The Maltese-Chihuahua Mix (also known by the portmanteau ‘Malchi’) is a cross between the Maltese and Chihuahua breeds. While both Maltese and Chihuahua have been known to humankind for centuries, their cross came to existence only in the present century, around 20 years ago. Since then, they have only seen their popularity rising, thanks to their friendliness and cute fluffy looks.
The Malchi breed is classified as a toy dog breed, owing to its small size and weight. They are glossy, hairy, soft, and cherry on top, intelligent. Famous stars like Britney Spears and Madonna have got one each for themselves. A movie, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, has a Malchi character in it.
But is it good for you? Are there any cons attached to having a Malchi? We will discuss everything in this blog.
Let us find out more.
The History and Origin of the Parent Breeds of the Maltese Chihuahua Mix
Before we discuss any further, let us have a look at the ins and outs of the parent breeds first.
The Maltese Breed
The Maltese are classified as a toy dog breed. The origin of the breed can be traced back to the 5th Century B.C. They gradually rose to fame and prominence due to their elegant looks. In fact, during the 16th Century A.D., they were kept primarily by royalty all over Europe. Today, they are dedicated to exhibitions and championships.
The Chihuahua Breed
The Chihuahua (named after the Mexican state) breed is also a popular pet dog. Besides, they are also used in religious rituals and championships. Brave and intelligent, it is among the dogs with the largest brains. The breed is thought to have originated from Chihuahua in Mexico and spread to other parts of the world. The first Chihuahua dog was registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1904.
The Table of Comparison Among the Malchi and Its Parent Breeds
|Characteristics||Malchi Breed||Maltese Breed||Chihuahua Breed|
|Height (inches)||Around 13||Around 10||Around 9|
|Weight (pounds)||5 to 15||6 to 9||4 to 6|
|Lifespan (years)||12 to 15||12 to 15||12 to 20|
|Colors||White, Black, Cream, Fawn, and Brown||White||White, Black, Fawn, Cream, Gold, and Chocolate|
|Eye Color||Brown||Black or Very Dark Brown||Dark or Ruby|
|Price (U.S. $)||300 to 1,000||600 to 2,000||800 to 2,500|
The Growth Chart of the Malchi Breed
|Age||Average Weight (pounds)|
Why Should You Have a Maltese Chihuahua Mix? 5 Reasons
Here are some facts which will make you want to buy this adorable breed:
The Maltese Chihuahua Mix Is a Very Caring and Loving Breed
The Malchis are affectionate dogs; they always tend to show their love and care for their owner in the best possible way. Having such an affectionate dog loaded with cuteness is definitely good for you. If you happen to be stressed, sad, anxious, or tired, a Malchi will help you get relief by his playful and tender moves. In fact, it is scientifically proven that looking at adorable animals can effectively get a person rid of stress.
The Maltese Chihuahua Mix Requires Very Little Exercise
The Malchis, unlike most dog breeds, do not require a lot of physical activity to stay fit and healthy. Some vets say that even a half an hour daily walk is enough for them. If you do not have enough time to spend with your dog, or you have a hard time running and jogging every day, and you want an adorable dog, the Malchi is certainly an excellent choice for you.
Perhaps, it is one of the main factors contributing to the popularity of this breed among the elderly.
Training a Maltese Chihuahua Mix Is Not an Issue
Though dog training is an important and not-so-easy job for every dog owner, training a Malchi is not so difficult because of their intelligence. Although they’re a bit stubborn, they are highly sharp when it comes to learning; they learn and unlearn pretty quickly. Nonetheless, to effectively make use of the intelligence, you need to incorporate positive reinforcement methods. They can help your dog train not only easily but also quickly. And…with positive reinforcements, training becomes a fun activity for your pooch.
Small Space Is Not a Problem for Keeping a Maltese Chihuahua Mix
Certain dogs, especially tall dogs and high-energy dogs, require ample space to live in. Malchis are neither large dogs nor highly active. So, if you want to keep a dog but you lack space, a Malchi can be a perfect choice. A Malchi can roam freely inside a small apartment and does not need huge space to run in energetic sprints all day long without feeling tired.
The Maltese Chihuahua Mix Can Work as a Guard Dog
Although the Malchi breed is not classified as a working dog, it can be used as such. Thanks to their barking on the people they are not familiar with, they are one of the guard dogs. Since the Malchi dogs require socialization training to get along with the strangers, they start barking upon looking at them if they are not trained for socialization.
Another reason is that they are naturally protective of the people they are socialized with. Hence, a Malchi can be a great choice for guarding if you live in a place that does not have enough space required for keeping any well-known watchdog breed.
