Maltese Shih Tzu Dog: A Comprehensive Breed Guide

The Maltese Shih Tzu, often referred to as the Malshi, is a delightful mix between the Maltese and Shih Tzu dog breeds. This charming, small-sized dog has gained popularity for its hypoallergenic qualities and loving disposition. As a designer hybrid, the Malshi aims to combine the best traits of both parent breeds, resulting in an affectionate, loyal, and adaptable companion for all types of families and living situations.

Maltese Shih Tzu

This lovable breed typically lives for 10-14 years and is well-suited to apartment living due to its small size, often weighing around 10 pounds and standing just 9 inches tall. With a lovely blend of the Maltese’s silky, hypoallergenic coat and the Shih Tzu’s fluffy appearance, the Malshi is sure to charm and captivate those around it. In addition to being an excellent lapdog, the Malshi is also known for its brave, bold, and confident nature, making it a surprisingly good watchdog while maintaining its endearing qualities.

Key Takeaways

  • Malshi is a mixed breed of Maltese and Shih Tzu, known for being affectionate and loyal
  • Their small size and hypoallergenic coat make them great apartment pets and lapdogs
  • They have a 10-14 year lifespan, and exhibit bold, confident traits as good watchdogs.

History and Origin

The Maltese Shih Tzu is a crossbreed between the Maltese and Shih Tzu dog breeds, both of which have an interesting history of their own. Though designer dogs like Maltese Shih Tzu have gained popularity in recent years, it is important to acknowledge the historical context of its parent breeds.

The Maltese dog is one of the oldest dog breeds, with various ancient writers attributing its origin either to the island of Malta in the Mediterranean, called Melita in Latin, or to the Adriatic island of Mljet near the Dalmatian coast of modern Croatia. The Maltese breed was a symbol of loyalty and was a prominent motif in Roman culture, particularly in myths, poems, and fables.

On the other hand, the Shih Tzu breed is thought to have originated in China, with an ancestry of Tibetan dog breeds. Its ancestors are believed to have originated from Tibet as early as 600 AD. The breed was a favorite among Chinese royals, who valued the dogs so highly that they refused to sell, trade, or give any away. One theory about the Shih Tzu’s lineage is that it descended from a cross between the Pekingese and Lhasa Apso breeds.

It wasn’t until the period between 1930 and 1950 that the Shih Tzu breed became more widely recognized and was introduced to the United States. In 1955, the American Kennel Club accepted the Shih Tzu breed, albeit as a Miscellaneous class due to the low number of Shih Tzu dogs at that time.

The rise of designer dogs in recent years led to the creation of the Maltese Shih Tzu, which is a blend of the distinctive features of both parent breeds. This crossbreed takes qualities from both the Maltese and Shih Tzu, creating a popular and affectionate companion dog. As Maltese and Shih Tzus both have a prominent history, particularly in Asia, their combination in the form of the Maltese Shih Tzu provides dog lovers with a unique breed that captures the rich history and desirable traits of its parents.

Appearance and Size

Coat and Colors

The Maltese Shih Tzu, often known as a Malshi, has a coat that tends to be long, soft, and silky. This breed comes in a variety of colors, including red, tan, black, white, blue, brindle, gold, liver, and silver. Their coats can be either solid or have various combinations and markings. It is important to note that colors may change as the puppy grows into an adult, so it’s not unusual for their coat shades to vary during their lifetime.

Height and Weight

Maltese Shih Tzu is a toy breed, which means they are relatively small in size. They typically stand around 9 inches tall and weigh approximately 10 lbs when fully grown. While both parents are similar in size, it is essential to know that their appearance can vary depending on which parent breed’s traits are dominant in the mix. However, their size makes them an excellent companion for those living in smaller spaces or looking for a pet that is easy to handle and carry.

Characteristics and Temperament

The Maltese Shih Tzu, also known as Malshi, is a hybrid dog breed that results from crossing Maltese and Shih Tzu breeds. This designer dog inherits various traits from both parent breeds, making it an excellent companion and a great addition to any family.

The Malshi is a small, stable dog with a round head and short muzzle. It boasts a soft, medium-length, thick coat that doesn’t shed much, which makes it suitable for those with allergies. When fully grown, a Maltese Shih Tzu typically stands up to 12 inches tall and weighs around 10-12 pounds.

In terms of temperament, the Maltese Shih Tzu mix is known for being affectionate, loyal, and friendly. These dogs enjoy spending quality time with their families and are eager to please. Their intelligent nature facilitates training, but early socialization is crucial to ensure a well-rounded and adaptable adult dog.

Playfulness is another prominent characteristic of the Malshi. This breed loves engaging in games and activities with their human companions. However, their exercise requirements are relatively low, needing less than 20 minutes per day to keep them happy and healthy.

