Tibetan Spaltese

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
fast facts

About Tibetan Spaltese

8-10 inches
7-15 lbs
12-15 years
Not applicable
Best Suited For
Families with older children, singles, seniors, people who live in an apartment
Friendly, extroverted, lively, bubbly, easy going, intelligent, alert, sweet, cuddly, affectionate
Comparable Breeds
Maltese, Tibetan Spaniel
Tibetan Spaltese Basics

A lively, spirited breed, the Tibetan Spaltese is an easy-going pooch with a friendly demeanor. These hybrid dogs were created by crossing the gentle Maltese with the happy-go-lucky Tibetan Spaniel. A true companion dog with a bit of a watchdog flair, this designer dog breed will be a perfect match for families with older children, seniors, and singles.

The Tibetan Spaltese is an undemanding dog, with low-maintenance coat and moderate activity needs. If you live in an apartment and want a pooch that would be happy and content in a big city environment, consider this hybrid. They’ll give you unconditional love and make every day brighter- and won’t ask much in return! You might have also come across this breed under the names Maltibby or Maltibbie, but all of these names are used for the same mixed breed dog.

The Tibetan Spaltese is an undemanding dog, with low-maintenance coat and moderate activity needs.


Designer dogs might be getting more popular with each year, but there’s still a lot we don’t know about them. For instance, there’s still not a clear line that divides designer dogs from mutts- there’s not always a way to know if a hybrid puppy was intentionally bred to be a mixed breed, or is it a product of accidental mating between purebreds. In both cases, though, the resulting mix will have the traits of both parental breeds combined into one dog.

In the case of the Tibetan Spaltese, their parents are a Tibetan Spaniel or Tibbie, and a Maltese. Both of these breeds have a long history as companions and are in good standing with the AKC. There is no sure way to know when or where this breed was first created, but it’s highly likely that it was sometime in the last 20 years in the United States, as it’s the case with most other hybrids.


Since the American Kennel Club doesn’t recognize hybrids as actual breeds, a Tibetan Spaltese breeder wouldn’t be able to register their puppies for an official pedigree like they would with purebred dogs. However, pedigree is proof of good breeding and pure lineage, and a Tibetan Spaniel and Maltese mix dog has both- even without a piece of paper.

The Maltese is a well-loved toy dog breed, that can trace its roots to Ancient Greece, and possibly even further than that. These friendly, sweet dogs are considered to be the oldest European toy dog breed, and yet, they’re as popular as ever. The Tibetan Spaniel, as its name suggests, was first created in Tibet by monks, like the majority of petite pooches with adorable smooshed faces. These alert and intelligent dogs found their way to the United Kingdom in the 19th century, but they’re still somewhat rare in the US- even though undeniably sought after by pet parents all over the world.


Most dogs do best on dry food for dogs, and the Tibetan Spaltese is no exception. These small dogs won’t need much kibble, but they’ll do need to be fed high-quality dry food to stay healthy.

There are many premium brands out there could fit the bill, but make sure to choose a blend that suits your pet’s age (puppy, adult, senior), size (small), and activity level (low). In addition, you should be mindful of the amount of food you put in your dog’s bowl. Owing to their small frame and often voracious appetite, the Tibetan Spaltese can quickly become overweight. Canine obesity is a serious issue and can severely lower your pet’s quality of life, so don’t overindulge them with delicacies.

Some pet owners prefer feeding raw meals or cooking for their pets, but you shouldn’t decide on these types of diets before consulting a vet. Only a professional can tell you if your dog is getting all the vitamins and food groups they need from an unconventional meal plan- or if you’re overlooking important nutrients.

In general, these designer dogs are quick learners and tend to be very trainable.


Not unlike most small breed dog, the Tibetan Spaltese is highly intelligent- but can be stubborn, as well. Even though it’s not often that this happens, this adorable hybrid can inherit a bull-headed attitude from one of its feisty parents. In general, these designer dogs are quick learners and tend to be very trainable, if you know how to best approach them. To make sure that your new puppy is receptive to your training methods, it’s wise to rely on positive reinforcement. Using treats and praise as motivation is certain to work! After all, aversive and harsh training strategies are not only cruel but ineffective as well.

Basic training and socialization are a must for the Tibetan Spaltese, even if they tend to be friendly and sweet by default. Teaching your new puppy manners will ensure that they grow up into a happy, well-balanced dog that won’t have any issues with children or other pets in the household. Additionally, due to its watchdog tendencies, Tibetan Spaltese can become a bit of a barker- so make sure to train them not to bark at every little thing that alerts them.


As a rule of thumb, the appearance of any designer dog is highly unpredictable. Crossbreeding is not an exact science, and it’s not often that hybrid puppies all look alike- even across one litter. Of course, while the same holds true for the unusual Tibetan Spaniel and Maltese mix, their size won’t be surprising. Both of the parents are very small dogs, and their offspring will also be tiny. Fully grown Tibetan Spaltese can weigh between 7 to 15 pounds.


