Breed: Maltese x Shih Tzu
Temperament: friendly, outgoing, boisterous
Lifespan: 12-14 years
Recommended for: anyone
Dumpage rate: medium
The Maltese x Shih Tzu is a small dog with an abundant coat. It may resemble either of the parent breeds but usually does not have the short nose and boggle eyes of the Shih Tzu. Where the pure Maltese is prone to tear staining, the stains don’t show up quite so much in the cross breed.
Breeders say these dogs are gutsy, gregarious and outgoing and are excellent with any age group. Like any breed, they need to be socialised and treated like a dog, rather than a baby. The Maltese can be highly strung and snappy but crossing them with the aloof Shih Tzu produces a dog that is friendly and outgoing and good with people.
Health and lifespan
Cross bred dogs are generally hardier than purebreds but can still have a few health problems. Luxating patellas are occasionally seen in the Maltese X Shih Tzu and they can be prone to hydrocephalus and liver shunts. Pure bred Shih Tzu can have problems with their eyes, but there are less eye problems in the cross as they don’t have the squashed-in face of the Shih Tzu.
An average lifespan for this breed is 12 -14 years.
This cross seems to produce a dog that is relatively predictable. Despite some problems with slipping patellas the dogs seem, by all accounts to have nice temperaments and have the best of both worlds.
Pet shops charge upwards of $300 for these little dogs which have become popular over recent years.
Space and housepet potential
The Maltese x Shih Tzu is an ideal size for the house but will need training to ensure it behaves inside the house.
The Maltese x Shih Tzu is ideal for families who want a small active dog that has a happy personality, or older people looking for a companion. Owners say the dogs are happy to romp with children, but can be too boisterous for very young children. The dogs should have regular walks, but are also happy to exercise themselves in the backyard.
These dogs need regular grooming otherwise their coat will tangle and become matted. It is possible to reduce the amount of grooming required by having the dog shaved or clipped every three months. This costs about $35. Pet owners definitely need to clip the dogs if they don’t have time to groom.
The Maltese x Shih Tzu is one of the most popular cross breeds available in pet shops. They are just as popular as purebreds, and breeding the crosses are far less random than people imagine.
Designer dogs such as the Maltese Shih Tzu cross are available from most pet shops. ACA Breeders Kennels, referred to on the segment, are at Croydon, Victoria phone (03) 9723 9811.