Malshi, Morkie, Maltipoo—these and other darling crossbreeds have nothing but puppy dog eyes for you.
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black and white malshi wearing a blue cactus bandana
Credit: Courtesy of dash.daisy_malshi / Instagram

They may be wee pooches, but the cuddlesome Maltese has a gigantic amount of good cheer and devoted companionship. A quintessential lap dog, this precious bundle of fluff is incredibly smart, easily trainable, and eager to learn new tricks without a lot of fuss. As long as you're near, they're overjoyed. These characteristics make them sweet-natured playmates for kids, cozy canine pals for seniors—and anyone else on the planet, really.

So naturally, Maltese mixes are popular additions to many families. What do you need to know before falling in love with them? Here are some tips.

Choosing a Healthy Maltese Mix

Stunning looks aren't the only genetic traits Maltese mixed breed dogs inherit from their parents. However, you can't pick and choose the best ones, so it's essential to learn about the health of both mom and dad.

Patrick Singletary, DVM, owns Good Dog Veterinary Care in Marietta, Ga. He tells Daily Paws that dogs have 39 chromosomes, and when they're bred, they extend 20,000 genes that will be carried on all 39 chromosomes for each of their puppies. "These genes make up the genotype," he says. "There will also be 'bad' genes passed along, which is what leads to specific health problems in certain breeds." Since there's no way to predict what types of genes—good or bad—offspring receive, Singletary adds that he always discusses both parents' health markers when talking with pet owners about their hybrid dog.

Responsible breeders follow testing guidelines established by the Canine Health Information Center. They should be able to outline for you what known health concerns affect both mom and dad, and what measures they take in their program to minimize negative outcomes in their pups.  

Fortunately, like many small dogs, a Maltese has a lengthy lifespan—usually 12–15 years—with few medical issues. So once you and your vet make a wellness plan that includes a detailed family tree, you'll be able to enjoy one of these darling contenders below for a long time!

Maltipoo (Maltese Poodle Mix)

maltipoo wearing a harness
maltipoo sitting on owner's lap
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Right: Credit: Courtesy of milolovespolly / Instagram

Allergy sufferers, while you know there's no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog, the kind and patient Maltipoo is pretty close, and this is just one of her numerous endearing qualities. Also known as moodle ('cause she's half poodle), if there was a doggie Jeopardy, she'd bring home the big bucks! From talking with buttons to agility training, this smart and athletic Maltese mix is a sensitive family member. Truly a boon companion for a pet parent who always wants to keep their pooch close.

Morkie (Maltese Yorkie Mix)

Morkie, Maltese Yorkie mix, sitting on furry blanket
Morkie, Maltese Yorkie mix, sitting on white chair
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Right: Credit: Courtesy of morkie_bailey / Instagram

Tiny and tenacious, a Morkie doesn't let his diminutive stature (7-9 inches on average) stop him from conquering your world and winning your heart. His Yorkshire terrier background as a swift and mighty vermin hunter means he's not only bright, but also ready to tackle any task, so dive into basic training early on and he'll really wow you. Spry and playful, Morkies might break into zoomies at a moment's notice, but also make wonderful confidants for kids who understand how to treat delightful lil' pups carefully.

Malchi (Maltese Chihuahua Mix)

white malchi standing on a patio chair
Malchi, Chihuahua Maltese mix, standing in pumpkin patch
Left: Credit: Courtesy of vanillabeantherapypup / Instagram
Right: Credit: Courtesy of tobyteefs / Instagram

Spunky enthusiasm paired with a cuteness boost creates a Malchi. However, no matter how agreeable one side of the family might be, his naturally feisty Chihuahua genes could prompt a coup to be the boss of you, so start puppy kindergarten early and stay consistent with his lessons. One of the best apartment roomies you'll ever have (although he'll probably still pilfer your hidden snacks), a Malchi might seem a bit standoffish to strangers and other animals, but proper socialization at a young age helps him fit right in.

Malshi (Maltese Shih Tzu Mix)

black and white malshi wearing a blue cactus bandana
maltese shih tzu mix lying on bed
Left: Credit: Courtesy of dash.daisy_malshi / Instagram
Right: Credit: Courtesy of obi_wonton_cutenob / Instagram

A Malshi's allure is her unlimited sweetness—that tap doesn't even shut off. Since her other parent is a shih tzu, her level of attentiveness is high. People are 'Priority One'. OK, maybe it's a tie between treats and people, but still! She comes by this characteristic naturally, as Maltese were prized by ancient Greeks and shih tzus by Chinese emperors. Yet the Malshi is down-to-earth and amiable, an easy-care, low-shedding chum who loves cuddle puddles and puzzle games in equal measure.

