Maltese Chihuahua Mix – Meet the Malchi (2024)

A dark cream Maltese Chihuahua mix with his head turned to his right.

Gone are the days when a mixed-breed dog was simply called a mutt.

Today, purebreds are being matched in a dizzying array of combinations to produce in-demand “designer” breeds with specific traits. Such is the case with the Malchi.

What is a Malchi? A Malchi is a cross between a Maltese and a Chihuahua. Malchis are typically under 10 pounds and less than 10 inches tall. They can have short, medium, or long coats in a range of colors and textures, and their temperament can be similar to either parent breed.

A crossbreed is never as straightforward as a purebred dog.

When two different breeds are combined, there are many factors at play, and results are often quite surprising.

If you’re considering adding a Malchi to your life, take a few minutes to read through the following so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into and what will be involved when caring for a Malchi. 

Maltese Chihuahua Mix – The Malchi 

What Is a Maltese and Chihuahua Mix? 

The pairing of a purebred Maltese and a purebred Chihuahua results in a small crossbreed known as the Malchi.

The Malchi can take after either parent but is most often a delightful mixture of traits. What this small mix lacks in size, he more than makes up for in personality.

The Malchi is an ideal companion for those looking for a playful, devoted lapdog with minimal exercise needs and a feisty, bold spirit.

What Do You Call a Chihuahua Maltese Mix?

A Chihuahua Maltese Mix is the same as a Maltese Chihuahua Mix; it’s just another name for the crossbreed.

In fact, there are several other names for the Malchi that are commonly used.

Malchi, Malachi, Maltechi, Chimalt, Chihuahua Maltese Mix, Maltese Chihuahua Mix, and the Malt-huahua all refer to the same dog.

At a Glance: Facts About Malchi Dogs

Height Less than 10 inches
Weight 6 – 10 pounds
Coat Short, medium, or long; soft or coarse
Colors Many possibilities, but white, tan and bicolors are most common
Purpose Companion
Temperament Lively, playful, devoted, needs plenty of socialization
Intelligence High
Barking? Likely without devoted training
Good for families? Those with older children, yes. 
Good with other pets? Depends on socialization
Exercise needs Low – 30 minutes per day
Shedding? Low to moderate
Hypoallergenic? Maybe
Grooming needs Depends on coat length
Cost $750 – $1,250
Health issues Conditions from either parent possible
Life expectancy 12 – 15 years

Maltese Chihuahua Mix Appearance 

What Does a Malchi Dog Look Like?

While some Malchis will strongly resemble one parent breed, most will feature a combination of physical traits from both the Maltese and the Chihuahua.

For instance, many Malchis will have a body type like that of a Chihuahua but with the sturdiness of a Maltese.

Malchis typically have short muzzles, broad foreheads, eyes that are round and expressive, and long, level backs.

The ears are usually folded but may remain upright in some cases.

The coat can be long, short, or medium, can vary from scruffy to fluffy, and can range from quite soft to coarse in texture.

Do Maltese Chihuahuas Have Long Hair? 

Some Maltese Chihuahuas will have short, sleek hair like the Chihuahua parent, but many Malchis will inherit a long, soft coat similar to the Maltese though usually not quite as long or silky.

Of course, using a long-haired Chihuahua or a Chihuahua who carries the recessive long-hair gene to produce a litter of Malchi puppies will drastically increase the odds of the puppies inheriting a long coat.

Maltese Chihuahua Mix Colors 

Maltese are almost always white, but Chihuahuas come in many colors and color combinations.

While a variety of colors is possible with a Malchi, most will be white, a shade of tan, or a combination of white and black or white and shades of brown ranging from light cream to chocolate.

Solid, bicolor, and tricolor coats are all possible.

Malchi Size 

Although size can vary a bit with this cross, one thing is certain: they will be small dogs, typically under 10 pounds.

The majority of a Malchi’s growth will be complete by the time they reach 6 – 8 months of age, though they will continue to fill out until their first birthday. 

How Big Are Maltese Chihuahua Puppies? 

At birth, a Malchi weighs only about 3 – 4 ounces and is small enough to curl up in the palm of your hand with room to spare.

By the time he’s ready to head to his permanent home between 8 and 10 weeks old, a Malchi should weigh between 1 ½ and 2 ½ pounds – that’s really tiny!

