The very first thing that you need to know about this breed is that its name is Shih Tzu and not Shitzu, as people often do, and this beautiful breed deserves to be named properly. Maltese Shih Tzu is a designer dog or a crossbreed known as one of the most popular toy dogs around the globe and with a good reason. Read 15 facts on this popular companion.
1. Maltese Shih Tzu Is A Crossbreed
Maltese Shih Tzu is bred form two pure breed parents, a Maltese dog, and Shih Tzu. The reason why this dog is so petite is due to their parent’s size. Interestingly, both parents come from completely different parts of the world.
Originally, Maltese is from Mediterranean, while Shih Tzu if from Asia. So, where did these two meet and where Maltese Shih Tzu was created? The very first Maltese Shih Tzu was bred first in the States back in the 1990s.
The logic behind creating this breed was to create little companion who did not shed a lot.
Fun fact: Bill Gates is a proud pet parent of Maltese Shih Tzu.
2. Maltese Shih Tzu Is Not Officially Recognized
Although they are so globally approved and everyone knows about them and loves them it doesn’t mean that they are ‘all clear’ when it comes to papers. Maltese Shih Tzu isn’t recognized by any of the main kennel clubs. What is that relevant? Not being recognized my relevant kennel clubs means that the dog has no official breed standard.
As a not-recognized breed, the Maltese Shih Tzu has no official breed standard and each Maltese Shih Tzu may vary in appearance. But in general, they will not have bulging eyes like Shih Tzu, or long hair like Maltese. You can register your Maltese Shiz Tzu mix into American Canine Hybrid Club.
In general, Maltese Shih Tzu is a small breed. They can grow to 10 inches, while their weight can vary between 6 to 12 pounds. Their maximum height when they are puppies is 4 inches, and during their puppyhood weight usually doesn’t go over 4 pounds. As as they overgrow and out weight this, this lapdog is considered to be an adult dog.
3. Maltese Shiz Tzu Is A Great Choice For First-Time Owners
Due to their nice nature and calm temperament, they are a great choice for first-time dog owners. It’s important to have a dog who meets your needs and lifestyles. If you are not an active person, you should avoid extremely demanding breeds in the term of activity such as Basenji and should go for the dog that’s calm and easy to train and control. Maltese Shiz Tzu is all that.
They are such people-pleasers and they love to entertain and have a good time. In addition, they are extremely calm dog breed. Also, they will equally manage in rural and city area. Their size doesn’t mean that they are scared of the world. Moreover, their size just means that they are cutter.
4. Maltese Shiz Tzu Is An Active Breed
Although they are small it doesn’t mean that they are huge fans of outdoor time. After all, no dog will say a no to a nice big yard to run whenever he wants to. You don’t need the backyard to welcome Maltese Shiz Tzu to your home. However, you will need a good plan and some outside time to stay on top of his exercise need.
They won’t take too much of your time being outside, because they don’t need a harsh activity or physical exercise plan. But, they will need a short walk 15 to 30 minute every day.
You can use this time outside to train your Maltese Shiz Tzu and socialize your Maltese Shiz Tzu puppywith other dogs. As a playful breed by nature Maltese Shiz Tzu will be thrilled if you use mental stimulation games to help them be entertained.
This way your dog will have 3 in 1: exercise, attention, and your company. Trust us, your dog will over the top happy. In addition, you can learn more tricks on how to communicate with your dog .
Quick Tip: Your Maltese Shiz Tzu loves to explore, so always use a leash as they love to play hide-and-seek.
5. They Are Really Friendly
There is not even one bad hair in this breed when it comes to their temperament and behavior. They have a wonderful temperament. They are playful, active, and gentle, and it goes like that with all ages.
You can leave your children with him and he will make sure to entertain and protect them if necessary. Besides, they are great companions to the elderly, so no wonder that you can see so many Maltese Shiz Tzu’s in a park with the elderly. Although they are great with children, older children just may be a better fit, as the younger have a stronger tendency of playing more roughly with smaller breeds in general as they see them as equal to them in size and kind of a moving toy.
Simply said, just supervise them with they are left with toddlers and youngsters.
6. They Can Be Suspicious
Although they are calm and nice, some strong protection can be seen in everyday situations. They love spending time with their family and follow them around. So, if someone tries to interfere with their time, you can expect to see kind of ‘nasty’ personality of your canine. Your Maltese Shiz Tzu won’t be happy to see someone messing around you.
They are especially suspicious toward strangers or even shy if there are many people that he is not familiar with. They can be suspicious or even nervous around small pets. So, the best way to help him deal with this is to socialize him, both with animals and people. By doing so he will be more open to unknown and be a great companion dog.
7. You Will Have To Invest Some Time In Grooming
Just like any other breed, you will have to invest some time in grooming your Maltese Shih Tzu. Luckily, this breed is small after all and you won’t have too much work with grooming.
