Mal-Shi: The Maltese & Shih Tzu Mix

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Deciding on which dog breed to make your next family member is not one of the easier decisions you will have to make in your life.

There are numerous unique breeds to choose from out there, with each having its own distinct characteristics.

Therefore, determining which dog breed best suits your lifestyle is both an initial and essential step on the road to successful long-term dog ownership.

The Mal-Shi is a designer crossbreed which combines the Maltese and the Shih-Tzu. This toy-sized mixed breed is known to be playful, energetic and outgoing.

This hybrid dog not only makes for a great family pet, but they are also used for therapy.

This article is jam-packed with pertinent, relevant and current information about this breed, which should help you considerably in making an educated and informed decision before acquiring one.

Whether you are in the market for a Mal-Shi, or any other type of canine breed, obtaining the correct information in advance often results in purchasing decision power which will ultimately end up best suiting you and your new family member.

Mal-Shi Puppies – Before You Buy…

A white and brown Mal-Shi laying on and orange blanket
The Mal-Shi dog is very intelligent.

There is no way around it. Bringing home that brand new puppy dog and making it family will most probably impact the next decade of your life.

Therefore, it is advisable to obtain as much information and knowledge as possible and conduct thorough research into the animal.

You want to make sure you can provide yourself with the best possible opportunity to acquire a breed which is a great fit not only for you but all involved parties.

Ensure that when you set out to acquire a new puppy dog, try and steer clear and away from the tempting emotional quick impulse buying decision.

This ill-advised and often spontaneous plan of action can often lead to negative and disastrous future results.

What Price are Mal-Shi Puppies?

The Mal-Shi is a happy go lucky, outgoing family breed which can cost anywhere from $300-$1500 for a puppy.

To obtain the most exceptional quality and value for your money, you should be prepared to invest a sufficient amount of time and effort to find the puppy which is ideal for your budget.

Since this mixed breed has a wide price range, shopping around and doing your homework will probably save you some money.

Eventually, when you do find a puppy which is within your budget, further educate yourself by engaging in a frank discussion with the breeding facility about the dog, the parent breeds and the breeder’s business as well.

Be prepared to ask the breeder as many questions as possible.

How to Find Reputable Mal-Shi Breeders?

To obtain the best possible value, you will need to make a commitment and investment in time and effort in locating that adorable and irresistible Mal-Shi puppy.

Becoming a member of online dog forums (of which there are plenty) and browsing through local breeder networks and pet classified advertisements regularly are all constructive ways to find exactly what you are looking for.

Using social media and word of mouth when networking with other pet owners, you should make it widely known you are in the market for this particular breed can also help in locating puppies for sale.

While undergoing your search, it is best to stay positive and persistent, which should eventually net you some successful results.

3 Little-Known Facts about Mal-Shi Puppies

  1. The Maltese are an ancient toy breed whose origins go back at least 2000 years.
  2. The Ancient Egyptians believed the Maltese breed had healing powers.
  3. The Shih-Tzu is one of the fourteen oldest dog breeds possibly dating back 10,000 years in China.
A Mal-Shi playing with a tennis ball
The Mal-Shi dog is a cheerful and extremely outgoing little thing.

Physical Traits of the Mal-Shi

The Mal-Shi is considered a toy-sized dog breed that has long flowing straight or slightly wavy hair. As a general rule, the Mal-Shi may be all white or white with tan markings on its body and ears.

Depending on the dominant parent breed, its coloring may have combinations of black, brown and white.

This dog requires a significant amount of maintenance, such as brushing of its fur daily. This breed has hazel or amber eyes and a black nose.

How Big is a Full-Grown Mal-Shi?

Categorized as a toy-sized breed, a Mal-Shi can reach a modest height of 10 inches when a full-grown adult.

This dog breed weighs anywhere from 6-12 pounds, making it compact and a very suitable companion for those who enjoy traveling with their pets.

Due to its miniature build, this breed can easily reside in an apartment or a dwelling where space is limited.

Ideally, it is best for any dog to have a yard to explore, but this is not necessary with this animal.

What Is the Life Expectancy of the Mal-Shi?

The Mal-Shi is expected to live for 12-14 years, which is about average for a dog of its size.

Similar to most pets, this breed needs a significant amount of activity, mental engagement, and a premium food diet to have an opportunity to live a potentially full and healthy life.