How Big Does a Malchi Get – Full Grown Size?

Genetics play a large role in determining full grown size, but other factors can affect final adult size too.

Insufficient diet, for example, can inhibit growth, as can lack of exercise and severe illness.

To ensure that your Malchi achieves his full potential, be sure to provide a nutrient-rich diet, feed frequent small meals throughout the day to prevent hypoglycemia, allow him to be as active as he likes, and be diligent with veterinary checkups.

Malchi Height

An adult height of less than 10 inches tall is to be expected for the Malchi.

Of course, if either parent was particularly tall, this could be passed on to their offspring, but most Malchis will be between 6 and 9 inches at the withers when fully grown.

Malchi Weight

Most Malchis will weigh between 6 and 10 pounds, which is surprising considering that the breed standards call for Maltese to be less than 7 pounds and for Chihuahuas to be under 6 pounds.

The explanation?

Many Chihuahuas tip the scales at well over 8 pounds, which accounts for the Malchi being larger on average than both parent breeds.

Malchi Temperament 

Malchis are full of personality, possess a unique charm, and love to play.

While many will bond particularly closely with one family member, there is plenty of affection to go around.

When raised correctly and socialized well, Malchis are friendly and gentle, though may not tolerate young children regardless of the precautions taken.

This cross can be prone to excessive barking and may be headstrong or even nippy, especially if they inherit a Chihuahua-like temperament.

Malchis with a Maltese-like temperament will be more relaxed, easy going, and better with children.

Are Malchi Good Family Dogs? 

For families with older children, a Malchi can be a terrific choice. They are extremely loyal, playful, entertaining, and affectionate. 

However, most Malchis will not do well with small children as they can quickly become defensive if they feel scared or threatened in any way, and nipping or outright biting may result.

A Malchi is often a perfect match for older adults as he doesn’t require a great deal of exercise but provides plenty of companionship and love and is a fantastic little lapdog.

Are Maltese Chihuahuas Friendly? 

With family members and close friends, Malchis are very friendly and sociable. However, with strangers they are often reserved, aloof, or downright unfriendly. 

While Malchi who have a temperament more like a Maltese may warm up to strangers relatively quickly, those who strongly take after the Chihuahua side of the family (and many do, at least in terms of temperament) will likely not be quite as hospitable. 

For this reason, it is extremely important that Malchi puppies are socialized properly. 

We walk you through the entire process in our Complete Guide to Socialization and provide you with a comprehensive checklist (all at no cost to you) to keep you on track.

Are Maltese Chihuahuas Good With Other Dogs? 

Some Malchis are great with other dogs, particularly housemates, but other Malchis… not so much.

It really depends on the individual dog’s personality, the amount and effectiveness of socialization received, and of course, the other dog involved.

Note that because of their small size, special care should be taken whenever Malchis are introduced to new dogs as they could be easily injured or even killed.

Are Maltese Chihuahuas Good With Cats? 

A Maltese Chihuahua who has been raised around and/or socialized well to cats will likely live peaceably with feline family members. 

As cats are typically about the same size or larger than a Malchi, they are capable of not only standing their ground but also inflicting serious injury to a small dog. 

So for his own safety, a Malchi should never be allowed to chase or harass any cat in any way.

Are Maltese Chihuahuas Quiet?

Unfortunately, Malchis do not have a reputation for being quiet pets. They do tend to bark at anything and everything, especially when not well trained.

This could pose a problem for those living in apartments and for those with small children who need quiet for nap times, though with dedicated training, the natural urge to bark can be suppressed.

Are Chihuahua Maltese Mixes Easy To Train? 

Chihuahua Maltese Mixes are quite intelligent and can be trained for a variety of commands, but know that stubbornness is often a problem.

Inexperienced dog owners may struggle to get their Malchi to obey as a Malchi will quickly learn what he does and does not like to do and how to manipulate situations to his own advantage.

The key to successful training is to keep training sessions brief and interesting, reward correct behavior instantly (these all-natural treats are perfect), and be firm and consistent.

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Are Malchis Easy to Housebreak? 

Although both Maltese and Chihuahuas are known for being difficult to fully housebreak, the problem usually lies with the owner, not the dog.

