Maltese Shih Tzu

History/Evolution:

A cross of two low-shedding, low-dander dogs — the Maltese and the Shih Tzu — the Maltese Shih Tzu was developed in Australia in the 1990s. Also known as the Mal-Shi or Malt-Tzu, this small crossbreed may be a good choice for people with allergies; the cross may also avoid the eye and breathing problems associated with the Shih Tzu’s flattened face. With enough exercise, the Maltese Shih Tzu is content in an apartment situation.

Size:

Small; 10 to 20 inches, 15 and 30 pounds.

Color:

Varies; usually white or a mix of brown, white, and black.

Temperament:

Good natured, affectionate, playful, clever. Devoted to family, but best with older children. Alert, cautious with strangers. Needs chew toys).

Energy level:

Medium.

Best owner:

Attentive owner with time for grooming.

Needs:

Daily exercise, early and consistent socialization and training, regular ear and dental care, daily brushing and clipping every three or so months, patient housetraining.

Life expectancy:

12 to 14 years.