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Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021
The Shmoodle is a small mixed dog who is the offspring of a purebred Toy Poodle and the Mal-Shi (Maltese/Shih Tzu mixed dog). He is a cross with a 12 to 16-year life span and is a little different from most designer dogs as his parents are not two purebreds but are a mix of a purebred and another designer dog. He is a lively and boisterous little dog who can be very vocal.

The Shmoodle is a great option for many people as he can be hypoallergenic, not too hard to train, he is friendly, not too active, and good with other pets and children. He can be quite vocal though so if you live in an apartment with strict noise rules this may not be the best dog for you.

Here is the Shmoodle at a Glance
Average height 9 to 13 inches
Average weight 8 to 20 pounds
Coat type Varies can be long or short, wavy to curly
Hypoallergenic? Can be
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Low
Brushing Every other day
Touchiness Fairly sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low to moderate
Barking Occasional to frequent
Tolerance to Heat Low to good depending on coat
Tolerance to Cold Low to good depending on coat
Good Family Pet? Very good to excellent
Good with Children? Very good
Good with other Dogs? Very good
Good with other Pets? Very good
A roamer or Wanderer? Moderate
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent due to size
Good Pet for the new Owner? Very good
Trainability Moderate
Exercise Needs Slightly active
Tendency to get Fat Average
Major Health Concerns Patellar Luxation, Liver problems, Eye problems, Bloat, hypoglycemia, collapsed trachea, Addison’s, Cushings, Epilepsy, hypothyroidism
Other Health Concerns White dog shaker syndrome, reverse sneezing, hip dysplasia, allergies, ear infections, snuffles, dental problems
Life Span 12 to 16 years
Average new Puppy Price $350 to $800
Average Annual Medical Expense $460 to $560
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $695 to $795

Where does the Shmoodle come from?

The Shmoodle is a popular designer dog though there are many other types out there. This is a trend in pet ownership that has really taken off in the last two decades. Celebrities have taken to them and this has boosted their popularity amongst the public. Designer dogs are first or sometimes second-generation dogs bred from usually two purebreds. In this case, though it is from breeding a purebred (Poodle) with another designer dog, the Maltese/Shih Tzu mixed dog. The Shmoodle is loved because he tends to be friendly, small, and not too active so that he can be a great companion for anyone. Since we have no origins for the Shmoodle we can look at the parents to get an idea of the dog he is.

The Poodle

The Poodle is not French originally as most think, though it was in France where the breed was developed further. In fact, it is believed he started in Germany as a waterfowl hunter. His looks attracted the rich and he was bred to a smaller size to become a companion ladies carried with them. He comes in three sizes, Standard, Miniature, and Toy.

Today he is known for his extreme intelligence, being easy to train, and his goofy and playfulness. He is always keen to please and makes a wonderful pet for anyone.

The Maltese

The Maltese is one of the oldest toy-sized breeds there are and he can be traced back for at least 2000 years. His exact origins are unclear, some believe he was developed on the Isle of Malta, some in Italy, and some from Asia. He was popular amongst royalty across Europe up until the 16th century. Attempts to breed him to squirrel size in the 17th and 18th centuries nearly destroyed the breed. He was saved by mixing with other miniature and toy dogs like the spaniels, and poodles. This in itself led to several new breeds being formed. The Maltese we see today were bred by the English in the late 1800s.

Today he is very successful in dog shows and is a lively dog full of personality. He trains easily and loves people. He assumes everything and one he meets is a friend. He is also quite accomplished at getting his own way with everything. House training though can be difficult and because of his size, he may not be best suited for families with small children.

The Shih-Tzu

Coming from China or Tibet this is an old breed who were valued as companion dogs. Called little lion dogs they were intelligent, cheerful, and gentle. It was not until the early 20th century that a breeding pair came to England and they were bred there. In 1928 he was recognized by the kennel club there and the Americans recognized him as a breed in 1969.

The Shih-Tzu today is still very much a friendly companion dog. He wants to please and be with you, he is very affectionate and loves to receive it too. He will spend as much time as he can in your lap and is a happy little dog when he has lots of attention. He can be lively and likes to play.


The Shmoodle is a very loving, affectionate, and friendly dog who can suit most homes and owners. He can be playful and boisterous but also enjoys cuddling and receive affection. Just because he is a small dog though does not mean you should baby him as he can become quite a demanding and bossy pet otherwise. He is intelligent and alert but can also be gentle.

What does the Shmoodle look like

He is a small dog weighing 8 to 20 pounds and standing 9 to 14 inches tall. His coat can be long, short, wavy to curly, silky, and soft. Colors common to him are black, cream, tan, white, apricot, sable, brown, and red.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Shmoodle need to be?

He is not a very active dog so is well suited to apartment living and to owners who are not able to be active as much anymore. He should have a short walk once a day at least to get him outside and keep him healthy but his indoor playtime will also go towards his exercise needs. He should have some toys that also encourage mental stimulation as well.

Does he train quickly?

The Shmoodle is a moderately easy dog to train overall. Some owners find the Poodle side of him makes him easy to train. Some find the Maltese side of him makes him more stubborn and it takes a bit more time and patience. Because he can try to be bossy you need to be a clear, firm, and consistent pack leader. Use positive techniques praising him and using treats and rewards. Early training and socialization are key to developing his character and behavior into something that makes life a lot easier and happier for the both of you.

Living with a Shmoodle

How much grooming is needed?

He can be low shedding and hypoallergenic but sometimes this can be moderate shedding and being good for people with allergies is not something that can be guaranteed, it depends on the coat he has. If allergies are a key condition when looking for a dog visit it before buying. Because he can have a long coat that tangles easily it should be brushed daily and will need clipping regularly. Bathe him just when he needs to use a dog shampoo. He can have tear stains so should have his face wiped daily to avoid this. His ears should be checked for infection and cleaned by wiping with a cotton ball and dog ear solution once a week. Her nails will need trimming when they get too long as well, this can be done at the groomers too.

What is he like with children and other animals?

He is usually good with children, other dogs, and pets. Socialization helps as does being raised with them. He will play with children and be affectionate towards them. Make sure the children are taught how to touch and play with him safely especially as he is a smaller dog.

General information

The Shmoodle does tend to lean towards being vocal, his barking can be occasional up to frequent. Training means you can control that more and stay on top of it. He can be alert so can act as a watchdog and let you know if there is an intruder. He should be fed ¾ to 1 1/2 cups of good quality dry dog food a day split into two meals.

Health Concerns

There are health concerns that the Shmoodle can inherit from his parents which in this case are three purebreds. Those issues include Patellar Luxation, Liver problems, Eye problems, Bloat, hypoglycemia, collapsed trachea, Addison’s, Cushing’s, Epilepsy, hypothyroidism, Legg-Perthes, skin problems, Von Willebrands, kidney and bladder problems, umbilical hernia, White dog shaker syndrome, reverse sneezing, hip dysplasia, allergies, ear infections, snuffles, and dental problems. Visit the puppy to see the conditions he is being kept in and that can be a help on his health too. Also, ask the breeder to show you health clearances for the parents.

Costs involved in owning a Shmoodle

The Shmoodle puppy can cost between $350 to $800. Other costs come to between $455 to $500 which covers things like microchipping, neutering, blood tests, deworming, shots, collar and leash, crate, and carrier. Yearly costs for basic medical needs like checkups, pet insurance, shots, and flea prevention come to between $460 to $560. Costs for non-medical essentials each year come to between $695 to $795 for things like grooming, food, toys, treats, license, and training.


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Featured Image Credit: Left – NDAB Creativity, Shutterstock; Right – Ashok Manian, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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