Make sure you stay on top of your dog’s physical and mental state of mind, as this is vital to raising a healthy dog.

Part of being a responsible dog owner involves being sensitive and observant of your dog’s feelings and behavior and taking corrective action when you can sense something is wrong.

Intelligence, Temperament & Personality Traits of the Mal-Shi

The Mal-Shi is a pleasant, cheery, affectionate and exceedingly outgoing mixed breed who enjoys socializing with people and other pets.

Alert and full of courage, this breed makes for an excellent watchdog, as it will not hesitate to bark if it senses a problem.

This dog is an intelligent, quick learner and not very difficult to train or teach new tricks. However, they may have a slightly stubborn streak.

Patience and a certain amount of persistence do pay off when dealing with this mixed breed, as they are eager to please.

A white and grey Mal-Shi sitting on the couch
The Mal-Shi is a happy and good-natured puppy.

The Mal-Shi’s Diet

As an energetic and healthy specimen, the Mal-Shi should be fed a premium quality commercial dog food which is formulated for a dog of its size and level of activity.

To be able to maintain their overall health, you should make sure that their nutritional needs are being satisfied on a daily and regular basis.

As a toy-sized active breed, this canine should require approximately one cup of dog food each day in dry format, which translates to an affordable monthly price of $25 to $30.

You should be mindful not to overfeed it so it does not become overweight, which can work against the dog as it ages and has health issues.

How Much Exercise Does The Mal-Shi Need?

The Mal-Shi enjoys activity and exercise, requiring approximately 60 minutes of activity per day consisting of short walks, playing games and trips to the dog park.

Extremely intelligent, it also enjoys playing with dog toys, which keep it mentally stimulated.

This breed will also benefit from having access to an enclosed area to be able to exercise.

Since they often suffer from being brachycephalic, this canine should be closely monitored and not be permitted to overheat or overexert itself.

Mal-Shi’s Health and Conditions

Another thing you will have to consider is which health conditions and diseases your breed is predisposed to acquiring.

A chronically ill pet can cause both emotional and financial stress, which can throw a monkey wrench into your plans to be a happy dog owner.

Typically a healthy small dog breed, Mal-Shi is predisposed to having health conditions which include patellar luxation and respiratory problems.

Due to their respiratory problems, they should be carefully monitored, so they do not overexert themselves in climate conditions of extreme heat and humidity.

It is strongly recommended that you take your new pet to your vet once a year for a physical checkup and to makes sure its vaccination shots are up to date.

As with any living creature, early diagnosis is often the key to preventing more serious problems.

A Good Guard Dog?

While the Mal-Shi is a watchful pet that will alert you if it senses any danger or threat in its surroundings, one cannot rely on these to excel at being efficient guard dogs.

Owing to a clash of its genes, the Mal-Shi is an alert and protective dog, but at the same time is also categorized as a rather friendly breed of dogs.

Quick to socialize, the Mal-Shi will let its guard down soon after meeting a new or unfamiliar face because its tendency to socialize will overpower its wariness.

Depending on its genetic composition, your Mal-Shi may inherit the protectiveness of its Shih Tzu ancestor.

If this is the case, then it is more likely to exhibit fearlessness in the face of a threat, regardless of its tiny size.

Such inherent qualities will let the dog qualify as a good watchdog, but that will be the extent of its guarding abilities.

The Mal-Shi is not a barker either. The only times it will bark will be when it may deem justifiable or when it is purposefully provoked.

However, should an intruder enter your house and extend a friendly hand to your pet, your Mal-Shi is more likely to welcome this person rather than chase him or her away.

Moreover, since it is a people dog and can easily develop separation anxiety, the Mal-Shi will appreciate any company that is given to it.

This serves as another con when it comes to keeping a Mal-Shi as a guard dog because it craves the company of other humans.

Interestingly, despite its inability to guard effectively, the Mal-Shi likes to believe that it plays an important role in keeping its family safe and will confidently stay on guard outside your bedroom to ward off any threats that may come your way.

Child Safety

The Mal-Shi is quite a playful and energetic dog that can help engage your children in joyful activities for a very long time.

This dog is neither dangerous for your children by its nature nor because of its build.

The Mal-Shi is a small dog weighing anywhere between 6 to 12 inches and grows to a maximum height of 10 inches.

This means that this dog is not large or weighty enough to hurt your children if it accidentally runs into them, making it an ideal playing partner.