The same is true for the Malchi.

As long as the dog is taken outside on a regular schedule, given ample time to take care of business, and rewarded for success, housebreaking should not be difficult.

A white Malchi licking his lips while giving a high five.

Is a Maltese Chihuahua Mix Easy to Take Care Of? 

A Maltese Chihuahua Mix is relatively easy to care for once a routine has been established.

This mix will demand lots of attention and love and will need near constant supervision.

Early socialization and training are paramount, but exercise needs and food consumption are fairly low and the coat can be kept short for manageability, so everything balances out nicely.

Do Malchi Have Health Issues? 

While Malchi are fairly healthy, common conditions often seen in either parent breed may be problematic, particularly issues found in both Maltese and Chihuahuas, such as:

  • Progressive retinal atrophy.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Cataracts.
  • Hypoglycemia.
  • Patellar luxation.
  • Tracheal collapse.
  • Portosystemic shunt.
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Dental issues.
  • Heart defects and disease.
  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Obesity.

Do Maltese Chihuahuas Shed?

Because the Maltese Chihuahua is a mixed breed, shedding tendencies will vary from dog to dog.

Some may shed very little, like a Maltese, while others may shed more heavily, like a Chihuahua.

Others will be a happy compromise of the two coat types and will only shed lightly. 

Are Maltese Chihuahuas Hypoallergenic? 

While no dog is truly completely hypoallergenic, Maltese are generally well tolerated by those with allergies, so there is a chance that a Malchi will inherit allergy-friendly qualities from the Maltese parent.

However, there is an equal chance that he will not. The best thing to do is to spend time with the puppy before purchase to gauge your reaction.

How Much Exercise Does a Maltese Chihuahua Mix Need?

Malchis are active and playful, just like the Maltese and Chihuahua, but also like the parent breeds, they don’t require a lot of dedicated time for exercise.

For most Malchis, 30 minutes or so of physical activity per day is enough.

This could be in the form of a couple of short walks, but many Malchis will meet their exercise requirements on their own through self-directed play and by following family members around throughout the day.

How to Groom a Malchi 

It’s important to remember that grooming entails more than just brushing, bathing, and an occasional trim.

Grooming should be viewed as a whole-body experience, much like a trip to a day spa is for people. 

At every brushing session, make it a point to inspect the entire body for injuries, pests, irritation, lumps, etc. Also:

  • Check the ears for foul odor and unusual discharge.
  • Inspect the teeth for signs of decay or infection. 
  • Examine the paws for cuts. 
  • Look to see if it’s time to clip the nails.
  • See if the hair around the eyes needs a quick trim.

Malchi Grooming 

While bathing, clipping the nails, and trimming the coat will only need to be done every four to six weeks, other grooming chores will need more frequent attention. 

The ears should be checked and cleaned (I use this gentle ear cleanser on my own dogs) every other week. 

Tear stain cleaning and prevention (these presoaked wipes are excellent – even for white fur) typically requires daily treatment, though not every Malchi will have this issue.

Small breeds often develop dental issues such as plaque and tartar buildup, overcrowding, and even periodontal disease, and the Malchi is no different.

It is important to implement a tooth brushing routine while the dog is young so that he quickly becomes used to the procedure.

Human toothpaste can be dangerous for dogs, so only use a toothpaste specifically formulated for dogs, like this enzymatic poultry-flavored cleanser.

A toddler-size toothbrush is usually just the right size for small breeds’ mouths.


For short-coated Malchis, a thorough brushing once or twice per week with a standard slicker brush (this self-cleaning brush is awesome) is sufficient.

For Malchis with a longer coat, brushing will need to be done more frequently to prevent tangles and painful mats, typically every other day, though this can vary depending on the length of the coat. 

You’ll want to have a steel comb (I personally use this double-sided comb and love it) for working through tangles and for use around the face and on the legs. 

For the rest of the body, a double-sided pin and bristle brush (the rounded pin ends on this brush are much more gentle than others) is ideal.

Also, a quality detangling spray, like this strawberry-scented spritz, will come in handy when you do encounter the inevitable tangle.

Malchi Haircuts 

Long-haired Malchis can be trimmed for a variety of styles although most owners opt for an easy-to-care-for puppy cut.