Why Should You Not Have a Maltese Chihuahua Mix? 5 Reasons
Though the breed seems to be a good choice, there are some negative aspects as well, which make people hesitant to keep it.
The Maltese Chihuahua Mix Is Physically Very Fragile
The Malchi dogs are very small and have soft bones and joints. If you have children at your home, you will have to take special care so that they may not accidentally harm the dog. Even if you do not have children at your home, you need to be careful about other things that might hurt him.
Likewise, you need to be cautious of other animals when you take your Malchi out for a walk, especially the herding ones.
The Maltese Chihuahua Mix Requires a Lot of Early Socialization
The Malchis are reserved by nature and considered one of the aggressive dog breeds. In addition, the breed does not easily get along with the children and can easily be offended by pretty much anything they do, making them breed unsafe for the children.
These traits make it necessary for the breed to get socialization training. Frequent encounters with different people and attitude monitoring may become imperative before your dog is socialized. This problem is also one of the reasons why the breed is more suitable for the elderly as compared to the children.
The Maltese Chihuahua Mix Has Dog Syndrome
Small dogs often suffer from small dog syndrome, also called Napolean Complex. They misbehave and tend to exert their influence and power over other dogs, which are far more powerful than them. The Malchi breed also has this issue. They are small and fragile, and they don’t want their size and nature to be seen as a vulnerability.
When hit by dog syndrome, they excessively bark at other animals and people, misbehave, refuse to follow commands, push ahead through doors, beg for food, and so on.
The Maltese Chihuahua Mix Is Easily Frightened
It is easy to scare Malchi dogs. When frightened, they may not be so lively and playful and may become too anxious to obey their owners. This may cause unpredictable behavior and unrestrained barking. Moreover, they may also be more inclined to attack and bite others. To handle such dogs, you need to maintain tolerance and patience with an uptick in the socialization training endeavors.
The Maltese Chihuahua Mix May Bark a Lot in the Dark
Malchis are often hesitant of dark environments. An explanation may be that they are simply scared of the dark because of the loneliness they may feel in it. Resultantly, they may start barking, which can disturb people sleeping at night. Besides, the breed is known for having a loud barking sound. Add loudness to barking, and it soon becomes unbearable to keep your calm for a long time.
Diet of the Maltese Chihuahua Mix Breed
Since the Malchi breed is not so active physically, you need to arrange the daily diet of your dog, keeping in mind that they do not need much calories intake. Based on the average size and weight of a Maltese Chihuahua Mix, a daily intake of 250 to 300 calories should be enough. Hence, about a cup of kibble a day is suitable.
Nevertheless, it is advisable that the cup be divided into two different meals. The number of meals can be increased based on the eating habits, age, health concerns, and activity levels of your dog.
The daily food intake should, however, be subjected to the age and the level of physical activities your dog. If your dog is growing old and does more physical activities as compared to others belonging to the same breed, you must consider gradually increasing the quantity of food in each meal until the daily requirement of calories is met.
Since certain diseases are common in the Malchi breed, it is recommended that the food you give to your dog should be rich in nutrients and healthy, as recommended by the vets.
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The Exercise Requirements for the Maltese Chihuahua Mix Breed
Malchis are not so physically active and energetic; therefore, they tend to exercise less. They are not primarily working dogs. Furthermore, they are small and fragile, which makes them eat less, and, in turn, they do not have enough stock of calories in their bodies left to work out like other dogs do. Besides, they also get tired quickly.
You may also hesitate to take your dog out for exercise sessions because of his dog syndrome. However, about 20 minutes of walk on a daily basis is advisable for a Malchi to stay healthy and fit. Daily exercise may reduce behavioral problems in dogs and can prove great for their physical training as well.
Some recommendations for exercising a dog that is not physically active are:
- Use toys
- Begin slowly
- Exercise when your dog is exhibiting a playful and active behavior
- Playing fetch and tug of war is a good idea
The Training Requirements for the Maltese Chihuahua Mix Breed
Owing to their intelligence and quick learning capabilities, Malchis are easy to train. However, you need to be aware of certain points in order to avoid any bad experiences and train your dog effectively.
- You need to be a strict trainer. Though the breed is highly intelligent, it is a bit disobedient—small dog syndrome, as we said. But you have to discipline him when he is a puppy. That is why you must be able to exert your authority without physically or mentally harming your dog.
- Socialization training should be your first priority because Malchis are known for behaving badly in front of strangers. Hence, the earlier the socialization part is covered, the better.