Maltipom (Maltese Pomeranian Mix)

maltipom lying on windowsill
maltipom lying on her back
Left: Credit: Courtesy of theuniquedogtrio / Instagram
Right: Credit: Courtesy of charlie.maltipom / Instagram

Wait, hold on, is it sass you're looking for in your Maltese mix? Pomeranians wrote that book and starred in the movie, and are always ready for their closeup. Maltipoms are no different, owning the stage with Instagram-worthy haircut styles. This pooch isn't all pomp, though. An independent, clever, and alert toy breed, she's eager to strut her stuff during daily walks (why pass on the chance to wear darling boots?) and showcase awesome tricks to adoring fans, especially if older children are in the audience.

Maltichon (Maltese Bichon Frise Mix)

maltichon wearing a bow sitting in a pink chair
maltichon with her tongue out
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Right: Credit: Courtesy of kokokolaves / Instagram

A charming Maltichon might need more frequent grooming to look super spiffy. Hooray! Extra quality time with this cunning canine. He inherited dashing good looks and brains from his bichon frise parent, as well a strong attachment to his favorite humans. He wants to be your cuddle bug all the time—a residual effect from being pampered by European royalty. Playtime is a speciality, and keeps him from experiencing too much separation anxiety. Engage him with interactive toys so your Maltichon pants with joy! 

Havamalt (Havanese Maltese Mix)

havamalt wearing a silver boa
brown havamalt sitting with red ball
Left: Credit: Courtesy of dogtographer.la / Instagram
Right: Credit: Courtesy of chester.the.havamalt / Instagram

As Cuba's national dog, the Havanese balances the honor with a bit of mischief and unleashed glee. A natural extrovert, this affectionate breed is eager-to-please, making her a perfect parent for the hybrid Havamalt. If you desire a snuggly pup, this is it! They're so intent on ensuring their humans feel loved that they're exceptional therapy dogs. Havamalts might not be your long-haul hiker, but they'll bust a move in a well-fenced yard bouncing after their family and giving a ball a frisky chase.

Mauxie or Moxie (Maltese Dachshund Mix)

mauxie wearing a hair bow
mauxie with sitting on the couch with a stick in his mouth
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Right: Credit: Courtesy of tobi_themauxie / Instagram

The precocious dachshund is always looking out for your best interests—and maybe a tasty treat or two. His Maltese mix offspring, the adorably named Mauxie or Moxie (of which there is plenty!) will gain many benefits from positive reinforcement training. After all, he's part hound with a lot of hunting skills and hungry to use them! When night falls, expect a good amount of blanket burrowing and snuffling from a Mauxie as he settles into his favorite spot—your lap, content to put a lid on another fun-filled day.

Mauzer (Maltese Schnauzer Mix)

mauzer standing next to a pumpkin
mauzer sitting next to his mom on a leather chair
Left: Credit: Courtesy of lolathemauzer / Instagram
Right: Credit: Courtesy of charliethemauzer / Instagram

If given the chance, miniature schnauzers could probably beat you at a game of Scrabble while fixing a leaky faucet. Always ranking high on smartest dog breed lists, they're terrific Maltese mates for temperament and personality but know this: your resulting Mauzer wants to be trained! Daily mental and physical enrichment activities are totally her jam, and she'll especially appreciate the close bonding time with you. These traits make Mauzers popular choices for experienced dog owners.    

Papitese (Maltese Papillon Mix)

papitese in garden next to yellow flowers
papitese sitting on couch
Left: Credit: Courtesy of jackthepapi / Instagram
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Once known as the continental toy spaniel, the nimble papillon has a rich heritage that, when blended with the ancient roots of the Maltese, produces the fine papitese. When you want a zesty yet calm dog breed to be your BFF (best furry friend!), the amiable and gentle papitese is all paws in. Sporting a keen, curious mind and adventurous spirit, he might be small but that just makes him all the more portable. He'll follow you anywhere and tucks especially well into a bike basket or trailer.