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.
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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.
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.