The light brush should be enough with their coat to get rid of that small amount of excess dander and fur. If you want to know what full dog covers you can check this ultimate guide on grooming your dog.
You should brush your Maltese Shiz Tzu minimum twice a week, while it would be perfect to brush him every day. In most cases, owners of this popular breed opt for a Maltese Shih Tzu haircut, especially during the hot summer months. In the long run, this makes grooming a lot easier.
Also, if you want to keep your dog’s hair nice, smooth, and silky you can think about bathing him twice a year. If you are worried that commercial shampoos are bad for your pup you can always make home shampoo. Regular check-ups of eyes, ears and gums are mandatory part of dog’s grooming.
8. Their Coat Is Really Silky
Mal-Shi’s coat is soft, long and silky. In some cases, it can be wavy as well, but it’s never curly. Also, they usually come in white, while some of them can have tan markings or even a combination of other colors, including brown, black, and brown and white.
It is crucial to take care of Mal-Shi’s coat, as if you neglect it you can expect some long hours of untangling. To prevent tangles and mats you will have to brush and comb your dog regularly and to make sure that he doesn’t start resisting to these moments.
If you think that taking care of Mal-Shi’s coat is too much work for you, think about hiring a professional groomer when it’s needed.
9. They Love To Learn
This breed has it all – the look, calmness and the intelligence. They are highly intelligent dogs and their intelligence is what makes them so great and popular. Thanks to their ability to learn it’s a real pleasure to train them, as in most cases they will obey.
They catch fast on to things and they are capable to retain information. Because they are so intelligent they can be stubborn during their training sessions sometimes, so you can expect them to fool around, so you need to make sure that you remain the pack leader in every situation.
10. Training Them Won’t Be Easy
On the one hand, it’s really easy working with them and teaching them commands, while on the other hand, they can be stubborn. Yes, they are eager to please their family members, but they also love to have some ‘me time’ so they can loosen up and do things on their own. Don’t let the size fool you. Their size doesn’t mean that training them will be easy.
To get your Mal-Shi to a desirable level of obedience you will need a lot of patience and persistence. Just like with any other breed it’s crucial to train your dog using positive reinforcement.
Puppies will especially learn much faster from a positive and safe environment than from unfamiliar situations and aggressive behavior. Make sure that your puppy feels safe and secure.
11. They Can Often Develop A ‘Small Dog Syndrome’
Small Dog Syndrome is an attitude problem that usually occurs in smaller breeds. Owners usually feel like they have to protect their small dogs and sometimes they overdo with protection so much that dogs can forget that they are dogs in the first place. Every dog, regardless of its size, should be treated as a usual dog, without special treatment.
People often carry them around or let them sit in their lap, or even pick them up as soon as the bigger dog approaches so basically dogs start believing that this behavior is normal. Being babied and carried around as often as small dogs are, no wonder that they develop so-called ‘small dog syndrome’. Small dog syndrome can lead to behavioral problems and in the long run, it can lead to numerous health problems.
If you believe that your dog has small dog syndrome take appropriate steps to correct the problem.
12. They Have Issues With Brachycephaly
Dogs with this condition cannot tolerate much and intense exercise and take a significant amount of time to recover after physical activity. This condition is usually inherited.
Also, they are not good swimmers and should never be left unattended near water. During summer days there is a real fear of heatstroke and overheating . They overheat quickly as their restricted airways mean they are not able to effectively cool their bodies down.
13. They Are A Long-Lived Breed
Departure from their problem with brachycephaly, Mal-Shi is generally a healthy and long-lived breed. Their life span is between 10 to 18 years of age. Interestingly, they don’t have breathing issues.
This breed is small and they grow fast so you really should be extra careful during his puppyhood, as he can swallow anything easily or a foreign object can get stuck in his fur and if left untrimmed, can lead to infections or strong discomfort.
Last, but not least you should not let your Mal-Shi grow too fat. Obesity is a serious problem in dogs nowadays, and as a companion dog this breed developed a tendency of becoming a couch potato.
14. They Are Great As Puppies
Mal-Shi’s are social when they are an adult. But they are even more social when they are puppies. They love being in the center of attention from day one. Their ability to entertain and stay calm in any situation is something that you won’t be immune to.
However, just because they are adorable it doesn’t mean that you should let them get away with everything. Therefore, early and structured training is mandatory, in addition to a proper exercise routine. Start training as soon as possible if you want your furry friend to be well-behaved canine.
15. They Are Great Therapy Dogs
With there intelligence, need to please and love toward people no wonder that people found a way on how to use high-quality traits of this breed for a higher purpose. In recent years Mal-Shi’s served as a great therapy dog.
This comes as a no surprise taken into consideration the fact that they are highly intuitive, great both with children and elders. Overall, Maltese Shih Tzu is a successful therapy dog breed.