Maltese X Shih Tzu Basic Information
A Maltese bred with a Shih Tzu comes by several names, including Mal-Shih, Malte Tzu, Shihtese, and Malshi.
This was one of the first cross bred dogs to become a household name and many people believe this hybrid breed to be a purebred.
Maltese X Shih Tzu Parent Breeds
The Maltese is a member of the Toy Group of dogs because of their small stature. They are only 2 – 4kg or 4-8 pounds and 18 – 30cm (7-12 inches). Their height is approximately equivalent to the length of the body. The Maltese do not have an undercoat which is slightly unusual among dogs, but they do have a long and silky single-coat and the standard is pure white. Some may have lemon markings. The name “Maltese” is presumed to have something to do with the dog’s origin which is in Malta. The Maltese has a temperament that is lively, playful, which often lasts even into old age. They make wonderful companions but they may be unreliable around young unfamiliar or disrespectful children. They may also suffer from separation anxiety, fear biting and heavy barking.
The Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu is, like the Maltese, also a toy dog and they may weigh anywhere from 4 – 9kg or 8-19 pounds and stand 18 – 30cm (7-12 inches) tall. They have an overall sturdy body that is somewhat longer than it is tall. The muzzle is short and the ears are long. Their double coats are soft, silky, and long. The coat often extends to the floor. They come in a variety of colors but one of the most common color combinations seen in a Shih Tzu is white with gray or black blazes along the body. The Shih Tzu is frequently described as being alert, outgoing, loyal, and affectionate. They are often stubborn so early training is necessary in order to teach a Shih Tzu commands. They often make good watch dogs and are friendly with strangers and other animals, but they may get irritated or snappy if they are provoked.
Maltese X Shih Tzu Appearance
What does a Maltese X Shih Tzu look like?
Because both the parents of the breed are small the offspring will be as well. There is some degree of variability in the size of a Maltese X Shih Tzu and a lot of this will depend on the size of the parents. They may weigh anywhere from 3 to 10kg (6-22 pounds). Most Maltese X Shih Tzu will be around 25cm tall (10 inches). Generally they will be slightly smaller in weight than their Shih Tzu parent, as they are slightly larger than the Maltese.
The overall appearance of the Maltese X Shih Tzu is friendly and they display an expression that is described as keen. Their bodies are sturdy, proportionate, and well-built. As the Maltese X Shih Tzu is bred to be a designer dog their appearance varies somewhat from dog to dog. Normally a Maltese X Shih Tzu will not have the very short muzzle that its Shih Tzu parent has, and they are also less likely to exhibit tear stains like their Maltese parent does on their pure white coat. Their coats are frequently straight, thick, and long—but they may take more after one parent than the other in this case as well. They may or may not have a double coat like the Shih Tzu.
The Maltese X Shih Tzu can come in a variety of different colors but they are frequently multi-colored with a white body and patches of coloring throughout the coat. Ultimately they may be any color that their Shih Tzu parent is. A puppy Maltese X Shih Tzu may be a different color than he will be as an adult, for example he may be white but then become tan as he ages.
Maltese X Shih Tzu Temperament
What is a Maltese X Shih Tzu’s personality like?
Described as being affectionate, loving, gutsy, devoted, intelligent, adaptable, and alert, the Maltese X Shih Tzu make very good companion dogs. They are often active and outgoing—sometimes extremely so. The Maltese X Shih Tzu wants nothing as much as to be with his family. They thrive on human interaction and affection and need an owner that has time to devote to them. Many are curious and they often carry on with a happy disposition and attitude. When breeding two purebreds together it is impossible to know exactly how the temperament will turn out, as it could be any combination of the parents’ personalities.
While the Shih Tzu tends to be stubborn the Maltese tends to be somewhat high-strung, so ideally a Maltese X Shih Tzu will be neither as strong-willed as the Shih Tzu nor as nervous as the Maltese, but they will be more stubborn and highly strung compared to other designer breeds such as Cavoodles. Of course training and socialization a Maltese X Shih Tzu puppy also play a very large role in how manageable the dog will be in adulthood. To achieve this goal they can be enrolled in a puppy school (like a puppy kinder!) in order to socialize as well as train them. Overall the Maltese X Shih Tzu makes a good pet and and loving companion.
Maltese X Shih Tzu Health
Are Maltese X Shih Tzus a healthy breed?
The reason why designer dogs or mixed breeds are often healthier is that it is essentially the opposite of inbreeding as new genes are introduced. This being said, breeding unhealthy dogs to each other will generally result in unhealthy puppies so care should be taken when selecting a reputable breeder.
Maltese X Shih Tzus are often bred by inexperienced breeders who let their two pets breed without proper health checks. Finding a professional breeder who undertakes health screening prior to breeding should be a priority when selecting your Maltese X Shih Tzu puppy. Many Maltese X Shih Tzu live long and healthy lives, but others are afflicted by health problems. Some of these concerns include white shaker syndrome (found in white dogs), patellar luxation, skin problems, and respiratory issues.
Maltese X Shih Tzu Lifespan
How long does a Maltese X Shih Tzu live for?
The average lifespan of a Maltese X Shih Tzu is 12-14 years of age with some dogs going on to live for over 17 years.
Maltese X Shih Tzu Exercise
How much exercise does a Maltese X Shih Tzu need?
The Maltese X Shih Tzu will need only moderate exercise. They are great for the moderately active individual or family as well as the homebody and will be happy in either situation. They are also suited to small or large living quarters. It is still important, of course, to play with them or take them for a walk outside so they can stay fit and healthy.
Maltese X Shih Tzu Grooming
How much grooming does a Maltese X Shih Tzu need?
With a Shih Tzu X Maltese hybrid the coat will also be naturally long. Both the Maltese and the Shih Tzu have long coats, but many owners keep them short with regular clipping and grooming. If they are to keep a long coat they will need daily brushing and regular baths to keep the coat healthy. Clipping the hair on the face is often part of their regular grooming routine to keep this hair away from their eyeballs. They will also need their nails clipped and they may have tear stains or gunk in their eyes which need to be cleaned.