Mal-Shi Breed Information and Facts

Originally a designer dog, the Mal-Shi has grown in popularity in recent years as a companion dog that takes to training quite easily.  Let's take a closer look at the breed information and facts you need to know when evaluating this loveable dog.
Mal-Shis were one of the first designer dogs not to include a Poodle mix. Instead of a Poodle, breeders crossed a Maltese and a Shih-Tzu.  Appearances vary from dog to dog, as the same litter will contain some Mal-Shi puppies that look more like a Maltese and others that look more like a Shih-Tzu.  Originally bred to be a low-shedding dog, the Mal-Shis grew in popularity as their small size and affectionate and playful nature helped them adapt to many different living situations.  Today, they are a popular pet among seniors and families living in apartments as they thrive in such close quarters thanks to the personal interaction. 
On average, a Mal-Shi will grow to be about 10 inches tall and weigh 6-12 pounds.  Their white coats are usually curly or wavy and of medium to long length.
Grooming Needs
The Mal-Shi coat is usually thick and a bit wavy.  You will need to brush or comb it at least once ever 2 to 3 days. Bathing the pup once a week is also a smart move to keep the underlying skin in good shape.  It is also important to keep in mind that small dogs are prone to periodontal problems, so brushing your dog's teeth and using cleaning chews is a wise move.
The Mal-Shi is a lively and affectionate little dog. It is known for its hilarious antics and eagerness to learn new tricks. In short, it has a great character. 
When properly trained and socialized, a Mal-Shi will be a wonderful companion.  It should get along with other dogs and people without any problem.  These dogs thrive on love and attention. Separation anxiety can be a problem. They do not do well when left alone for more than 4 hours at a time.  If left alone too long or if not receiving enough attention, a Mal-Shi will act out and may destroy property, chew, whine, bark, dig, and “ignore” basic housebreaking training.    
Training Needs
Treat and incentive-based training works incredibly well with Mal-Shis as long as it is consistent and you present the dog with clear commands and tasks.  Begin potty and obedience training early, as well as heeling on walks.  Most importantly with Mal-Shis, an owner needs to establish dominance and respect very early on.  Take care to be confident, patient, and positive leader and handler. This dog loves to please its owner, so it should be able to learn commands very easily and is particularly known to be great at learning tricks.
Activity Level
Due to their small size, Mal-Shis only require a moderate amount of daily activity.  A daily walk is advisable, but the pup really prefers to actively play with its humans. Consider playing ball or some other game around the house that will help this pup burn some energy. If you do this daily, you will have a happy and healthy pup.
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