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Maltese German Shepherd Mix: Info, Traits & Pictures

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By Nicole Cosgrove

maltese-german shepherd

Height: 7-18 inches
Weight: 7-35 pounds
Lifespan: 7-12 years
Colors: White, brown, black
Suitable for: Active families looking for a playful dog
Temperament: Loyal, intelligent, affectionate, sensitive

The Maltese German Shepherd mix or Sheptese is a curious hybrid. Often, it doesn’t resemble either of the parent breeds. After all, they couldn’t be further apart in their looks, size, and temperament. The colors of the Shepherd are usually dominant genetically. If other Maltese traits appear in the pup, he will likely have the typical black and tan.

The origins of this pup are unknown. That muddies the waters about what to expect when you invite a Sheptese into your home. The Maltese bring a sweet and happy dog to the mix. He is the epitome of a charmer and cuddler. What else can you say about a pooch that began life as the lapdog of Romans? The Chinese refined the breed to what we know today.

The German Shepherd tells a very different story. They began life as working dogs as their name implies. The Germans selectively bred the pup for other jobs outside of the farm and pastures. Today, the intelligence of this pup has opened up many venues in law enforcement to TV star, a la Rin Tin Tin. He could even give Lassie a run for his money!

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Maltese German Shepherd Puppies

maltese and german shepherd puppy
Image Credit: Left – Maltese (Pezibear, Pixabay), Right – German Shepherd (M J, Pixabay)

If you get a Sheptese, get ready for the questions. People are going to ask you all the time, what is it? That is particularly true if your pup has the coloring of a Shepherd in a tiny Maltese’s body. It’s essential to understand that when you have breeds in a hybrid of such different sizes and histories that you’ll likely have to deal with a myriad of issues, from health to training.

The parent breeds are similar in some personality aspects. They are both affectionate with their families. They are loyal and intelligent, although it doesn’t always translate into being easy to train. Remember that the Maltese was—and still is—a pampered pooch. He knows it, too. This pup has the sassiness and bravado of many toy breeds.

Few realize that they are small dogs.

The German Shepherd probably fuels this attitude. He is confident because he has the stuff to back up his aplomb. This pup has earned his stripes and then some! That means you’re going to get a pet with a lot of character with a Sheptese. Every day will be a new adventure with this pooch.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Maltese German Shepherd

1. The German Shepherd joined the ranks of the AKC in 1908.

Selective breeding refined the German Shepherd to the stately dog we see today. The AKC appreciated the efforts and recognized him in 1908. The first pup on the books was named Queen of Switzerland and worthy of the title.

2. World War I and II left their mark on the German Shepherd.

The German Shepherd took on the wrath after the world wars. During his history, he dropped the German from his breed’s name. It was also replaced at one time with Alstaian.

3. The Maltese has retained his place with the rich and famous.

While the Maltese got his start with Roman royalty, he has retained this status with his fans today. Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Bennett, and even Mary Queen of Scots loved Maltese.

The parent breeds of Maltese German Shepherd Mix
The parent breeds of Maltese German Shepherd Mix: Left – German Shepherd (Anna Dudkova, Unsplash) | Right – Maltese (Archibald Marajas, Pexels)

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Maltese German Shepherd 🧠

Many of the traits that we’ll discuss in the remainder of this guy fall into the wild-card territory. Many things go into the mix, including breed dominance, history, and size. That makes it hard to generalize about the Sheptese. Bear in mind that how you raise your pup plays a significant role in what you’ll get in the end.

The German Shepherd brings keen intelligence to the mix. He is easy to train and can learn a variety of tasks and commands. The Maltese is equally as smart. That means that you need to challenge your pet mentally. A bored dog will find things to do that aren’t always appropriate or appreciated. It’s essential to make mental stimulation a part of your day-to-day maintenance to keep you both happy.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Both parent breeds are affectionate, but the Maltese is a tad less kid-friendly. He wants all the attention. Loyalty is a desirable trait, but it’s also a buzzword that you’re getting a dog that demands attention. Separation anxiety is a concern with the Sheptese. This pup is relatively friendly with strangers, but early socialization is imperative to seal the deal.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

The German Shepherd in your Sheptese has a strong prey drive and high wanderlust potential. It comes from his history as a herding dog. It also means trouble for your cat or other small animals. This pup is moderately tolerant of other canines. It’ll help if you socialize him early and take him to the doggie park to meet other pets.

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Things to Know When Owning a Maltese German Shepherd:

Every dog has its quirks. It’s especially the case when dealing with a pup with such a disparate mix as this one. Many of the caveats depend on the dominant breed. It’s helpful if you can see the dam and sire to get an idea of what to expect. If not, rely on the advice of your veterinarian for the particular care that your pet will need.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The diet requirements for your Sheptese depend on which parent breed is dominant. The size of your pup is a vital consideration. However, it’ll probably be evident from the start whether he’s taking after the Maltese or German Shepherd. Use those observations as your guide because foods for small and large breeds vary. It’s imperative to choose the right one.

If your pup is more like a Maltese, you must make sure he eats at every meal. Dogs of this size are more inclined toward drops in blood sugar levels. Begin with three or four meals a day for a puppy with two times for an adult.

maltese and german shepherd outdoors
Image Credit: Left – Maltese (Pezibear, Pixabay), Right – German Shepherd (RebeccasPictures, Pixabay)

Exercise 🐕

Both the Maltese and German Shepherd are active breeds, which will help to ensure that he gets enough exercise. Walks and trips to the doggie park will seal the deal. This pup has a moderate tendency toward weight gain, so regular activity is imperative to keep him healthy. Think of your time together as opportunities to bond with your pet.

Training 🦮

The German Shepherd is probably one of the most intelligent dogs you’ll ever meet. That’s a good thing if you want to teach him to sit or stay. He can also handle more challenging tasks, which is why he performs on the agility circuit in dog shows. The key to success is consistent training. Let your pet know what you want him to do. He’s smart enough to catch on to the routine.

Grooming ✂️

The ease of grooming depends on the parent breed. The Maltese is easy-peasy with his silky hair and regular combing to prevent mats. The Shepherd needs regular brushing to keep the hair in check. The key is to remain consistent. You teach your pup what he needs to do, and you make it easier for you. Handle his paws often to make trimming his nails easier.

Health and Conditions ❤️

The problem with popular breeds like the Maltese and German Shepherd is that it encourages overbreeding. That increases the risk of congenital disorders, particularly with puppy mills that don’t screen for them. It’s another reason we suggest avoiding puppy mills and fly-by-night sellers. That will likely push up the price on a puppy, but we think it’s worth the cost.

Minor Conditions
Serious Conditions

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Male vs Female

You’ll luck out with either a male or female Sheptese. Both will shower you with love and affection. The significant concerns are with breeding. We strongly urge you to talk to your vet about breeding. A risk of difficult pregnancies exists with this hybrid. It can even be life-threatening in some cases. On the other side of the coin, altering the sex of your pup increases their risk of obesity.

Therefore, we suggest that you discuss this matter with your vet. There are a lot of factors to consider because of this particular hybrid.

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The Sheptese is definitely a conversation starter among the dog hybrids. He probably isn’t the first matchup that you’d consider. However, it can work with the right family and proper preventive care. There are many health concerns with both parent breeds. Doing your research is even more essential when you consider bringing a Sheptese into your home.

Related Reads:

Featured Image: Left – Maltese (Pezibear, Pixabay), Right – German Shepherd (Capri23auto, Pixabay)

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