With this cut, the fur is trimmed to an equal length, ranging from ⅓ inch to 3 inches, all over the body.

This cut is adorable and leaves the Malchi looking much like a stuffed toy. There are endless variations for the puppy cut, such as: 

  • Leaving the hair on top of the head longer for a topknot. 
  • Clipping the hair on the body shorter than that on the legs.
  • Shaping the hair on the head for a rounded look or even a “bob.”
  • Keeping the hair on the tail and ears long.

A white Malchi with a short haircut standing on a lush lawn.

Maltese Chihuahua Life Expectancy

As a crossbreed, Malchis can inherit conditions common to either parent breed but are typically healthy and can be expected to live a long, happy life.

However, as is the case with most small dogs, they are susceptible to fatal injuries from seemingly minor incidences.

Falling off of furniture, being stepped on or sat on, or squeezing through a hole in a fence and winding up on a busy street are just a few examples.

To help ensure your Malchi lives well into his golden years:

  • Feed an age- and size-appropriate diet (see our Ultimate Guide to the Best Dog Food).
  • Provide sufficient daily exercise.
  • Maintain an ideal weight.
  • Supervise closely when other dogs or children are present.
  • Stay current with veterinary care, including checkups and dental cleanings.
  • Be aware of where your Malchi is at all times.

How Long Do Malchi Live?

The average lifespan for a well-cared-for Malchi is between 12 and 15 years.

The life expectancy for the Maltese is 12 – 15 years, and Chihuahuas typically live for 14 – 16 years, but because Malchis are mixes, they may be exceptionally healthy and may live into their late teens.

How Much Do Malchi Puppies Cost? 

Most Malchi puppies are priced between $750 and $1,250, though some may cost closer to $2,000, depending on the breeder.

The biggest factors that influence price include parental lineage, the color and/or markings of the puppies, the puppies’ age, the breeder’s reputation, and the current demand for this particular crossbreed.

Where Can I Find a Maltese Chihuahua Mix Rescue? 

There is a chance of finding a rescued Malchi at your local shelter, but the odds are slim.

Harnessing the power of social media and contacting rescue organizations for the parent breeds often bring better results.

Try contacting the American Maltese Association Rescue and the Chihuahua Rescue and Transport.

Even if they do not have an available Malchi, they may be able to point you in the right direction.

Is a Maltese Chihuahua Mix Right for Me?

Because not all Malchis are trustworthy around small children, the Maltese Chihuahua Mix is best suited for singles, adult households, and homes with older children.

Haphazard training and socialization will result in a demanding, domineering, unpleasant dog.

If you’re willing to make a dedicated effort to meet the attention, affection, training, socialization, and grooming needs this little dog requires, then the Malchi may be the perfect choice for you.

Related Questions:

Do Maltese and Chihuahuas Get Along? 

Because the Maltese and Chihuahua are so similar in size, they often get along quite well, especially if they live in the same household.

Any problems are more likely to come from the Chihuahua than the more laid back Maltese as many owners will attest to the fact that Chihuahuas seem to prefer other Chihuahuas for company over other breeds.

What are popular Maltese mixes? 

Some of the most popular Maltese mixes include the:

  • Maltipoo (Maltese x Poodle).
  • Malshi (Maltese x Shih Tzu).
  • Malchi (Maltese x Chihuahua).
  • Morkie (Maltese x Yorkshire Terrier).
  • Maltipug (Maltese x Pug).
  • Maltipom (Maltese x Pomeranian).
  • Silky Cocker (Maltese x Cocker Spaniel).
  • Peke-a-Tese (Maltese x Pekenese).
  • Havamalt (Maltese x Havanese).

What are popular Chihuahua mixes?

The tiny Chihuahua is often mixed with similarly sized breeds to produce popular mixes, such as the:

  • Chiweenie (Chihuahua x Dachshund).
  • Chug (Chihuahua x Pug).
  • French Bullhuahua (Chihuahua x French Bulldog).
  • Chimeranian (Chihuahua x Pomeranian).
  • Chibeagle (Chihuahua x Beagle).
  • Minchin (Chihuahua x Miniature Pinscher.
  • Chichon (Chihuahua x Bichon Frise).

Last update on 2024-07-22 at 13:50 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API