Maltese Shih Tzu
Life span: 12-14 Years
Height: 10 – 12 inches
Weight: 6 – 12 lbs.
A crossbreed between a Maltese and a Shih Tzu, the Maltese Shih Tzu is a small-sized hybrid that is of the designer type – meaning that is was developed to achieve a specific look, although it is not an officially registered breed. The Maltese Shih Tzu has a lively attitude and it takes well to training. With its small stature, the Maltese Shih Tzu is perfect for those that reside in apartments or townhomes.
This loving breed is extremely tolerant and loving with children, as well as with the rest of its family. It enjoys spending time with its owners the most and has a playful attitude without being overly energetic.
Their ears are small and fall down, with a medium sized tail that curls over its back. Their eyes can be green or light brown, with a black nose. Their coat can be long and straight, or (if cut) short and wavy, but will always be dense and soft to the touch. Coat colors include black, brown and white.
Originally developed in Australia in 1990, this breed was created with the purpose of being small and hypoallergenic. Despite being developed in Australia, however, it is most popular in North America. They are a result of the crossbreeding of Maltese and Shih Tzu breeds. They are considered a “designer breed” due to its size and nature. Their job has always been that of a companion dog.
This sweet breed was bred specifically to be a companion, and is therefore happy in nature and loving. They get along well with everyone, including strangers, and are extremely affectionate with them too! Despite this, they are great watchdogs, warning you with barks if they sense anyone within their territory, which also makes them quite loud. They love learning tricks and get along well with children, although it is recommended to watch them around small children as they might accidentally hurt the small dog. They tend to be stubborn at times, but training is usually easy to accomplish.
- This breed is generally healthy, however, they can suffer from:
- Patellar Luxation, a disease where their kneecaps are slightly out of place or even dislocated, although this disease is genetic, it can also happen through injuries.
- White Dog Shaker Syndrome, which predominantly affects white dogs, may begin when the puppy is as young as six months. Symptoms include lack of coordination, rapid eye movements, and body tremors. They are not painful, and can be treated.
Brushing must be done daily, with baths done monthly. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. Although not highly energetic, they do need daily exercise, preferably in the form of short walks. Training should be easy given that they love pleasing their owners. Positive reinforcement works best with this breed.