Shih Tzu Maltese, also called Bichon Maltese, is a hybrid dog that is becoming popular because of its sweet temperament and convenient size. As non-shedding dogs, they are considered to be hypoallergenic. As longhair hybrids, though, these dogs come with a list of required grooming and care responsibilities.
Shih Tzu Maltese--The Facts
A Shih Tzu Maltese is produced when a Shih Tzu is crossed with a Maltese. Dogs are often crossed in this way to develop new breeds with the desired characteristics of the parent breeds. Shih Tzu Maltese is not yet "set" as a breed, meaning that the only guaranteed way to produce one is to breed a Shih Tzu with a Maltese. This can result in a wide range of physical characteristics and personalities, as opposed to a set breed type.
A Shih Tzu Maltese has long, flowing hair that may be brown, black or tan with white. Some are pure white. As puppies they weigh between 1.36 and 1.81kg.; they grow to weigh 3.63 to 6.8kg. as adults. Even as young dogs they have the characteristic appearance: solid bodies with flat faces, wide eyes and floppy ears.
A Shih Tzu Maltese is characterised by a bright, intelligent personality. They are loving and well-mannered, with a playful streak that makes them popular with the young and the old. These dogs get along well with other dogs are clever and willing during training. Shih Tzu Maltese are typical of most breeds in that puppies present with this personality relatively early, and are friendly and outgoing from an early age. Their intelligence makes them easy to train, though training is always best if started very early in a dog's life.
Shih Tzu Maltese dogs do not shed as much as their parents, and are ideal for people who have allergies. Their long, silky hair does require regular grooming, though, including bathing and brushing. This keeps their coats clean and tangle-free. Owners should start grooming their Shih Tzu Maltese early to get them used to the idea of being bathed and brushed. Teaching a puppy early leads to a lifetime of easier grooming.
Buying a hybrid dog can be risky. Since these dogs are not registered by the American Kennel Club, there are no restrictions on breeding. A buyer is never guaranteed that a Shih Tzu Maltese puppy comes from healthy, purebred stock, or that it is evenly split between the two breeds. Purchasers should only buy hybrid breeds from trustworthy kennels with good breeding records.
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