Maltese Shih Tzu Mix Care, Health Issues, Personality and More
The Maltese Shih Tzu Mix
The Maltese Shih Tzu, sometimes called Malt-Tzu, Malti Zu, or Mal-Shi, is a hybrid dog, a cross between the Shih Tzu and Maltese. Maltese is bred with a purpose in mind: to have a small, friendly dog who doesn’t shed too much fur. Therefore, they are ideal for those who have allergies. Their charming personality allows them to get along well with children as well.
Malt-Tzu is a designer breed, so you would expect there to be special treatment for them. That is not the case as there are plenty of them in shelters and rescue groups. As always, adopt, don’t buy.
Similar to other mixed-breeds, Malt-Tzus do not have a specific breed standard. Your Malt-Tzu should stand at about 10 inches tall and weigh anywhere between 6 to 12 pounds.
Malt-Tzus are very intelligent and flexible dogs. It is hard to say what their exact personality is since it is a mixed-breed. So, your pup could be active and outgoing or quiet and laid-back. One thing for sure, though, is that family is everything to a Malt-Tzu. To them, being with you is everything. If you can afford to be with them, then they can tolerate some shortcomings in other departments.
The overall temperament depends on their parents, so try to find out about that if you can. You can have a good idea about your pup’s temperament by observing its littermate and the mother. You want to get one that is neither too aggressive nor too soft.
Malt-Tzus are like cats in the sense that they are very curious. And just like cats, their curiosity can get them in trouble sometimes. Other than that, they are normally content and are always down for some play sessions.
As with all dogs, Malt-Tzus need early socialization to allow them to familiarize themselves with other pets as well as developing a well-rounded personality. Consider enrolling your pup in a puppy kindergarten as early as possible, taking it out to a busy park, having people over, etc, will help its social skills immensely.
Malt-Tzus are prone to certain diseases and conditions inherited from their parents. Due to the unpredictable nature of a mixed-breed, your pup could have all or none of these conditions below. Still, knowing what to expect can help you decide whether you want to go through the trouble should any of it happen.
When buying a puppy, ask the breeder for health clearances for its parents. This is a certification that proves that the parents do not have certain conditions that could potentially pass on to the pup. You can look up all health clearances on the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals’ website.
Malt-Tzus are known for their adaptability. Your pup will learn how to live in its new home by observing the overall energy level of the household and behave accordingly. In a high-energy home, your Malt-Tzu will be just hyperactive, for example.
Although Malt-Tzus can live in an apartment, they thrive when they find themselves in a home with a small yard as they love going outside and explore. Speaking of going outside, daily exercise is needed. A short walk around the neighborhood or a game of fetch for 10 to 15 minutes a day should suffice. During hotter climates, do not let your pup stay outside for too long as they can have respiratory problems that can get a lot worse in the summer. Ideally, you want to have an air conditioner, but fans will do just fine.
Malt-Tzus are very intelligent dogs and they want to learn new things. So, training them should not be a challenge. This is one of the main reasons why Malt-Tzus are perfect for those who have never raised a dog before. Crate training and potty training are a must. Just make sure to let your pup out and only put it in when you need to. They’re social animals and will not cope well in isolation.
Malt-Tzus are to be fed twice a day. Both meals should total up to ¼ or ½ cup of high-quality dry food. This is the daily recommendation, so consult with your vet about the proper diet as it varies between dogs. Never free-feed Malt-Tzus as they are prone to overeating.
Coat Color And Grooming
Malt-Tzus have wavy coats that are long, soft, and silky. Normally, their coats are white or white with some tan markings on the ears and body. Some Malt-Tzus have other coat colors like brown, white, and black, and any combination of these colors.
To keep your Malt-Tzu’s coat in its best shape, you need to brush it daily. Regular baths are also mandatory. If you cannot commit to doing this, consider getting its coat clipped. Then, you would only need to brush it once a week. Just make sure to make an appointment with the groomer every 6 to 9 weeks.
Tear stains are also a problem. Wiping the area around the eyes should be enough. If not, consider getting a commercial tearstain remover. It helps if you keep the area around the eyes clean. For dental health, make sure to brush your Malt-Tzu’s teeth a few times a week. Better yet, brush it daily.
For the nails, trim them 2 times a month if they don’t wear down naturally. If you can hear clicks as your Malt-Tzu walks, then its nails are too long. You can trim the nails yourself, but you may end up cutting too close to the base and cause bleeding. The nails have blood vessels in them, after all. It is better to get a vet or a groomer for help if you’re not familiar with this process.
Check your dog’s ears every week for bad odor or redness. Wipe with a dampened cotton ball with pH-balanced ear cleaner before an infection can happen. Just clean the outer ear area.
All of the processes above are best done as early as possible so that your dog gets used to it early. Consider praising and rewarding your dog so that your pup is easier to handle in the future. Finally, always take the time to check for sores, tenderness, inflammation, etc. You might spot a potential problem early.
Children And Other Pets
Malt-Tzus are sociable and have no problems being around kids. As they are small dogs, more emphasis should be placed on the children. They need to learn how to handle small dogs properly, or otherwise risk injuring your sweet pup. Never leave children alone with your Malt-Tzu unsupervised.
Malt-Tzus’ sociable nature allows them to get along with other pets as well. They are friendly enough to play with every other pet, but keep an eye on them if you have smaller pets at home.
The sad reality is that many Malt-Tzus are adopted by the people who do not know what it takes to own one. For this reason, you can find many Malt-Tzus up for adoptions. Consider looking at the local shelter or contacting the national or local breed club as they may be able to point you in the right direction.