The Maltese Shih Tzu Mix, also known as the Mal-Shi or Malti-Tzu, is an adorable pup that is known for its lovable sweet nature. With their light shedding coat, love of their owners, and love of play, it’s no wonder they are such a treasured breed in the dog world.
In this article we’ll discuss the characteristics of the Maltese Shih Tzu, and what you can expect when you bring them into your home.
The Maltese Shih Tzu Mix was created in an effort to create the perfect companion dog with low-shedding fur. It’s no surprise with their overwhelmingly cute appearance and their love of affection, that this breed quickly became the most popular dog breed in many parts of the world.
Since this is a mixed breed, there are no specific breed regulations or official AKC breed recognition for this popular dog breed.
While this may not be a registered breed, that hasn’t stopped the Malti-Tzu from gaining popularity around the world.
Appearance Of The Maltese Shih Tzu Mix
The average Maltese Shih Tzu mix ranges from 6-12 pounds and stands at about 10 inches of height. Though there are no size regulations for this breed, they are often quite small and make for the perfect lap dogs.
The Malti-Tzu’s coat is often long and silky and can have a bit of a wave depending on the dog. Along with their range of curl is the range of different colors of coat you can expect to see in this breed.
Some common coat colors include:
- White and tan
- Black and white
- Brown and white
- Black and brown
While their standard coat color ranges, the white and tan Maltese Shih Tzu’s are most common.
Personality Of The Maltese Shih Tzu Mix
Maltese Shih Tzu’s personality is one of the main reasons this breed has become so popular. They are outgoing, active, and love to have fun with their humans. Their comical personality is sure to keep a smile on your face.
Though they are often outgoing and playful, they enjoy their laid back time with family. Family is number one for these dogs, and they love nothing more than to be snuggled up next to their people. If you are looking for a lovable companion, a Malti-Tzu is just that.
Since they love their families so much, they can experience separation anxiety if left alone for long hours. If you are a family that is not home often, the Maltese Shih Tzu mix may not be the right dog for you.
They are considered high maintenance when it comes to their need of attention, so try your best to set aside one time for them each day.
While temperament will vary from dog to dog, they are often friendly and social. When socialized properly, they are eager to explore and meet new people. They are incredibly curious and love to check out new places and people.
Since this breed is quite social, they may bark back out of play or attitude. Many owners find this endearing, and it does not often turn into a problem.
Grooming Your Maltese Shih Tzu Mix
With these breeds beautiful coat comes the responsibility of brushing this coat daily. Their fine hair can become easily tangled, and can even become matted if left un-brushed.
If you choose to let your Malti-Tzu’s fur grow out to a long coat, you should always factor in daily brushing sessions.
Maltese Shih Tzu Mixes are often groomed professionally and shaved periodically throughout the year. Since their fur grows so quickly, most owners schedule their clipping every 6-9 weeks.
If you don’t want to shave their fur or keep it short, you should at least consider sanitary trims around their behind and on their faces. This fur can become soiled easily, and it’s important to reduce the risk of matting and crusting in these areas.
Along with brushing and trimming are their requirements for routine bathing. Most owners bathe their Maltese Shih Tzu Mixes once a month to keep their fur shiny and fresh.
While some owners are tempted to bathe them more frequently due to their long fur, it’s important to refrain from excessive bathing habits.
Overall Health Of The Maltese Shih Tzu Mix
While Maltese Shih Tzu mixes can lead a generally healthy life of 12-15 years, they are prone to a few medical conditions. Some of these conditions include:
- Allergies: Maltese Shih Tzu mixes are prone to allergies of the skin. Allergies can be from their food, allergens in the air, and contact allergens. If a dog is experiencing allergies they may have skin redness, skin irritation, head shaking, itching, hair loss, and sores on the skin.
- Patellar luxation: Patellar luxation is extremely common in small dog breeds. This condition is the dislocation of the knee joint, which causes the knee to pop in and out of place as they move. This can be extremely uncomfortable and can lead to arthritis and further irritation of the joint.
- White shaker syndrome: White shaker syndrome is characterized by generalized shaking and tremors. Dogs with this condition can experience tremors that last for minutes to hours, can have difficulty walking, and can even experience changes in their vision. This condition is thought to be autoimmune-related and is treated with the use of steroids.
- Respiratory issues: This breed can suffer from respiratory issues involving their soft palate and can result in respiratory distress when they get worked up. Make sure to always monitor your Malti-Tzu in warm and humid climates (as this can aggravate respiratory issues), and always bring them into a cool area if they seem to get too worked up.
Training Your Maltese Shih Tzu Mix
Maltese Shih Tzu mixes are intelligent and enjoy positive reinforcement style training. This breed picks up new skills quickly, and truly enjoys the learning process.
The best time to begin the training process is between 8-12 weeks of age, or from the point of adoption. By helping to implement your structure from the start, you can help your Maltese Shih Tzu Mix be a well rounded and enjoyable member of your family.
Just like any other breed of dog, the Malti-Tzu benefits from proper socialization. This breed can be a bit timid in unfamiliar situations, and can even be mouthy when nervous.
By introducing them to new people, dogs, and surroundings at a young age, you can help them gain the confidence they need to be respectful pups.
Exercise And Your Maltese Shih Tzu Mix
The Maltese Shih Tzu Mix is a playful breed, but can also enjoy their laid back time as well. In general, they need about 15-30 minutes of exercise each day to keep them mentally stimulated.
What they enjoy more than the exercise itself is playtime with their favorite people. They truly love to spend time with their owners, so daily playtime can be your dog’s favorite part of the day.
If you are living in a home without access to a yard or room for exercise, it’s recommended to walk your Maltese Shih Tzu Mix daily for at least 15 minutes, so they don’t experience pent up energy.
A restless Malti-Tzu can be destructive and can lead to behavioral problems.
Since they enjoy the time spent with their family, it’s important to consider your time away from home. This breed can experience separation anxiety when left alone too long, so this is not a breed that does well when left alone in a cage for long hours.
Important Tips For Owning A Maltese Shih Tzu Mix
A Maltese Shih Tzu Mix would be an incredible addition to any home, as they make a wonderful and loving companion for any family. If you choose to adopt a Malti-Tzu, here are a few tips to remember:
- The Maltese Shih Tzu Mix is considered a designer breed, and not a registered AKC breed.
- They do best with at least 15 minutes of daily play time or exercise.
- This breed is known to be low-shedding.
- They require daily brushing, as their fine hair becomes tangled easily.
- They are extremely loving and enjoy spending quality time with their owners.
- They are intelligent and enjoy positive reinforcement training.
- Even if you do not shave your Maltese Shi Tzu Mix, you should at least do sanitary trims every 4-6 weeks.
- You should not bathe your Malti-Tzu any more than once a month, as this can cause a change in their skin’s normal PH.
- This breed can be fearful and are known to nip out of fear, so it’s important to socialize them from a young age.
Maltese Shih Tzu Mix: Summary
Overall, the Maltese Shih Tzu Mix is a treasured pet in the dog world and continues to steal the hearts of dog lovers around the globe.
If you are looking for a sweet and playful pup for your family, the Maltese Shih Tzu Mix may be the dog for you!