Bright, bubbly and exceptionally charming- that’s the Tibetan Spaltese for you! These petite pooches have a great personality, especially if socialized on time. This hybrid originates from two companion dog breeds, and such ancestry makes it a great family pet and a furry friend for singles and seniors. The Tibetan Spaltese has an easy going attitude and doesn’t tend to be bossy and moody like some of the toy dog breeds. Sweet and affectionate, this designer dog will love to follow you around for snuggles and smooches.

Even though their friendly and extroverted temperament make this mixed breed pooch a perfect companion dog breed, they can also have typical watchdog behavior. Alert and intelligent, these tiny dogs will try to keep everything in check and always track where their family members are. Strangers and potential “dangers” such as nosy squirrels can inspire Tibetan Spaltese to go into a barking fit– but training can successfully solve their yappy tendencies.

Common Health Problems

With mixed breed dogs, you can either win the genetic lottery and have a pooch that’s more resilient than both parents, or end up with a pooch that is prone to two sets of breed-specific issues. In addition to luck, good breeding has a lot to do with the health of designer dogs. Careful selective breeding is thought to lead to ‘hybrid vigor’ and reputable breeders will surely strive to produce only the healthiest puppies.

In any case, the Tibetan Spaltese is a fairly healthy dog. In comparison to some other purebreds, both of its parents are quite robust! Some of the issues that these designer dogs could be prone to include progressive retinal atrophy (vision loss) and cherry eye, as well as open fontanel and hydrocephalus, if they favor the Maltese parent. In addition, same as all small dogs, the Tibetan Spaltese is at risk for early tooth loss and patellar luxation (kneecap dislocation).

Life Expectancy

As a relatively healthy mixed breed dog of small stature, the Tibetan Spaltese is in the group of dogs with longer lifespans. With good care, your new pet should live at least 12 to 15 years, if not more.

Exercise Requirements

One of the main reasons why small breed dogs are such a popular choice for people who live in apartments is their low energy level. Even in cases where the dog is a feisty, lively one, their activity needs are easily met with a daily walk or indoor exercise. The Tibetan Spaltese is not an exception! These compact canines are very low-maintenance when it comes to their exercise requirements. In fact, they might even be considered to be l azy dogs! This Tibetan Spaniel and Maltese mix is a bit of a couch potato, and they certainly won’t be one of those pooches who choose hikes over naps.

However, this doesn’t mean that they have no need for exercise. Circa 30 minutes a day of engaging playtime in the dog park of brisk walks around the block will keep them happy and healthy. Also, as intelligent dogs, they’ll need to be mentally stimulated as well. Plenty of social interaction with their canine fellows or devoted owner, as well as entertaining puzzle toys, will stave off boredom.

The Tibetan Spaniel and Maltese mix can favor one parent more than the other, or end up being a perfect mix of both.

Recognized Clubs

The American Kennel Club currently recognizes only certain purebreds, but there are canine clubs and organizations that recognize designer dogs, too. Those of them that recognize the Tibetan Spaltese, or Maltibbie (Maltibby), include the American Canine Hybrid Club and Dog Registry of America.


The Tibetan Spaniel has a silky double coat, whereas the Maltese is prized for its hypoallergenic, non-shedding white hair. What does one get when they combine the two into a new designer dog breed? As we’ve already mentioned, the appearance of designer dogs is very unpredictable. Sometimes, even across one litter, there will be significant differences! The Tibetan Spaniel and Maltese mix can favor one parent more than the other or end up being a perfect mix of both. In general, the Tibetan Spaltese will have long hair and won’t shed much. As for the colors- anything goes! From bi-colored coat to cream and red, these designer dogs display a whole palette of hues.

When it comes to coat maintenance, these designer dogs are not demanding. Daily brushing will keep the tangles and matting away, and ensure your pet flaunts lustrous locks. When the need arises (usually every few weeks), get your furry friend a bath- just to make sure they’re looking and feeling their best.


Even in young age, you can easily see what type of dog Tibetan Spaltese puppies will grow up to be. Happy, lively, and friendly, these petite pooches will win you over with their extroverted personality. Of course, although they are usually very charming, these mixed breed puppies still need to go through basic training and socialization. This will only ensure they live up to their potential to be fantastic pets and companions when they grow up!

Owing to its low-maintenance exercise needs, small size, and lovely adaptable personality, the Tibetan Spaltese is an ideal candidate for seniors, singles, and apartment dwellers. These designer dogs can also be a good choice for families with children, but only if they’re older and know not to play ruff with their tiny pet.

Photo credit: Desanka/Shutterstock; Joyce Marrero/Shutterstock

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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