A designer dog, the Shih Tzu Maltese mix is small, adorable dog. Resultant of a cross between a Maltese dog, and a Shih Tzu, the Maltese Shih Tzu mix dog is also called a hybrid dog. Hybrid dogs are the ones that are bred by crossing 2 pure bred, or mix bred breed to create a genetically superior breed, such that it has positive traits from both parents. The mix in this case also has higher immunity to the diseases its parents are prone to, and have a longer healthier life span.
Also called Shih-tese, and Shihtese, a full grown Maltese Shih Tzu mix dog weights hardly 15 pounds, and is about 14 inches tall. A very playful and sturdy dog, their eager to please nature makes them very easy to train. Gutsy and sociable, they love attention and affection, and literally thrive on it. This aspect of their nature can easily make them spoilt brats. If they get used to being carried everywhere, making them walk will be a task.
What the cross dog looks like is largely dependent on who the dominant parent is. This can be understood by studying the parents of the cross and their traits. A slightly detailed study of both the parents can lead to greater understanding of the Shih Tzu Maltese mix, and any diseases it could be prone to. Generally black, brown, and white, they can also be a mixture of any of these colors.
Shih Tzu Maltese Temperament:
A naturally happy, pleasant and social dog, the Maltese Shih Tzu mix dog is an extrovert, and gets along with kids and adults alike. Also amicable with other pets, they love basking in attention and tend to get spoilt if pampered too much. Family focused, the Shih Tzu Maltese mix loves being with family and surrounded by people. They are likely to have separation anxiety if left alone for longer periods of time. A companion breed, they are best suited for homes with children and retirees. They also work great as therapy dogs. Intelligent, they love playing mentally stimulating games, and indulging in activities that keep them alert, and sharp. Also independent, they are alert, agile and perceptive. But they do not make good watchdogs as they can get fearful of intruders and strangers. But, they can easily be trained to be watchdogs.
Maintaining a Shih Tzu Maltese Mix :
The Shih Tzu Maltese mix is double coated, meaning they have a shorter base coat, and a longer topcoat. Since they have a considerably longer shedding cycle, their hair is considered hypo-allergic. They can hence be kept as pets for people with allergies without any adverse effects. The coat requires regular brushing and an occasional cut and trim. Daily brushing can keep their smooth coats free of tangles and lustrous. An occasional bath with a subtle puppy shampoo can help keep their coats clean and healthy.
The Maltese Shih Tzu mix requires about 10 to 15 minutes of exercise. This can be outdoor walks, and games, or activities indoors. They are energetic but do not get snappy or restless if not taken outdoors. They can also suffer from respiratory problems, and they cannot stay out in hot or humid weather. They are also ever-ready for a run, or play. It is important to keep them occupied, as they can get depressed, destructive, disobedient, and even run away if bored.
They need to be fed twice a day, about half a cup of good quality dog food. Regular trips to the vet should also be made to make sure the routine shots are administered and regular checks are carried out.
Shih Tzu Maltese Health problems:
While the Maltese Shih Tzu mix is a hybrid, which decreases chances of the mix offspring inheriting any diseases from their parents, there is also a possibility that they may be highly prone to these diseases. This is another reason why studying the parental genetic makeup can help in understanding the mix’s genetic makeup. Besides this health checks can keep any diseases at bay and make sure early signs are noticed and necessary treatments administered. The mix is prone to Patellar Luxation and the White Shaker Syndrome.