Due to their small size, Maltese Shih Tzu dogs can adapt well to various living conditions, making them suitable for both city and suburban lifestyles. They are also well-suited for families with children, as the breed’s gentle yet bold nature allows them to form strong bonds with people of all ages.

The Malshi has a sweet and loving disposition, which makes them a fantastic companion for single owners or the elderly. Their loyalty and bravery also contribute to their protective instincts, ensuring they will keep a close eye on their family and surroundings.

Health Issues and Lifespan

Common Health Problems

The Maltese Shih Tzu, also known as the Malshi, is a crossbreed between a Maltese and a Shih Tzu. These small dogs are known for their friendly nature and hypoallergenic coats, which make them a popular choice for many pet owners. However, just like any other dog breed, Malshi can also suffer from a number of health issues throughout their lives.

Lifespan: The average Maltese Shih Tzu has a lifespan of approximately 12-15 years. However, this is influenced by factors such as genetics, environment, and overall health. Proper care, nutrition, and regular veterinary check-ups can improve the chances of a longer, healthier life for your pet.

Hypothyroidism: This is a condition resulting from low thyroid hormone production, which can lead to weight gain, lethargy, and hair loss. It can be managed with medication and regular monitoring of thyroid hormone levels in the blood.

Patellar Luxation: Common among small dogs, this is a condition in which the kneecap (patella) can dislocate or slip out of its normal position. It can cause lameness and discomfort for the dog. In some cases, surgery may be required to correct the issue.

White Shaker Syndrome: This condition affects small, white dog breeds like the Maltese Shih Tzu. Symptoms include involuntary shaking that can make it difficult for the dog to stand and move normally. Treatment typically involves medication to manage the shaking and additional supportive care as needed.

Health problems common to both Maltese and Shih Tzu breeds: Since the Malshi is a mix of two breeds, it is also susceptible to health issues that are common to both the Maltese and the Shih Tzu. These include brachycephalic airway syndrome, dental issues, and eye problems. Regular veterinary check-ups and care can help monitor and manage these issues.

It is important to remember that every dog is unique, so not all Maltese Shih Tzu will experience these health issues. However, being aware of these common health problems and providing your pet with proper care and attention can help them lead a happy and healthy life.

Grooming and Care

The Maltese Shih Tzu, also known as a Malshi, is a hybrid between a Maltese and a Shih Tzu. This small dog is known for its low-shedding coat, which makes it an ideal companion for those with allergies. However, proper grooming and care are essential to keep this breed looking and feeling its best.

Regular grooming is necessary to maintain the coat of a Maltese Shih Tzu. Daily brushing is recommended to prevent matting and tangles as the coat is long and can easily get dirty. Many owners choose to keep their pet’s coat short or take them to a professional groomer, but there will still be daily maintenance required on the owner’s part.

In addition to brushing, it’s important to clean your dog’s teeth and ears weekly and trim their nails as needed. These tasks can be done at home, but some owners may prefer to have a professional groomer handle them.

When it comes to exercise, Maltese Shih Tzus are considered low-energy dogs, which means their exercise needs are relatively minimal. However, it’s essential to provide some form of daily activity to keep your dog healthy and happy. A short walk or indoor playtime should suffice to meet their exercise requirements.

Training and socialization are vital for this breed, as they are known for their confident and bold personalities. Starting training and socialization early on will help your Maltese Shih Tzu become a well-rounded and well-behaved companion. The breed responds well to positive reinforcement techniques, making it essential to be patient and consistent during training.

Training and Socialization

Maltese Shih Tzu dogs are a delightful and intelligent breed. They thrive on attention and are eager to please their owners. Early training and socialization are essential to helping these dogs become well-rounded and well-behaved pets.

Begin socializing your Maltese Shih Tzu puppy as early as possible. Expose them to various people, animals, sounds, and environments to help them feel confident in a variety of situations. Proper socialization can also help prevent behaviors such as excessive barking, fearfulness, or even separation anxiety.

Training for this breed should focus on positive reinforcement and consistency. Maltese Shih Tzu dogs are known for being highly trainable and are easy to train with a gentle and patient approach. Use rewards, such as treats or praise, to encourage them when they correctly follow a command. Ensure that all members of the household follow the same training techniques to avoid confusing the dog and maintain consistency.

It’s important to make training sessions engaging and varied to ensure your Maltese Shih Tzu remains interested and mentally stimulated. You can incorporate games, puzzle toys, and agility exercises to encourage both physical and mental exercise. Remember to keep training sessions short and focused, as this breed can have a shorter attention span.

