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Do Maltese Shih Tzus Shed?

Maltese Shih Tzus, often referred to as Malshi, Malt-Tzu, or Shih-tese, are a crossbreed between the Maltese and the Shih Tzu. Both of these parent breeds are known for their long, flowing coats, and when it comes to shedding, the Maltese Shih Tzu exhibits characteristics from both.

The Maltese Shih Tzu typically has hair, not fur, which means it grows continuously, similar to human hair. As a result, they tend to shed minimally, much like their parent breeds. This makes them a popular choice for those who prefer a dog with reduced shedding. However, it’s important to note that no dog breed is entirely non-shedding; Maltese Shih Tzus will still lose some hair, but it’s generally much less than breeds with traditional fur.

The hair-like quality of their coat means that regular grooming is essential. Without routine brushing, their hair can become tangled and matted, which can lead to skin problems and discomfort for the dog. Many owners choose to keep their Maltese Shih Tzu’s coat trimmed shorter for easier maintenance, but even with a shorter cut, regular brushing is still crucial.

Maltese Shih Tzu Shedding Factors

Maltese Shih Tzus, like all dogs, shed based on several factors. Genetics play a significant role in determining the amount and type of shedding a Maltese Shih Tzu will experience. Some dogs inherit a double coat, which means they have both an undercoat and an outer coat. The presence of an undercoat often leads to more substantial shedding, while single-coated breeds typically shed less.

Moreover, age and hormones can also influence shedding. Puppies might shed their soft puppy coat as they grow into their adult coat, resulting in temporary increased shedding. Additionally, hormonal changes such as pregnancy or estrus (heat) in female dogs can affect the shedding pattern.

The overall health of your Maltese Shih Tzu is another critical factor. A well-nourished and healthy dog is likely to have a better coat condition, leading to less excessive shedding.

Seasonal Shedding Patterns in Maltese Shih Tzus

Maltese Shih Tzus, like many other breeds, often exhibit seasonal shedding patterns. They tend to shed more during the transitional periods between seasons, typically in the spring and fall. This is known as “blowing the coat,” and it is a natural process where the dog gets rid of its winter coat in preparation for the warmer months and vice versa.

During seasonal shedding, more frequent grooming and brushing are essential to manage the loose hair. Regular grooming will not only help control shedding but also promote a healthy and lustrous coat.

How to Manage Shedding in Maltese Shih Tzus

While Maltese Shih Tzus are not heavy shedders, proper grooming practices are vital to keeping their coat healthy and managing shedding. Here are some essential tips to consider:

  • Regular Brushing: Regular brushing, ideally 2-3 times a week, helps remove loose hair and prevents it from scattering around the house.
  • Bathing: Bathe your Maltese Shih Tzu as needed, but not too frequently as excessive bathing can strip natural oils from their coat and skin, leading to dryness and increased shedding.
  • Proper Diet: Ensure your dog is on a balanced and nutritious diet, as proper nutrition supports coat health and minimizes shedding.
  • Consult a Groomer: If you are unsure about grooming techniques or how to handle seasonal shedding, consider consulting a professional groomer.
  • Use a Deshedding Tool: Investing in a high-quality deshedding tool can be beneficial, especially during the shedding seasons, to remove loose hair effectively.
  • Regular Vet Check-ups: Regular visits to the veterinarian are essential to maintain your Maltese Shih Tzu’s overall health and address any potential issues that may influence shedding.

Comparing Maltese Shih Tzu Shedding to Other Breeds

Compared to many other small dog breeds, Maltese Shih Tzus are considered low to moderate shedders. Breeds with double coats or thicker fur may shed more, while single-coated breeds tend to shed less. Comparing Maltese Shih Tzus’ shedding tendencies with other breeds can help you find the best fit for your family and lifestyle.

Are Maltese Shih Tzus Hypoallergenic?

While no dog breed is entirely hypoallergenic, Maltese Shih Tzus are often considered a good choice for people with allergies. Their minimal shedding and low dander production can reduce the likelihood of triggering allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. However, individual responses may vary and spending time with the breed beforehand is recommended for allergy-prone individuals.

Common Health Issues in Maltese Shih Tzus that Can Affect Shedding

Maltese Shih Tzus are generally healthy dogs but, like all breeds, may be susceptible to certain health issues. Some of these issues can affect the dog’s coat condition and, consequently, shedding. Common health concerns in Maltese Shih Tzus include dental problems, patellar luxation and skin conditions like allergies or dry skin.

Owner Experiences with Maltese Shih Tzu Shedding

  • Anna, a long-time Malshi owner “My Bella has the silky hair of a Maltese. I was pleasantly surprised to find that she doesn’t leave tufts of hair everywhere. However, brushing her regularly is a must, or she starts to develop mats.”
  • Dev, who recently adopted a Maltese Shih Tzu puppy “I initially got Max because I heard they were low shedders, and he hasn’t disappointed. I do see some hairs on my clothes now and then, especially if I’ve been cuddling him, but it’s nothing compared to my previous dogs.”
  • Marie, a proud Malshi mom of two “Having both a Maltese and a Shih Tzu in the past, I found that my Malshi, Lulu, sheds even less than either of her parent breeds. But her hair can tangle easily, so grooming is still a big part of our routine.”
  • Elias, reflecting on his experience “Rico’s coat is more like the Shih Tzu’s. It’s a bit thicker and wavier. He doesn’t shed much, but I’ve found that regular trips to the groomer not only help with potential shedding but also keep him looking sharp.”

Do Maltese Shih Tzus Shed?