A cross between the Maltese and Shih Tzu breeds, the Mal-Shi is popular for its pompom-like appearance. But aside from the way it looks, there is more to love about this adorable hybrid. Here are five reasons why this breed is great for a first-time dog owner:
#1 It has an excellent temperament
The Mal-Shi is an affectionate dog that enjoys being handled and cuddled with. An outgoing breed, it is good with people of any age group and easily makes friends with both humans and other animals. This dog is also intelligent and adaptable, making it suitable for a variety of lifestyles.
Thanks to its naturally loving and loyal personality, the Mal-Shi can be an amazing therapy dog. It will spend every second with its owner and will even follow them around.
#2 It adapts easily to different environments
Due to its small size, the Maltese Shih Tzu will do well in an apartment. Because of its active nature, however, it still needs to get its daily mental and physical stimulation. So if you live in a tiny space, it is recommended that you walk your dog or play with it for at least 15 minutes a day to keep it healthy and happy.
This dog will do even better in a house with a small yard where it can run around or play. Just makes sure not to let it stay outside for a long time when it is hot or humid to avoid respiratory problems. A home with air-conditioning is recommended.
#3 It is very easy to train
For a first-time dog owner, training a pooch is one of the most challenging things. Luckily,
Mal-Shi puppies are intelligent and eager to learn. They also respond well to positive reinforcements, so giving them praises and rewarding them with treats are recommended.
At first, this dog may be a little shy around strangers, so socialisation training is advised. You can walk your pooch around the neighbourhood, in local parks, or at pet-friendly beaches. When properly socialised, the Mal-Shi will be good with kids and other animals.
#4 It is low-shedding
There are several reasons why a low-shedding dog like the Maltese Shih Tzu is suitable for first-time dog owners. First, it doesn’t leave a lot of hair all over the furniture or carpet, making cleaning or vacuuming your home effortless. You also get to minimise the amount of fur you will lint-roll off your clothes.
Second, this breed produces less dander so you won’t have to worry much about sneezing from time to time. The Mal-Shi was originally bred to be hypoallergenic, which means it is suitable for those who are allergic to pets.
#5 It does not require a lot of maintenance
As with most low-shedding canines, the Mal-Shi has a hair type that grows quite long. However, this doesn’t mean that it has high grooming needs. Aside from coat maintenance, which can take up time and effort, everything else is a breeze.
Daily brushing and regular bathing are recommended to keep this breed’s coat tangle-free and silky soft. Clipping can be done every six to nine weeks. As for this dog’s teeth, twice-weekly brushing is advised to remove tartar buildup and bacteria. Finally, nail trimming should be done once a month or when you start hearing your Mal-Shi’s nails clicking on the floor.