The first thing you need to know about the Malshi (sometimes seen as Mal-shi) is they are not to be confused with the Maltese breed. The Malshi is a designer dog, and has a unique set of characteristics and traits. In contrast, the Maltese breed has its origins dating back more than 225 years.
1. This is a breed that is perfect for most any living environment.
Here we are talking about family and home size. Whether you live alone in a small apartment or have six children in a 20 room house, the Mal-Shi will find its place without requiring much of it. As it gets no larger than 10 inches at the shoulder, they don’t need to be outdoors a lot because just running around the house will tire them out.
2. One of the major reasons for their cross breeding was to have a dog that sheds less.
In this case, it is not about cleaning up the shedding hair but about the allergies that prevent many dog lovers from owning one. While the low shedding genetics of this breed make it possible for many potential owners, the fact that it is also a low fur maintenance type of dog cannot be ignored.
3. Many people find them valuable as therapy dogs.
Many dog breeds can be temperamental, a trait that needs to be avoided when dealing with people who have emotional problems. For example, Rottweilers are not at the top of the list for therapy animals. The Malshi is a very friendly breed of lap dog who is content to lay or sleep in your lap until you have to get up.
4. The Malshi breed has its origins in Australia.
The breed is only beginning to catch on in the United States after starting more than 20 years ago on The Land Down Under. It became very popular there and still is one of the preferred breeds across the continent. But there are few pure bred Malshis because there hasn’t been enough time for the breed to fully settle in. It generally takes four generations to determine whether a breed has the full set of desired genetic traits present.
5. Owners with children need to understand there is a dog present, not a baby.
Because the grown weight of a Malshi will only be 12 pounds, younger children and teens (and even parents) like to pick them up and carry them around. It’s a natural problem for those among us who are cute and cuddly. But the long term result will be a dog that is spoiled, which means you will have a difficult time breaking them of bad habits. They will do fine on their own four paws.
6. You will see the best traits of both breeds rise up, making you appear wise in your decision to own one.
We mentioned the therapy fitness of the Malshi, but remember the Shih Tzu qualities they also possess – fearless and watchful. Even in your lap, if they sense something is amiss you will find them looking around for the source of the problem. Yet despite this trait they will remain playful and gentle, not straying far from you.
7. One of their major health concerns is of a respiratory nature.
This is somewhat ironic seeing the breed was created to be as hypoallergenic as possible for humans. But the reality is that respiratory problems can affect your Malshi at any time, but particularly during the summer months. It is advised you keep them indoors, in an air conditioned room to reduce the possibility of a respiratory infection.
8. They will mimic your healthy or unhealthy lifestyle.
The focus here is on exercise requirements. While the dog can keep up with your active lifestyle, they are very willing to adjust to those owners whose lifestyles are more laid back. This doesn’t mean they don’t need their daily regimen of outdoor time, but you won’t find them bouncing off the walls because you prefer to binge watch Game of Thrones.
9. The shorter the coat, the better.
The natural long coat of the Malshi can easily become matted or tangled, requiring you to spend a lot of time brushing and grooming, putting them in the category of a high maintenance dog. The good news is all you have to do is keep their coat trimmed (not too short) and they immediately become a low maintenance pet.
10. It is recognized by a number of dog clubs and registries.
Because the breed has not yet achieved pure bred status, the American Kennel Club does not recognize it, excluding it from AKC sponsored national dog shows. However, many of the most recognized hybrid breed clubs have welcomed it into their litter: the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), the Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), Dog Registry of America (DRA), the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR), and the Designer Breed Registry (DBR).