Crate training can also be beneficial for Maltese Shih Tzu puppies. It helps establish a safe space for the dog and can make potty training more manageable. Introduce the crate gradually, and always use positive reinforcement to create a pleasant association with the crate. Avoid crating your dog for extended periods to prevent feelings of isolation and anxiety.

By dedicating time and effort to training and socializing your Maltese Shih Tzu, you will be able to enjoy a well-mannered and confident companion. These lovable dogs are eager to learn and will thrive with the appropriate guidance and support.

Breed Information and Recognition

The Maltese Shih Tzu, also known as the Mal-Shi, Malti zu, and the Malt-Tzu, is a popular designer breed that is a mix between the Maltese and Shih Tzu dog breeds. These small-sized, toy dogs are known for their outgoing and affectionate nature, making them great lapdogs and beloved companions for many households.

Due to their mixed heritage, the Maltese Shih Tzu is not officially recognized by major kennel clubs like the American Kennel Club (AKC) or the United Kennel Club (UKC). However, their popularity has led to their recognition by the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) as a symbol of their hybrid breed status.

Their appearance and characteristics are a combination of both parental breeds, resulting in a dog with a small size, weighing around 10 pounds and averaging a height of 7 to 10 inches when fully grown. The Malshi has inherited its hypoallergenic coat from its parents, making it an excellent choice for individuals with allergies.

In terms of personality, the Maltese Shih Tzu is known for being friendly, adaptable, and great with children, other pets, and strangers. This designer breed is also praised for its intelligence and trainability, inheriting these traits from both parent breeds.

When considering adding a Maltese Shih Tzu to your family, potential adopters should research reputable breeders to ensure that the dam and sire used in the breeding process are healthy and of good temperament. Note that adoption through rescues and shelters is also an option, as these dogs might be in need of a new, loving home.

Ideal Living Conditions

The Maltese Shih Tzu, also known as a Malshi, is a small dog with a big personality. This breed is a cross between a Maltese and a Shih Tzu, resulting in a charming and affectionate companion. The Malshi is well-suited for various living conditions, thanks to their adaptable nature and balanced temperament.

Their small size, usually around 9 inches tall and weighing about 10 lbs, makes them perfect for apartment living. Their coat comes in a variety of colors, including white, which adds to their appeal. Despite being a small dog, the Malshi is quite an effective watchdog due to their alert nature, making them a practical addition to your home.

When it comes to family life, the Maltese Shih Tzu is a delightful pet. They are known to get along well with people of all ages, including children and the elderly. These toy breeds are great for families seeking a calm and loving companion who can provide emotional support and entertainment. They can also coexist with other pets, as long as they are socialized and introduced properly.

Regular exercise is essential for a healthy and happy Malshi. Due to their small size, their exercise needs can usually be satisfied with two 10- to 15-minute walks each day. Playtime indoors or at a dog park, as well as engaging in fun activities like fetch and hide-and-seek, can also contribute to their physical and mental well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

How big do Maltese Shih Tzu dogs get?

Maltese Shih Tzu dogs, also known as Malshi, typically grow to a height of 20 to 30 cm and weigh between 3 to 6 kg on average.

What is the temperament of a Maltese Shih Tzu?

Maltese Shih Tzus are known for their loveable and friendly nature. They make great companion dogs and are suited for both relaxed family members and those with a more active lifestyle. They have a tendency to be fussy, bark excessively, and exhibit hyperactivity, which can be managed with regular exercise and proper socialization.

How much does a Shih Tzu Maltese mix cost?

The cost of a Shih Tzu Maltese mix puppy can vary widely, depending on factors such as the breeder and location. It’s common for the price to range between $500 to $1,500. However, it’s crucial to research breeders and choose a reputable one, ensuring the dog’s health and well-being.

Are Maltese Shih Tzu dogs good pets?

Maltese Shih Tzu dogs make excellent pets, especially for those seeking a small and affectionate companion. They are generally good with children and other pets but should always be supervised when interacting with young children. Their hypoallergenic coats and friendly temperaments make them a popular choice for many families.

What’s the difference between a Maltese and a Shih Tzu?

Maltese dogs are small, with a silky white coat, and have a gentle and affectionate nature. Shih Tzus, on the other hand, are slightly larger, have a dense and long coat, which can come in various colors, and are known for their outgoing and lively personalities. The Maltese Shih Tzu mix combines the traits of both breeds to create a unique and loveable dog.

Do Maltese Shih Tzu dogs have any common health issues?

Maltese Shih Tzu dogs can be predisposed to certain health issues, often inherited from their parent breeds. Some of these issues include dental problems, respiratory issues due to their short snouts, and eyes that are prone to infections or injury. Regular check-ups with a vet and maintaining proper care can help mitigate these issues and ensure a healthy life for your Maltese Shih Tzu.

Leave a Comment