Maltipoo vs Shih Poo: 5 Key Differences

a Maltipoo running down the road
© Rita Petcu/Shutterstock.com

Written by August Croft

Published: April 21, 2022

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When it comes to a variety of dog cross breeds, you may be wondering what the differences are between a Maltipoo vs Shih Poo. Both of these dogs are small and easy to care for, but what features do they share and what differences separate them from one another?

In this article, we will answer everything you need to know about the Maltipoo and the Shih Poo so that you can have a full understanding of both breeds. We will discuss their physical and behavioral differences at length, as well as their ancestral differences. Let’s get started and learn all about these distinct cross breeds of dog now!

Comparing Maltipoo vs Shih Poo

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo
The fur of the Shih Poo is softer and longer than the fur of the Maltipoo.
MaltipooShih Poo
Size8-14 inches tall; 5-20 pounds10-13 inches tall; 5-25 pounds
AppearanceComes in a variety of colors including white, gray, brown, red, and black; fur is curly and often coarse. Floppy ears that rest at the chin line, and snout is more elongated than Shih PooWavy or curly fur typically found in white or brown colors. Coat length varies, but it is typically very soft. Ears are longer than Maltipoo ears and they are often called teddy bears for their striking resemblance
AncestrySmall companion animal for households with allergies; cross between a Maltese and a PoodleUnknown ancestral history, though bred for hypoallergenic companionship; cross between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle
BehaviorIntelligent and social, so long as they are trained properly; prone to separation anxiety and destructive behaviors when left alone, so be sure to exercise frequentlyVery intelligent, though can be stubborn. Doesn’t require very much exercise, though this breed doesn’t like being left alone. Easily adapts to a routine, but doesn’t enjoy changing it
Lifespan10-15 years12-16 years

Key Differences Between Maltipoo vs Shih Poo

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo

The average Shih Poo lives slightly longer than the average Maltipoo.

©Rita Petcu/Shutterstock.com

There are many key differences between Maltipoos and Shih Poos. The Shih Poo tends to weigh more than the average Maltipoo, though most Maltipoos are taller than the average Shih Poo. The fur of the Shih Poo is softer and longer than the fur of the Maltipoo. Finally, the average Shih Poo lives slightly longer than the average Maltipoo.

Let’s discuss all of these differences and more in detail now.

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo: Size

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo

The Shih Poo tends to weigh more than the average Maltipoo, though most Maltipoos are taller than the average Shih Poo.

©Bonita R. Cheshier/Shutterstock.com

There aren’t very many differences in the sizes of the Maltipoo and the Shih Poo. However, both breeds range in height and weight given the fact that you can get either breed in either a toy or small size. Despite this, the average Shih Poo outweighs the average Maltipoo. Additionally, Maltipoos are taller overall than the average Shih Poo. Let’s take a look at these figures in more detail now.

Maltipoos reach an average height of 8-14 inches, while Shih Poos range from 10-13 inches tall. Additionally, Shih Poos weigh anywhere from 5-25 pounds, while Maltipoos weigh 5-20 pounds on average. However, it always depends on the individual dog as well as the gender of the dog.

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo: Appearance

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo

For the most part, the ears of the Shih Poo are longer than the ears of the Maltipoo.

©Rob Hainer/Shutterstock.com

It can be difficult to tell a Maltipoo apart from a Shih Poo upon first glance. However, there are some distinguishing features between them that you can use to tell them apart. For example, the fur of the Shih Poo is often longer and softer than the fur of the Maltipoo. Additionally, Maltipoo coats are typically more curly than the wavy fur of the Shih Poo.

Both of these dogs come in a variety of colors, though the Shih Poo comes in fewer colors compared to the Maltipoo overall. For the most part, the ears of the Shih Poo are longer than the ears of the Maltipoo as well.

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo: Ancestry and Breeding

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo

While both breeds originated in modern times, the Maltipoo is a cross between the Poodle and a Maltese, while the Shih Poo is a cross between Poodles and Shih Tzus.

©Lim Tiaw Leong/Shutterstock.com

One of the primary differences between the Maltipoo and the Shih Poo are their ancestors. While both breeds originated in modern times, the Maltipoo is a cross between the Poodle and a Maltese, while the Shih Poo is a cross between Poodles and Shih Tzus. We can’t exactly determine when either of these breeds first originated, but we know they were bred recently in an attempt to make a more compact and longer living hypoallergenic dog.

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo: Behavior

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo

Most Shih Poos are more stubborn and high strung compared to the more laid back Maltipoo.

©marketlan/Shutterstock.com

The behaviors of the Maltipoo and the Shih Poo are fairly similar. Both dogs suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long. However, most Shih Poos are more stubborn and high strung compared to the more laid back Maltipoo. Both dogs need consistent training and obedience lessons to avoid their stubborn streaks in the long run.

The good news is that both of these breeds are highly intelligent and capable of learning, given their Poodle DNA. While the Maltipoo is a more flexible dog breed overall, you may have trouble with your Shih Poo if you interrupt their daily routine!

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo: Lifespan

Maltipoo vs Shih Poo

Depending on the gender and specific health of your dog, the Shih Poo lives slightly longer than the Maltipoo on average.

©Cinda-lu/Shutterstock.com

A final difference between the Maltipoo and the Shih Poo is their lifespans. Depending on the gender and specific health of your dog, the Shih Poo lives slightly longer than the Maltipoo on average. For example, Shih Poos live 12-16 years on average, while Maltipoos live 10-15 years on average. However, it all depends on the health and care given to both of these dog breeds. They are both relatively healthy and long-lived overall!

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About the Author

August Croft is a writer at A-Z Animals where their primary focus is on astrology, symbolism, and gardening. August has been writing a variety of content for over 4 years and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theater from Southern Oregon University, which they earned in 2014. They are currently working toward a professional certification in astrology and chart reading. A resident of Oregon, August enjoys playwriting, craft beer, and cooking seasonal recipes for their friends and high school sweetheart.

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