What Are a Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese and Shih Tzu Mix Called?

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If you’re allergic to dog dander and want a small, unique, and loving companion dog, you can get a mix of the Yorkie, Shih Tzu, and Maltese. Learning what a Yorkshire terrier, Maltese, and Shih Tzu mix is called can help you know what to expect from the mix. 

What Are a Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, and Shih Tzu Mix Called?

The Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, and Shih Tzu Mix are called Shorkies, Morkies, or Mal-Shi, depending on which parents were crossed first. These dogs are energetic, playful, and loving small-sized dogs, between 6 and 12 inches tall and weigh around 5 to 16 pounds. These designer dog breeds are friendly, and they tend to bond easily with people.

Graphic image of a Yorkie, Maltese and Shih Tzu with a text describing what they are called if they were mixed as a breed

They have long-haired coats with different colors depending on the dominant genes. The coats require regular maintenance and grooming at an interval of 3 to 9 weeks to avoid matting. This mix can have the following characteristics and physical appearances depending on the dominant genes.

Size and Weight

Considering that these dogs are hybrid, they have wide variations in their sizes and weight. Like their parents, these dog breeds are small-sized, measuring around 6 to 12 inches in height, and weigh between 5 and 16 pounds when fully grown.

The dog’s size has a wider range depending on the dominant genes. For instance, a Yorkshire Terrier and Shih Tzu mix, also known as the Shorkie, may inherit the size of the Shih Tzu parent, weighing up to 16 pounds and 11 inches tall.

Normally, the Yorkshire Terrier is smaller than the Shih Tzu dog, measuring not more than 8 inches and weighing up to 7 pounds. However, the Shorkie can inherit the other characteristics from the Yorkie parent.

Yorkshire terrier with black and white coatings holding a gift with an orange ribbon

Coat Type

Unlike the Shih Tzu dog breed, the Maltese and the Yorkshire Terrier are single-coated dog breeds. Therefore, the puppies of the mix can be either single or double-coated depending on which parent’s genes it inherits.

The Yorkshire Terrier and the Maltese mix, also known as Morkies, tend to get the coat color of the Yorkie parents, although they might have white spots from the Maltese. The color can be a combination of white, brown, black, or golden.

Although a purebred Maltese is normally white, it is rare to find a Maltese mix having a pure white color coat. For instance, a mix between a Maltese and a Shih Tzu will produce a Mal-Shi puppy with white and tan coats.


Mostly, Mal-Shi tends to inherit a single coat from the Maltese parent, resulting in pups with long hairs that need regular grooming to prevent matting. Typically, Mal-Shi hybrid dogs require routine maintenance and grooming after a period of 6 to 9 weeks.

Since the Mal-Shi hair can grow longer over a short period, you can consider clipping it to make grooming easier. However, clipping won’t be necessary if you maintain the grooming period and wash the dog bi-weekly.

White Maltese sitting on the grass field on a sunny day

Grooming Morkies and Shorkies are not different from the Mal-Shi. You just have to observe the condition of the dog’s coat and the growth rate of the hair, then set your dog’s grooming period, usually between 3 to 9 weeks.


These dogs are prone to health issues, some being genetic and others resulting from environmental factors. Therefore, it is important to have regular veterinary check-ups to avoid health problems. The following are some health conditions that can affect these designer dogs depending on the general lifestyle.

  • Dental disease: These are periodontal diseases that affect most dog breeds, especially dogs that are heavy chewers, such as the Morkies. The condition may cause tooth loss if not well controlled. Giving your dogs dental toys to chew and regularly brushing their teeth can help maintain their oral health.
  • Malnutrition: These conditions result from parasites such as roundworms and tapeworms, viral disease, or bacterial infection. It may also happen due to non-infectious disorders such as bloat and tumors common to the parent breeds.
  • Stomach issues: These dog breeds tend to swallow anything they come across, especially when left alone, which may be toxic to their stomachs. It is advisable to train your dog not to eat off the ground to avoid cases that can lead to serious stomach irritations.
A little Shih Tzu with white and brown coatings wearing a pink ribbon and red heart collar


Generally, these mixes are energetic, playful, and loving dogs that make good companion pets. However, like many terrier dog breeds, these dogs do not like strangers and tend to be territorial.

For instance, the Morkies can be stubborn and noisy in a strange environment or when they see intruders. This makes it challenging to adopt them when they are already adults. However, they are intelligent and will adapt and socialize over time.

Related Questions

Is a Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, and Shih Tzu Mix Hypoallergenic?

Yes, purebred Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, and Shih Tzu are hypoallergenic, and you can expect their mix to be hypoallergenic. However, allergens such as pollen, mold, and dust can make these dogs allergenic.

Are Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, and Shih Tzu Mix Therapy Dogs?

These hybrid dogs are bred for various purposes, including therapy, and can offer you unyielding loyalty, comfort, affection, and emotional support. Owning this mix can significantly improve your mental health.

Final Thoughts

If you are allergic to dog dander and want to adopt a small-sized companion dog, the Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, and Shih Tzu mix, also called a Shorkie, Mal-Shi, or Morkie can be a great option due to its hypoallergenic coat.