The Mal-Shi is quite healthy and energetic, yet it has a controlled amount of energy in its body which is not sufficient to harm your children if the dog accidentally makes sudden contact with them.

You should not be concerned if a large, open area for playing is not available for your children and dog, as the Mal-Shi is perfectly capable of playing safely in small areas and enclosed spaces.

The Mal-Shi is highly unlikely to hurt your children but you should still take a few safety measures so that no accidents occur and the playtime is thoroughly enjoyed by both your dog and your children.

Begin training your Mal-Shi from an early age where it is more likely to learn gentle and affectionate behavioral traits which will ensure it does not treat your children roughly.

It is also important to show firmness to the dog in case it threatens the safety of your children in any way, to drill the point in its mind that your kids cannot be treated like other objects to play with.

In addition to all the measures you take to train your dog to behave properly with your children, it is also imperative to teach your children not to infuriate your Mal-Shi by troublesome activities.

Image Credit By: the_little_ewok, instagram

Supplements and Vitamins

The Mal-Shi is a very small dog with its 10 inches of height and 6 to 12 pounds average weight.

This means that it is very easy to fulfill the nutritional requirements of your pet with a healthy diet and a variety of food.

However, if you start noticing a lack in the energy level of your Mal-Shi or if it gradually becomes too inactive, it might be because it is not getting enough nutrients from its food.

You should consult your vet for the best supplements and vitamins for your dog, as well as the quantities to be given.

One major deciding factor while choosing the right supplement or vitamin is whether your dog is allergic to it.

If your dog cannot take the normal supplements, there are plenty of hypoallergenic ones to choose from.

Get your dog probiotics to prevent constipation and avoid yeast and urinary tract infections.

Another important supplement is Joint-Eze Plus Chewables which can help strengthen the joints and prevent diseases such as arthritis.

This is very important for your dog since a Mal-Shi is quite active and loves playing, which makes it essential for its joints to be in a very healthy state.

You can also get a Pet Naturals Skin and Coat Supplement which will strengthen the hair follicle and reduce the shedding.

On top of that, this supplement can help keep the coat shiny and healthy.

Moreover, multivitamins are quite necessary for your Mal-Shi since they will provide the majority of the crucial vitamins needed to keep your pet in top-notch health.

Additionally, if your Mal-Shi is suffering from skin or eye problems, it might be due to a lack of Vitamin E which can be provided through leafy, green vegetables such as kale.

Male vs Female

As an adorable and tiny little toy dog breed, the Mal-Shi is cute in both male and female forms, and so you really can’t go wrong whichever you choose.

Nonetheless, a few key differences from one dog gender to the next always needs to be kept in mind, and it’s no different for those of you looking to add a Mal-Shi to your family.

Males of this dog breed, as with most dog breeds, are larger and heavier than females, although, given the size of this mixed breed overall, the difference is not too noticeable except to the trained eye.

The most apparent differences often instead come from the different personalities of the male and female Mal-Shi – again, not huge differences, but things to keep in mind.

It all comes down to whether you prefer quite an independent pet or one who looks to you like someone to stick by and play with more often than not.

The male Mal-Shi is the real buddy dog of this mixed breed, as with many others. He wants to be involved in everything you’re up to, and easily feels hurt or spurned if asked to go away.

However, he makes his presence worthwhile with fun and humor and is a loyal friend to the end.

The female Mal-Shi can be a little more finicky and urgent to be pampered, but will also occupy her own time as she sees fit.

This is good for the more busy dog owners out there, but she still doesn’t do well if left alone for too long.

My Final Thoughts on The Mal-ShiA happy Mal-Shi looking at you

Very intelligent, cheerful, good-natured, affectionate and extremely outgoing, the Mal-Shi dog breed makes for an excellent family pet, as they do well with children and other pets.

Due to their very small size, they are more recommended for families with older children.

From an activity standpoint, this crossbreed requires 60 minutes per day which consists of walks, playing with toys and doing tricks.

This breed is easily trained, as it is eager to please its people.

Their compact size and light weight also make it an adequate traveling companion for those who enjoy getting around with their pets.

The Mal-Shi makes for a very capable and effective watchdog, as they will bark and alert you if they sense or notice anything out of the ordinary.

They can reside in both a home and apartment, with a confined space to roam around in is a bonus.

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