for a year before getting one. Everybody loves Comet and he loves people in general! Best wishes with your decision making. I vote for the Maltese!
Michelle, I have to agree with Margaret, you are on the wrong web-site, we are all Maltese lovers.! I owned a Maltese for 16 yrs. before having to put her down, do you know I had her creamated and her ashes are in this very room , my kids have been instructed when I die the urn goes down with me! Does that tell you how these little doggies get under your skin. I now have another Maltese who is 6mos.old. I love her dearly. My girlfriend had a shitz su, she was a cute dog but I didn;t like the bug eyes they have also a lot of snoring sounds because of their pushed in nose. She wasn't the loyal companion to my friend that Maltese was to me. Wow is this longwinded! Only you can decide, check them both out before making a decision.
Michelle, asking that question on this website is like going to a Ford dealer and asking if you should buy a Chevy... Marie Marie Marie
Hi Michelle, I too am a first time 50+ dog owner, with children grown up and left home my Misty is the most wonderful, loyal and loving companion. I am indeed sorry I have "lost" 30 years of enjoying these little fur babies previously but am certainly making up for it now. Pam & Misty (ACT Australia)

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