- Potty training a Malchi is not so easy. You need to go through proper guides for dogs’ potty training before you train your dog.
- Always reward your dog after a good training session. It helps in socialization and forming a close bond.
The Grooming Requirements for the Maltese Chihuahua Mix Breed
The Malchi dogs can vary in colors, but their most common color is white. Maintaining a neat and clean white color is a Herculean task. That is why you need to be thoroughly involved in the proper grooming of your dog.
To begin with, you should wash your dog every month—or twice a month, or when the need arises. The use of a whitening shampoo for maintaining the polished and dapper look of his white color is highly recommended.
Next, you need to properly brush your dog’s coat at least twice a week. However, the frequency may vary depending upon the size of the hair in his coat. If the hair is small, brushing once a week would be enough. As they shed less, brushing the coat becomes easier, and the surroundings remain clean.
Likewise, the teeth of your dog should be brushed every day. Coming to the nails, it is advisable to keep them small and trimmed owing to the aggressive nature of the malchi breed. Therefore, it would be a safe practice besides giving your dog a clean look.
The Health Issues of the Maltese Chihuahua Mix Breed
The Maltese Chihuahua Mix is generally a healthy breed; nevertheless, it is also prone to the health problems commonly found in its parent breeds.
Some of these are:
It is a disease that diminishes the ability of a dog’s blood to clot. If the blood finds its way to ooze out of the dog’s skin, it will simply not stop, causing excessive blood to flow out. It is, unfortunately, a common and inherited disease in dogs. If your dog has hemophilia, you need to take special care even while brushing because even a slight injury can cause enough blood loss.
However, if there is any sort of internal injury, you must immediately contact a vet.
It is the dislocation of knee caps. Like hemophilia, patellar luxation is also a hereditary problem in dogs. In such a condition, a dog may have difficulty bearing any weight on the affected knee. However, it is possible for the condition to be rectified without any surgical procedure. Exercise, as well as physiotherapy, can help a lot in recovery.
Even after surgery, a dog may take around 10 weeks to fully recover.
Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
It is a fatal heart disease in dogs in which the left side heart diseases may occur that may lead to complete heart failure. If your dog shows the following signs, contact a vet as soon as possible:
- Problem in breathing
- Loud heart sound
- Irregular pulses
- Inability to exercise
It is an eye disease that can often be caused by viral attacks. In dogs, however, it’s mainly hereditary. The first symptom to prop up is usually night blindness. If your dog is hesitant to go into the darker places, you must get him checked by a vet for retinal dysplasia. In case of a serious problem, the retina may come off, causing permanent blindness.
It is a disease that can cause serious eye problems in dogs by damaging their optical nerves. In extreme cases, it can cause blindness in dogs. However, the disease is not completely curable—it can only be managed. You can suspect glaucoma in your dog by looking for the symptoms, such as eye redness and blindness. If they exist, contact your vet for a proper plan before the condition becomes unmanageable.
Color Dilution Alopecia (CDA)
It is the thinning of the hair in dogs. It can either cause hairless patches or a complete loss of hair. It is not a common disease, however. It is a hereditary disease and has no cure; nevertheless, it can be controlled from further spread if diagnosed in the early stages.
Various ear infections are common in dogs. Ear infections cannot be treated without proper medical consultation. They can be avoided by maintaining a clean environment. If your dog scratches his ears or shakes his head more than usual, know that there could be something related to infection.
Some of these diseases are hereditary, and Malchis are more prone to catching them than other dogs. Some, such as ear infections, can happen in almost every dog breed.
The Temperament and Personality of the Maltese Chihuahua Mix Breed
Below is a brief breakdown of the temperament and personality traits of the Maltese Chihuahua mix.
- Love: Just like its parent breeds, the Malchi breed is highly affectionate. They simply love the people they are familiar with.
- Loud: The Malchi breed is usually loud when it comes to barking. That is why excessive barking may cause offense to some people.
- Friendly With the Elderly: The breed is not so friendly with the children; however, it is quite the opposite when it comes to the elderly.
- Easily Angered: They are aggressive by nature. They can easily be perturbed by pretty much anything.
- Intelligent: The breed is quite intelligent, just like its parent breeds. They can learn, relearn, and unlearn things pretty quickly.
The Malchi breed is a perfect blend of the Maltese, and the Chihuahua breeds as it encompasses all prominent and desirable physical as well as mental features of its parents. A great pet dog, it is suitable for the elderly and those living in apartments. In spite of these pros, due to some of the personality traits, the breed may not be suitable for people with children and other pets, especially large dogs. Apart from these drawbacks, the breed is surely a good choice for people to have.