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Shih Tzu Mixed Breeds: Maltese Shih Tzu

Jun 26, 2008
Pure breeds are defined as "of or belonging to a recognized strain established by breeding individuals of unmixed heritage over many generations." Purebred dogs are extremely popular and are the only dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Association (AKC). These dogs have a documented ancestry, or pedigree, as well as specific characteristics of the breed they represent. Pure breeds are selectively bred, or inbred, to retain and strengthen their genetic traits.

Though pure breeds are still very much in demand, a new type of dog is becoming popular. Mixed breeds, or hybrids, are the result of mating two different pure breeds. Mixed breeds used to be known simply as "mutts", but hybrids are different in that both parents have documented ancestry.

Though mixed breeds are commonly known as "mutts," the mixing of two pure breeds is viewed as a crossbreed or hybrid. Hybrids are recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club and can register and compete with proper documentation. Mixing two pure breeds is thought to result in a better overall dog with any possible combination of both its parents' different genetic characteristics.

Maltese Shih Tzu mixed breeds, or Mal-Shi, are recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club. A Mal-Shi puppy will have characteristics of both its parents. The fur is silky and may be wavy or straight and in varying colors. It is also hypoallergenic and sheds very little. Mal-Shi dogs are energetic, sociable and alert. The Mal-Shi comes from two breeds with long histories and it is no surprise that owners believe this mix benefits from both lines of ancestry.

Shih Tzu may have health problems such ocular disorders and infections and spinal problems. The breed is unable to withstand temperatures above 75 degrees, and its fur is prone to matting. For this reason many owners tie up the facial hair in a bow on top of the dog's head. Dogs must be brushed daily or given a "pet clip" or "puppy cut", which is a short haircut done only if the dog is not in competition.

The Maltese part of the Maltese Shih Tzu dates back 28 centuries. The breed originated on the Island of Malta and has not changed in the intervening years. Physically, the Maltese has one layer of fur that is long, silky, straight and pure white in color. The fur is also hypoallergenic and sheds very little. Maltese have dark, expressive eyes and a black nose..

The Mal-Shi comes from two breeds with long histories and it is no surprise that owners believe this mix benefits from both lines of ancestry. Maltese Shih Tzu, or Mal-Shi, dogs have the multi-colored, silky fur and energy of the Shih Tzu as well as the hypoallergenic quality of the Maltese.

The hybrid, Mal-Shi, puppies-which are the result of the remarkable Maltese and Shih Tzu breeds- have the varied traits of both parents. Just as the Shih Tzu originally descended from a mix of the Lhasa Apso and Pekingese, it is possible that one day the Maltese Shih Tzu may be recognized as a pure breed by the American Kennel Association.
About the Author
About the author: Rebecca Simpson is an avid lover of the Shih Tzu and owns a popular website that can teach you how to have a happy, healthy and well behaved Shih Tzu. Among other topics at this website, you can also learn all about Shih Tzu Mixed Breeds plus a whole lot more.
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