A crossbreed is a dog with two pure bred parents of different breeds. Dogs traditionally were crossed in this manner in hopes of creating a puppy with desirable qualities from each parent. Crossbreeds are typically larger than the pure breeds For pet dogs, crosses may be done to enhance the marketability of puppies, and are often given cute portmanteau names. Maltese are often deliberately crossed with Shih Tzus and Poodles to produce small, fluffy lap dogs. Maltese-Poodle crosses are called Maltipoos. Maltese crossed with Pugs are also seeing an increase in popularity. Maltese with Shih Tzus are called Mal-Shihs, Shihtese, or Mitzus. This results in a dog which is a small, friendly animal and may have a unique low (or no) shedding coat.
Maltese crosses, like other crossbred dogs, are not eligible for registration by kennel clubs as they are not a breed of dog. Each kennel club has specific requirements for the registration of new breeds of dog, usually requiring careful record keeping for many generations, and the development of a breed club. At times, a crossbred dog will result in a new breed, as in the case in the 1950s when a Maltese and Lhasa Apso were accidentally bred. Descendants of that breeding are now a "purebred" breed of dog, the Kyi-Leo.